Jump to content

Electric vehicles, has this really been thought through?


Recommended Posts

It seems that government is waking up to the fact that EVs can not be towed following breakdowns.

 https://www.motoringresearch.com/car-news/transport-minister-astonished-hazard-electric-car-motorway-breakdowns/

Imagine the scenario, mid winter 2035 and snow brings the UK to a halt. Thousands of cars stuck on motorways with their heating, radio and lights on. Batteries fade away and the cars grind to a halt. How will they clear the road and rescue all those people?

Scenario 2, having been searching for a charging point, your car runs out of charge on a 'smart motorway' and grinds to a halt. It's not worth thinking of the consequences. 

More and more it seems that hybrid or hydrogen are the only viable options!  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Very many years ago, when I lived in the real world, I met Sir Clive Sinclair at an event, after his C5 electric midget car failure.  I asked him how, given the benefit of that disappointing experience, he saw the future of car propulsion.  He predicted a return to electricity, but that eventually hydrogen would win in the end.

He then came up with the folding bike!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, war baby said:

Very many years ago, when I lived in the real world, I met Sir Clive Sinclair at an event, after his C5 electric midget car failure.  I asked him how, given the benefit of that disappointing experience, he saw the future of car propulsion.  He predicted a return to electricity, but that eventually hydrogen would win in the end.

He then came up with the folding bike!

I have a C5 in the garage, strange thing!

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a Nissan Leaf driver, the main problem I find is lack of infrastructure to provide charging points, especially across.  The only time I have ever had to be towed was when I was driving on the motorway across, I was being reasonably careful and I ensured that I had enough charge to get to the next motorway service station which had a charge point.  When I got there, the charge point was broken and I didn't have enough juice to either get back to the last one or go on to the next one.  To be workable, there needs to be significant over-capacity of charge points to ensure that when you arrive at one, it isn't broken or there isn't already a queue of people waiting to use it.

Hydrogen as I see it is is a non starter.  There are no naturally occurring hydrogen mines anywhere on the planet.  Hydrogen needs to be manufactured either from natural gas (a fossil fuel) or by electrolysis of water (massively energy intensive and wasteful).  

Link to post
Share on other sites

The problems that I can see with the use of electric vehicles in addition to those posted originally are;

1.  A lack of infrastructure to support the widespread use.  You will find around 4 charging points at most motorway service stations but they are frequently in use already, there are none that I can think of at petrol stations generally although you will find a few spaces at multi-storey car parks given over to charging points.

2.  The production of batteries for these vehicles requires a significant amount of rare metals.  This will increase large scale mining and damage to the environment in these areas.

3.  The disposal of batteries is also going to be a long term issue as I do not believe that they are easily recyclable at this time.

4.  A significant increase in electricity usage driven by a move to electric vehicles will place more demand on power generation and lead to a need to build new power stations.  Undoubtedly some of these will be gas fired and nuclear power stations.  There will be an increase in renewable energy sources as well but will be small fry compared to the "traditional" forms of energy production.  This just shifts the pollution from the end of an exhaust pipe to emissions from a power station or the minor problem of dealing with radioactive waste.

Whilst I do support the efforts to reduce carbon emissions I am not convinced that electric vehicles are the solution in their present form.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Max Power said:

I have a C5 in the garage, strange thing!

You could have some great fun with a modern motor and some lithium batteries, just, don't crash! It's one of those things that seems like it'd be fab for about 5 minutes and then the novelty would promptly disappear.

2 hours ago, manxman1980 said:

The problems that I can see with the use of electric vehicles in addition to those posted originally are;

1.  A lack of infrastructure to support the widespread use.  You will find around 4 charging points at most motorway service stations but they are frequently in use already, there are none that I can think of at petrol stations generally although you will find a few spaces at multi-storey car parks given over to charging points.

2.  The production of batteries for these vehicles requires a significant amount of rare metals.  This will increase large scale mining and damage to the environment in these areas.

3.  The disposal of batteries is also going to be a long term issue as I do not believe that they are easily recyclable at this time.

4.  A significant increase in electricity usage driven by a move to electric vehicles will place more demand on power generation and lead to a need to build new power stations.  Undoubtedly some of these will be gas fired and nuclear power stations.  There will be an increase in renewable energy sources as well but will be small fry compared to the "traditional" forms of energy production.  This just shifts the pollution from the end of an exhaust pipe to emissions from a power station or the minor problem of dealing with radioactive waste.

Whilst I do support the efforts to reduce carbon emissions I am not convinced that electric vehicles are the solution in their present form.

To address a couple of your points:

1. In places like Canada and Alaska, it's typical to have an outlet at every parking space to power block and battery heaters for ICE cars. So it can be done, albeit at cost. Many cars would pick up enough range even charging over a domestic socket to get people home.

4. Remember that power stations do have to pre-plan for load, and run most efficiently when they're spun up, hence why plans like Economy 7 exist, to keep the grid well loaded overnight so that they can keep them producing plenty of power. If electric cars are consuming some of the surplus, that'll surely be no bad thing.

Also, power stations are tremendously more efficient than small engines. They have much better exhaust capture systems and use as much heat as possible, cars on the other end give off kilowatts of wasted energy as heat.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, BallaDoc said:

As a Nissan Leaf driver, the main problem I find is lack of infrastructure to provide charging points, especially across.  The only time I have ever had to be towed was when I was driving on the motorway across, I was being reasonably careful and I ensured that I had enough charge to get to the next motorway service station which had a charge point.  When I got there, the charge point was broken and I didn't have enough juice to either get back to the last one or go on to the next one.  To be workable, there needs to be significant over-capacity of charge points to ensure that when you arrive at one, it isn't broken or there isn't already a queue of people waiting to use it.

Hydrogen as I see it is is a non starter.  There are no naturally occurring hydrogen mines anywhere on the planet.  Hydrogen needs to be manufactured either from natural gas (a fossil fuel) or by electrolysis of water (massively energy intensive and wasteful).  

I don't think any manufacturers recommend towing their EVs, Nissan certainly don't, this was what prompted me to start the thread originally. I have been in a similar situation with a Tesla on the way to Heysham, started a 60 mile journey, at night, with a full car and 160 miles of range, had 5 miles left at Lancaster. Never again! The ticket office allowed us to charge the car while waiting for two hours, we gained four miles of range for each hour, although that was gone by the time I got to upper Douglas! I charged it for eight hours from my domestic socket and gained twenty miles of range!  

55 minutes ago, AcousticallyChallenged said:

You could have some great fun with a modern motor and some lithium batteries, just, don't crash! It's one of those things that seems like it'd be fab for about 5 minutes and then the novelty would promptly disappear.

To address a couple of your points:

1. In places like Canada and Alaska, it's typical to have an outlet at every parking space to power block and battery heaters for ICE cars. So it can be done, albeit at cost. Many cars would pick up enough range even charging over a domestic socket to get people home.

4. Remember that power stations do have to pre-plan for load, and run most efficiently when they're spun up, hence why plans like Economy 7 exist, to keep the grid well loaded overnight so that they can keep them producing plenty of power. If electric cars are consuming some of the surplus, that'll surely be no bad thing.

Also, power stations are tremendously more efficient than small engines. They have much better exhaust capture systems and use as much heat as possible, cars on the other end give off kilowatts of wasted energy as heat.

I saw a calculation that the USA would require another 260 conventional power stations to supply enough power to charge the same number of EVs as they have conventional vehicles now. I shared it on a previous thread but couldn't find it on searching? 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, manxman1980 said:

There will be an increase in renewable energy sources as well but will be small fry compared to the "traditional" forms of energy production.

The UK balance is already often as much as 40% renewables. In total it's between 20% and 30%. That number is increasingly rapidly and that is now where nearly all of the investment is going.

It's a massively successful sector.

Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Max Power said:

I don't think any manufacturers recommend towing their EVs

You are correct, I was using "towing" in the loosest sense.  The AA came out and loaded my vehicle on to a low loader and took me to the next service station where there was a working charge point.  A massive waste of time for all concerned.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not contemplate an EV due to the poor real life range and perhaps most importantly the slow charging time and the charging method. When it gets to 10 minutes charge for a 400 mile range then I might get one. No doubt I shall be buying a new petrol car in 2029

I would have thought improving hybrid would be a good interim step, that is making the battery do more and the ICE do less.

I also think Hydrogen fuel cell is currently the most practical way to go.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, pongo said:

The UK balance is already often as much as 40% renewables. In total it's between 20% and 30%. That number is increasingly rapidly and that is now where nearly all of the investment is going.

It's a massively successful sector.

I am aware that it is increasing and often check on https://gridwatch.co.uk/ 

As I post this 35% of the supply is coming from renewables but that is with some of the nuclear power station offline.  Hinkley Point B was taken offline in the last week and there are a few others offline at the moment.  Hinkley Point C is under construction, Sizewell has been given the green light and it looks like the sites in Wales will also go ahead now so it will be interesting to see whether that balance remains the same.

Worth remembering that having a balance in energy supply is best rather than being reliant on one particular source.

5 hours ago, AcousticallyChallenged said:

You could have some great fun with a modern motor and some lithium batteries, just, don't crash! It's one of those things that seems like it'd be fab for about 5 minutes and then the novelty would promptly disappear.

To address a couple of your points:

1. In places like Canada and Alaska, it's typical to have an outlet at every parking space to power block and battery heaters for ICE cars. So it can be done, albeit at cost. Many cars would pick up enough range even charging over a domestic socket to get people home.  Agreed but we tend to be resistant to change and domestic sockets on the IOM will be a good option but how does someone living in a third floor city centre flat do that?

4. Remember that power stations do have to pre-plan for load, and run most efficiently when they're spun up, hence why plans like Economy 7 exist, to keep the grid well loaded overnight so that they can keep them producing plenty of power. If electric cars are consuming some of the surplus, that'll surely be no bad thing. 

Also, power stations are tremendously more efficient than small engines. They have much better exhaust capture systems and use as much heat as possible, cars on the other end give off kilowatts of wasted energy as heat.  They may be more efficient but they also have a considerable impact on the local environment when they are being constructed/decommissioned.  Nuclear power also has the considerable legacy of nuclear waste.

Responded above.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...