What's the next car trend? - smallcar
I've always been interested in the history of the UK car market to understand how trends and changes emerge and why often the industry doesn't see them coming eg the rise of the hatchback in the early to mid 70s, an emphasis on tall body shapes for mid size and larger cars (I don't accept the MPV moniker - they were tall versions of hatchbacks and estates which were equally multi purpose), the mainstreaming of 4x4 vehicles (at least in look if not genuine 4x4) for regular buyers who don't need 4x4 at all. Much of the emphasis on size has relied heavily on the development of powerful turbo diesels that can overcome the huge weight gains of most vehicles which otherwise would be painfully slow and thirsty. I don't think the recent consumer shift to petrol is going to work easily for such heavy and large vehicles - I wonder if they'll really be acceptably affordable to buy or run.

What's next? What trend is going to emerge in 2020 onwards? My two pennies' worth is that I hope vehicles start to get smaller outside relative to interior space inside and we see fewer cars that are unnecessarily tall/big. I had a holiday in Japan recently and was struck by how efficient most locally purchased cars are in terms of road space, parking requirement and ease with which people can park them. Many people drive boxy Kei cars and the roads feel less dominated by great lumps of metal moving modest sized people around. I'd love a Kei type car but all the models here of any range are oversized and particularly overwide.

What trend do you foresee (or would like to see?)?

Edited by innerlondon on 11/05/2017 at 15:15

What's the next car trend? - RobJP

Self-driving systems. When you've got those pretty much universal, crashes will be far less likely. Once that happens, you'll see vehicles get lighter, as they won't need to carry as much crash protection - you're already seeing that the only way to get the top NCAP ratings is with autonomous braking and lane assist systems. That will, in turn, allow those petrol engines to work in heavier vehicles without horrible fuel economy.

A trend that won't happen : plug-in hybrid and EV cars, I still foresee it being a niche end of the market. For example, whilst an EV would be suitable for me for 95% of the time, the rest of the time it would be utterly useless - I did 460 miles one day last week.

Non-plug-in hybrids will probably do well - though I must admit, I struggle to see exactly how they are that much more environmentally sound than a 'normal' car - they use the petrol to charge a battery, which provides electricity to the motors that drive the wheels. They have a slight improvement in economy over a normal IC engine, but they cost considerably more to buy.

What's the next car trend? - Andrew-T

Self-driving systems.

Non-plug-in hybrids will probably do well - they use the petrol to charge a battery, which provides electricity to the motors that drive the wheels. They have a slight improvement in economy over a normal IC engine, but they cost considerably more to buy.

I think it will be some time before the designers of self-drive software are able to program in all the weird events that very occasionally happen on the road. Human drivers do make dreadful mistakes, but computers only do what they have been told to.

And I don't see why a vehicle requiring a large heavy battery (heavy whether it is full or empty) will be more efficient than one with a fuel tank, which at least gets lighter as the content falls. And the energy is converted twice (with losses) instead of just once.

What's the next car trend? - RobJP

And I don't see why a vehicle requiring a large heavy battery (heavy whether it is full or empty) will be more efficient than one with a fuel tank, which at least gets lighter as the content falls. And the energy is converted twice (with losses) instead of just once.

Ahh, you may be missing the point slightly. The hybrids don't have gearboxes, driveshafts, clutch assemblies, etc. They charge a battery, and that battery sends power to electric motors at the wheels. So they save weight through not having all those components, and, whilst they have energy conversion losses, those losses are comparable to the losses that you would get through mechanical driven systems.

What's the next car trend? - Wackyracer

Ahh, you may be missing the point slightly. The hybrids don't have gearboxes, driveshafts, clutch assemblies, etc. They charge a battery, and that battery sends power to electric motors at the wheels. So they save weight through not having all those components, and, whilst they have energy conversion losses, those losses are comparable to the losses that you would get through mechanical driven systems.

The Toyota Hybrid's have all those components, the generator and motor is built into the transmission housing.

What's the next car trend? - badbusdriver

And I don't see why a vehicle requiring a large heavy battery (heavy whether it is full or empty) will be more efficient than one with a fuel tank, which at least gets lighter as the content falls. And the energy is converted twice (with losses) instead of just once.

Ahh, you may be missing the point slightly. The hybrids don't have gearboxes, driveshafts, clutch assemblies, etc. They charge a battery, and that battery sends power to electric motors at the wheels. So they save weight through not having all those components, and, whilst they have energy conversion losses, those losses are comparable to the losses that you would get through mechanical driven systems.

I think you may be getting confused between hybrids and electric cars Rob, hybrids have all the same mechanical stuff as a normal car, plus the electric gubbins on top of that. So with the exception of the original (and brilliant) honda insight, hybrids are heavier than the comparable 'normal' car.

As for weight, the renault zoe is 1.5 tons, whereas our new honda jazz is nearly 400 kgs lighter despite offering more interior space and a bigger boot.

What's the next car trend? - smallcar
I wonder if self driving systems will become mandatory if they are fitted and made a requirement of MOT and insurance that they can't be switched off. Part of the issue is the period of partial adoption when idiocy can override a system. Driving would be much more relaxing if daft driving was actually not possible.
What's the next car trend? - gordonbennet

Self driving vehicles capable of making normal progress are years away, you won't recognise the country you live in by the time they happen if they ever do on normal roads where pedestrians and the ever more important cyclists have access.

Electric will be pushed more and more, though ultimately reliable continuous recharging will limit take up, unless they can make wireless charging over some distance possible or there is a fast apower pack replacement network up to the speed and efficiency of traditional fuel supplies, eg 10 mins max for a power pack swap 24/7.

Hybrids, especially Toyota, have proved themselves to be remarkably reliable long term, if they could design something that didn't hurt your eyes when you look at it they could wipe the floor with the competition, maybe someone like BMW will steal their thunder and do it instead.

I wonder if badge image will continue to have such an effect on car purchases in 20 years or so?

What's the next car trend? - Wackyracer

Hybrids, especially Toyota, have proved themselves to be remarkably reliable long term, if they could design something that didn't hurt your eyes when you look at it they could wipe the floor with the competition, maybe someone like BMW will steal their thunder and do it instead.

Did you see the news that they are not doing so well on sales? The president of Toyota said he understands the current product line up is 'boring' and hinted that they are going to start making some changes. I do hope it won't be more cars like the C-HR that is pig ugly.

What's the next car trend? - gordonbennet

Did you see the news that they are not doing so well on sales? The president of Toyota said he understands the current product line up is 'boring' and hinted that they are going to start making some changes. I do hope it won't be more cars like the C-HR that is pig ugly.

Hardly surprised they can't sell them, or Lexus for that matter, how a company as conservative as Toyota passed off some of the recent designs for manufacture i shall never understand, clever cars don't need to look geeky.

Neither do you send someone down to the local accessory shop to buy unsold garish spoilers to nail on the front of what should be quietly handsome Lexus badged executive expresses.

Agree about the CHR, i've seen a few on the road now, and no it just doesn't work, Hilux is probably the neatest current vehicle together with Auris estate.

They can still do it. Camry for USA and Japan are good looking cars.

Edited by gordonbennet on 11/05/2017 at 17:49

What's the next car trend? - corax

"Did you see the news that they are not doing so well on sales? The president of Toyota said he understands the current product line up is 'boring' and hinted that they are going to start making some changes. I do hope it won't be more cars like the C-HR that is pig ugly".

Give the job to the person who designed the Volvo XC60. That is one quietly handsome car and one of the few modern designs that I like.

Edited by corax on 11/05/2017 at 18:16

What's the next car trend? - daveyjp
Being able to do 460 miles in a day in an electric car is not as far away as many think.

A friend went from north Leeds to west London, just over 200 miles in a Tesla model X. After 200 miles stopping for half an hour to use a rapid charger isn't a hardship.
What's the next car trend? - Engineer Andy
Being able to do 460 miles in a day in an electric car is not as far away as many think. A friend went from north Leeds to west London, just over 200 miles in a Tesla model X. After 200 miles stopping for half an hour to use a rapid charger isn't a hardship.

The problem is if many more people had electric cars, they would have to either wait a lot longer to queue for available charging points and/or pay significantly more for both the car and electricity at these points to cover the cost of installing more of them and the (not insignificant amount of) infrastructure to serve them. Imagine if within a short space of time 20% of cars sold went fully electric - where would you charge them?

I doubt if they'd also be able to do 200 miles at any time other than April/May/Sep when the weather is not too hot (needing the A/C on a lot) or cold (heater on), and that's likely with a brand new car with new batteries - over a few years they'll reduce their effectiveness so that they migh not last half to 23rds the original range. Batteries are improving, but the cost of fully electric cars is still out of reach financially for most people, and besides, we currently don't have the electrical generating capacity to cope with the huge extra load if a large number of road vehicles went fully electric in the next 10 years. That sort of generating capacity would take 20 years+ to set up, and would likely have to come from nuclear energy due to the environmental/planning concerns of using solar panels to generate the extra and a lack of long term affordable gas availability from friendly nations/generally.

As a more mundane suggestion, I would say that small SUVs will be the next 'big thing' or fad in the car industry, building on the success (love to know why - its as ugly as sin) of the Juke and similar cars. Some better-looking ones are now coming through, although some (my fave, the Mazda CX-3 is one) are somewhat overpriced compared to similar or even some bigger hatchbacks.

In my view, a lot of the current 'trends' in the car industry seem to be towards making them 'handbag' cars and/or with loads of gadgets for the 'modern connected world' which are attractive to the young, and less towards the richer, more discerning older person who most often wants more comfort and long-term relaibility/high quality of service than flash paid for on credit. Given the ever increasing numbers of retirees (most of whom are far better off financially than the generations following), you'd think the manufacturers would want to pay heed to that market. It appears many don't.

What's the next car trend? - John F
What trend do you foresee (or would like to see?)?

All electric cars, with an optional tiny portable petrol emergency generator, charged from solar panels on the roof or your freestanding battery if you have space.

In future, roofs will actually be solar panels and batteries will be integral to the garage/outside walls. The car might also double as a storage battery, able to provide domestic power if used infrequently.

Obviously, this trend is unlikely to penetrate to relatively sunless countries north of the 50th parallel like ours. However, our array of 14 panels manages to generate about three megawatts a year, which is about the same as our annual use. Assuming 30kWh per 100 miles, that's enough for more than the annual mileage of our Focus.

What's the next car trend? - brum

2 cylinder engines

More fairy lights

What's the next car trend? - corax

Electric bike or narrow trike with fully enclosed cockpit and actually make it affordable for the masses who don't need the space for luggage and other people, but don't want to have to spend half an hour dressing up in leathers and getting flies between their teeth.

Driving a 1.5 ton plus car to work everyday with only one person is crazy really, a waste of fuel and too much space taken up on the road for the number of people driving them.

What's the next car trend? - Terry W

Driverless vehicles are likely to become normal in much quicker time than some on this forum expect. 2020 is a bit early for widespread use - 2023-25 more likely. Likely to be all electric with charging infrastructure. Will become commonplace in areas where they immediately provide tangible financial and other benefits - taxis, local deliveries (supermarkets, local authorities), disabled etc. Their systems only need to be better than sometimes tired, emotional, aggressive, inattentive, drugged homo sapiens.

Pure electric will not gain any other than a niche market share until the ability to get a full new charge in sub 10 min timescales is realised. Probably needs a unifed battery module that is rented and exchanged when it is flat. Will seriously hit the economics of the option.

Current hybrid offerings are questionable. Significant range on batteries alone is expensive and heavy. Low electric range is just an expensive gimmick. Both require energy to move the car - either delivered by the national grrid or petrol tanker. A workable alternative may be a 10-20 mile electric range with an IC engine used only for recharging which can be tuned for economy at a set rpm.

Manufacturers have also spent years making brands the object of aspiration based on status, importance, self esteem, performance etc. With ever increasing regulation and congestion, at some point the public may increasingly embrace economy, functionality, ride, comfort rather than gizmos and sub 7 sec 0-60mph and 150mph+ performance.

What's the next car trend? - Sofa Spud

The major trend is likely to be towards fully electric cars. The next couple of years will be very interesting as the manufacturers invest in EVs big-time and while battery technology and the charging infrastructure are lmproving rapidly too. The success or otherwise of the forthcoming Tesla Model 3 could be the watershed that tips the EV market one way or the other.

Only a few years ago biodiesel was going to be the future, then it was going to be hydrogen as a combustion fuel - and that soon changed to hydrogen as a fuel in a fuel-cell to produce electricity. Electric / internal combustion engine hybrids were next with plug-in variants following on. All these are beginning to look like stepping stones as the technology initiative moves towards fully electric vehicles.

While self-driving technology will develop and find its way into some top-end cars I don't think fully autonomous cars will become commonplace for a long time. Electric cars will be commonplace before self-driving ones.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 11/05/2017 at 21:06

What's the next car trend? - Avant

Please forgive the thick question - I was a classics scholar and did only a year of physics - but is it physically possible to charge a car remotely? Given that most people would want to charge their car overnight, solar panels are of limited use.

As I've said before, the problem with EVs, at least at present, is that they are most effective for people living in towns and cities - most of whom need to park on the street.

What's the next car trend? - RobJP

Technically, yes, it is possible. It's called induction charging - it's lthe same as the new feature on a lot of cars (and for the home) where you don't have to plug in your phone to charge it, you can just put it onto the pad (and it looks similar to a mousepad), and the phone charges up. I recall a council (possibly in the Midlands) installed some of these in a bus station a couple of years ago - where the buses are obviously parked up for more than a minute or two - to help with maintaining charge levels in their hybrid bus setup. So it could, technically, be used in cities. You have your allocated parking space on the street, and when you're parked on it the car gets recharged.

For solar, I seem to recall Audi put a solar sunroof onto the A8 a few years ago - it was used for working the aircon when the car was parked up, preventing the interior from getting to Aga tempratures. If you wanted to use solar for charging your car at night you'd have to have a fixed battery setup, so that the solar charged the fixed batteries in the day, then those batteries charged the car batteries at night.

Edited by RobJP on 12/05/2017 at 09:24

What's the next car trend? - Andrew-T

Technically, yes, it is possible. It's called induction charging

Rob - as the expert - how much of the energy transmitted from the induction charger is captured, and how much escapes ?

What's the next car trend? - RobJP

Technically, yes, it is possible. It's called induction charging

Rob - as the expert - how much of the energy transmitted from the induction charger is captured, and how much escapes ?

Ha ! I'm certainly not an expert at all, I just know a little about it, mainly because it's also used for implanted medical devices - used with induction charging, the risk of infection is virtually eliminated, as there is no need for a physical connection between the implanted device and the charging system, so no need to break the skin.

As some of my work involves those medical devices, I need to have a passing knowledge of what's going on. But that's as far as it goes.

What's the next car trend? - Terry W

Solar panels to recharge car batteries are not really an option - save for maintaining low power drains - security, low level aircon etc.

A Nissan Leaf has a 24 or 30 KWh battery.

The power of sunlight is up to approx 1 kw per sq meter. Current photovoltaic panels are around 20% efficient. (optimum conditions - sunlight and orientation) and only work during daylight.

So to fully recharge the aforesaid car battery within (say) 1 hour of daylight would require around: 30kwh x 150 watts per sq metre = 200 sq metres.

PV panels on the roof, bonnet and boot totalling 2 sq metres would need 100 hours for a full recharge. During a UK winter with little sun, short days and overcast this would take 3 weeks +. It is also worth noting that battery usage will be highest in winter with heater and lights mostly a neccesity - a lose-lose situation.

What's the next car trend? - John F

Solar panels to recharge car batteries are not really an option - save for maintaining low power drains - security, low level aircon etc.

A Nissan Leaf has a 24 or 30 KWh battery.

Yes, but that's good for over 100 miles - allegedly. So far today, despite the rain and cloud, my 14 panel array (admittedly a larger than average roof) has generated 5 kWh - plenty for a low mileage pensioner's trip to Sainsbury's. If you don't use the car every day, and lots of us retirees don't, it's a viable option, especially as progress will eventually produce better results.

What's the next car trend? - John F

For solar, I seem to recall Audi put a solar sunroof onto the A8 a few years ago - it was used for working the aircon when the car was parked ......

...and still works in my 11yr old A8 - not that it's noticed much of the year!

What's the next car trend? - TheBroker

This is a great question and one that I think about often bearing in mind my line of work.

For one thing, I can tell you Hybrids and Plug-In Hybrids will not be featuring much. They are a complete waste of time, money and resource. The only reason they are popular in the company car market is the quoted CO2 rating which translates into a low BIK liability. Other than that they are expensive to make, less environmentally friendly to make, far less economical (in real world terms), typically underpowered and have less space owing to the battery.

2 examples
1) a customer just ordered an X5 hybrid. Fuel economy is terrible but the cost to him is less than 1/2 of what a cheaper diesel X5 would have been
2) a fleet customer I just picked up took on a PHEV fleet 3 years ago thinking it was a good idea and whilst the BIK reduced nicely for the employees, the fuel bill doubled, plus the vehicles were more expensive to lease.

I see full EV vehicles being the way forwards. This is being spearheaded by Tesla who have a decent size saloon plus a suv which will do around 300 miles on a charge, the forthcoming model 3 mid size saloon will have a range of around 250 miles and they are also working on a Tesla lorry. Battery technology is only getting better with more efficient cells and motors. The only downside to EV's in my mind is they have no soul. If you are doing 0-62 in 3.2s (Model X with Ludicrous - I've done it ) you want to hear some drama as well as feel the performance, but you dont so it somewhat mutes (pun intended) the experience.

As a graduation from battery EV, perhaps a modern inductive power provision (read futuristic scalextric on a grand scale) is the way it will go.

All I do know is that the oil companies will do everything they can to extend the life of the ICE through support in the development of cleaner diesel and petrol engines.

TheBroker

What's the next car trend? - SteVee

When electric cars stop being a niche, how will the taxman react ?
Most electric cars pay no tax to use the roads - and they only pay VAT once over 25K, due to the 5K bung (discount) given to the buyer by taxpayers.
It's all very well for the rich folk, but once poor folk can afford EVs, expect the taxman to wake up.
I can't see full self-drive cars for some time, but I think there will be a much increased 'assistance' to drivers.

What's the next car trend? - TheBroker

When electric cars stop being a niche, how will the taxman react ?
Most electric cars pay no tax to use the roads - and they only pay VAT once over 25K, due to the 5K bung (discount) given to the buyer by taxpayers.
It's all very well for the rich folk, but once poor folk can afford EVs, expect the taxman to wake up.
I can't see full self-drive cars for some time, but I think there will be a much increased 'assistance' to drivers.

Absolutely, cars will be taxed more heavily at the front end, road fund license will be adjusted accordingly to tax EV's and there will most likely be a EV charging tax as well (seperate metre or recording on EV charging). also companies offering at work charging will have to register this and a BIK for their employees whereby the car will be fully expensed rather than just a company car. There are a myriad of ways in which the taxes will be replaced to compensate for the loss in fuel duty (look what they did with LPG).

The oil companies will be propping the industry up first though to ensure sales through the development of cleaner burning (not necessarily improved economy though if they have any sense).

What's the next car trend? - gordonbennet
There are a myriad of ways in which the taxes will be replaced to compensate for the loss in fuel duty (look what they did with LPG).

woah, stop the bus, what's this? i've got two LPG cars and had the current Landcruiser been petrol that would have been three, what's in the pipeline that i've missed please? bearing in mind i filled up Weds for 53ppl and should i be bothered to jump through several hoops would get around a tenner off the VED because dual fuel.

What's the next car trend? - Terry W

It is questionable whether electric is environmentally cleaner than petrol - although it may move emissions from city centres. Overall energy conversion efficiency may be little different to ICE due to conversion losses.

I know companies like Tesla are working on the obvious problems and may find a solution eventually - battery life of approx 8 years, high initial cost, very high cost of battery replacement, questionable second hand values

Worth noting that the energy densiity of a lithium ion battery is a little over 2% of that of petrol. Put another way 9 litres/2 gallons of fuel weighs about 8kg and drives a typical car about 80-120 miles. Nissan Leaf with a similar range has 300kg of batteries .

The problems won't stop there as if you want a 300mile range you will need around 900kg of batteries which will further reduce the range. In theory there could come a point where adding more batteries may even reduce the range due to the extra weight added.

i.

What's the next car trend? - Manatee

Overhead cables are the answer, like trolley buses.

You'd just need a small battery pack for overtaking;)

What's the next car trend? - Terry W

Power cables laid under all motorways and major A roads - electric vehicles can then recharge using induction pick ups on the move, and the short jouney segments in town using battery power. Overhead cables a la trolley bus are so last year - and vulnerable to wind, vandalism, leaves on the line etc

What's the next car trend? - Avant

"Power cables laid under all motorways and major A roads...."

Great idea - once installed. But can you imagine the chaos with all those brainless contractors digging up the motorways in their usual haphazard way and taking twice as long as budgeted. By the time they'd finished, someone would have invented new technology which made the cables obsolete.

What's the next car trend? - RobJP

"Power cables laid under all motorways and major A roads...."

Great idea - once installed. But can you imagine the chaos with all those brainless contractors digging up the motorways in their usual haphazard way and taking twice as long as budgeted. By the time they'd finished, someone would have invented new technology which made the cables obsolete.

Much like 15 years ago, builders were installing telephone points in every room of a house so that people could plug their laptops in ... the technology of wifi becoming universal was not anticipated.

Imagine the cost of installing a system under every lane of every motorway and dual carriageway in the country - not to mention maintenance costs, getting the electricity supply to the motorway in enough high-power lines - and then, of course, you've got to have some system for billing people for the use of electricity - or a flat-rate system.

What's the next car trend? - Engineer Andy

"Power cables laid under all motorways and major A roads...."

Great idea - once installed. But can you imagine the chaos with all those brainless contractors digging up the motorways in their usual haphazard way and taking twice as long as budgeted. By the time they'd finished, someone would have invented new technology which made the cables obsolete.

Much like 15 years ago, builders were installing telephone points in every room of a house so that people could plug their laptops in ... the technology of wifi becoming universal was not anticipated.

Imagine the cost of installing a system under every lane of every motorway and dual carriageway in the country - not to mention maintenance costs, getting the electricity supply to the motorway in enough high-power lines - and then, of course, you've got to have some system for billing people for the use of electricity - or a flat-rate system.

I agree - regarding the wired home comment - my flat has telephone points in my living room and bedrooms, and yet I now find that if I upgrade to fibre broadband, they will be obsolete except for the phone, so I'll have to have the place completely rewired if I wanted to use my PC at full speed or just use WiFi. Upgrading road-based infrastructure is extortionately expensive - I remember an expert on a news item once saying that the cost of using underground power cabling was 10x the cost of using overhead power lines.

Anny below ground system would need to be so future proofed as well to be able to cope with increased usage and developments in technology, meaning that it would be much more expensive and would need to be as easily accessible as possible, which might necessitate a complete reconfiguration of the roads first to accommodate it.

I think you're right - it sounds like we're decades (at least) away from some 'utopia' mass automated transit system (not trains) as we see in scifi movies.

What's the next car trend? - John F

Imagine the cost of installing a system under every lane of every motorway and dual carriageway in the country - not to mention maintenance costs, getting the electricity supply to the motorway in enough high-power lines.......

Quite right. Although electricity costs only 4p a unit to make, it's the best part of the 16p a unit we pay for it to get it to our houses. Much the same for gas.

The logical future for domestic power use including electric cars is local generation and energy storage, backed up by a few peaker power stations. I don't know why small British nuclear power plants aren't used more widely, like the ones powering some ships. As for the stupid costly white elephant plans for massive Chinese/French nuclear power stations....aaarrgghh! (sorry, going off topic here)

What's the next car trend? - Terry W

The consensus seems to be that induction loops under motorways would be too expensive to install even if the work was done at the same time as other upgrades,

The only realistic option is standard interchangeable battery packs. The existing garage network could initially sell both petrol and battery exchange. Niche and second car applications may evolve where charging facilities are available.

Simple physics would mean that an 80kwh fast charge for your Tesla in (say) 5 minutes would require a power supply with a capacity of around 600kwh - a bit like 25 houses all using the electric shower, cooker, hob and kettle at the same time. And more than one vehicle may need recharging at the same time. This would require major re-engineering of the distribution system..

The obvious benefit of EVs is the reduction of city centre pollution - but possibly not total pollution. We would need to invest in a charging infrastructure, use potentially scarce and polluting materials in battery production, crack the low energy density/high weight of batteries vs petrol/diesel, high initial vehicle cost, battery replacement cost/life etc.

And if there is a financial benefit to consumers, you can be sure it will be taxed to offset reducing other duties.

What's the next car trend? - Andrew-T

Simple physics would mean that an 80kwh fast charge for your Tesla in (say) 5 minutes would require a power supply with a capacity of around 600kwh - a bit like 25 houses all using the electric shower, cooker, hob and kettle at the same time.

And the same simple physics would mean a fair quantity of waste heat to be dissipated in the process, and the need for expensive high-capacity supply cables ....

What's the next car trend? - badbusdriver

I remember reading the letters page in, i think it was car magazine, a few months ago. The letter in question was relating to a previous feature on electric cars, and was by someone who had something to do with the power grid (cant remember exactly what he did). He said, essentially, that if electric cars took off big style in the UK, the power supply as it is now, simply would not cope as it doesnt have the capacity to deal with large amounts of electric vehicles being recharged.

What's the next car trend? - Engineer Andy

Simple physics would mean that an 80kwh fast charge for your Tesla in (say) 5 minutes would require a power supply with a capacity of around 600kwh - a bit like 25 houses all using the electric shower, cooker, hob and kettle at the same time.

And the same simple physics would mean a fair quantity of waste heat to be dissipated in the process, and the need for expensive high-capacity supply cables ....

Indeed - transmission losses on electricity is still quite high (if you include all steps from generation to socket), plus, of course the generating losses to add in. Burning fuel such as natural gas (in boilers) or petrol/diesel in cars is more efficient, but means that pollutants are released near people, rather than in one isolated place that could filter out some of them. This issue has been the sticking point for decades and still looks to have some way to go yet.

What's the next car trend? - Sofa Spud

Simple physics would mean that an 80kwh fast charge for your Tesla in (say) 5 minutes would require a power supply with a capacity of around 600kwh - a bit like 25 houses all using the electric shower, cooker, hob and kettle at the same time.

And the same simple physics would mean a fair quantity of waste heat to be dissipated in the process, and the need for expensive high-capacity supply cables ....

Indeed - transmission losses on electricity is still quite high (if you include all steps from generation to socket), plus, of course the generating losses to add in. Burning fuel such as natural gas (in boilers) or petrol/diesel in cars is more efficient, but means that pollutants are released near people, rather than in one isolated place that could filter out some of them. This issue has been the sticking point for decades and still looks to have some way to go yet.

One thing people miss is the amount of electricity it takes to refine a gallon of petrol or diesel. Roughly speaking, the refining process the fuel used in a petrol or diesel car consumes as much electricity as would run an equivalent electric car.

What's the next car trend? - Engineer Andy

I'll take your word for that (it does seem rather high, given the energy density of the fuel itself), however using electric-powered cars still requires lots of infrastructure for charging near homes, workplaces, shops, etc etc which would be really costly and time consuming to install.

An article appeared in the DT about this issue (some Yanks saying that all cars would be electric by 2025) and a reader made the same point, as they asked their electricity utility firm if they could provide charging points to their block of flats - they said it would cost a fortune as the local infrastructure was not capable of handling the extra load. I suspect this is quite common, so charging facilities would only be upgraded slowly or installed on new developments once numbers of electric-only cars was high enough.

My guess was that the scenario would be reached in about 20-25 years minimum, probably more, given the buildings/areas don't get completely leveled every 25 years - even refurbs are mainly internal/cosmetic.

What's the next car trend? - TheBroker
There are a myriad of ways in which the taxes will be replaced to compensate for the loss in fuel duty (look what they did with LPG).

woah, stop the bus, what's this? i've got two LPG cars and had the current Landcruiser been petrol that would have been three, what's in the pipeline that i've missed please? bearing in mind i filled up Weds for 53ppl and should i be bothered to jump through several hoops would get around a tenner off the VED because dual fuel.

Nothing in pipeline, it's already happened. Do you not find it more than coincidence that the lpg price tracks with unleaded. It used to be much cheaper then the taxman realised
What's the next car trend? - gordonbennet
Nothing in pipeline, it's already happened. Do you not find it more than coincidence that the lpg price tracks with unleaded. It used to be much cheaper then the taxman realised

In the last 12 months its been noticeably less than half the price of unleaded, and considerably less if you happen to be in one of the really cheap areas, a year or two ago and it was well over half the price of unleaded and i was worried it was on the way to 2/3rds.

I'm quite happy if its tracks unleaded and stays about half price, if it was too cheap lots of people would jump on the bandwagon and that would ruin it.

What's the next car trend? - barney100

Battery packs for EVs degenerate over time and probably cost megabucks thereby wiping out any savings on petrol or diesel. I like the idea of EVs but unless there were sufficient charging points you could be in a big queue waiting your turn to charge your vehicle.

What's the next car trend? - Fishermans Bend

EV with range extenders could be the way to go. A mate has a BMW i3. Most of time just driven around his home county, batteries providing all the power he needs. Longer journeys with the 9 litre fuel tank are possible. Extra fuel is carried in case of emergencies in the boot. Recently 475 miles was covered in a day

What's the next car trend? - badbusdriver

EV with range extenders could be the way to go. A mate has a BMW i3. Most of time just driven around his home county, batteries providing all the power he needs. Longer journeys with the 9 litre fuel tank are possible. Extra fuel is carried in case of emergencies in the boot. Recently 475 miles was covered in a day

Why does your mate carry fuel in the boot?. The range extender adds about 90miles on to the range, but i doubt you could get any more than 50 miles from a filling station in the UK, so carrying extra fuel seems a bit pointless, espescially as it will probably smell......!

What's the next car trend? - Fishermans Bend

Actually in front boot.

What's the next car trend? - Terry W

Worth remembering the late great Colin Chapman whose car manufacturing philosophy was "simplify and add lightness".

Lotus didn't always screw their cars together very well but when on song performed excellently.

Just to note that 300kg of L-ion batteries delivers about the same energy as 6kg of petrol, and that hybrid drive trains are a model of complexity.

Electric may become the motive power of choice one day but at the moment are way behind.

What's the next car trend? - badbusdriver

Worth remembering the late great Colin Chapman whose car manufacturing philosophy was "simplify and add lightness".

Lotus didn't always screw their cars together very well but when on song performed excellently.

Just to note that 300kg of L-ion batteries delivers about the same energy as 6kg of petrol, and that hybrid drive trains are a model of complexity.

Electric may become the motive power of choice one day but at the moment are way behind.

Amen to that!

Far too many cars these days are too big and too heavy, far more than necessary. I read a short piece by (the equally great) Gordon Murray this morning in April's top gear magazine, basically complaining, rightly so in my opinion, about manufacturers focusing solely on performance 'targets', instead of how the car drives and feels. Weight is of course, a major factor in Gordon's design ethos, and pointed out a few eye openers. 1st of these being that the bugatti veyron needed an extra 565bhp to exceed the top speed of the F1 and weighed 750kg more!. Also, the fact that porsches much lauded 'hypercar', the 918, has a lower power to weight ratio than the F1!.

Back in the real world though, a few years ago when looking into our next new car, i was quite taken by the nissan note, particularly its low kerbweight. Unfortunately, my Wife has the final say (it is her motability car), and she went for the vauxhall meriva, which weighed over 300kg more than the nissan despite offering very little extra interior space!. We just recently took delivery of our latest car, a honda jazz (cvt), amongst the things which appealed to me was the kerbweight of just under 1100kg. Now the closest polo to our jazz is the 1.2tsi 90 dsg7, it weighs 40kgs more despite being smaller and having much less interior space. Of course, the winner in the 'svelte' supermini category is the mazda 2 at over 100kg less than the jazz, but the smaller interior and boot coupled with the lower seat height put us off.

What's the next car trend? - Sofa Spud

Gordon Murray has been working on the T25 microcar (and its T.27 electric version) for several years, the first prototype being unveiled in 2010. Examples of both cars have been around since 2010. The car was supposed to have been launched last year but still we only see occasional mentions of it in the motoring press.

In about the same timeframe the Tesla Model S has gone from a concept prototype (2009) to selling over 150,000 cars by last autum.

What's the next car trend? - badbusdriver

Gordon Murray has been working on the T25 microcar (and its T.27 electric version) for several years, the first prototype being unveiled in 2010. Examples of both cars have been around since 2010. The car was supposed to have been launched last year but still we only see occasional mentions of it in the motoring press.

In about the same timeframe the Tesla Model S has gone from a concept prototype (2009) to selling over 150,000 cars by last autum.

Dont get me started on the T25!. It is such a crying shame that such a brilliant piece of design is not now in production. But such is the value of image over everything else car related these days that no manufacturer is willing to take on the T25 (it looks funny). very low weight, very safe, brilliant packaging, brilliant handling (due to the very low centre of gravity). I quite like the smart fortwo, but the T25 is light years ahead of it in every way that matters.

In a way it puts me in mind of the brilliant fiat ecobasic concept from back in about 2000. A very cleverly designed and basic 'green' car, before the term really started to be thought of and used. Around 750kg in weight, a full 4 seater and powered by a 1.2 turbo diesel, it would have been classed as a 3l in the EU fuel consuption (ie, 3l of fuel per 100km, or around 90mpg). A large portion of the car would have been made out of recycledmaterials, and the body panels were colour impregnated plastic (so no paint), fiat said they could produce and sell it at a profit, for around £4k. But of course, it looked funny, people wouldnt buy it!.

Hey ho, rant over!

What's the next car trend? - madf

"Just to note that 300kg of L-ion batteries delivers about the same energy as 6kg of petrol, and that hybrid drive trains are a model of complexity."

And very reliable - much more so that ic cars - If made by Toyota...

Edited by madf on 15/05/2017 at 16:01

What's the next car trend? - Sofa Spud

The Murray T.25 / T.27 is indeed an interesting concept and I quite like the look of it. But in the end it's a microcar, smaller than a Smart. As an engineering solution it might be brilliant, but is it aiming at a non-existent market sector?

What's the next car trend? - sajid

next car trend is a horse and cart

What's the next car trend? - badbusdriver

The Murray T.25 / T.27 is indeed an interesting concept and I quite like the look of it. But in the end it's a microcar, smaller than a Smart. As an engineering solution it might be brilliant, but is it aiming at a non-existent market sector?

A microcar, in the past, was something essentially tiny, with a tiny engine which offerd all the crash protection of an empty crisp packet. These days, it refers to small, usually French runabouts with 2 cylinder petrol or diesel engines mated to a cvt gearbox. And they dont offer anything like the same level 0f protection in a crash as most of us now expect in a car. So to refer to the T25/T27 as such is both extremely innacurate on the whole, and insulting to Gordon Murray's design genius. The T25/T27 has been proven to offer b segment levels of crash protection (like a fiesta, or polo). it is smaller than a smart car because it has been more inteligently designed, not because it is aimed at a different market. It offers 50% more seating capacity along with crash protection levels at least as good as the fortwo, so there is no reason it couldnt steal sales from it. If that is, a car company were brave enough to give it a go.

What's the next car trend? - NGR

Sealed engine units. Any faults, the whole unit is removed and replaced by the dealer, the original is sent off repaired by the manufacturer and held as stock. Once the warranty is over, car value will bomb as independant garages wont be able to cost effectively repair (every job no matter how small/big will be an engine removal and teardown and rebuild).

Edited by NGR on 17/05/2017 at 16:21

What's the next car trend? - Engineer Andy

Sounds a bit like issues we get when home electronics/white goods go wrong outside of warranty - I remember on an older HiFi (which was quite high quality and expensive at the time I bought it) developed a problem with the tap deck motor: it cost £35 for the dealer (only in a specialist shop in London, a £15 train and Tube ride away), then another £40 to replace a motor the size of a thimble, plus another £15 to pick it up again. £105 for a tiny fix; the unit originally cost £500. Sod's law that the other motor and the CD laser went the following year - probably similar stuff, but I wasn't paying £150 - £200 to fix a 15yo HiFi that I could replace with a far better one for the same or less.

Cars look like they're going down the same route - replacing whole light clusters rather than just one, changeout whole systems because its too difficult to diagnose an electrical fault due to system complexity.

I'm also waiting to see when new cars start to be sold on Amazon.

 

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