Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - DavidGlos

We’ve had a number of petrol/diesel fuelled vehicles over the years. Aside from getting rid of my own car when I’ve changed jobs and received a company car, or the arrival of a dog or a baby that has created the need for more space, we’ve tended to keep cars for over 10 years.

Given that we’re all likely to be driving electric cars in the next 20 years, I’m wondering how long I can realistically keep one? With conventionally fuelled cars, I’ve tried to move them on before any ‘big bills’ have arrived and over 30 odd years, that’s worked fine.

With far fewer moving parts and presumably ongoing improvements in batteries, I should be able to get 20+ years out of a BEV with fewer repairs than a petrol/diesel car. Brakes should last longer (unless the discs rust or callipers stick). Suspension wearing parts should be similar. Trim and similar bits will be the same. Tyres similar. No EGR/DPF/DMF or moving parts in an ICE.

There are stories of early Leafs doing 300k+ as taxis with minimal battery degradation and that will only improve as battery tech moves on.

Assuming that we’re still buying and owning cars in 20 odd years (rather than renting them/sharing them as and when needed), I think my frequency of changing cars will only decrease. Should be able to get 20 years plus out of a BEV.

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - badbusdriver

Given the Leaf will weigh 300kg+ more than a petrol powered equivalent, it's unrealistic to assume tyre and suspension wear will be the same. You are probably right about the brakes though, what with regen doing most of the slowing down.

As for the battery wear, most of us have seen the stories of the high mileage Leaf taxi's. But this is a lot of mileage in a short period of time, which is totally different to expecting minimal battery degredation over 20 (or even 10) years.

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - daveyjp

Robert Llewellyn has just given an update on his Leaf, which is ten years old and is actually the original Nissan press car.

https://youtu.be/2qPF11PmP8k

There are however plenty of videos of some of the very expensive problems with Teslas, more than enough to right them off after 10 years. Motors, coolant leaks, control panel faults etc

Edited by daveyjp on 11/05/2020 at 08:30

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - DavidGlos

Wonder if we’ll see reduced suspension/tyre wear with more bespoke platforms for EVs and presumably reduced battery weight as the tech improves?

Do the motors wear out over time? Not seen much about that, just battery degradation.

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - badbusdriver

Wonder if we’ll see reduced suspension/tyre wear with more bespoke platforms for EVs and presumably reduced battery weight as the tech improves?

Do the motors wear out over time? Not seen much about that, just battery degradation.

As battery technology gets better along with specific platforms for EV's, they will inevitably get lighter.

As for the motors/batteries wearing out over time, i'm not sure. The point i was making was that the high mileage Leaf taxi's prove that the batteries can take lots of charging cycles with little degredation. Which is a different issue to (potential) degredation over time.

But another point, as EV's becaome more widespread and popular, it is it not likely that the price for batteries (or motors) would come down too?. Meaning that if a Leaf did need a repalcement battery, it wouldn't neccessarily (effectively) write off the car.

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - Engineer Andy
But another point, as EV's becaome more widespread and popular, it is it not likely that the price for batteries (or motors) would come down too?. Meaning that if a Leaf did need a repalcement battery, it wouldn't neccessarily (effectively) write off the car.

I'm not so sure. Lithium is a scarce resource, and demand for them in cars and other vehicles (far higher amounts of them used than in mobile phones and laptop computers/tablets) will only deplete supplies more quickly as demand rises.

Even though new sources are being found, I doubt if they can keep up with demand should EVs go from 1-3% of all cars to well over 10% and for commercial vehicles as well.

Let's hope that new viable and sustainable alternatives to lithium batteries can be found to overcome such issues in time. As has been said many times, the main issues other than the batteries is the charging and local (to the chargers, not the National Grid) distribution infrastructure/capacity, given how many people's home and businesses are currently unsuitable for them to be installed at all, or at least economically for the end users.

The minute EVs goes properly mainstream, every government grant for their purchase and use will disappear.

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - daveyjp

The Tesla issue with motors was wear of drive splines. Again these were early cars, so early adopters were the guinea pigs for testing and no doubt modifications have been made.

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - mcb100
I don’t know if there’s any data published yet, but from driving EV’s I’d say tyre wear could be greater than on an ICE car, and not just from greater weight. The way in which torque is delivered means it’s all available from standstills, putting more energy into the drive tyres. Just a suspicion.
I wouldn’t have any concerns from a battery or motor perspective.
Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - badbusdriver
I don’t know if there’s any data published yet, but from driving EV’s I’d say tyre wear could be greater than on an ICE car, and not just from greater weight. The way in which torque is delivered means it’s all available from standstills, putting more energy into the drive tyres. Just a suspicion. I wouldn’t have any concerns from a battery or motor perspective.

That is a fair point, and i think i'd have to agree with your suspicions.

But going back to battery degredation, while there is plenty to show these Nissan Leaf taxi's coping well enough without a big reduction in range, there is also, at least anecdotal evidence to show the opposite. I remember not that long ago, a thread where someone had bought a 2nd hand Renault Zoe. I don't remember the age of the car, or the mileage, but it was found that with a full charge, the range displayed was something like 45 miles. And while the (real) range of the car (with the least powerful battery) when new wouldn't have been huge, maybe 75 miles, that is a massive drop in range expressed as a percentage. Maybe not an issue if it is just to be used for local runs as a 2nd car, but not much use for anything more!.

But going back to my last post re the increase in numbers and popularity of EV's, come time it may well be possible to buy a battery for said Zoe from an independant supplier for a much lower price than Renault would charge!.

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - bathtub tom

There's not enough minerals in the world to provide batteries to replace all ICE vehicles with electric ones. If you add in replacement batteries for existing electric vehicles.....................................................................

See where I'm going?

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - SLO76
I tried a Renault Zoe before buying our Polo and found the range nothing like advertised if you drive normally without causing an obstruction. It was reading around 90 miles when I got it and after a short roughly 20 mile test run it was down to 45 miles. This was on a mild sunny autumn day. I drove at 70mph and accelerated as I would with any normal car. Shame really as I liked the wee car. We bought a diesel Polo instead.

I see electric cars on the M77 daily when I’m driving coaches in and out of Glasgow and most of them are crawling along at 50mph or accelerating from slip roads painfully slowly as they try to scrape every mile from their batteries. They’re just not quite ready for mainstream use.

I get the thinking behind going electric, it’s easier to control emissions at a central point (power stations) than with countless small petrol and diesel power plants all over the place however there isn’t enough rare minerals to make the required number of batteries using current tech and the environmental and cost comparisons are always made without factoring in the certain need of at least one replacement battery pack in every electric vehicles lifespan.

Until some great leap is made in battery technology I wouldn’t advise an electric car unless you live in a city which has or will ban anything else from it’s centre and you intend on traveling there by car. Otherwise used values are c******d by battery degradation fears and this more than wipes out the fuel savings in most cases. The Leaf for example consistently tops depreciation tables.

Edited by SLO76 on 11/05/2020 at 10:29

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - alan1302

There's not enough minerals in the world to provide batteries to replace all ICE vehicles with electric ones. If you add in replacement batteries for existing electric vehicles.....................................................................

See where I'm going?

I see where you are going but is that actually true?

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - badbusdriver

I see electric cars on the M77 daily when I’m driving coaches in and out of Glasgow and most of them are crawling along at 50mph or accelerating from slip roads painfully slowly as they try to scrape every mile from their batteries. They’re just not quite ready for mainstream use.

I regularly get overtaken by a 1st gen Leaf if i'm heading south to start work. I'm doing the legal limit for an LCV (50mph for single carriageway), i'd guess the Leaf is usually doing 70mph+.............

There's not enough minerals in the world to provide batteries to replace all ICE vehicles with electric ones. If you add in replacement batteries for existing electric vehicles.....................................................................

See where I'm going?

Yes i do, but rather than get into another never ending debate (*) on this specific matter, why don't we just stick to the (theoretical) question posed by the OP on the potential longevity of an electric car?.

(*)Speaking of which, i'm just going for a look to see if the Donald Trump thread is still rumbling on in 'General discussion'!.

Edited by badbusdriver on 11/05/2020 at 10:53

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - Terry W

I'm not convinced that there will be a major difference between longevity of ICE or EV. Critical components are different - engine/gearbox vs battery/motor - but failure of either is costly and may write off any vehicle over 10 years old (assuming dealer replacement).

Other components are similar - steering, suspension, brakes, electrics etc - broadly lifetime and costs will be similar

It is more likely that EVs will continue to improve materially - range, battery life and weight etc. Less room for improvement on ICE as already a mature technology

The main reason why most people don't even keep their cars for more than 3 - 5 years is that cars have long been seen (and promoted) as aspirational objects and visible evidence of status. Properly maintained most ICE cars are quite capable of 20 years service assuming average mileage.

EVs are likely to be capable of similar or better longevity although currently:

  • EV technologies (esp batteries) are rapidly improving
  • EVs are fundamentally much less complex than ICE
  • the cost of batteries has declined rapidly and may still have some way to go
  • current EVs are sold in very low quantities with limited aftermarket parts supply
  • low volumes increase unit component costs
Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - Avant

That all makes sense, and thanks Terry for getting us back tp the OP's question.

I suspect that EVs and hybrids that last well will be made by the same manufacturers whose cars last well now. The Prius is a complex piece of machinery, but it has as good a reputation for reliabiity as other Toyotas, and we've heard stories of Prius taxis with 6-figure mileages.

Volvos will probably do well, and possibly also Mercedes. Peugeot is a 'dark horse': people complain about French electrics but there are a lot of old Peugeots still running around.

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - bolt

That all makes sense, and thanks Terry for getting us back tp the OP's question.

I suspect that EVs and hybrids that last well will be made by the same manufacturers whose cars last well now. The Prius is a complex piece of machinery, but it has as good a reputation for reliabiity as other Toyotas, and we've heard stories of Prius taxis with 6-figure mileages.

Volvos will probably do well, and possibly also Mercedes. Peugeot is a 'dark horse': people complain about French electrics but there are a lot of old Peugeots still running around.

If they are licensing the tech from Toyota I doubt there will be many problems with EVs, and possibly the hardest part will be battery cooling as the electrics using good components should last the lifetime of the vehicle, about the only wear will occur to motor/transmission bearings and wheel bearings, apart from the usual tyre wear

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - Ethan Edwards

Surely the aftermarket er market will come up with alternative batteries and rewritten control software for the first gen ev's. A cheap Leaf with increased range and better performance, but a two seater? Bung on a spoiler or two? There will be a market for that.

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - expat

There's not enough minerals in the world to provide batteries to replace all ICE vehicles with electric ones. If you add in replacement batteries for existing electric vehicles.....................................................................

See where I'm going?

Lithium prices are falling and lithium miners in Australia are cutting back production due to a glut on the market.

tradingeconomics.com/commodity/lithium

The article says that prices may pickup in the second half of this year owing to demand for electric cars. I will leave you to work out whether that is happening. I have not seen any demand for them here in Australia other than from companies which are posing as environmentally friendly. Not even many of them. Then again battery technology is evolving and I would expect to see new types of batteries emerging which may not even use lithium. New and better batteries would of course devalue existing electric vehicles with the old type of batteries and that would affect peoples desire to change their vehicles.

Any - Electric vehicles - how often would you change? - sandy56

Most modern electric car batteries are modular- you can replace a few cells in the massive battery pack, you dont have to replace ALL the battery power. Not a job for the unskilled though...

BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf , Tesla

 

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