Electric vehicles-Conversions

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

Post by Mandrake »

lexi wrote:The problem ATM is the jump in price to get up to that 200 mile range. Will those higher range cars take big hits on depreciation? Ie to bring them down to realistict s/h car price. Or will they hold price as demand exceeds supply?
A jump in price assumes that getting up to 60kWh/200 miles means just jamming in more of current tech Li Ion cells. Except for a big car like a Tesla, (60-100kWh) or a car that's willing to dedicate a lot of the size/weight of the car towards batteries, (Chevy Bolt - 60kWh) that's infeasible using current battery tech otherwise everyone would be making 60kWh cars today, and the leaf wouldn't still be hobbling along on 30kWh in 2017, 6 years after it launched with 24kWh.

The 60kWh/200 mile threshold will be passed for mass adoption at an economic price by new battery tech like sodium solid state cells. This will eventually bring the price of 60kWh down to what 24kWh costs today, and in about the same size and weight thanks to 3x energy density. So we're really just waiting for the next evolution of battery tech to arrive to push us past the finish line, and the research to do that is ongoing and making rapid progress. There is a lot of commercial interest in making this next leap.

Until then there will be a bit of a holding pattern where economically priced cars will hover around the 24-40kWh capacity and getting something with 60kWh or more will be premium priced and only come in larger cars. I think realistically the new battery tech required to make this more affordable and make it possible in smaller cars won't go into mass production for another 5-10 years, assuming the research breakthroughs happen fairly soon.

Regarding depreciation, I suspect that a revolutionary new battery tech that is much cheaper per kWh and more energy dense will cause accelerated depreciation of older cars not using the new tech - who wants to buy a 24kWh Leaf when you can buy a 60kWh one with 3x the usable range ? We're still very much in the early adopter high depreciation phase of EV's at the moment - not because the cars don't last well, but simply because their battery tech will become outdated so quickly, in terms of capacity and range versus a new model, even if in every other way they're still a great car. Remember mass market EV's only really started in 2010 with the i-MiEV/Ion/C-Zero and 2011 with the Leaf. That's not that long ago in the history of motor cars in general so its still very early days.

Now is a really bad time to buy a new EV because a jump in battery technology and range is probably only a few years away, however its a good time to buy a cheap second hand one after someone else has already taken the hit on the depreciation... :wink: If you can accept the limited range that it has, (for commuting etc) then it could be a very reliable and cheap to run car. That's the theory I've taken with my Ion anyway, while I wait out the arrival of true long range affordable EV's and see how the market shakes down.

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

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

Post by Mandrake »

Gibbo2286 wrote:What batteries for this? :-D

http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/27/15077 ... ai-cyborgs
A few days too early for April 1st ? :)

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

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It's The Borg.

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Mandrake wrote:
lexi wrote:The problem ATM is the jump in price to get up to that 200 mile range. Will those higher range cars take big hits on depreciation? Ie to bring them down to realistict s/h car price. Or will they hold price as demand exceeds supply?
Now is a really bad time to buy a new EV because a jump in battery technology and range is probably only a few years away, however its a good time to buy a cheap second hand one after someone else has already taken the hit on the depreciation... :wink: If you can accept the limited range that it has, (for commuting etc) then it could be a very reliable and cheap to run car. That's the theory I've taken with my Ion anyway, while I wait out the arrival of true long range affordable EV's and see how the market shakes down.
That sums it up nicely Simon. Barring lottery wins, I doubt very much if I will ever be dabbling in the new EV market. The ubiquitous arrival of PCP into the new car buying sphere, does for a price of course allow you to run a new current EV for a couple of years, hand it back and get the upgraded next current model.

That price converted into £x deposit and £y/month for z annual milage could well be made to stack up financially against an ICE equivalent when servicing and fuelling costs are taken into account. The buying decision though will depend on whether you want that particular Electric car for all sorts of other reasons as well. Maybe I'm wrong but people buying the upper end TESLA's and other exotica, are unlikely to be doing little spreadsheets to see if it 'pays' for itself!

On the secondhand market, the little spreadsheet starts to come into its own. but a major driver is also a desire to personally move to electric transport, and to see how to do it as economically as possible. Some valuable information has been gathered up by this thread already, and Simon's continuing pioneering and sharing his experiences on his Peugeot Ion is a real bonus.

The more information the better. Nissan and Renault's awful battery lease arrangements look to have narrowed the secondhand market to a very limited choice. Can the little spreadsheets be made to work if you make hard assumptions about writing off in full the purchase price over 5 years, and properly terminating the lease?(if indeed this is physically possible by ripping out the battery and sending it to Renault Finance).(...er....dont know..just posing the question!)

Many of the second hand EV's have low milage on them. Each battery pack provided for these EV's will at manufacture have an estimated...(or maybe its statutorily tested?) capacity for a number of recharge cycles. Is this a key factor in assessing battery life of a secondhand EV, or is it just used to work out the manufacturer's battery warranty period. The CALB Cells on EVTV are quoted at 4000 cycles. You are unlikely to recharge your EV 365 days a year but even at this rate 4000 cycles translates to 11 years.


Regards Neil

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

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https://vcache.arnoldclark.com/imageser ... V-H-/800/f
This is a nice secondhand electric vehicle, 22KWh so not in the top drawer of range, but it is a Renault and it will have the battery lease. Talking of little spreadsheets, I had a bit play around with a few assumptions, including a harsh assumption that the Fluence ZE after 5 years of ownership would be worthless.

Tried to pick out a comparible ICE vehicle and plumped for the Megane 1.5DCI of a similar age, and ran a few not very well researched assumptions in, but in general what I would term "roughly reasonable" ie diesel will cost more than electricity (twice as much is probably conservative) and published mpg will be an overestimate so scaled it back from 67mpg to 60mpg for the diesel.

Works out roughly the same on my calculations.....second hand electric vehicles with leases are pitched at a purchase price less than comparible ICE vehicles, and open for a bit of hard negotiation below the price ticket on the windscreen. They depreciate faster (I have assumed back to zero), but the ICE cars also depreciate, and fuel, tax and running costs all run in favour of the EV.

Lies, damn lies, and my spreadsheets, assumptions can always be tailored to give you the answer you want :!: :-D Even with the battery lease you could make an arguable case that the EV comes out broadly the same as an ICE equivalent.
just for fun! N.Falcon own work
just for fun! N.Falcon own work
Regards Neil

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

Post by Mandrake »

While trying to research the efficiency of Lithium Ion batteries (charge put in during charge vs charge available during discharge) I came across this, which I thought was quite interesting:

http://liionbms.com/pdf/ElithionBatteryPower10.pdf

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

Post by Mandrake »

An interesting article on what causes lithium ion batteries to "die". (Die here means loose excessive capacity)

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/arti ... ion_to_die

Of particular interest is the comment about early Leaf's, which were notorious for rapid battery degradation in high temperature climates:
In October 2012, Leaf owners in California and Arizona sued Nissan, claiming that the vehicles have a design defect that causes them to prematurely lose battery life and driving range. Heat when driving in a hot climate was blamed. The battery in the Leaf has no active thermal management to keep the cells cool. This omission was given as the reason why the battery would lose 27.5 percent of its capacity after one-to-two years of ownership.
27.5% capacity loss in 1-2 years. Ouch! My Ion has lost 17% of its raw battery capacity in 5 years. How much of that is the mild weather in Blighty and how much is differences in battery chemistry and charging systems is hard to say. A lot of that initial loss happens quickly in the first year or so and then flattens out, so it will be interesting to see how it lasts now that I will be doing about 1000 miles a month in it!! It will really be put to the test over the next 4 years that it is being paid off...

And towards the end of the article:
Dalhousie’s coulombinc efficiency has gained the interest of device manufacturers, including healthcare and makers of EVs. Tesla cars use the 18650 because the cell is readily available at a low price. This was an unlike choice for the Tesla Roadster, the first EV by Tesla, as the cell was designed to power cameras, laptops, consumer products, medical devices and e-bikes. Perhaps unknown to Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motor, cobalt-based lithium-ion has a high (good) CE reading that adds to longevity if used carefully, the lack of robustness was solved by oversizing the pack.

Today, the Tesla Model-S uses Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA), a chemistry that has high specific energy, high specific power and a long cycle count, but it costs a bit more. Tesla is also super-sizing the NCA to reduce stress. The batteries of the Model S-60 and S-85 are so large that they can operate at a C-rate of only 0.25C (C/4), even at highway speed. This allows Tesla to focus on high energy density for maximum runtime and longevity; power density is less important. The negative is increased energy consumption due to a heavier vehicle and a higher battery price.

The manganese-based Li-ion batteries of the Nissan Leaf have excellent lab result but what may have been overlooked is the damage done when keeping the battery at high voltage and high temperature. As the CE tests reveal, these two conditions can cause more damage than mere cycling, especially with LMO (Lithium Manganese Oxide2). The NMC (Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide2) is better and only shows a worsening CE performance above 50°C (123°F). The good news is that the Leaf battery is robust and will perform well in most parts of the world.
That battery university website is a fantastic source of in depth information about all types of batteries by the way, even venerable Lead Acid cells. Lots of good reading if batteries interest you.

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Mandrake wrote: My Ion has lost 17% of its raw battery capacity in 5 years. How much of that is the mild weather in Blighty and how much is differences in battery chemistry and charging systems is hard to say. A lot of that initial loss happens quickly in the first year or so and then flattens out, so it will be interesting to see how it lasts now that I will be doing about 1000 miles a month in it!! It will really be put to the test over the next 4 years that it is being paid off...
.


Simon, does the vehicle itself in a give you information on the battery pack's capacity compared to the original spec :?: It probably would be a useful piece of information, both in price negotiation, and in a buying decision for a particular vehicle. No doubt a more detailed analysis could be available regarding the 'health' of individual cells, which may not show up in an overall capacity assessment.." a sort of EV buyers report. Maybe it's just too early for the AA to do this sort of thing but I could see the value of an independent report rather than believe what the dealer tells you :)

regards Neil

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

I'll put a link up to this article from Clean Technica (helps me find it again if nothing else :) ).

It's quite clear and informative about battery life and the factors which enhance/ damage longevity.

The battery management system and its software do their job to prevent too much abuse, but deciding when to plug it in or indeed pull the plug out is up to the user. Regularly running to a low depth of discharge is a negative for long battery life if I've got it right.

Sitting on a garage forecourt for a a couple of months with infrequent charging and maybe even allowing a full discharge state isn't much good for the battery pack either.


https://cleantechnica.com/2016/05/31/ba ... ries-last/

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

This is an old story now but a bit reassuring about battery (and brake pad :!: ) life

https://www.zap-map.com/electric-taxi-c ... ssan-leaf/

regards Neil

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

Post by Mandrake »

NewcastleFalcon wrote: Simon, does the vehicle itself in a give you information on the battery pack's capacity compared to the original spec :?: It probably would be a useful piece of information, both in price negotiation, and in a buying decision for a particular vehicle. No doubt a more detailed analysis could be available regarding the 'health' of individual cells, which may not show up in an overall capacity assessment.." a sort of EV buyers report. Maybe it's just too early for the AA to do this sort of thing but I could see the value of an independent report rather than believe what the dealer tells you :)

The Ion doesn't give you any kind of direct battery capacity/health indication unfortunately, it always shows a 100% charge after charging regardless of how much battery capacity degradation there has been. You just get less miles per bar on a degraded battery. The only way you could estimate it without additional tools is the range remaining figure after a full charge, however this is based on the average energy consumption over the last 15 miles, so can easily be fudged simply by driving the car slowly and carefully (say a constant 30mph for 15 miles) and then charging it back up, which will give an inflated figure.

To truly know the capacity you either need to plug in a Lexia, which will show overall pack Ah/hr capacity, and cell balance state, or a Bluetooth OBD-II dongle with the Android apps Canion or Evbatmon. (Both also work with C-Zero and i-MieV) Evbatmon gives a full easy to read battery diagnosis with both overall capacity and it shows graphically the cell balance state which will immediately make a faulty or failing cell obvious. Canion is free but Evbatmon is about £29 I think.

So with a small wireless dongle an a small android tablet you could quickly and easily plug that into a prospective car and get a battery report in a couple of minutes. I didn't have this available to me and whilst I could have taken the Lexia and plugged it in before purchase the circumstances around the purchasing would have made this difficult so in the end I took a punt based on the range remaining estimate after a test drive and confirmed after bringing it home with the Lexia that pack capacity is actually very good for its age.

On a Leaf there are two bar graphs on the display - one is a battery health gauge and one is a state of charge gauge. The state of charge gauge shows how much charge you have left since last charging and always returns to full when fully charging, and is therefore scaled to the current battery capacity. The health gauge beside it is an indication of the battery health vs a new battery, so once the bars on this start dropping this is an indication of battery degradation and loss of range. This is the gauge they're talking about in ads when they say it still has "full bars".

This gauge is a bit coarse and the first bar doesn't disappear until a significant amount of capacity loss has happened so there is an Android app called "Leaf Spy" which is the go-to tool to diagnose the capacity of the Leaf battery, it too works using a bluetooth OBD-II dongle. I think Evbatmon also works with the Leaf and many other models of car so may be a more general tool for checking the batteries of many EV's, and ideal for someone buying and selling EV's.

So yes, with the right tools which are not particularly expensive, it's possible to check the true health of the battery of most EV's before buying. (Assuming they'll let you plug in!) Once people become more comfortable with EV's I think that this sort of check will become common place, just like you would inspect other aspects of any car.
NewcastleFalcon wrote:This is an old story now but a bit reassuring about battery (and brake pad :!: ) life

https://www.zap-map.com/electric-taxi-c ... ssan-leaf/
Yes pads and discs can last ridiculously long amounts of time on EV's due to regeneration. They only really get used to hold the car stationary or get used in emergency stops. For normal driving most of the braking is done by regeneration so its common for them to last 2-3x what they would on an ICE. Sometimes they actually have to get replaced not due to wear but due to rusting away through lack of use.

The Leaf in that article is a 2013 model - which I think was when Nissan introduced a revised (Lizzard) battery with improved chemistry which is supposedly a bit more robust in hot conditions. So that high mileage without much range loss would not apply to a 2011 or 2012 model, which IMHO should be avoided, as those very early ones were notorious for capacity loss.

I find the 2p/mile claim as a taxi very hard to believe - the Ion is known to be more efficient than a Leaf in terms of watt-hours/mile (in fact I think it still holds the record as the lowest energy consumption per mile of any EV, probably due to its small size and weight) and I've done my sums on the Ion and there's no way I could get down to 2p/mile except in summer and if I only ever charged at night using economy 7 - which clearly a Taxi cannot be doing if it has to charge through the day to keep going.

On a standard daytime tariff at 13p / kWh if I always charged at home I'd get about 3.5p/mile with no heater use. With heater use in the winter that will rise to around 4-5p/mile. So 2p/mile using daytime electricity just isn't going to happen, unless I made a lot of use of free public charging to cut my overall cost.

They specifically mention that they did a lot of rapid charging on the car (eg 30 minutes to 80%) and it makes sense that they would have to do that as a taxi to keep it in operation through the day, however in England you pay quite a bit for most Rapid chargers - WAY more than 13p/kWh let alone 7p/kWh. So unless the taxi company owned and ran their own rapid charger (possible, but quite unlikely) I can't see any way they could possibly be achieving 2p/mile, even in the summer, and unless their Leaf has a heat pump the cost to run it would go up by about another 50% in the winter.

One other point is that rapid charging is not nearly as efficient as normal slower charging - it generates quite a bit of heat that has to be taken away through active cooling, so even if the electricity tariff at the rapid charger was the same as at a normal 3 pin plug it would cost you a bit more due to the inefficiency of charging a battery so quickly. (I don't know what the figure actually is, but I'd estimate about 20% loss of efficiency charging a battery in 30 minutes vs 6 hours) It sounds like a lot of their charging would have been done as rapid charging, since they're trying to run the car as a taxi.

So I don't think too much in the way of fact checking was done in the article on that 2p/mile claim!

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

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Thanks Simon, interesting and its encouraging that for little outlay, if you know what you are doing or are able to learn, its perfectly possible to do-it-yourself...now that is a total bonus when you read stuff like the opening post in this thread on mynissanleaf...
from here http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?t=20102
thread entitled "Why should I do the annual battery health check?" by member jbrawn

I just did the 48 month annual battery health check on my 2011 Leaf at the local Nissan Dealership. My car has been telling me that I've lost one of 12 bars of capacity for just over a year. After paying $50 for this "diagnostic service", all the dealer can tell me about the state of my battery is that I'm down to 11 of 12 black rectangles on an otherwise useless one page report called "Battery Information Sheet".

My experience is that my range has dropped between 20 and 25% since the car was new, as has the KWHs that I use to recharge it as measured at my charger. The dealer tells me that isn't true because my battery is only down 1/12th of it's capacity. I asked for details in KWH, or percent of new capacity, or anything more detailed than 11 black boxes in a rectangle with space for 12 boxes. He suggested I call 1-800-Nissan1.

The friendly and useless people (Carlo and Chris) who I talked to there explained the following:
1) Battery warranty has nothing to do with the actual capacity of the battery. It is based on having 8 or fewer capacity bars sometime before 5 years / 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. (There is apparently no language in the warranty about KWH, percent charge or any other numerical measurement other than bars on the dash.)
2) There is no information available to them or to me about what percent of original capacity 8 bars represent. But Chris was sure that all the bars represented equal amounts of capacity -- he just didn't know how much each represented.
3) There is no one at the dealership or at Nissan who can test my battery to see what its actual capacity currently is.
4) There is no information about whether losing capacity bars relates to capacity loss relative to the published battery capacity (24KWH) or the "usable" capacity that doesn't include what ever ranges are reserved at the top and bottom of the normal charge/discharge cycle.
5) There is no way to objectively evaluate whether my battery pack is a candidate for warranty replacement or not.

So here is my question. Is there any value to me in continuing to do these annual battery health checks? As far as I can tell no action will be taken on any type of warranty replacement evaluation until I've lost at least 4 bars of capacity on the dashboard of the car. The "Advice for your Usage" section doesn't impact me because I use it the way it works best for me, and I've been at "18 stars" out of 20 all four times I've had the battery checked.

I'm told that Nissan collects the detailed, numerical data from each battery check for their own purposes, but there is literally no one in all of Nissan that can find that data and forward it to me. If Nissan wants the data, why should I pay for them to collect it?

My experience with the dealer and with the folks at Nissan's customer satisfaction call center today left me feeling strongly like the whole battery check and battery warranty process is smoke and mirrors and definitely not worth my money or time ever again.

Am I missing something?
Now I haven't read much further, but within that little snippet you can feel and recognise the frustration of dealings with dealers :-D

Regards Neil

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

Post by white exec »

It is clear that
(a) Nissan is treating these cars as "beta" or field-test, and is collecting data on battery performance (and maybe driving history too) for their own product development and commercial purposes;
(b) The 'warranty' they issue is couched in such vague terms that they can interpret it how they wish, in order to avoid large numbers of expensive claims;
(c) Only at the top of the food chain will all this be understood, quantified and documented, most probably at corporate R+D level.

None of this is particularly surprising, given the lengths many companies go to in order to protect their margins.

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Post by Peter.N. »

They sound about as knowledgeable as your average garage.

Peter