£1 = 100 miles - Dan J
Had put this in the Petrol Prices thread but reckon it's worth a read

"Did you know that an electric Toytota RAV4 exists? 80p to charge it overnight and 125 miles a charge? Toyota tested them in Jersey and then said there was "not enough interest" even though everyone over there was absolutely clamoring for them. Nissan market a very good 100 mile per charge electric MPV in California (the ONLY Yank state to enforce this on the manufacturers) and several other interesting electric motors.

Ford even built the e-Ka, an electric Ka which goes like stink (MUCH faster than the normal Ka) and will do 125 miles on a 60p overnight charge. What are Ford going to let the general public have (if they're lucky) - The Th!nk - a joke of a plastic car which looks like it is meant for small children to use at the fairground. Ford will not comment on why they will not move forward with the e-Ka and believe the Th!nk is what the public will really want (4mph top speed and 50 mile range - wowwee).

How many of you would buy a car that could do 120 miles for 60p (I know you have an overnight recharge between uses, but so what? You could have a petrol one for longer journeys, how many of you travel >100 miles a day?) - I would buy one tomorrow if I could...

So, any guesses why you'll never see these cars in a long, long time, even though all governments are supposedly supporting getting CO2 emissions down etc?


Just as an addition, several car manufacturers make "jokey" electric cars, like a Pug 106 for example. Still better than nothing and can be driven 50 miles on a few pence worth of charge - Powershift, you know, the ones who are helping us make a cleaner environment? They are offering grants on cars like this and several other electric cars. So can you buy an electric Pug from Peugout UK as it suggests? Or what about an electric Citroen Berlingo? No you cannot - In fact, if you contact anyone like Peugout about the cars they will swear blind they don't even exist, even though in some countries they are readily available! Don't listen to any of this rubbish about getting us into cleaner cars by any government anywhere in the world - all they are bothered about is getting their hands on the vast wads of tax we have to pay on petrol!
Re: £1 = 100 miles - Lee H
It might be my old mind playing tricks on me again, but I'm sure Sheffield City council run some of those little Electric Peugeot/Citroen vans (ZX/306 based).

Further delving into the mists of my mind seems to bring back that they were supplied by Springfield in Gateshead.

And I'd better not delve any further than that....
Re: batteries are not best. - Tomo
I am sure people could think up tremendous environmental bleats about the effects of manufacturing numbers of large batteries, if they wanted. But the attraction of the electric car is, it is something else to make real motorists miserable!
Re: £1 = 100 miles - me
sadly elec cars dont reduce worldwide pollution they just move it from the back of your car to the power station, unless its nuclear generated electricity

coventry city council wasted loads of money running pug elec cars/vans, it hasnt taken off i dont think

out of the current crop the toyota effort is the only one i have actually seen at a dealership, and it dont look that bad... carnt remember its name
Re: £1 = 100 miles - Dan J
Not true re "moving the pollution elsewhere" as an electric charger for a car uses about as much electric as a 100w light bulb - it has been proved there is already plenty of surplus electric available 90% of the time.

The Toyota Prius is also a petrol car and is yet another expensive joke that has been manufactured as a sweetener and to shut people up... Few will be sold and it will fail prompting Toyota to claim it was a waste of time which will put the whole cleaner cars thing back another god knows how long
Re: £1 = 100 miles - Alwyn
Seems a wonderful deal that the power taken to move a car and passengers 120 miles is the same as the power taken to light a 100 Watt lamp.

Can't happen though!

The battery must take in as much power from the Grid as the car needs to shift all that weight 120 miles.
Electric cars and pollution. - John Slaughter

There is never 'spare' electricity. In any system which continuously matches supply and demand, there is always spare generating capacity, which is called upon as required, but at no time does spare electricity 'go to waste'.

Electric cars do shift the combustion of fuel from the car to the power station, where the emissions are well controlled. I've seen various comparisons of the relative effects, but a lot depends upon exactly what fuel provides the electricity at the time it's used.

The upshot is electric cars are not 'pollution free'. Frankly battery cars a re a dead end. Inflexible, limited range and it will never be posible to rechagre them in the same time as apetrol car. Have you ever worked out the energy transfer rate when you fill the tank of your car?


Re: £1 = 100 miles - Richard Hall
The only reason there is plenty of surplus electricity available is that hardly anyone drives electric cars. Put a couple of million of them on the road and see what happens to the supply then....
Re: £1 = 100 miles - richard turpin
60p for 120 miles is very good. £1.50 for 120 miles is nearly as good, especially if you can refuel on all motorways and most other places and do 400 miles on one refill. It's called LPG.
Re: £1 = 100 miles - Myfyr
Sorry, Richard T, but since when do LPG cars do 120 mpg ( a gallon of LPG costs about £1.50 ) ?

100 miles for £5 is probably nearer the mark, assuming about 30 mp(LPG)g.
Re: £1 = 100 miles - Andrew

The problem with any electric vehicle is the battery capacity (watts per kg). Electric vehicles can be which do 100s of miles with good performance. However COST is the primary driver, these electric cars are not commerically viable.

To my knowledge Toyota started selling the prius in 1999 but restricted supply to Japan only. I think sales to date are about 40,000. Unfortunately the prius doesn't give amazing economy (compared to Honda insight). This is due to the fact that the prius is a full size 4 seater car built in the conventional manner (i.e. heavy steel). The insight is ligher and therfore gives much better economy.

As to whether these are a joke, well the New York city office has placed the largest single order for Prius yet (about 300) as they have decided to use ultra-low emissions vehicles for their entire fleet.

What were your impressions of driving the prius Dan J? The change between electric / engine is partcularly smooth and acceleration at motorway speeds is good as the prius is neither parallel or series hybrid but a combination of both an uses the traction motor for acceleration boost.

Think have a range of vehicles due to be rolled out 2003/2004. The small plastic think city is only the first one. Think should have hydrogen cars production ready by 2005?

In addition to Think (owned by Ford), a hybrid version of the Escape (Maverick in UK) is due end 2003. Note that this hybrid is targeted at a different market than the pure 'eco friendly' lot.

An electric can needs a traction motor of about 30kW, you can't run that on a 100W light bulb.

Your right, there IS plenty of electricity (although usually only at night). You can't turn off/on power stations to suit demand and you can 'store' the electricity produced. Most new power stations are small gas turbine due to their high efficiency (40%) and the fact they can turn off/on quickly. Just before the break in 'corination street' they will fire these up to provide the peak demand when everyone goes and puts the kettle on.

Electric cars do just put the polution back to the power station, but its generally believed that it is easier to control at one source rather than 30 million sources (i.e. each car).

As to tax you probably right. If we all went electric overnight, the government would be some 30 billion worse off and congestion would be just as bad. The government uses the pollution argument as a way of reducing vehicles rather than the congestion one.

If we did all drive 'electric' then they would have to get the money somewhere else.

Beer would probably be 10 pound a pint.

What a horrible thought.

Re: £1 = 100 miles - me
you should also note when talking about power station efficiency how much energy is lost in transmission, all those power cables get heated up a fraction and that ruins the efficiency argument big time

toyota were selling these in the uk as far as i could tell from the dealer i was at who had one, although i never actually offered to buy so i dont know
Re: £1 = 100 miles - ladas are cool
if beer was £10 a pint that would not affect me, as i dont drink (or smoke), and if beer went to £10 per pint, just do a drinks run to france.
Re: £1 = 100 miles - Bob H
A 100w light bulb(or battery charger) would need to be on for approx 100 hours to use the 80p worth of Electricity that you state. That is at daytime UK rates; at cheap night rates it would be approx 300 hours.

GM produce a Electric Car, the EV1, with a range of about 100 miles. It costs $34000 to $44000 depending on the Battery Pack; all of these packs weigh over half a ton. Using a special charger(6.6kw) it takes about 6 hours to fully charge. That is still very cheap - about £1 at night rates.

Another cost implication is the replacment of the Battery Packs which don't last that long.

The conclusion is that whilst electric cars have environmental advantages, with current technology they simply don't make economic sense.

Re: £1 = 100 miles - Richard Hall
It's a shame about the battery problems, because electric cars have the potential for awesome acceleration. You could build an electric sports car which would make a TVR Tuscan look rather lame, but with current technology it would have a range of about 5 miles.... Years ago Lotus developed some kind of noise cancelling technology using loudspeakers mounted inside the car, and found that they could program it to make their test vehicle (a Citroen AX) sound like a big American V8. The test engineers over-revved it mercilessly because it sounded so good, and it blew up. Presumably the same technology could be used to make your electric sports car sound like whatever you fancy - Ferrari, Formula 1 car, Shelby Mustang etc. Could be fun, but we won't see it for a while I suspect.
batteries are not best. - ladas are cool
what you are forgetting is that britain does NOT mke the batteries for electric cars, so you have to get a fossil fuel powered boat which pumps out all kind of chemicals, to bring the batteris over from america, so would we really be saving the planet???
Re: £1 = 100 miles - dan
I think you may be wrong about the acceleration of electric engines. Electrical engines that would fit a car do not have the torque to ram a car through to100kph like petrol engines. They are however capable of substantially higher top speeds because its all electromagnetic interaction, not heavy mechanical parts going up down up down etc..
Re: batteries are not best. - vin
Total transmission loss over the National Grid = approx 3%.
Re: Electric cars and pollution. - Richard Hall
The energy transfer problem is one of the things that appeals about electric cars. To provide decent charging times, the electricity companies will have to put 415V 3-phase supply in every house. Just think how many big workshop toys you can run on that.

Value my car