Bargain Basement Electric

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Zelandeth
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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by Zelandeth »

Charging should not really be a problem. It feels like you can't take two steps without tripping over a charging point in the area immediately around here. Plus the vast, vast majority of my trips are short enough that I can't see needing to do a huge amount of away from home charging on a daily basis.

Buckingham and Bicester are about the furthest from home I find myself on a regular basis at 10 and 18 miles respectively. Plus it's never going to be the only car on fleet (at least not until we start seriously looking at a Tesla, but that's a fair way off yet).

I will at some point sit down and try to make some sense of the numbers. Just seemed worth asking the question as it seemed that folks here might have enough experience to have a rough idea. I last looked a couple of years ago and remember finding a huge amount of conflicting data and ifs and buts to most of the data I did find...may be that things have sorted themselves out a bit now. I find this sort of thing quite difficult to wrap my head around sometimes these days, so it might take a while.

The other thing I need to look at is insurance. That's one of the biggest month-on-month costs for the Activa for some reason, but I've no particular idea in my head of how high a risk EVs are currently seen as.

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NewcastleFalcon
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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Zelandeth wrote:
25 Nov 2019, 21:08
The other thing I need to look at is insurance. That's one of the biggest month-on-month costs for the Activa for some reason, but I've no particular idea in my head of how high a risk EVs are currently seen as.
Surprisingly annual insurance same cover, for the 65 Leaf just bought is only £40 more than the 05 Micra (bought for £100 ICE Bargain Basement thread!). Do benefit from location and max no claims.

REgards Neil
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 27 Nov 2019, 08:57, edited 1 time in total.

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myglaren
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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by myglaren »

NewcastleFalcon wrote:
25 Nov 2019, 20:26
Ah what you need Zel is your own back of a cigarette packet, or napkin as Simon hinted at in one of his posts on the thread. I've always wanted to give it a go and it was just opportunity, and a few hastily put together calculations to give me the green light. Doing a milage of around 15,000 a year the sums worked out enough for me to give it a try.

Only been at it a week, and the market for me was never going to be pick anything you fancy. Round here its a case of making it work, and for the vast majority of our regular milage its going to be fine. We enjoy days out in North Yorkshire the Lakes and The Scottish borders, and they are going to involve a little more planning, and accept that a few half hour recharge stops are going to be part of the day out.

Quite comfortable and now pretty familiar with the charging stations to rely on in Northumberland, and we will build up knowledge of elsewhere. You realise what a hotch potch of charging point providers exist as discussed above, and when you are out and about you need the rapid chargers. Getting to the top end of Wensleydale and finding you are running out of miles with only a couple of 7kw charging points where you would have to spend a few hours plugging in is a bit too much effort. Then you find that those chargers are Pod Point and you dont have the App and you havent joined their club.
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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

A Tale of Two Chargers.

The NCC rapid chargers dotted at several locations throughout the county are currently free to use, and have the Chademo rapid charger I need for the Leaf.

LIdl have chargers at many of their stores, their partners are Pod Point for which currently you need to be in the Pod Point "club", and have the Pod Point app, and no way of paying at the charger with a bankcard.
nf own work
nf own work
Regards Neil
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 01 Dec 2019, 12:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Kicking off our electric vehicle ownership with the odometer on 28,440 on 15th November 2019, as of now it has reached 29,194 and we have 754 miles experience behind us. Had 4 top ups at payfor chargers at just under £5 each on the trip down to Yorkshire, the rest have been free. So for the 754 miles, the fuel bill has been £20 in the two weeks we have had it.
nf own work
nf own work
Regards Neil

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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by doctle »

I heard a guy from SIMI on the radio the other day he was saying that EV batteries need replaced after 8 years but the cost was similar to buying a brand new engine and gearbox for an 8 year old car which wasn't viable. So the electric cars that are been pushed as the only alternative to combustion engine cars only have an 8 year active life? If this is true it's madness. Old electric cars with dodgy batteries would be pretty much worthless.

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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Cant really answer that question, but...
NewcastleFalcon wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 09:27
Current residuals on 2011/2012 Leafs over £5,000.....
.....current 8 year old EV's currently dont fit into the worthless category just yet. The thing about replacing the battery pack is that over the lifetime, even assuming 8 years, you could set aside a provision for the eventual battery replacement from the current differential between the fuel costs of petrol/diesel and electricity. Very few if any will of course.

Renault tried with the batteryleasing of the Zoe to ease such anxieties, but I wonder if ever they replaced a battery pack under the terms of their scheme. Always a get out clause in the small print. They have recently ditched that scheme entirely for the new Zoe.

Both manufacturers and the aftermarket will have to develop a product/service of battery exchange to meet the need of battery replacement when it becomes a necessity as it no doubt will, and on an increasingly large scale as ev sales increase. Repurposing/refurbishing old battery packs with new cells could be a possibility, or recycling the spent battery cells to recover their constituent elements, again is an industry that needs to develop.

We will have to wait and see, but I would totally agree with you that EV's as vehicles have to have a projected lifetime of more than 8 years and with that most ev's will require at least one battery replacement in their lifetime.

REgards Neil

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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by Gibbo2286 »

Just as an example of what might happen, take the small camera battery i.e. my Pentax camera, a new battery from Pentax is £39.99 but I can buy one through Ebay for a fiver, Chinese tat maybe but they work...……..for a while.

Watch out for the same situation on electric car batteries. :)

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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by doctle »

Gibbo it's apples and oranges if your camera battery fails it's an irritation if your Chinese battery decides to go belly up on a wet dark Saturday evening thats a very different situation. I see all sorts of Chinese cars parts on the internet turbos, injectors, belts, brake discs etc as well as stuff like generators, tyres whatever you want but I wouldn't buy any of them cheap or not. I think the EV's having much fewer moving parts should be able to go on for 2 battery pack lifetimes but...
Guys like me that buy cars for a small amount and fix them would be the ones priced out of the market, €5000.00 for a battery on an older car wouldn't be affordable and I'm betting I couldn't put the EV on axle stands and change the battery myself.

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Mandrake
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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by Mandrake »

doctle wrote:
01 Dec 2019, 00:54
I heard a guy from SIMI on the radio the other day he was saying that EV batteries need replaced after 8 years but the cost was similar to buying a brand new engine and gearbox for an 8 year old car which wasn't viable. So the electric cars that are been pushed as the only alternative to combustion engine cars only have an 8 year active life? If this is true it's madness. Old electric cars with dodgy batteries would be pretty much worthless.
There is some truth to this but it's not quite that simple.

Very early EV's with small batteries, lack of active thermal management for the battery and now obsolete battery chemistry are going to struggle to last usefully much beyond approximately 10 years and/or 60-100k miles before the range is unusably low or cells start failing.

A small battery is simply cycled too many times. As an example the 16kWh battery in my 2011 Ion would reach about 1000 cycles at 64k miles, and for old battery tech like that that's near end of the road. And sure enough, at 57k miles I'm noticing significant range degradation compared to the range it had at 28k miles at the time I bought it, and I have just swapped a few of the worst cells for not a lot of useful improvement to be honest. Individual cells are starting to show signs that they're struggling.

So battery size is not just about range per charge, it's also about expected longevity. If you were to double the battery capacity to 32kWh then 1000 cycles of the battery would be about 120k miles - a much more reasonable distance for a car to last. Still not ideal since a well looked after ICE can last >120k miles.

Double the battery capacity again to 64kWh and 1000 cycles is now about 240k miles - now you're in a situation where the battery cycle life will almost certainly outlast the mechanics, rust resisting ability of the car and general aging, and it is no longer an issue - the battery will outlast the car.

As battery chemistry improves the cycle life of cells will improve and have improved over those that were put in EV's of the ~2011 era, but even if it hadn't, simply increasing the size of the battery will make it last a lot more miles by lowering the cycle count.

Another big factor is active thermal management - battery degradation is much greater when the cells are overheated - actively cool them (liquid cooling is the best) and they will last far longer even at high loads and high charge rates. Active cooling and heating also allows for faster rapid charging especially in the extremes of summer and winter.

The quick summary is that the batteries of early EV's that are small, lack active cooling and use older battery chemistry are not going to last that well - the best age to buy as a second hand purchase would be around 5 years old and get rid of it by around 8 years old. (Mine is coming up on 9 soon)

However the models that are being sold now with 50kWh+ batteries which have liquid active thermal management and more modern chemistry are probably going to outlast the rest of the car, and will be good second hand purchases when they get to a certain age. We'll be in that position about 5 years from now when you can find something like a 5 year old 64kWh Kia E-Niro at a reasonable price and have a good expectation that it will last a long time battery included.
Last edited by Mandrake on 01 Dec 2019, 12:02, edited 1 time in total.

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NewcastleFalcon
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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

doctle wrote:
01 Dec 2019, 11:20
Guys like me that buy cars for a small amount and fix them would be the ones priced out of the market, €5000.00 for a battery on an older car wouldn't be affordable and I'm betting I couldn't put the EV on axle stands and change the battery myself.
I am one of those too Doctle, or have been for the last 40 odd years. Whether my calculations will prove to be right or not time will tell, but doing 15,000 miles a year for 4 years petrol say £1.25/litre and consumption 10m/litre (45 ish MPG) even in a bargain basement micra like my £100 purchase is going to cost.....

60000m/10=6000 litres petrol @£1.25= £7,500
Assuming Electric costs 1/4 petrol cost= £1,875

Creates a Saving of £5,625 in fuel costs over a 4 year period, and no oil changes/ no new exhaust/ dpf/ cat converter etc.

Pays the finance on a £10,000 car with hopefully a residual value of around £5,000 at the end of the process.

Only got 754 miles/and 2 weeks experience so far, and bettering that 1/4 cost assumption on fuel alone in spite of using a few high price on the road Ev chargers on our longer trip yo Yorkshire.

Early days but enjoying the new car, and I always fancied giving it a go anyway :-D

Regards Neil

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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by mickthemaverick »

Mandrake wrote:
01 Dec 2019, 11:54

There is some truth to this but it's not quite that simple.


Double the battery capacity again to 64kWh and 1000 cycles is now about 240k miles - now you're in a situation where the battery cycle life will almost certainly outlast the mechanics, rust resisting ability of the car and general aging, and it is no longer an issue - the battery will outlast the car.

As battery chemistry improves the cycle life of cells will improve and have improved over those that were put in EV's of the ~2011 era, but even if it hadn't, simply increasing the size of the battery will make it last a lot more miles by lowering the cycle count.

Simon, I quote the above to attract your attention as the most experienced user on the forum.
If you were able to trickle charge the motive battery while in use, say from roof mounted solar panels, it would presumably increase range between charges which is beneficial but would it have a damaging effect on charge cycles and possibly reduce rather than increase battery longevity? :?:

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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

When JC and JM (Top Gear) tested a couple of electric cars one of them did have a little solar cell to help take the load off a bit.

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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by Mandrake »

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
01 Dec 2019, 15:26
When JC and JM (Top Gear) tested a couple of electric cars one of them did have a little solar cell to help take the load off a bit.
What car was it ?

Probably a Leaf with the "solar spoiler" option which is a tiny solar panel on the rear spoiler to keep the 12v battery topped up, which does not however charge the main traction battery.

I suspect the only reason its even available as an option (since it won't increase range) is that the Leaf is notorious for not properly charging and caring for the 12 volt battery. I'm not sure if all model years and specs are affected, but the 12 volt battery going flat unexpectedly and/or dying completely and needing replacing after relatively few years is a fairly commonly reported problem of the Leaf on speakev, and it appears to be something to do with it not charging the battery high enough in voltage frequently enough.

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Re: Bargain Basement Electric

Post by Mandrake »

mickthemaverick wrote:
01 Dec 2019, 12:06
Simon, I quote the above to attract your attention as the most experienced user on the forum.
If you were able to trickle charge the motive battery while in use, say from roof mounted solar panels, it would presumably increase range between charges which is beneficial but would it have a damaging effect on charge cycles and possibly reduce rather than increase battery longevity? :?:
The effect would be negligible I think. The problem with solar panels on an EV is they just aren't efficient enough and there isn't enough square metres of area to put them on, and that which is available is not at an optimal angle to the sun most of the time.

The only EV I know of with a serious amount of solar panels is the Scion, which is still a prototype and not in commercial production. It has a large part of the car covered (roof, doors, bonnet) and as far as I remember the extra range added on a sunny summer day is only on the order of 20 kilometres in favourable conditions, so barely worth it IMHO.

Solar panels are unfortunately only about 20% efficient, and in the application of a car covered in them one surface will be in shadow at any given time producing no output and two others will be at non optimal angles approaching 45 degrees.

Then you have the issue of the car being shaded from the sun by buildings, trees, or being parked indoors. If solar panel efficiency could be increased to say 60% (giving 3x the energy) and they were dirt cheap and a no brainer to fit to the car then sure, but at the moment I think they're just a gimmick for anything other than keeping the 12v battery topped up on a car that is rarely driven. (Thinking of getting a small one for the Xantia for that reason in fact!)

If you really want to run an EV from solar power the best way is home solar with battery storage - those panels can be far larger, aimed at a more appropriate angle to the sun, and be storing energy in a powerwall style battery all day long even if your car is parked in an underground car park at work. And of course the energy can be used around home as well. There are quite a few EV drivers already doing this who can do all their commuting and more from solar power, however the up front cost of solar and home battery storage is still very high meaning a long pay back time that makes it almost not worth doing from a financial sense. If up front costs could be slashed it would become a lot more appealing however.