any - Electric cars - bolt

Looks like you may not be able to have a cup of tea while charging the car, for a while anyway

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41011008

Link is safe I`ve read it...

any - Electric cars - focussed

There seems to be a presumption that there will be an inexhaustable supply of electricity to power this electric vehicle programme, the BBC article mainly witters on about how to access the power and the level of charging capacity etc.

The national grid predicts up to 26 million electric vehicles on the roads of the UK by 2050.

So that's 26 million vehicles that are presumably going to have to be charged on a daily basis, unless some wondrous new technology emerges before then.

I wonder where the source of this power to charge all these vehicles is going to come from?

That's, where is the power going to come from, when it is needed, not, if the wind happens to be blowing, or the sun happens to be shining, when you want to charge your electric car.

The solar power thing is not going to help much, in winter, in the UK, when it's possible to go a week or two without seeing the sun, which in winter is very low in the sky and has very little heat energy in it.

Unless, that is the constraint that is going to be placed on your electric car, that is, you will only be able to charge it when there is power available to do so?

any - Electric cars - SLO76
What many people forget is that the bulk of the charging of these electric vehicles will be done at night where demand is otherwise weak and there is plenty of capacity for this.

The big problem with electric cars is the short lifespan and high cost of replacing the battery packs. Currently (pardon the pun) the highest depreciating cars on our roads are electric. Punters are frightened to buy one at 3-4yrs old as batteries may be more than halfway through their lives and most cost in excess of £5k to replace. Dealers are valuing them low for the same reason. Get it wrong and you could face a crippling bill. Buy it new and the massive depreciation more than wipes out the fuel saving.

The cars are fine. The Leaf for example is a very pleasant thing to drive (if not to look at) but until the cost of the power packs dramatically drops then they won't take hold. Ask anyone who paid the guts of £25k for an early model who's then tried to trade it in after 3-4yrs and been offered peanuts. I fear uninformed and ill advised government intervention here to try and force the issue will cripple the ability of those on modest means to stay on the road.

The materials involved in manufacturing the current battery packs can't be produced cheaply and will always remain expensive and damaging to the environment. Electric power just isn't quite ready.
any - Electric cars - John F
. Currently (pardon the pun) the highest depreciating cars on our roads are electric. .....Ask anyone who paid the guts of £25k for an early model who's then tried to trade it in after 3-4yrs and been offered peanuts. I fear uninformed and ill advised government intervention here to try and force the issue will cripple the ability of those on modest means to stay on the road.

Absolutely right. It is shocking (pun intended) that EV depreciation is inversely proportional to the Tesla share price - so far. Yet another indicator that wealth trickles upwards, not downwards, as time goes by. £25k more than covered the cost of my used Audi and solar PV array which pays for its fuel - both of which will probably last longer than a 4yr old Leaf.

any - Electric cars - mss1tw
"Well, one solution could be to increase the amperage of your main fuse."

There are going to be so many fires as tags fall off DNO service heads and higher rated fuses magically appear on undersized cables.

100A is the limit of the domestic service head itself. (Like the limit of a 13A plug.)

Some houses are supplied with really tiny main supply cables, or sub-mains. The DNOs fit their meters to these with a sticker saying "Installation not tested, etc".

So how they can say all it needs is a fuse change when they have no records of the state/spec of an installation other than meter number I don't know. They want to pass the buck and eat it too, to mix metaphors!

Still, Darwin is lazy these days and the work upgrading sub-mains and repairing fire damage will keep the economy going. (TIC - broken window fallacy)
any - Electric cars - Sofa Spud

If this was a real problem we'd already be hearing about people blowing fuses while charging their Nissan Leafs or Tesla Model S's and boiling a kettle at the same time. I haven't read any such stories.

250,000 Nissan Leaf's have been sold, 150,000 Tesla Model S and over 10,000 Tesla Model X,, 50,000 Renault Zoe. Add in other types of electric cars and the total must be well over half a million. Surely we'd have heard about the kettle problem by now.

Then there's all the plug-in hybrids which have smaller batteries that charge in a shorter time - but the kettle problem, if it existed, would have cropped up with them too.

any - Electric cars - sandy56

This is and will become a national problem, not a local one. The amount of power required to charge millions of electric cars will be huge. Right now we have very few electric cars only 1-2% in the UK, and increasing rapidly, and only about 2 million globally. If there is a great increase in sales our power supply will not be able to keep up. Current night time usage about 26GW, very few electric cars. We wont suffer fuses tripping out, we may suffer complete blackouts as the grid will be over loaded. Currently our safe margin in our power supply on some days is only 4-5%, and that is without electric cars. Lose a large power station output due to unforeseen maintenance or repairs and some areas will have power outages. Building a new power station can and does take decades with our planning laws. Also a lot of our rather old power stations need to be shut down and replaced, our wonderful politicians failed to plan for the future for the last twenty years so they could concentrate on improving their salaries and gold plated benefits. The other issue not talked about is how we will manage the huge amount of very toxic materials used in modern batteries. Battery life is approx 5-6 years using current technology, maybe a bit more in our climate. I am a fan of electric cars but a lot of people see big challenges ahead, and not with the cars themselves.

any - Electric cars - RobJP

We're not hearing it because the cars are either being charged on low-power chargers, or, if the customer has bought a higher-capacity charger then when that is fitted the main fuse is being upgraded at the same time.

In addition, if you go off mains being 240v, then an 11kW charger only draws 46 amps. Your 2kW kettle draws 8.3 kW, so you're well below the minimum main fuse of 60 Amps, and most houses have a main fuse of 80 Amps.

any - Electric cars - mss1tw

In addition, if you go off mains being 240v, then an 11kW charger only draws 46 amps. Your 2kW kettle draws 8.3 kW, so you're well below the minimum main fuse of 60 Amps, and most houses have a main fuse of 80 Amps.

3kw is 13A - hence all plug in heaters are never any higher rated than that despite a socket circuit being rated at 16/20/32A depending on configuration

any - Electric cars - Metropolis.
Electric cars belong in the hands of milkman,
no one else.
any - Electric cars - Wackyracer

I did hear a piece on the radio recently where the electricity suppliers were talking about the need to have staggered charging for electric vehicles. Can't remember which company it was but, they said if everyone went home at 6 pm and plugged in their car to charge it, they wouldn't be able to keep up with demand.

any - Electric cars - daveyjp
Far too much doom and gloom around this issue. The power companies know electric car ownership is increasing and are already planning for it. Large scale power generation is changing. Small scale generation, renewable and battery storage will come to the fore over the next few years.

What is also forgotten about electric cars is as they store power it is also possible for them to be discharged back to the grid, just the same as solar panels are linked to the grid. Charge at night on cheap tarriff, discharge during the day and receive a payment, exactly the same way as battery farms currently work.

Edited by daveyjp on 23/08/2017 at 10:44

any - Electric cars - focussed

What does not seem to be addressed by the UK government is the question of demand versus consumption.

EG - One x100 watt lightbulb burning for ten hours uses one kilowatt hour of energy.

So the power grid has to be configured to supply 100 watts of demand.

Or -

Ten x 100 watt lightbulbs burning for one hour use one kilowatt hour of energy

But the power grid has to be configured to deliver 1000 watts of demand.

Same power usage - but ten times the demand.

You can probably see where this is going, re charging electric vehicles.

Better start building some power stations now instead of messing about with windmills!

any - Electric cars - Engineer Andy

Many good points here, though we've actually only recently discussed this topic on the forum, so I won't go into much detail on my post this time (search for the other threads).

A couple of things to add:

Charging infrastructure would be very expensive to install, and would be nigh on impossible for existing flat blocks and many houses (terraces with on-road parking or ones with communal car carks and no driveways) - it should be noted that all brand new flat blocks are BY LAW having car parking spaces removed, often to below one per property.

The lithium used in batteries is a scarce and rapidly-diminishing resource. Most comes from one area of a country in South America, and supposedly will have problems sourcing it within the next 25-50 years (see Wiki entry) when demand from electric vehicles, mobile phones and computers easily outstrips supply. It is also difficult and expensive to recycle old batteries with it in. I suspect that we'll have to find alternative sources or materials to fill the large void.

I think the generation capacity and robustness of supply (poor at present) is a HUGE factor. Note that many power stations have maintenance done over night when demand is low, so if if charging occure at that time, more will have to be built to compensate and/or have more daytime switch-offs. I would also be worried about physical terrorism and cyber warfare, given how useless governments and large firms are at dealing with both.

any - Electric cars - frankly

"The lithium used in batteries is a scarce and rapidly-diminishing resource. Most comes from one area of a country in South America, and supposedly will have problems sourcing it within the next 25-50 years"

Interesting;

www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/.../Lithium-rocks-Corn...l

any - Electric cars - Engineer Andy

"The lithium used in batteries is a scarce and rapidly-diminishing resource. Most comes from one area of a country in South America, and supposedly will have problems sourcing it within the next 25-50 years"

Interesting;

www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/.../Lithium-rocks-Corn...l

I got a 404 - page missing.

any - Electric cars - pd

Regarding the Leaf isn't it an odd one in the case of depreciation because the battery isn't part of the car as such but leased from Renault? Or am I thinking of something else?

Regarding the fire potential - if you suggested now (if IT didn't already happen) millions of people at anyone time worldwide pumping a highly flamable liquid at high pressure into basically an open container without supervision I would just love to see the safety concerns!

any - Electric cars - daveyjp
Thats how some Renault Zoe leases work. You lease the battery.
any - Electric cars - Wackyracer
Thats how some Renault Zoe leases work. You lease the battery.

Some of the used Leaf's I've seen for sale are the same. The cars are about £5000 plus the monthly battery lease cost which is anything from £70 to £113 per month plus additional miles depending on contract and mileage.

The only advantage I can see of leasing the battery is when it goes wrong it's someone else's problem to replace it but, it's probably better to buy a car with an owned battery and bank the lease cost each month for when it might need replacing/repairing. I've not looked but, there is bound to be some independant company that can do it much cheaper than Nissan.

any - Electric cars - frankly

Try googling lithium in Cornwall. ..should do it. :-)

any - Electric cars - expat
The lithium used in batteries is a scarce and rapidly-diminishing resource. Most comes from one area of a country in South America, and supposedly will have problems sourcing it within the next 25-50 years (see Wiki entry) when demand from electric vehicles, mobile phones and computers easily outstrips supply.





I think you may have been misinformed about that.

www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-29/car-industy-lithium...2

Australia is producing large amounts and is on track to produce much more.
any - Electric cars - Engineer Andy
The lithium used in batteries is a scarce and rapidly-diminishing resource. Most comes from one area of a country in South America, and supposedly will have problems sourcing it within the next 25-50 years (see Wiki entry) when demand from electric vehicles, mobile phones and computers easily outstrips supply.


I think you may have been misinformed about that.
www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-29/car-industy-lithium...2
Australia is producing large amounts and is on track to produce much more.

I got my info from Wiki and a BBC documentary - they may now be out of date, but don't forget how VERY small the EV market is worldwide (0.1% at most) - your countryman John Cadogan sums up EV tech quite nicely:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jntsT0BdxDw

They would have to find a HELL of a lot more lithium to satisfy 100% of cars, let alone other vehicles as well as the other electronic devices and perhaps even homes (see Elon Musk) if we fully changed over from fossil fuels. They could've found 10x as much as what is used today and still not have enough. A car needs far more and far larger batteries than a phone.

any - Electric cars - Sofa Spud

Don't forget, if we all went over to electric cars, there would be a huge reduction in the amount of crude oil that needs to be refined to make petrol and diesel. Refining oil is very energy intensive and apparently just refining the fuel for an internal combustion engine car uses roughly the same amount of energy as would power an equivalent electric car for an equivalent distance. So, in theory, no net increase in energy consumption, although there might be spikes at peak times.

any - Electric cars - RT

Mazda claim their new HCCI engine is more efficient "well-to-wheel" than EVs which consume a lot of energy in their manufacture.

any - Electric cars - Engineer Andy

Mazda claim their new HCCI engine is more efficient "well-to-wheel" than EVs which consume a lot of energy in their manufacture.

I hope they pull it off, not just because I'm a fan of their cars, but because, in relative terms, they are a 'little guy' in a field of big bruisers with huge R&D budgets. Its the equivalent of those 'British men in sheds' earning their reputation as great engineers on a small budget in motorsport over the last 50+ years beating all those heavily-financed German, Italian and American automotive giants. They're the sort of car firm I'd like to work for.

At least if they do, more time can be spent on getting EV tech right, especially in its application as I and others have previously described. At present, and for the forseeable future (next 20 years at least), its still going to be very much a niche business.

any - Electric cars - jamie745

Far too much doom and gloom around this issue. The power companies know electric car ownership is increasing and are already planning for it.

They've been planning for it by closing down lots of power stations over the last 20 years. Fantastic.

I think the doom & gloom comes from the fact this 'transition' is mainly being forced by the Government and when the Government force some kind of change in anything, it invariably empties the wallets of the normal citizen.

People don't want electric cars. They're being pushed into the idea and that's its biggest failing. The shift to electric cars needs to be market driven. It needs to happen because people want it to happen and currently they don't. People just know something's coming that'll probably cost them an awful lot of money.

any - Electric cars - Avant

True at the moment, Jamie: with a car that will do 700 miles between fill-ups (fill-ups which take less than 5 minutes) I don't want an EV: nor do people who live in towns and cities and have to park on the street.

Fortunately manufacturers are being given time to develop answers to the obvious problems. We've discussed this on here before, and I think there's general agreement that it isn't beyond the laws of physics to invent (a) longer-lasting batteries and (b) some form of remote, contactless charging.

Unless, of course, the hydrogen fuel cell is found to be economically viable (at present the Toyota Mirai costs £66,000).

any - Electric cars - bolt

Unless, of course, the hydrogen fuel cell is found to be economically viable

I remember seeing on Sky a car being charged with Hydrogen, and once filled the machine charged 100 american dollars, apparently that fill up would get them 250 miles, but its also possible to run a house off of fuel cell(in an emergency) as well as drive

A lot of research going on into improving lead/acid batteries as well, so someone hopefully will come up with a better battery, but as mentioned I doubt there will be enough lithium to go round even though Australia has a lot supposedly?

any - Electric cars - barney100

Electric cars have to overcome this battery replacement problem as depreciation is huge which puts me off getting one. How will government regain the tax revenue from fuel duty?

any - Electric cars - RT

Electric cars have to overcome this battery replacement problem as depreciation is huge which puts me off getting one. How will government regain the tax revenue from fuel duty?

Many things are taxed - the government will increase somewhere else to replace lost fuel duty - we can be sure of that.

any - Electric cars - movilogo

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density

While petro/diesel has energy density (= how much energy you can get from unit volume) of 35 MJ/L, battery has just 1-3 MJ/L.

Charging may not be the solution. We need replaceable battery packs at pumps.

any - Electric cars - Engineer Andy

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density

While petro/diesel has energy density (= how much energy you can get from unit volume) of 35 MJ/L, battery has just 1-3 MJ/L.

Charging may not be the solution. We need replaceable battery packs at pumps.

Given what you're saying and the current size of the underground storage tanks for the petrol and diesel, you can imagine how large the storage areas for the 'replacement batteries' would have to be to ensure drivers got the same range out of batteries. Such establishments would need a lot of A/C in the summer to keep the batteries cool and a significant level of security to stop thefts (especially overnight). Given that, at present, most EVs have several batteries and are located in difficult to reach areas, changing out them quickly would be nigh on impossible for the forseeable future. Imagine the queues, and/or the extra staff needed on duty to help the less able change them over...

Those people wanting EVs to 'take over sooner rather than later just haven't thought things through. Logistically and technically it can't be done other than on a very small scale. Personally I'd leave it to (for the moment) just small delivery vehicles and taxis, as both can have easy and exclusive secure access to charging facilities and would go a long way to reduce particulate emissions in built-up areas by taking a lot of either dirty or high complex/unreliable diesel vehicles off the road which are far more suited to life on the motorway/out of town.

any - Electric cars - Ethan Edwards

So these vehicles which are to be made from 100% unobtanium are to be powered by unicorn droppings.

Great I'll take three.

Politicians virtue signalling eh?

any - Electric cars - bolt

Don't forget, if we all went over to electric cars, there would be a huge reduction in the amount of crude oil that needs to be refined to make petrol and diesel. Refining oil is very energy intensive and apparently just refining the fuel for an internal combustion engine car uses roughly the same amount of energy as would power an equivalent electric car for an equivalent distance. So, in theory, no net increase in energy consumption, although there might be spikes at peak times.

I very much doubt it will make a difference as other chemicals are still needed including fuel oil for heating for those who have not got gas, and not so sure diesel will not still be used for places that are off the grid so it wont stop altogether

any - Electric cars - TheGentlemanThug

Thinking on a more intimate scale, how will people charge their vehicles if their car is kept overnight in anywhere but a garage? Even if there were charging points installed outside people's homes would you really want to leave your car charging there? I can just imagine people coming out to their cars in the morning to find the cable unplugged and the trip computer giving two miles of range.

"Sorry, I can't come to work today as my car takes thirteen hours to charge."

"Sorry, I can't take my wife to the hospital as it's three miles away".

Until electric cars offer the convenience of petrol and diesel, they simply don't work for the majority of us.

Edited by Bicycle_Repair_Man on 24/08/2017 at 16:12

any - Electric cars - Terry W
Were the change to electric happening over 5 years the dire impacts on infrastructure would be a problem. But the timescale is 10-30 years - plenty of time to adapt.

Emissions in town are unpleasant and unhealthy. The volume on the roads have increased hugely. We will need to do something about it other than a stream of negativity which achieves nothing.

Most issues are soluble or improvable over time:

- charging infrastructure has 20-30 years to evolve
- battery technology can only get better and may not need expensive rare materials
- radical ideas could be a game changer: e.g.:
- Induction charging under all mways and main roads.
- 400 mile battery range
- fast change battery packs
any - Electric cars - Engineer Andy
Were the change to electric happening over 5 years the dire impacts on infrastructure would be a problem. But the timescale is 10-30 years - plenty of time to adapt. Emissions in town are unpleasant and unhealthy. The volume on the roads have increased hugely. We will need to do something about it other than a stream of negativity which achieves nothing. Most issues are soluble or improvable over time: - charging infrastructure has 20-30 years to evolve - battery technology can only get better and may not need expensive rare materials - radical ideas could be a game changer: e.g.: - Induction charging under all mways and main roads. - 400 mile battery range - fast change battery packs

I think you're being very optimistic Terry with the infrastructure problems. For example:

Charging for blocks of flats, terrace housing where cars are either parked on road or in communal car parks, well away from the property so that charging cables. If the infrastructure under the ground is installed (who pays, BTW if its on private land? Digging up the road is VERY expensive, at present it can be £500 - £1000 PER METRE), the cable between the charging point and car is susceptible to vandalism or just being removed (for a 'larf') rendering the car useless the nest morning. I think for much of the infrastructure to go ahead, we'll have to wait for much of the old housing stock in this category to be replaced (so dedicated charging points can be installed before people starting buying the flats/houses, not after) and on-road charging to be resolved;

At present only lithium-ion batteries are the only technology available for such batteries. Many other elements have been tested and none match up in terms of raw performance, and yet such batteries energy density is several magnitudes below that of the fossil fuels. I'm not sure about the claimed EV ranges either, especially as battery output falls quite a bit with age, so even if you could get a small, easily replaceable battery system that could be charged from 0 to 100% in (say) an hour on day 1, after a few years that range would reduce perhaps by up to a third or a half. This is a known issue with all batteries, even lithium-ion ones;

Induction charging under main roads and motorways - I'll aside the technical side of that for others with more knowledge (I'm only a humble mechanical engineer so will leave that to electrical engineering or minded BRers), but in terms of installing, maintaining and using that technology on our (poorly maintained) roads is at present a non-starter: for one, not everyone drives on main roads for long enough all the time for any charging effect to be sufficient. Also, given roads aren't well maintained now, where do you think the money is going to come from to completely rip all major roads up across the whole UK, install all this tech amongst all the existing power/comms cables, gas, water and sewerage pipes AND make sure they are still working after one of our 'wonderful' utility firms digs up the road to fix/replace/lay a new service.

All these issues MAY be solve, but I think the time frame is WAY to optimistic. I would say a minimum of 50 years, maybe considerably more.

any - Electric cars - focussed

A couple of interesting comments on EV's from today's Daily Telegraph.

The first is from the environment minister Therese Coffey.

SIR – Our policy to end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040 is achievable (Leading article, August 22).

The National Grid has estimated that this will mean “an 8 per cent increase on today’s peak demand value” – a modest increase for which we have 23 years to prepare. The pressure on the National Grid will be limited, thanks to “smart” chargers and time-of-use tariffs to encourage vehicle charging outside peak hours.

We are also investing nearly £100  million to make sure we have the right charging infrastructure in place. Publicly accessible charging points have increased seven-fold to 11,000 since 2010, meaning the United Kingdom now has the largest network of superfast charging points in Europe.

Last month Volvo announced that all new models from 2019 will be fully electric or hybrids. Additional technologies such as hydrogen fuel are gaining momentum.

Thérèse Coffey MP (Con)
Environment Minister
London, SW1

The second comes from one Douglas Brodie as a response to Therese Coffey's letter

Douglas Brodie 24 Aug 2017 10:21AM

Environment MinisterThérèse Coffey and the National Grid are using propagandist misinformation. The government’s own statistics show UK road transport petrol and diesel energy consumption last year was about 40% more than total UK electricity generation. Switching to all-electric road transport would need around a doubling of current electricity generation capacity to allow for peak demand.

As a rough cross-check, 50% of 35 million electric vehicles plugged in at the same time to chargers with a modest average rating of 4.5 kW would need 79 GW which equates to about 28 Hinkley Point equivalents.

For details see my paperThe Infeasibility of our 80% Decarbonisation Plans which I recently emailed to Defra Secretary Michael Gove and all Tory MPs and MSPs.

(My footnote - Hinkley Point power station is projected to have about three times the power output of the largest power station currently working in the UK)



Edited by focussed on 24/08/2017 at 21:18

any - Electric cars - Engineer Andy

I gave Ms Coffey the thumbs down in my own comments (directing others here) below her letter. I would've expected better from someone who was training as a scientist. And they wonder why people don't vote for them even the opposition is so useless...

any - Electric cars - jamie745

Unless, of course, the hydrogen fuel cell is found to be economically viable (at present the Toyota Mirai costs £66,000).

I'm no scientist but I think we're a lot closer with hydrogen fuel cell than electric cars for the simple reason that it's already possible. There's a handful of hydrogen fuelling stations in the UK I believe and California has a few, so we already know it works. The problem is like you say; it's too expensive. The first domestic refrigerator cost double what the average car did at the time. Things can get cheaper.

any - Electric cars - bolt

Induction charging under main roads and motorways

No chance, it took long enough to get phone manufacturers to put on phones, and fast chargers are more expensive than standard, so I doubt we will see it in the roads.

I am still of the opinion Hydrogen cell will take off faster than most think

any - Electric cars - jamie745

It's 2017 and they still complain they don't have the resources to keep a road in one piece rather than collapsing in potholes so I don't think they'll be turning roads into chargers anytime soon.

 

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