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Mega

Your Next Car?

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When I can buy a second-hand one for £3-5k and the overall running costs (including things like battery replacement) are comparable to those of my Fiesta, then I'll think about it.

The big problem is going to be power supply and recharging facilities. How do people without a garage or driveway charge them up? Extension leads trailing out of their window and onto the pavement? And the amount of electricity involved is not trivial - in an article about the Chevrolet Volt, the figure of 30-40kwh for a 70-mile range was given. That's about £5 at current domestic electricity prices, and the petrol for my Fiesta to cover the same distance is only about £6.50-£7. If these things are introduced on any significant scale, a lot more power stations will be needed, in addition to the ones we're going to need already.

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Somehow, once the switch takes off, Govt. is going to start ramping the tax on electricity use.

Quite how it will separate out electricity used to recharge cars is anyone's guess. Unless they increase it on all electricty usage.

Load up on generating co's whilst they're cheap!

The big problem is going to be power supply and recharging facilities. How do people without a garage or driveway charge them up

How did we get that gooey black stuff from the desert and the North Sea and Mexico into our petrol tanks? People tend to figure this stuff out.........

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They put a "Tag & Becon" system on the Motorways to start with.......Electric cars will pay more.

I think they need to do something to ensure we want heavy, bad handling cars with a top end of 85 mph......hmmm

Mike

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Guest BoomBoomCrash

This car is typical of the short-sighted efforts from car manufacturers currently

Too expensive (No excuse given that an all electric drive train is far simpler than an ICE equivalent)

They intend to lease the power pack to people so you have an ongoing cost for that (just a way of gouging early adopters)

Range is a joke (Still using decades old lithium-ion technology. Lithium-air batteries provide 10X the energy density and are viable now.)

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it is the future though. production of electric cars have to start somewhere.

people mocked the prius as a novelty when it first came out.

the toyota prius and honda insight, the 2 main hybrid cars, are now japans best selling cars, so after the initial risk theyre now reaping the rewards.

prices cant come down unless they mass produce it first so its a bit of a catch 22 situation at the beginning.

good luck to them for having the balls to be the first mover, i hope they do well.

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How did we get that gooey black stuff from the desert and the North Sea and Mexico into our petrol tanks?

By building a lot of infrastructure over several decades. Even as late as the 1960s the relatively small range of most cars relative to the density of filling stations was a problem. I remember my grandfather talking about how, when he went on holiday to far-flung bits of the Lake District or Scotland, he had to take a boot full of jerrycans as an insurance policy against not being able to find a petrol station. The same problems will hit electric cars, with the added issue that you can't extend their range temporarily in the way that you can a petrol car by carrying jerrycans.

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By building a lot of infrastructure over several decades. Even as late as the 1960s the relatively small range of most cars relative to the density of filling stations was a problem. I remember my grandfather talking about how, when he went on holiday to far-flung bits of the Lake District or Scotland, he had to take a boot full of jerrycans as an insurance policy against not being able to find a petrol station. The same problems will hit electric cars, with the added issue that you can't extend their range temporarily in the way that you can a petrol car by carrying jerrycans.

Renault / Nissan plan to have a battery that you will change at either a normal service station, or at a Renault / Nissan dealer in a few minutes - same time as filling up with fuel.

On board sat nav will direct you to places that will change battery.

So we already have the infrastructure.

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Guest theboltonfury
Renault / Nissan plan to have a battery that you will change at either a normal service station, or at a Renault / Nissan dealer in a few minutes - same time as filling up with fuel.

On board sat nav will direct you to places that will change battery.

So we already have the infrastructure.

Sounds like a right ballache

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Sounds like a right ballache

Only as much as a ballache as filling up the car.

Mind you, I hate doing that.....and thats ever 650 miles!

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Simply swapping a discharged battery for a charged one might work if enough 'swap stations' can be equipped to do it and the procedure can be done quickly enough (are these things light enough for the owner to lift out on a self-service basis, or would it need to be done by a hoist and an operator?). But these stations are still going to need a very large power supply to be constantly charging, say, 500-1,000 batteries at once. That having been said, it's an application where renewable energy just might work, I guess: a large bank of solar panels and/or windmills on the swapping station's premises, powering the chargers directly. When the sun is shining and/or the wind is blowing, you get 'free' battery charging: when it isn't, you draw from the national grid as much as is necessary to maintain a supply of batteries sufficient to meet demand. If the cost of a swap could be kept down to £3-4 for a 100-mile capacity, that would be a significant saving relative to fossil fuels in even the most efficient of today's cars.

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By building a lot of infrastructure over several decades. Even as late as the 1960s the relatively small range of most cars relative to the density of filling stations was a problem. I remember my grandfather talking about how, when he went on holiday to far-flung bits of the Lake District or Scotland, he had to take a boot full of jerrycans as an insurance policy against not being able to find a petrol station. The same problems will hit electric cars, with the added issue that you can't extend their range temporarily in the way that you can a petrol car by carrying jerrycans.

Some 'entrepreneur' - we're good at those in the UK apparently - will see the opportunity in loading up a ford transit with a bunch of batteries and coming out to replace them.

Just like the RAC came into existence.

I think you're looking for problems that are easily overcome.

Wait 'til your petrol/diesel car is taxed at a grand a year and petrol is $300 a barrel. You'll be fighting over sh1tty little electric cars then. If Nynex can put cables under the entire country to supply rubbish TV, someone can put a few thousand plug sockets and battery stations up and down the place.

Edit: Consider mobilde 'phones. Late 80s they're expensive bricks that everyone laughed at. Late '90s they're being marketed through James Bond product placement. 10 years later there's more mobiles than people, you can't move for mobile retailers and the battery in mine is still recharging perfectly well 6 years later.

DOOM DOOM......

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Any idea how we're going to generate the electricity for these things?

Being that we're decommissioning eight nuclear reactors over the next decade, nationally bankrupt etc.

We wont suddenly be swapping all 30m car to electric ones next year. It'll take decades to switch to electric, so plenty of time yet.

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We wont suddenly be swapping all 30m car to electric ones next year. It'll take decades to switch to electric, so plenty of time yet.

Yes.

If we switch all our washing machines over to internal combustion engines, I'm sure it'll eventually balance out.

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I think you're looking for problems that are easily overcome.

I think I'm anticipating problems that can be solved, but which advocates of mass production of electric cars don't seem to be thinking about.

As I said earlier, this COULD be something that current renewable energy technology might help with. If you've got a pile of 2,000 car batteries needing to be charged on a continuous basis, then there is going to be somewhere for wind and solar power to go whenever it's available, and so it makes sense, perhaps, to have a bank of windmills and solar panels at a service station next to a motorway, at which a whole load of car batteries are continuously trickle charging whenever those panels and windmills are providing a useful power supply.

Edit: Consider mobilde 'phones. Late 80s they're expensive bricks that everyone laughed at. Late '90s they're being marketed through James Bond product placement. 10 years later there's more mobiles than people, you can't move for mobile retailers and the battery in mine is still recharging perfectly well 6 years later.

The amount of power required by a mobile phone is infinitesimal compared to that needed for an electric car. For a typical mobile you're talking about 5 volts at half an amp for three hours to completely recharge the battery. That's 2.5 watts for three hours. For a Chevrolet Volt we're talking about 4,000 watts for eight hours, to give you a range of 70 miles. This amount of power (30-40 kilowatt hours) is about what my flat uses in two and a half weeks. At a very rough, back-of-an-envelope calculation, if I was also charging my car on the basis of 35 kw/h per 70 miles driven, my monthly electricity spend would increase from around £25 to around £100. Surely it's clear to see that if several million electric cars hit the road tomorrow, the amount of new power generating and distribution infrastructure needed would be massive.

I'm not saying that it can't be done; just that doing it is not something we can take for granted.

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I think I'm anticipating problems that can be solved, but which advocates of mass production of electric cars don't seem to be thinking about.

As I said earlier, this COULD be something that current renewable energy technology might help with. If you've got a pile of 2,000 car batteries needing to be charged on a continuous basis, then there is going to be somewhere for wind and solar power to go whenever it's available, and so it makes sense, perhaps, to have a bank of windmills and solar panels at a service station next to a motorway, at which a whole load of car batteries are continuously trickle charging whenever those panels and windmills are providing a useful power supply.

The amount of power required by a mobile phone is infinitesimal compared to that needed for an electric car. For a typical mobile you're talking about 5 volts at half an amp for three hours to completely recharge the battery. That's 2.5 watts for three hours. For a Chevrolet Volt we're talking about 4,000 watts for eight hours, to give you a range of 70 miles. This amount of power (30-40 kilowatt hours) is about what my flat uses in two and a half weeks. At a very rough, back-of-an-envelope calculation, if I was also charging my car on the basis of 35 kw/h per 70 miles driven, my monthly electricity spend would increase from around £25 to around £100. Surely it's clear to see that if several million electric cars hit the road tomorrow, the amount of new power generating and distribution infrastructure needed would be massive.

I'm not saying that it can't be done; just that doing it is not something we can take for granted.

Yes, I wasn't comparing the battery/power consumption at all, I was suggesting a reasonable timeframe for moving from the early adopter stage through mass adoption/production and ongoing development.

Anyone buying an ice powered car today could expect it to last perhaps 10-15 years, maybe longer, so there's no particular requirement to suddenly switch from one technology to another. Unless oil supply collapses rather suddenly, which I guess it may do, then 10-20 years doesn't seem an unreasonable timescale for developing and delivering these alternatives.

Similarly, we've had the ice for around 100 years and yet it is only in the last couple that manufacturers are suddenly finding ways to slash CO2 emissions and increase MPG. Quite dramatically in some cases. 70+ mpg today, perhaps 100 in the not too distant future. Get rid of stuff like aircon and excessive safety features and that would probably be achievable now.

I'm sure we'll also end up with improved models of asset usage, which may for instance, involve less private ownership and more shared ownership, as well as increasing average occupancy. I think the current av. occupancy is not much greater than 1, and many cars will only be used perhaps 30mins to couple of hours per day. There is incredible scope there for doubling occupancy and increasing usage beyond say 5%. It just needs the right price signals.

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Yes, I wasn't comparing the battery/power consumption at all, I was suggesting a reasonable timeframe for moving from the early adopter stage through mass adoption/production and ongoing development.

Anyone buying an ice powered car today could expect it to last perhaps 10-15 years, maybe longer, so there's no particular requirement to suddenly switch from one technology to another. Unless oil supply collapses rather suddenly, which I guess it may do, then 10-20 years doesn't seem an unreasonable timescale for developing and delivering these alternatives.

Similarly, we've had the ice for around 100 years and yet it is only in the last couple that manufacturers are suddenly finding ways to slash CO2 emissions and increase MPG. Quite dramatically in some cases. 70+ mpg today, perhaps 100 in the not too distant future. Get rid of stuff like aircon and excessive safety features and that would probably be achievable now.

I'm sure we'll also end up with improved models of asset usage, which may for instance, involve less private ownership and more shared ownership, as well as increasing average occupancy. I think the current av. occupancy is not much greater than 1, and many cars will only be used perhaps 30mins to couple of hours per day. There is incredible scope there for doubling occupancy and increasing usage beyond say 5%. It just needs the right price signals.

I am quite astonished as such a well thought out and intelligent post on HPC!

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Especially from a scum fan!

;)

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Yes, I wasn't comparing the battery/power consumption at all, I was suggesting a reasonable timeframe for moving from the early adopter stage through mass adoption/production and ongoing development.

Anyone buying an ice powered car today could expect it to last perhaps 10-15 years, maybe longer, so there's no particular requirement to suddenly switch from one technology to another. Unless oil supply collapses rather suddenly, which I guess it may do, then 10-20 years doesn't seem an unreasonable timescale for developing and delivering these alternatives.

Similarly, we've had the ice for around 100 years and yet it is only in the last couple that manufacturers are suddenly finding ways to slash CO2 emissions and increase MPG. Quite dramatically in some cases. 70+ mpg today, perhaps 100 in the not too distant future. Get rid of stuff like aircon and excessive safety features and that would probably be achievable now.

I'm sure we'll also end up with improved models of asset usage, which may for instance, involve less private ownership and more shared ownership, as well as increasing average occupancy. I think the current av. occupancy is not much greater than 1, and many cars will only be used perhaps 30mins to couple of hours per day. There is incredible scope there for doubling occupancy and increasing usage beyond say 5%. It just needs the right price signals.

I don't think the oil supply will crash - it will be a fairly slow decline.

I think the major problem will be upgrading an electricity distribution structure that is only just adequate for current domestic/industrial needs, and requires major upgrades just to remain at current distribution.

To add the potentially enormous extra demand from the car fleet would be problematic enough, and that's added to by the fact that we're a chronically indebted nation.

I don't think people take this into account when talking about electric cars. It's just the usual "something will come along" wishful thinking.

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Some 'entrepreneur' - we're good at those in the UK apparently - will see the opportunity in loading up a ford transit with a bunch of batteries and coming out to replace them.

Just like the RAC came into existence.

I think you're looking for problems that are easily overcome.

Wait 'til your petrol/diesel car is taxed at a grand a year and petrol is $300 a barrel. You'll be fighting over sh1tty little electric cars then. If Nynex can put cables under the entire country to supply rubbish TV, someone can put a few thousand plug sockets and battery stations up and down the place.

Edit: Consider mobilde 'phones. Late 80s they're expensive bricks that everyone laughed at. Late '90s they're being marketed through James Bond product placement. 10 years later there's more mobiles than people, you can't move for mobile retailers and the battery in mine is still recharging perfectly well 6 years later.

DOOM DOOM......

Clearly electric vehicles will improve with time. However battery weight is always going to be an issue. If it were simple then the cars would already travel twice as far simply by having a second bank of batteries.

I love the idea of the RAC having something the size of a car transporter, loaded with batteries that then need a crane to sinch them into the back of your stranded electric car.

Mobile phones don't weight 1.5 tonnes, carry 4 people and their luggage.

I have a feeling that the retirement of Concorde marked the start of the retreat of technology. We seem doomed to go backwards now in terms of speed and comfort.

According to the doom merchants soon we'll all be driving around in one of those spazz mobile G-Whizz things.

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