Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

I have just read Andrew English's review of the Volvo XC40 in today's Daily Telegraph. He commented on a measurement I am unused to - Efficiency.

In an electric car measure by Range in miles (WLTP) divided by battery rated capacity in KWH.. For the XC40 that is 260miles divided by 78KWH 3 or 3.33 or 75KWH if you talk usable capacity =3.46

That is "poor" apparently. (Too heavy?)

He then shows the rivals in order but does not quote efficiency so I worked them out. An eye opener

Audi etron Sportsback. 241miles range. 95KWH battery. Efficiency 2.53

Jaguar E Pace 298miles 90KWH. Efficiency 3.31

VW ID.3 265mile range 58KWH 265mile Efficiency 4.57

The only comment on Efficiency on those three is " much better efficiency" for the VW ID.3

Judging by the results of the three:

Big cars weigh more so efficiency is bound to be less. And the Audi is grossly inefficient.

(strange he did not say so..)

WLTP range is largely 20% over real life in summer...

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Terry W

Is there a consistent method to calculate range - or is it a possibly skewed piece of data created by the manufacturer.

For all its faults, at least MPG is measured using a common methdology in quoted data.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

www.mobilityhouse.com/int_en/magazine/e-mobility/w...l

www.vda.de/en/topics/environment-and-climate/Globa...l

Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

In real life:

www.buyacar.co.uk/cars/economical-cars/electric-ca...e

Published in JULY so tests probably done in spring /summer.

So expect another 10-20 % less in winter depending on how you drive, what heating and lighting you use and how cold it is..

Efficiency of Electric Cars - RT

Is there a consistent method to calculate range - or is it a possibly skewed piece of data created by the manufacturer.

For all its faults, at least MPG is measured using a common methdology in quoted data.

Miles per KWH is equivalent to miles per gallon - sadly it's still necessary to apply a real world adjustment despite the improvements of WLTP over NEDC - maybe the EU should adopt the American EPA test as that seems to give realistic real world figures.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Engineer Andy

Sadly, as a Telegraph reader for several decades (and online subscriber from around 2000 [we didn't have to pay back then!] until a few months ago [unsubbed in disgust]), I noticed a distinct drop in quality of their journalism over th last 10 years, and especially over the last 2-5 years, very marked in the last year.

Their Motoring Section is now, in my view, utter rubbish. I and many other long-term readers have had to point out glaring errors in reports and reviews and/or shoddy journalism by them going tabloid in missing out very pertinent facts or not covering important issues in reports.

This has, on many occasions, incurred the wrath of the journos, Andrew English included, who has (in my view) on more than one occasion made some rather unprofessional replies, and occasionally had the moderators delete perfectly reasonable and polite comments - because they showed the author up as poor quality.

Honest John himself is now relegated to being (IMHO) 'wheeled out' every now and then just to placate us lot after complaining about the quality of other journos and their work. They have been known to run old HJ Agony Columns and pretend they are this week's. They often do this (recycling old reviews) in the 'Culture' section as well, and now do the same with general 'news reports' (yeah, right).

Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

Sadly, as a Telegraph reader for several decades (and online subscriber from around 2000 [we didn't have to pay back then!] until a few months ago [unsubbed in disgust]), I noticed a distinct drop in quality of their journalism over th last 10 years, and especially over the last 2-5 years, very marked in the last year.

Their Motoring Section is now, in my view, utter rubbish. I and many other long-term readers have had to point out glaring errors in reports and reviews and/or shoddy journalism by them going tabloid in missing out very pertinent facts or not covering important issues in reports.

This has, on many occasions, incurred the wrath of the journos, Andrew English included, who has (in my view) on more than one occasion made some rather unprofessional replies, and occasionally had the moderators delete perfectly reasonable and polite comments - because they showed the author up as poor quality.

Honest John himself is now relegated to being (IMHO) 'wheeled out' every now and then just to placate us lot after complaining about the quality of other journos and their work. They have been known to run old HJ Agony Columns and pretend they are this week's. They often do this (recycling old reviews) in the 'Culture' section as well, and now do the same with general 'news reports' (yeah, right).

Sadly I agree with you.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Bromptonaut

Honest John himself is now relegated to being (IMHO) 'wheeled out' every now and then just to placate us lot after complaining about the quality of other journos and their work.

This may sound like a daft question but who is Honest John?

AIUI it was a brand name used by a motoring correspondent as a 'nom de plume' to preserve his anonymity. His business was wound up earlier this year and the brand is now owned by the proprietors of this site.

Or does he retain the name when used for journalistic purposes in the Telegraph?

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

<< who is Honest John? AIUI it was a brand name used by a motoring correspondent as a 'nom de plume' to preserve his anonymity. >>

I have always thought that, as the alleged photos of him changed noticeably over time, since his first omnibus edition appeared in 1997 ?

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Engineer Andy

<< who is Honest John? AIUI it was a brand name used by a motoring correspondent as a 'nom de plume' to preserve his anonymity. >>

I have always thought that, as the alleged photos of him changed noticeably over time, since his first omnibus edition appeared in 1997 ?

No - he's a real bloke. I've seen photos of him at car shows, awards ceremonies and other events over the years - plus he's been on TV a few times at least, including on the BBC. And of course, his many car review videos on this website.

That being said, his name may not be John - I've never heard him or anyone else say his surname. Just because he might use a nom de plume doesn't make him just a face for someone else to write the articles, etc.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - FP

"... his name may not be John - I've never heard him or anyone else say his surname. Just because he might use a nom de plume doesn't make him just a face for someone else to write the articles, etc."

A bit of determined Googling reveals that HJ's real name is Peter Lorimer. He is 71. The business Honestjohn.co.uk Ltd. used to be based in a small village near Peterborough and had 18 employees; since the take-over that may not still be the case.

Most of this is not new - see www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/134748/new-agony-c...n

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Slow Eddie

From the writing style, I'd say he's continuing as agony uncle in the Telegraph. For contrast, just take a glance at what's being produced on this "HJ" site.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - mcb100

EV range is calculated by WLTP conditions, exactly the same as ICE cars. You can debate its accuracy, but the test methodology is consistent.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Avant

Many thanks for sharing that with us. I've no regrets at being a Times reader, but occasionally there are items of interest in the Telegraph.

If one's going to use that measurement (perhaps as good as any) the Kia E-Niro comes out well (282 miles WLTP range divided by 64 KWH = 4.4) and the lighter (but less good to drive) Hyundai Kona Electric a little better at 4.5.

I'm looking into whether an EV or PHEV might suit my needs, and of the pure EVs so far the E-Niro comes out in front. I'm blowed if I can see what the Volvo XC40 offers that the E-Niro doesn't, and I don't see even the cheaper versions of the electric XC40, when they arrive coming in at less than £40,000.

Similarly in the next size up I can't see why one would go for an Audi e-tron (241 miles) over a Jaguar I-Pace (298 miles).

Edited by Avant on 10/10/2020 at 12:46

Efficiency of Electric Cars - brum

Just an observation which may be incorrect or my bias, but I see the ID3 has a fairly modest 0-60 mph performance compared to a lot of other EVs a lot of which seem to want to go down the Tesla ludicrous mode performance route. That may explain part of the efficiency advantage shown by the ID3.

But that leads me onto another train of thought. If EVs which are capable of very fast acceleration (0-60 in under 5 seconds, sometimes way under), are allowed to proliferate among the masses, are we going to see a lot more irresponsible behaviour and possibly fatal accidents involving pedestrians etc? And is this performance reflected in higher insurance premiums?

It seems to me a relatively common news item that new owners of mega expensive sports cars like the Mclaren often "lose control" and smash them up on what look like perfectly safe straight roads, of course hooligan joy riders that regularly end up killing people are another worrying bunch, what happens when they start riding around in EVs capable of 0-60 in under 3 or 4 secs.

If I sound bitter, please forgive, but I am, having lost innocent close family in such an incident.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

brum: sorry to hear of your loss.

you raise a very valid point..

Scalded cat takeoffs are ok on dry roads: in wet or icy conditions they as useful as milking a bull..

I recall seeing OAPs revving ICE engines furiously when reversing/parking.. If the throttles of EVs are light -and of course they are all automatics- then stand by for a spate of parking accidents..

I suspect most throttles are setup to avoid that...

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

If EVs which are capable of very fast acceleration are allowed to proliferate among the masses, are we going to see a lot more irresponsible behaviour and possibly fatal accidents involving pedestrians etc?

Only those masses who can afford such an EV - or nick one perhaps ?

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Sofa Spud

If EVs which are capable of very fast acceleration are allowed to proliferate among the masses, are we going to see a lot more irresponsible behaviour and possibly fatal accidents involving pedestrians etc?

Only those masses who can afford such an EV - or nick one perhaps ?

I like the idea of EV's and look forward to the day when I can afford a second hand Tesla Model 3. I'm in favour of tax concessions for electric cars as they are zero emissions, particularly as we piece together the jigsaw puzzle of the near-100% renewables society and a battery recycling industry is emerging.

But in the interests of efficiency the tax concessions should be based on the maximum rate at which these cars can consume electricity. If your Tesla Model S P100D can use up its battery charge in a few laps of the Nurburgring Nordschleife, that's wasting energy just as much as a million pound petrol supercar getting 7 mpg while doing the same thing - even if it is clean energy that's being wasted in the case of the Tesla.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 10/10/2020 at 20:07

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Trilogy.

The greatest folly of EVs is their mass. They're not the answer.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

The greatest folly of EVs is their mass. They're not the answer.

Quite. And that mass takes a lot of energy to accelerate to 60mph in 4 secs.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - John F

From a scientific point of view EV 'efficiency' is, a bit like mpg but unlike weight, able to be massaged to any figure within quite a wide range because the defining variables in the equation, range and kWh, are themselves variable. Range depends so much on external circumstances and driving technique and kWh depends upon battery quality and age. Batteries last longer if made 'overweight' and designed not to be fully charged at each regeneration.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Trilogy.

Who needs to accelerate that fast? It's ridiculous for what's sold as a family car to do so.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Bromptonaut

The greatest folly of EVs is their mass. They're not the answer.

So what is the answer?

Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

In my experience , the answer to your question is an unproven form of technology..:-)

There is a video on UTube decrying the poor quality of paint on the Tesla 3, and the ease with which the aluminium body deforms when hit (by a stone or whatever)

www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tesla+3+pain

- a choice!

Anyone who buys a brand new model is stoopid in my experience.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - misar

The greatest folly of EVs is their mass. They're not the answer.

So what is the answer?

Hydrogen.

It is a close as we can get to using the present fuels for transport and immediately solves the problem of ICE urban pollution. CO2 emission is solved by producing hydrogen without use of hydrocarbons for electricity generation. We have long shipped oil and gas around the world. We can if necessary do the same for hydrogen allowing it to be produced anywhere there is ample solar, wind, wave or tidal power.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Sofa Spud

The greatest folly of EVs is their mass. They're not the answer.

So what is the answer?

Hydrogen.

It is a close as we can get to using the present fuels for transport and immediately solves the problem of ICE urban pollution. CO2 emission is solved by producing hydrogen without use of hydrocarbons for electricity generation. We have long shipped oil and gas around the world. We can if necessary do the same for hydrogen allowing it to be produced anywhere there is ample solar, wind, wave or tidal power.

But why use renewable energy to make hydrogen that needs to be transported to special filling stations where it's transferred to special tanks in fuel-cell electric cars when that electricity could be used directly to charge battery electric cars via the existing grid? Hydrogen can also be used in adapted spark-ignition engines but that would be pointless except except perhaps as a conversion for existing petrol cars or in light aircraft (on which weight saving is crucial).

Edited by Sofa Spud on 11/10/2020 at 15:38

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

<< Hydrogen.

We have long shipped oil and gas around the world. We can if necessary do the same for hydrogen allowing it to be produced anywhere there is ample solar, wind, wave or tidal power. >>

I appreciate the desirability of hydrogen as a fuel, but I don't think it is ideal for private cars. Its low boiling point means that a car would need a massive vessel holding highly compressed gas. 'Filling up' at the roadside will need a new approach to avoid risk of explosion, not just a fire.

And I thought a good deal of hydrogen was made by cracking hydrocarbons ?

Efficiency of Electric Cars - misar

<< Hydrogen.

We have long shipped oil and gas around the world. We can if necessary do the same for hydrogen allowing it to be produced anywhere there is ample solar, wind, wave or tidal power. >>

I appreciate the desirability of hydrogen as a fuel, but I don't think it is ideal for private cars. Its low boiling point means that a car would need a massive vessel holding highly compressed gas. 'Filling up' at the roadside will need a new approach to avoid risk of explosion, not just a fire.

And I thought a good deal of hydrogen was made by cracking hydrocarbons ?

The Toyota Mirai has been on sale for several years. It is a normal size car with a kerb weight of 1850 kg. It has a top speed of 111 mph, 0 to 62 mph in 9.6 sec, a range of 342 miles and refuelling time of 3 to 5 minutes. All it needs is to expand the current UK hydrogen infrastructure using existing filling stations as already done at a very small number of sites.

I made the comment about hydrogen transport because the aim should be to produce it by electrolysis of water. Unlike supplying the UK grid to charge millions of battery EVs this can done when and where there is ample green generating capacity. It can be stored and transported much the same as liquified natural gas which we have used for years.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

<< It can be stored and transported much the same as liquified natural gas which we have used for years. >>

'Much the same' - natural gas can indeed be liquefied for storage, but I think rather more sophisticated refrigeration is needed to do the same for hydrogen.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - misar

<< It can be stored and transported much the same as liquified natural gas which we have used for years. >>

'Much the same' - natural gas can indeed be liquefied for storage, but I think rather more sophisticated refrigeration is needed to do the same for hydrogen.

It is but millions of tonnes of hydrogen are already used by industry every week. It is stored and transported without problems, including at the existing filling stations I mentioned.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Sofa Spud

<< It can be stored and transported much the same as liquified natural gas which we have used for years. >>

'Much the same' - natural gas can indeed be liquefied for storage, but I think rather more sophisticated refrigeration is needed to do the same for hydrogen.

It is but millions of tonnes of hydrogen are already used by industry every week. It is stored and transported without problems, including at the existing filling stations I mentioned.

I found one figure that world hydrogen production is 120 million tonnes a year, another says 70 million tonnes. Yet another figure, quoted as world hydrogen consumption, gives 55 million tonnes. All these are claimed as 2019 figures!

So that's between 1 and 2 million tonnes per week, ball park. I think the thing about hydrogen is that it's needed for certain processes but that doesn't really include propulsion of road vehicles.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 11/10/2020 at 18:10

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Engineer Andy

<< It can be stored and transported much the same as liquified natural gas which we have used for years. >>

'Much the same' - natural gas can indeed be liquefied for storage, but I think rather more sophisticated refrigeration is needed to do the same for hydrogen.

It is but millions of tonnes of hydrogen are already used by industry every week. It is stored and transported without problems, including at the existing filling stations I mentioned.

The difference is that that 99.99% of that is extracted from natural gas, which obviously is not very environmnetally-friendly, and splitting it off from the Oxygen in water is a very energy-intensive process, using significant amounts of electricity.

In another thread on this specific subject, we found a report from HJ that Toyota were using this to power 4 or 6 (I can't remember which) pallet lifters in a plant of theirs in Japan. Thr problem was that it used a LOT of water and needed a huge solar array to generate enough hydrogen for just those little lifters for one day.

Probably better to just use the electricity to charge batteries - no water (a scarce resource away from coastal areas) and no extensive storage or refigeration infrastructure needed.

If those worries can be overcome (especially as battery materials aren't exactly plentiful and will be less so when cars switch to full electric), then hydrogen fuel cells could be the way forward. It does seem to have fallen from favour vs EVs though, so it may fall by the wayside as many (often better) technologies have over the years in favour of those that are cheaper or easier to mass produce.

Might be more useful for HGVs than cars.

Edited by Engineer Andy on 11/10/2020 at 18:33

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Sofa Spud

<< Hydrogen.

We have long shipped oil and gas around the world. We can if necessary do the same for hydrogen allowing it to be produced anywhere there is ample solar, wind, wave or tidal power. >>

I appreciate the desirability of hydrogen as a fuel, but I don't think it is ideal for private cars. Its low boiling point means that a car would need a massive vessel holding highly compressed gas. 'Filling up' at the roadside will need a new approach to avoid risk of explosion, not just a fire.

And I thought a good deal of hydrogen was made by cracking hydrocarbons ?

The Toyota Mirai has been on sale for several years. It is a normal size car with a kerb weight of 1850 kg. It has a top speed of 111 mph, 0 to 62 mph in 9.6 sec, a range of 342 miles and refuelling time of 3 to 5 minutes. All it needs is to expand the current UK hydrogen infrastructure using existing filling stations as already done at a very small number of sites.

I made the comment about hydrogen transport because the aim should be to produce it by electrolysis of water. Unlike supplying the UK grid to charge millions of battery EVs this can done when and where there is ample green generating capacity. It can be stored and transported much the same as liquified natural gas which we have used for years.

Now that grid-scale battery storage is being rolled out, renewable electricity can be stored as, ummm . . . well . . . err . . . electricity! So no need to turn the energy into something else in order to store it.

A bit over 10,000 Toyota Mirais have been sold, compared with about half a million Nissan Leafs and half a million Tesla Model 3s.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 11/10/2020 at 17:52

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Sofa Spud

The greatest folly of EVs is their mass. They're not the answer.

So what is the answer?

The answer is EVs !!

The additional mass of EVs doesn't seem to be detrimental to their handling. The latest EVs have their batteries in the form of a 'slab' under the floor, keeping the centre of gravity low.

Their additional mass doesn't stop them being more energy-efficient than petrol or diesel cars. EV's have greater thermal efficiency and they can also recover 15-20% of expended energy with regenerative braking.

And as for performance, the instant torque and seamless acceleration seems to impress most of the motoring journalists to the point of shouting the obligatory "hoo-hoo-hoooo!"

In the past, additional mass hasn't prevented people from choosing optional larger engines or 4-wheel drive, has it?

If there are any remaining disadvantages to EVs, I'd say they are 1) the higher purchase price and 2) the difficulty of charging for many people who can't charge at home, work or the local supermarket. But both these situations will improve over time.

The Tesla Model 3 is often compared to the BMW 3 series.

BMW 3 Series vary from 1520kg to 1955kg depending on specification.

Tesla Model 3's vary from 1726kg to 1847kg depending on specification.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 11/10/2020 at 15:36

Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

Anyone wanting to read about hydrogen storage for cars might want to read:

energies.airliquide.com/resources-planet-hydrogen/...C.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Terry W

Hydrogen generation must be an option for surplus electricity storage - but right now it is hugely inefficient for use in fuel cells in cars without a lot of extra development:

  • Converting electricity to hydrogen is about 75% efficient
  • Storing the gas - compressed at 5000PSI, or liquefied at -253C, or as a metal hydride
  • Compressed need expensive tanks and energy losses for compression
  • Liquified at -253C would be a challenge for long term storage
  • Metal hydrides energy density is lower than oil
  • Fuel cells are ~ 50% efficient

I suspect the best use for hydrogen is energy generation fed back into the grid when the wind doesn't blow! This minimises the the issues involved with mass distribution. Technology deployed centrally is most likely to be more efficient.

  • the reality is that green energy sources provide a part of total demand - there is only intermittent spare capacity at present
  • most hydrogen is made by reforming natural gas - it makes economic sense, albeit environmentally unsound
  • for most car users (not all) the technology already exists for EVs

We can only speculate about whether battery and charging technologies improve faster than hydrogen - but right now KW win hands down.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - John F

The greatest folly of EVs is their mass. They're not the answer.

So what is the answer?

The answer is EVs !!

And hydrogen EVs. There is enough wind in the world, especially between the 30 and 40 degree parallels, to make as much as we will need for trucks, trains and ships. BEVs, despite their major disadvantage of lengthy recharging time, will probably run alongside HEVs for years to come as the ICE is gradually phased out to become as historically interesting as the steam engine, which ran alongside ICE vehicles for many years.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Trilogy.

The answer is EVs !!

The additional mass of EVs doesn't seem to be detrimental to their handling. The latest EVs have their batteries in the form of a 'slab' under the floor, keeping the centre of gravity low.

Their additional mass doesn't stop them being more energy-efficient than petrol or diesel cars. EV's have greater thermal efficiency and they can also recover 15-20% of expended energy with regenerative braking.

And as for performance, the instant torque and seamless acceleration seems to impress most of the motoring journalists to the point of shouting the obligatory "hoo-hoo-hoooo!"

In the past, additional mass hasn't prevented people from choosing optional larger engines or 4-wheel drive, has it?

If there are any remaining disadvantages to EVs, I'd say they are 1) the higher purchase price and 2) the difficulty of charging for many people who can't charge at home, work or the local supermarket. But both these situations will improve over time.

The Tesla Model 3 is often compared to the BMW 3 series.

BMW 3 Series vary from 1520kg to 1955kg depending on specification.

Tesla Model 3's vary from 1726kg to 1847kg depending on specification.

Cars are weigh too heavy nowadays, it's completely unnecessary. A BMW 3 series is no longer a 3 series it's the size of a 5 series. One day BMW will have to introduce the 0.5 series to fill the void below the bloated 1 series. Anyway BMW has lost its way when it comes to styling, although I gather that could soon change.

I don't give a stuff what journalists shout. And average driver doesn't need the acceleration of most four wheeled washing machines that carry humans along roads

They all sound the same, and Tesla dashboards just make me want to fall asleep.

Charging ain't going to work in narrow street where people have to park on pavements. Not going to work in medieval towns, villages or conservation areas.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

<< In the past, additional mass hasn't prevented people from choosing optional larger engines or 4-wheel drive, has it? >>

I was just thinking about that extra mass colliding with stationary objects, such as failed cars on a smart motorway for instance. That risk will then require further strengthening of crumple zones - so it goes on. Thirty years ago makers were interested in making light cars such as the Pug 205 - even the heaviest model was under a ton. Not many are these days, and EVs definitely won't be.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Trilogy.

The greatest folly of EVs is their mass. They're not the answer.

So what is the answer?

Plenty of life in petrol engines yet. The politicians just don't get it.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - gordonbennet

Plenty of life in petrol engines yet. The politicians just don't get it.

The increasing rate our leaders are deliberately destroying the economy and the futures of the next generation of normal people, the means of powering whatever method of transport we are allowed or can afford will be the least of our concerns.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Sofa Spud

The greatest folly of EVs is their mass. They're not the answer.

So what is the answer?

Plenty of life in petrol engines yet. The politicians just don't get it.

Petrol engines burn a finite resource and emit CO2 and other harmful gases and also consume oxygen from the atmosphere at a time when less and less is being replenished by nature. Electric vehicles use clean energy that could potentially be derived 100% from renewable sources.

Any further improvements in petrol or diesel engines are likely to be marginal and gained by the use of complex electronics to optimise efficiency.

The same could be said of electric motors - they've been around for 150+ years so it's unlikely anyone's going to come up with a new type that's vastly more efficient. It's battery technology where the big advances are anticipated.

The tipping point is when electric cars are seen as better all-round than petrol ones. For some people that's already the case. Buyers of executive cars tend to want something that's as quiet as possible and has automatic transmission. Electric cars are almost silent and have a single gear that is permanently engaged, effectively making them 'automatic'. That's why Tesla chose this market sector for their first mass-produced car, the Model S.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 12/10/2020 at 08:32

Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

Will all those praising Hydrogen tell me:

where are the cars made in volume? There are none.

Where is the infrastructure for mass deployment? There is none.

Tell me when volume production will start? There are no plans I know to do so.

So you are talking: DECADEs..

In the real world. batteries are the only game in town..

If a hydrogen fuel cell added £5k to the cost of a car , it might - just might - be economic...

Efficiency of Electric Cars - John F

Will all those praising Hydrogen tell me:

where are the cars made in volume? There are none.

None??? Thousands of Toyota Mirais (just one make) have been made.

Where is the infrastructure for mass deployment? There is none.

Roadside petrol stations were not in general use till after 1920, two decades after cars started to hit the roads.

Tell me when volume production will start? There are no plans I know to do so.

Hyundai (Nexo) has also pioneered hydrogen EVs. Others will doubtless follow in the next few years - but, as per our ICE history, probably not in this horse and ICE loving country.

So you are talking: DECADEs..

Just one or two.

In the real world. batteries are the only game in town.

In the current real world, yes. But the real world changes - thankfully - otherwise we'd all still be sat round a fire in the woods discussing a name for a transport idea the village elders would say would never catch on - the 'round-thing-cart'. At present it seems there are only sixteen hydrogen stations - but there will be more. By 2030 I would bet there would be one in every decent sized town

If a hydrogen fuel cell added £5k to the cost of a car , it might - just might - be economic.

Tax policies and incentives can steer mass population behaviour.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - misar

The greatest folly of EVs is their mass. They're not the answer.

So what is the answer?

Plenty of life in petrol engines yet. The politicians just don't get it.

Petrol engines burn a finite resource and emit CO2 and other harmful gases and also consume oxygen from the atmosphere at a time when less and less is being replenished by nature. Electric vehicles use clean energy that could potentially be derived 100% from renewable sources.

That's a new ICE issue on me. Somehow I don't think we need to worry about petrol engines draining the world of oxygen.

You also seem to have ignored the energy and scarce resources that go into manufacturing the present generation of enormous batteries used by Tesla et al.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

<< Electric vehicles use clean energy that could potentially be derived 100% from renewable sources. >>

The key word here is 'potentially'. All those buyers of EVs will not be consuming electricity from renewable sources. The day is a long way off when all vehicles are powered solely by energy from wind, solar or nuclear. Even those cars powered by hydrogen don't meet the criteria as the H2 may well have come from hydrocarbons.

And supporting the necessary infrastructure will probably call for the traditional kind of energy in metal refining and the like.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Terry W

Some fundamental points:

  1. ICE uses a scarce resource and pollutes.
  2. ICE has limited scope for improvement as a mature technology
  3. Electricity generation from green sources is proven and can, given the necessary investment, supplant gas, oil and coal.
  4. Battery power is a proven technology with rising levels of adoption.
  5. Infrastructure is sufficient to meet current needs. Increasing it to meet demand is a financial, not technical, issue.
  6. Hydrogen powered vehicles are not in common usage - widespread adoption currently lags EV by 1-2 decades
  7. No effective infrastructure for hydrogen distribution currently exists. There are significant technical barriers to be resolved before it is economically feasible.

Where would I put my money:

  • EV related businesses - possibly yes - not just the vehicles, but those specialising in recharging infrastructure, repair and refurbishment of vehicles etc
  • Hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure - probably not - whilst I may be missing an opportunity, as an investment strategy it would likely be more of a money pit!
Efficiency of Electric Cars - bolt

Where would I put my money:

  • EV related businesses - possibly yes - not just the vehicles, but those specialising in recharging infrastructure, repair and refurbishment of vehicles etc

If the vehicle is built to high spec there is no reason for anything to go wrong, which also goes for the recharging infrastructure as well, if it does I suspect it to be built in faults or problems with security relating to the charging systems

As for motors they should last longer than the car, batteries are a different story and remains to be seen if any problems arise with the new tech being worked on?

Efficiency of Electric Cars - misar

Some fundamental points:

  1. Hydrogen powered vehicles are not in common usage - widespread adoption currently lags EV by 1-2 decades
  2. No effective infrastructure for hydrogen distribution currently exists. There are significant technical barriers to be resolved before it is economically feasible.

Two fundamental answers.

1. Hydrogen powered vehicles are simply EVs which use a fuel cell to provide the power and the fuel cell has been around longer than the car. They even charge a (small) battery to allow a lower capacity cell to meet high power demand for acceleration etc.

2. As explained previously industry already uses an enormous amount of hydrogen. The same, existing UK infrastructure delivers it by tanker to the existing hydrogen filling stations. The only issue is the desire in a CO2 free world to use green power or new CO2 free technologies to generate the hydrogen. That could still have more flexibility and options than running a greatly uprated UK grid solely on the basis of green power.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - bolt

Some fundamental points:

  1. Hydrogen powered vehicles are not in common usage - widespread adoption currently lags EV by 1-2 decades
  2. No effective infrastructure for hydrogen distribution currently exists. There are significant technical barriers to be resolved before it is economically feasible.

Two fundamental answers.

1. Hydrogen powered vehicles are simply EVs which use a fuel cell to provide the power and the fuel cell has been around longer than the car. They even charge a (small) battery to allow a lower capacity cell to meet high power demand for acceleration etc.

2. As explained previously industry already uses an enormous amount of hydrogen. The same, existing UK infrastructure delivers it by tanker to the existing hydrogen filling stations. The only issue is the desire in a CO2 free world to use green power or new CO2 free technologies to generate the hydrogen. That could still have more flexibility and options than running a greatly uprated UK grid solely on the basis of green power.

If Toyota and Honda get more charging stations put into garages, I see no reason why Hydrogen wont take over from all EVs, far easier to fill up, gives longer range and doing it by all renewables which are a plenty according to Toyota

Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

With current economics and the R&D costs of battery power, the money to invest in another new technology will not be there...We are in a major pandemic which shows no signs of being under control in Europe and the US. UK GDP is currently 10% below last years.., The US is struggling as is Europe..

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Trilogy.

I don't see EV taking over completely, there'll always be other power sources for car etc. For me EVs are just too sterile and boring

Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

There will come a tipping point when EVs account for (say) 60% of new car sakes, when petrol and diesel taxes will be raised each year to discourage use.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - bolt

There will come a tipping point when EVs account for (say) 60% of new car sakes, when petrol and diesel taxes will be raised each year to discourage use.

Depends on how many Hydrogen cars are available and how cheap they are compared to EVs, Toyota and Honda must think there is a demand for them otherwise they wouldn't be installing gas stations, and still selling cars, Ok mostly in USA but some in UK

Be interesting to see what happens

Efficiency of Electric Cars - focussed

There will come a tipping point when EVs account for (say) 60% of new car sakes, when petrol and diesel taxes will be raised each year to discourage use.

Before that happens the government will realise that they cannot continue to give EV's a free ride on tax and then they will be paying road tax per mile travelled via a satellite device.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

<< the government will realise that they cannot continue to give EV's a free ride on tax and then they will be paying road tax per mile travelled via a satellite device. >>

Now I guess the guys specialising in defeat technology will be working on that new challenge ?

Efficiency of Electric Cars - John F

I don't see EV taking over completely, there'll always be other power sources for car etc. For me EVs are just too sterile and boring

I envisage an almost complete takeover. The only question is whether it will be more popular to store the energy, however it is generated, in a battery or a hydrogen tank. Perhaps hydrogen for windy countries, batteries for sunny ones?

Edited by John F on 13/10/2020 at 12:46

Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

No government wanted to meet emissions targets will want to allow any private ICEs on the roads - except classic one.

Period...

Once new ICE car sales are banned, every incentive to increase fuel taxes.. And EVs are much easier to trace using satnav systems.. therefore automatic road pricing.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Trilogy.

This is a much more complex issue than people perceive. Far too many cars are produced and bought. Buying habits and production volume needs to reduce.

Can't see anyone getting excited about buying an EV Ferrari unless it sounds special. You might as well just guy a Tesla if you want ridiculous acceleration figures, these times be much slower.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

This is a much more complex issue than people perceive. Far too many cars are produced and bought. Buying habits and production volume needs to reduce.

The car-making juggernaut can't be stopped or slowed down that easily - 1) lots of people always want a 'new' model' 2) it creates a lot of primary and secondary employment.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Trilogy.

The car-making juggernaut can't be stopped or slowed down that easily - 1) lots of people always want a 'new' model' 2) it creates a lot of primary and secondary employment.

That's irresponsible behaviour - they'll have to stop wanting, if people really are concerned about the environment they'd keep their cars longer. Not enough repairing of cars - too much throw it away, components sealed for life or not repairable should be outlawed. Yes, cars they're more recyclable but that takes energy, completely unnecessary. PCPs should be a minimum of 5 years and dateless registrations introduced. A registration number for life would be a good idea, that'd reduce numbers of cars sold. Incentives to own cars longer two/three years and then get another should be the norm.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

<< A registration number for life would be a good idea, that'd reduce numbers of cars sold. Incentives to own cars longer two/three years and then get another should be the norm. >>

I presume you mean for the life of the person, not the car ? Quite a few people own several cars, which might be a difficulty.

An alternative might be the Canadian system of annual licence plates instead of our old tax discs - there's little status in having one when everyone does. My 1966 Alberta plate still hangs in my shed :-(

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Bromptonaut

This is a much more complex issue than people perceive. Far too many cars are produced and bought. Buying habits and production volume needs to reduce.

It's not just cars. The whole capitalist economy is based on over production.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - bolt

No government wanted to meet emissions targets will want to allow any private ICEs on the roads - except classic one.

Period...

Once new ICE car sales are banned, every incentive to increase fuel taxes.. And EVs are much easier to trace using satnav systems.. therefore automatic road pricing.

Wont need sat nav pricing by then, 5g will communicate vehicle details and distance travelled much more accurate than sat nav

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Terry W

Once EVs are fully embedded as part of the transport infrastructure, taxation will change.

  • EVs will need to be taxed. The technology will need to differentiate between domestic and car consumption - probably mandated tracking systems to allow road charging.
  • ICE will increasingly be banned or charged for use in urban areas.
  • Fuel taxes on petrol and diesel will be maintained to allow for older vehicles not equipped with tracking technology.

The only real issue is timing. The tipping point may be when EVs commands 30-40% of the new car market - the point at which EV becomes just about inevitable. This will be, I would guess, between 5 and 10 years.

  • Tax and other changes will not be "big bang" but a progessive over several years
  • Possible scrappage schemes to remove older ICEs from the road
  • Policy will tend to advantage EVs until they are 80%+ new car sales

The battery vs hydrogen debate is a non issue - environmentally the differentiator is in the use and recycling of materials used in generation, storage, distribution etc.

If hydrogen can demonstrate an economic advantage over battery it will dominate. IMHO this is plausible for (say) haulage where high cargo weight and long distances prevail, but unlikely in personal transport.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

And EVs are much easier to trace using satnav systems.. therefore automatic road pricing.

Silly question - I'm just trying to work out why an EV is intrinsically more trackable than any other kind of vehicle ?

Efficiency of Electric Cars - misar

Here is some good news for all those worried about CO2, changing cars too often, over production, etc.

With a combination of Covid, Brexit and Boris there will soon be so few people in the UK who can afford to run a car let alone buy a new one that your concerns will disappear.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - bolt

With a combination of Covid, Brexit and Boris there will soon be so few people in the UK who can afford to run a car let alone buy a new one that your concerns will disappear.

Not going to stop global warming though, that will march on for many years before it settles down again, then we will have something else to worry about !

Efficiency of Electric Cars - bolt

The battery vs hydrogen debate is a non issue

In that case why are Toyota and Honda including Hyundai doing research into Hydrogen.

my guess would be if enough gas charging stations are around in a large enough area, it will be easier to charge a filling station, and cheaper than fitting electric power points, there is also the point that instead of a charge taking more than an hour for electric- a Hydrogen recharge will take about the same time as filling with petrol

I know which I prefer.! the cars may even be cheaper new by then

Efficiency of Electric Cars - misar

The battery vs hydrogen debate is a non issue

In that case why are Toyota and Honda including Hyundai doing research into Hydrogen.

my guess would be if enough gas charging stations are around in a large enough area, it will be easier to charge a filling station, and cheaper than fitting electric power points, there is also the point that instead of a charge taking more than an hour for electric- a Hydrogen recharge will take about the same time as filling with petrol

I know which I prefer.! the cars may even be cheaper new by then

It is interesting to reflect that much the same debate took place over a hundred years ago, both in Europe and the USA.

There were excellent battery electric cars but with limited range and an inadequate infrastructure for charging them. There were ICE cars with potentially unlimited range but with no infrastructure to produce dangerous gasoline let alone ship it all over the country. The UK had unlimited coal to generate electricity but the nearest oil was in hostile territory a 1000 miles or more away.

Many thought choosing the electric car was a no brainer. Guess which one won?

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Terry W

The difference is that hydrogen needs to be compressed or liquefied. This involves significant energy losses, very high cost tanks and associated systems.

It cannot be distributed down a pipe without a lot of expense due to pressures, and embrittlement if metal piping is used.

All options are high cost and largely unproven mass technology. It is not simply a case of fill the oil and diesel tanks with H2 and off you go.

Toyota and Honda are at liberty to try and make the system work - they may be the Apple or Microsoft of the automotive world. They may also just be backing an outsider which, if it comes off, will make their fortunes.

But it is not, by stretch of the imagination, the technology which is most likely to supplant batteries as the premier ICE alternative in the next decade.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - misar

Toyota and Honda are at liberty to try and make the system work - they may be the Apple or Microsoft of the automotive world. They may also just be backing an outsider which, if it comes off, will make their fortunes.

But it is not, by stretch of the imagination, the technology which is most likely to supplant batteries as the premier ICE alternative in the next decade.

I admire your confidence at making predictions but I have a long lifetime's experience of seeing confident technology predictions - often made by experts in the field - turn out to be hopelessly wrong after just a few years.

Hence, I am not backing winners, merely saying that we have two promising technologies to replace the ICE and it is foolish in the extreme to dismiss one of them out of hand. Unlike Henry Ford, it has also been my experience that we can often learn a lot from history because human nature never changes.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Trilogy.

Good to see some common sense from Honda. The problem is it isn't common in governments. https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/honda-calls-government-support-hybrids-reduce-ev-focus

Efficiency of Electric Cars - misar

Good to see some common sense from Honda. The problem is it isn't common in governments. https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/honda-calls-government-support-hybrids-reduce-ev-focus

Another problem with many governments, and especially the present UK one, is that they make impossible long term commitments in the certain knowledge that they will not be responsible for achieving them. Gigabit broadband for every household one day, a CO2 free economy the next.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - gordonbennet

Another problem with many governments, and especially the present UK one, is that they make impossible long term commitments in the certain knowledge that they will not be responsible for achieving them. Gigabit broadband for every household one day, a CO2 free economy the next.

Sounds the bis when reported in glowing utopian terms via a confederate media though which translates to votes, borrowing/spending/ wasting £trillions with the main purpose of buying votes to falsely gain and keep power, leaving the next generation the unpayable bills, just something else they never have to answer for.

and another bus went past

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Engineer Andy

I don't see EV taking over completely, there'll always be other power sources for car etc. For me EVs are just too sterile and boring

I envisage an almost complete takeover. The only question is whether it will be more popular to store the energy, however it is generated, in a battery or a hydrogen tank. Perhaps hydrogen for windy countries, batteries for sunny ones?

Where's all the fresh water needed to convert into hydrogen coming from? Even in the UK, we (except in the North) aren't exactly awash with the stuff, and using sea water ain't cheap either, as it has to have the salt removed, which I assure you is not an easy / cheap / quick / energy efficient process.

The vast majority of hydrogen used today comes from natural gas, which is hardly green (though is compared to coal and oil) but far more importantly is a rapidly dwindling resource and has zero % chance of sustaining us in this.

To me, the only way (other than a completely new technology) things are going to go is - other than slowly phasing out ICE engines (my preferred method) is a revolutionary new battery technology that can use plentiful resources and isn't energy-intensive to make, as well as easy/cheap to produce and recycle, as well as being of low polluting value. Lithium certainly doesn't fit that bill, even if some more resources are being found.

The problem with batteries compared to ICE is that ICE fuel is several magintudes more energy dense and thus ICE vehicles are lighter and can be refueled far quicker than EVs for the same range, and, more importantly, don't have the significant disadvantage in winter that EVs do when the heater is used.

Mr Fusion anyone? :-)

Efficiency of Electric Cars - bolt

The vast majority of hydrogen used today comes from natural gas, which is hardly green (though is compared to coal and oil) but far more importantly is a rapidly dwindling resource and has zero % chance of sustaining us in this.

Thats why Toyota mention Methane as it is readily available and plenty of it, though no mention of water but no doubt they have plans.

I did see Elon Musk's latest video on You tube, Tesla have developed a new battery sized similar to the 18650 3.7 volt- AH- will be higher than these, probably higher voltage as well, rated at 60% better cell capacity than the batteries used at the moment

Not sure about when they are being mass produced, but they seem very pleased with the results of tests with production possibly starting next year?

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Andrew-T

That's why Toyota mention Methane as it is readily available and plenty of it, though no mention of water but no doubt they have plans.

An increasing supply will be available from Siberia as the permafrost thaws out, but the side effects will be undesirable.

As an aside, might I ask posters, when they lift paragraphs from earlier posts, to make that clearer somehow, with italics (it's only one click after all) or brackets or whatever ? Or even use the Quote facility provided ?

Efficiency of Electric Cars - bolt

(An increasing supply will be available from Siberia as the permafrost thaws out, but the side effects will be undesirable.)

Scientists are looking at rectifying that, but its too long a story to write here, some say its a tall story as well, but has been proved to work over many years.

Sky have a channel which will explain whats going on, and as the science has been used on other animals and works, I see no reason why it wont in Siberia

A lot of the methane is expected to come from our waste in one form or another, but better to use it than waste it imo, as much as people think it wont work -Toyota are doing it

Efficiency of Electric Cars - misar

For those interested to learn about a hydrogen future here is another new article from Autocar.

www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/features/hydrogen-cars-...e

Efficiency of Electric Cars - madf

For those interested to learn about a hydrogen future here is another new article from Autocar.

www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/features/hydrogen-cars-...e

Thanks for that.

So in summary, Hydrogen vehicles are in the same kind of position that BEVs were in the1980s .But the speed of technology advance today is quicker.

So another 20 years before largescale commercial uptake..

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Stackman II

I did read an article recently, although I can't find a link for it, which said that hydrogen shouldn't be considered as a fuel, just an energy transfer medium.

The reasoning being that energy is required to produce hydrogen, say by electrolysis, and this is the energy which is released in the fuel cell.

Obviously the conversion process, along with compression and transportation take further energy reducing the overall efficiency of the system.

The only benefits of converting your electrical power in to hydrogen to run your electric vehicle is that you can fill up quickly and have a greater range. Should battery technology advance to allow greater storage and faster charging then the case for hydrogen will disappear.

Efficiency of Electric Cars - Terry W

1985 was the era of the Sinclair C5. Three wheels, exposed to the elements, 15mph max, low range, one seat. A true disaster.

2001 saw the launch of the G-Wiz. Massive improvement over the C5 with 2 seats and a roof. Still a bit lacking - 5KW (7bhp) motor at launch, a quoted range of 50 miles (if you were lucky) from lead acid batteries.

2010 - the first Nissan Leaf - EV had come of age as an automotive alternative, albeit cost and range still a major issue..

Effective electric vehicles which I remember from childhood were milk floats. Battery power worked as no need for speed (max 15mph), range of 10-30 miles from a local dairy probably adequate, stop start operation, recharging at depot etc.

If hydrogen power is 4 decade behind (I would put it cloer to 3) they have a huge amount of ground to make up - and battery power is unlikely to stagnate whilst they try. This does not make the technology a non-starter - but quite unlikely for 10-20 years!

Efficiency of Electric Cars - sammy1

There is a video on youtube by James May which is informative. He has a Toyota Miirai Hydrogen and a Tesla EV which he has on long term to equate the two technologies in real terms.. Well worth a look and May is as entertaining as usual!

 

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