Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

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Mandrake
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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by Mandrake »

Have you driven an EV ? They’re no different than driving an automatic except for a lack of noise. The controls are all the same, which is what matters for a driving test.

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myglaren
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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

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The problem being that if the test is passed in an EV then you are unable to drive a manual ICE vehicle.

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white exec
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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by white exec »

Presumably some driving schools will retain the odd ICE-manual for those who want that qualification and flexibility.

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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

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One of my colleagues has upgraded her Leaf to a T3. Been chatting to her about it, will see if I can get a ride in it some time. She's hung up on it not costing anything to fuel, but seems to have forgotten that it cost 40 grand up front....

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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by van ordinaire »

Mandrake wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 09:27
Have you driven an EV ? They’re no different than driving an automatic except for a lack of noise. The controls are all the same, which is what matters for a driving test.
I would've thought it pretty obvious that I hadn't, nor even looked inside one, else that original thought wouldn't have come to mind when I saw that tuition car. I had just assumed that they wouldn't have a conventional transmission, & to an extent I'm right - 'cos it seems there's no manuals

I suppose I should've known better because company stepson drove for had one electric van & he only commented on the fixed windows & no heater.

Oh well, I am better informed - but really no wiser.

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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Now this is an I3 but it is one of those with two "fuel" flaps as mentioned earlier in the thread.
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van ordinaire
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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by van ordinaire »

Sooooh ugly! (imho) Unusual for a sideview.

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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by Mandrake »

myglaren wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 10:42
The problem being that if the test is passed in an EV then you are unable to drive a manual ICE vehicle.
Correct. The same is the case if you sit your test in an automatic ICE as well. And a few people that just aren't up for the hassle of trying to learn to drive a manual do just that.

In the past I would have said sitting an Automatic only license was a foolish thing, at least in this country (in the US it would be the norm!) with things eventually moving towards EV's I don't think it will be the limitation it once was, eventually.

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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by Mandrake »

RichardW wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 13:15
One of my colleagues has upgraded her Leaf to a T3. Been chatting to her about it, will see if I can get a ride in it some time. She's hung up on it not costing anything to fuel, but seems to have forgotten that it cost 40 grand up front....
Be interesting to hear your thoughts if you get a ride in it! The one comment that most people make is that the ride is pretty firm, even by coil spring standards...

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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by Mandrake »

van ordinaire wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 23:06
I would've thought it pretty obvious that I hadn't, nor even looked inside one, else that original thought wouldn't have come to mind when I saw that tuition car. I had just assumed that they wouldn't have a conventional transmission, & to an extent I'm right - 'cos it seems there's no manuals
Mechanically EV's still have a gearbox between the motor and differential. But it's just a single fixed step down ratio of typically about 9 or 10 to 1. There is a gear on the end of the motor shaft driving an idler gear which then drives the differential. That's it. The idler gear is there mainly to give sufficient physical offset between the motor body and differential in a transverse layout, but also helps to achieve the high step down ratio in two steps.

The gears are permanently engaged, so "neutral" just means cutting power to the motor - as the motor has such low friction it feels as though it is not engaged to the gearbox when un-powered when it actually is. Reverse is achieved by spinning the motor backwards. Most seem to use splash lubrication like a manual box but for some reason use ATF instead of thick gear oil. (?!)

No forks, syncro cones, clutches or any of that malarkey...simplicity itself. :)

From a driver and controls perspective the car is an automatic - you have a "gear lever" or control of some sort that is mainly to select park, neutral, drive and reverse, and sometimes additional "driving modes" that affect the amount of regenerative braking. My Ion has an ordinary looking gear lever that anyone would be at home with. The Leaf has a round bump thing that you can push in different directions but it's still basically a gear lever.

A few EV's use push buttons to go between park neutral drive and reverse, like the Hyundai Kona. The Kia e-Niro has a cool looking shuttle wheel thingy that you turn one way or the other to go through the "gears". Tesla's have the "gearshift" on a steering wheel stalk similar to a yank tank of the 60's!

You have an accelerator and brake and no clutch pedal.

Most EV's emulate the "creep" of an automatic gearbox. So if I take my foot off the brake at the lights the car starts to creep forward slightly and will hold itself and not roll backwards on a hill. Some EV's do not have creep, or let you turn the creep on or off in the car settings to suit your preference. My preference if I had the option would be to have hill start hold but no creep, but creep is the only option on my Ion.

Once you know what thing to push to go into drive neutral and reverse you couldn't find something easier to drive than an EV. No chance of stalling, smooth and effortless away from junctions, and very precise and predictable as there is no automatic gearbox trying to outsmart you and choose the gear it thinks you should have.
Last edited by Mandrake on 02 Dec 2019, 13:29, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by RichardW »

Mandrake wrote:
02 Dec 2019, 13:08
RichardW wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 13:15
One of my colleagues has upgraded her Leaf to a T3. Been chatting to her about it, will see if I can get a ride in it some time. She's hung up on it not costing anything to fuel, but seems to have forgotten that it cost 40 grand up front....
Be interesting to hear your thoughts if you get a ride in it! The one comment that most people make is that the ride is pretty firm, even by coil spring standards...
Not looked closely, but a glance out the window suggests it is shod with elastic bands for tyres!

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white exec
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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by white exec »

ATF for EVs...
ATF and "manual transmission fluid" (eg Castrol Syntrax) are pretty much similar things.
As gearbox and synchromesh tolerances became tighter (1980s onwards) and 5-speed boxes appeared, it was found that gear engagement with a cold 'box could be very difficult. ATF was one solution, to replace earlier gear oils (some of which were SAE 90EP!).
In recent years, 75W-80 gear oil has gained traction (it's the current PSA standard for manual boxes, in GL-4 spec), but manual transmission fluids are also an option for many 'boxes.
ATF differs from manual gear oil in having selected friction additives incorporated, to enable auto 'box clutches to operate correctly. Manual 'boxes (and now EV reduction gearing) are less fussy.
The low viscosity of ATF/MTF/75W- also contributes a tad to overall economy.

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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by Mandrake »

Apparently the differential/gearbox in my Ion uses 1.5 litres of bog standard Dexron II ATF. (Albeit under a dealer part number...)

I still think it's a strange choice for what is essentially a manual gearbox - there is no high pressure pump (so no need for an anti-foaming agent you'll find in hydraulic oil) there are no wet clutches (so no need for friction modifiers) etc... but that's what is specified... :?

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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by myglaren »

The stuff that came out of the Tesla motor/gearbox looked like ATF.

I wonder if it is for cooling as much as lubrication.

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Re: Electric Vehicles: What have you spotted?

Post by white exec »

Over the years I've used several manual transmission fluids (Castrol SMX, Syntrans, Syntrax, etc) and several of them have been the same consistency, and red colour, of ATF.

A phone conversation with Castrol technical a good while ago included the info that gearboxes, even on very heavy commercial vehicles, no longer required heavy, thick gear oils (eg SAE90), but could run perfectly well on lightweight oils such as Castrolite (SAE30). EP (extreme pressure) oils were needed for rear (hypoid) diffs, but not for modern manual gearboxes.

I guess the trend towards these thinner fluids just continues where Castrolite etc left off, and have been further optimised.