Author Topic: Electric Vehicles  (Read 2232 times)

Cloud

  • Elon who?
Electric Vehicles
« on: October 23, 2018, 09:52:12 PM »
Seeing as people were talking about Electric Vehicles in the tech bro thread, and I have a Zoe myself and couldn't find an existing thread, I thought it'd be worth a try.

Ideally I'd prefer it to be an overall discussion, curiosity, speculations, positive hype kind of thread.  Rather than 50 pages of circular arguments between the Clarksons and the Llewellyns of the world.  Please :)

Anyone got one, want one, excited by anything EV related?

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2018, 09:56:00 PM »
I'm considering trying to fit a Bafang mid-motor to an Elswick Safeway, but I'm too weak/incompetent to even get the cranks off.

MojoJojo

  • Member
  • **
  • Between a cow college and a MetaLab.
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 09:36:35 AM »
I've also thought of doing something similar, but cycling is pretty much the only exercise I get. And I'm in Cambridge which is flat and about 5 miles from side to side so really very little point.

If we got a second car we'd probably go electric. And I'd like to get Model 3, but don't I'll ever have the money to waste.

Cuellar

  • She was having sly love with a midnight creeper
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2018, 09:39:31 AM »
Would like one, need a car that costs me less to run than my Volvo. But then my Volvo only cost me £900, and a second hand EV is several grand, so to really start seeing savings I'd need to have it for ages.

I still don't really know about battery life. Are second hand batteries half dead so they'll need replacing soon? That's another couple of grand innit?

Dex Sawash

  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • Upphängningspunkterna
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2018, 11:32:22 AM »
I have a very old golf car a friend gave me. Got it working and I swap half-dead normal car batteries through it in 36v and 48v configurations. Get about 15 minutes run time. The week after I got it working we had an ice storm where everything was covered with 3/8" of ice. No point in trying to chase that high again, perfect mating of equipment/enthusiasm/conditions.

Normal cars seem to have chased performance more than efficiency. Shitbox cars had 100hp and got 40mpg 25 years ago. Now they have 180hp and get 40mpg.

Twed

  • I need you so, Medieval Zone, you don't need me
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2018, 12:23:45 PM »
Car batteries aren't very suitable for golf carts. They're designed to be constantly charged by the car's alternator, and don't really survive many full discharges/

Cloud

  • Elon who?
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2018, 12:24:20 PM »
Cycling would be the sensible way for me too.  Certainly the most cost effective.  Can't face the idea of giving up a car yet though, and still like to be able to head out into the Lakes at the drop of a hat with a car full of camping gear....

I don't think EV is about money saving at the moment (it's the first thing people think of, naturally, and I end up advising them to rein their expectations in a bit), but it's entirely down to circumstances (e.g. it seems to me the more miles you do the bigger the benefit).  There's not really such thing as an "electric banger" yet, and something more affordable like a second hand Zoe also happens to come with a battery rental requirement.  Leafs usually don't and come battery-owned, but from what I've seen also command a higher purchase price as a result.  I had a budget and hate debts, and wanted a bit of peace of mind with the battery (they guarantee 75% capacity during your agreement and will also flatbed you if you break down / run out of power) plus as superficial as it is I didn't like the look of the Leaf so a 2.5 year old Zoe was for me for a decent cash price.  But it's not saving me any money.  What I was paying for petrol I now pay the same for battery rental.  What I was paying for tax I now pay for electricity.  Insurance about equal.  Servicing a bit less.  I about break even, but that's before warranty extensions which I intend to do.
OTOH, a lot of Leaf owners say they have basically no running costs, so YMMV.

Heck of a lot nicer and more fun than an ICE to me though.

My Zoe battery has 98% state of health at 3 years old and 22000 miles, so indications so far are that it's going to last pretty well.  I have slightly bigger question marks over the Leaf with it not having active cooling (heat is what destroys lithium ion the most effectively).  But I am cautious myself so am happy enough to have battery rental knowing that I never have to worry about it dropping too far.

Probably the biggest concern I have at the moment is the Zoe (until next year's model that introduces CCS) only charges on AC.  This is a huge conflict of interest with every other EV owner who want AC gone from rapid chargers (because PHEVs often use it as a free parking place while they sip 3-7kW for hours on end, blocking fast charging BEVs - the Zoe being the only AC-only BEV is caught in the crossfire) so in the longer term I think it'll be a life of diverting off motorways to go register my numberplate at a hotel reception and charge there.  I'm hopeful this scenario will be in 5-10 years when I can afford to upgrade to a model with CCS, rather than any time soon.
This is a lot of jargon I know but basically "charging is a bit of a shitshow at the moment" - should settle in a few years

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2018, 05:37:01 PM »
I've also thought of doing something similar, but cycling is pretty much the only exercise I get. And I'm in Cambridge which is flat and about 5 miles from side to side so really very little point.
I've convinced myself it's the key to being able to move up a valley.

Dex Sawash

  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • Upphängningspunkterna
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2018, 05:59:14 PM »
Car batteries aren't very suitable for golf carts. They're designed to be constantly charged by the car's alternator, and don't really survive many full discharges/

nearly unlimited supply of free half-dead ones v. $600 for a set of 6 proper deep cycle golf car batts

Twed

  • I need you so, Medieval Zone, you don't need me
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2018, 07:09:33 PM »
Fair dos!

Shit Good Nose

  • Several bags of balls
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2018, 09:47:22 PM »
OTOH, a lot of Leaf owners say they have basically no running costs, so YMMV.

Leafs are fucking abysmal cars, though.  And that's coming from someone whose car desires extend no further than - starts, doesn't cost the earth to run and keep on the road, is safe, can make it up a moderate hill without struggling.



I've test driven a sporty Tesla (only £148000) and, in terms of oomph and speed, it was as good as any gutsy sports car I've ever driven.  Which is great cos we've got all those long smooth and traffic free autobahns with no speed limit here in the UK.  (that's more a comment about all the people I know who are obsessed with a car's top speed, horse powers, and how fast it can leave the lights when they go green)

Obviously everything car-wise seems to be going electric, BUT it still confuses me how it's seen as the environmentally friendly way to go when 99.9% of the electricity used to charge them comes from coal powered stations, and pretty much all electric car batteries are made in factories in China which spew out about ten times more bad stuff than the equivalent petrol and diesel manufacturing process, even when taking into account the subsequent use of the car.  Things in that respect may change of course, but at the moment the same problem but even worse is just coming from a different angle.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 10:04:34 PM by Shit Good Nose »

Cloud

  • Elon who?
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2018, 01:26:08 PM »
Any  particular reason Leafs are bad?  I know they're not  too  pretty  and the latest one has chargegate due to their unwillingness to put active cooling in the battery.

True on  the "you still have a dirty  power station behind it" argument (often bandied about by the  Daily  Mail types ;)) but that's not the car's fault, it's independent of its power source.   That's  the thing, if the source power gets cleaner, so then does the car.  Meanwhile it's not making local pollution.  Not heard of the issue with batteries being 10x more dirty to make than a whole lifetime of what an ICE car spews out, are we quite sure that's not oil company propaganda?

Shit Good Nose

  • Several bags of balls
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2018, 12:20:13 PM »
Any  particular reason Leafs are bad?  I know they're not  too  pretty  and the latest one has chargegate due to their unwillingness to put active cooling in the battery.

Just very shit cars.  Half of our fully electric pool cars were Leafs (second half of 2017 model), but it felt like driving a shit car from 25 years ago - didn't hold onto the road very well (there was an instruction to us from Nissan themselves to not take it on any motorways), struggled going up even minor hills, safety was questionable, and they're also "gas guzzlers" (in battery use terms).  Our pool car people got shot of them after 6 months and replaced them with Zoes (which are infinitely better), Prius hybrids and petrol Fiat 500s (see below RE batteries).  The other half we already had were Chevrolets (not sure which model as I've never driven one of them).

I know the 2nd (or is it 3rd?) gen Leaf was released this year, so some or all of the above may have been ironed out, but I doubt anyone in this thread has enough money to get one of the brand new ones (£21K I think for the basic model?), and that's assuming those problems have been sorted.


Quote
are we quite sure that's not oil company propaganda?

Nope, we verified it ourselves - nearly all of the batteries are coming out of mega dodgy (in terms of polluting) factories in China.  Our pool was made up of 20 fully electric cars and 5 hybrids (all Prius).  When someone pointed out the battery issue, it was investigated thoroughly and confirmed, so we got rid of most of the fully electric cars and replaced them with the petrol Fiat 500s mentioned above.  We still have a couple of Zoes because they're such good cars, but otherwise we've stepped back from fully electric until the battery issues is resolved.  Admittedly the main reason for that is political as we're one of the 27-odd cities in the UK that have to do this clean air by 2021 thing by law, and a lot of the local councilors were worried that someone would blow the whistle and reveal to the world that we were using mega dirty batteries.  It was felt that having petrol Fiat 500s was a much easier and safer justification.

I know some car manufacturers (although I can't remember exactly which ones) are now starting to produce their own batteries for that reason, and I suspect the high-end/luxury cars will have batteries from more reputable sources.  But, again, it requires fairly deep pockets that most of us don't have.


The planet's pretty much fucked anyway, though, so this is all too little too late I'm afraid.

Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2018, 12:27:24 PM »
I'm considering trying to fit a Bafang mid-motor to an Elswick Safeway, but I'm too weak/incompetent to even get the cranks off.

I have a bafang on a cargo bike, it's been great!  Not too difficult to fit, although you'll need to solve the crank removal issue...

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2018, 06:38:03 PM »
Not sure if it's me being feeble or cowardly - I've hit it hard enough to crush most of the top of the cotter, but I suspect that's actually not very hard...

(I might then run into the problem that the bottom bracket is probably 71mm and not 68mm - hopefully that won't prevent a Bafang motor fitting to it, but I'll worry about that in time.)

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2018, 06:39:23 PM »
What battery packs do you use Brigadier Pompous?

Cloud

  • Elon who?
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2018, 07:23:29 PM »
Just very shit cars.  Half of our fully electric pool cars were Leafs (second half of 2017 model), but it felt like driving a shit car from 25 years ago - didn't hold onto the road very well (there was an instruction to us from Nissan themselves to not take it on any motorways), struggled going up even minor hills, safety was questionable, and they're also "gas guzzlers" (in battery use terms).  Our pool car people got shot of them after 6 months and replaced them with Zoes (which are infinitely better), Prius hybrids and petrol Fiat 500s (see below RE batteries).  The other half we already had were Chevrolets (not sure which model as I've never driven one of them).

I know the 2nd (or is it 3rd?) gen Leaf was released this year, so some or all of the above may have been ironed out, but I doubt anyone in this thread has enough money to get one of the brand new ones (£21K I think for the basic model?), and that's assuming those problems have been sorted.

Glad I  didn't get talked into one then!
The 2nd gen Leaf has problems as well, namely that  they doubled down on their "la la la we can't hear you batteries don't need thermal management" stance and the result is a car that charges extremely slowly on its second charge of the day to avoid  overheating.

Quote
Nope, we verified it ourselves - nearly all of the batteries are coming out of mega dodgy (in terms of polluting) factories in China.  Our pool was made up of 20 fully electric cars and 5 hybrids (all Prius).  When someone pointed out the battery issue, it was investigated thoroughly and confirmed, so we got rid of most of the fully electric cars and replaced them with the petrol Fiat 500s mentioned above.  We still have a couple of Zoes because they're such good cars, but otherwise we've stepped back from fully electric until the battery issues is resolved.  Admittedly the main reason for that is political as we're one of the 27-odd cities in the UK that have to do this clean air by 2021 thing by law, and a lot of the local councilors were worried that someone would blow the whistle and reveal to the world that we were using mega dirty batteries.  It was felt that having petrol Fiat 500s was a much easier and safer justification.

Hmm.  I'm sceptical that they're so bad that the manufacture of one battery pack outweighs a lifetime of an ICE, but it's something to look into.
I'd have to say that once again it's not the car's fault per se and what's made and bought has already been made and bought... hopefully if this gets around they'll clean up the manufacturing.

Zoes use LG Chem apparently  which is South Korean but  expanding into China.

This made for interesting reading https://cleantechnica.com/2018/02/19/electric-car-well-to-wheel-emissions-myth
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 07:51:54 PM by Cloud »

MojoJojo

  • Member
  • **
  • Between a cow college and a MetaLab.
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2018, 09:42:47 PM »
Hmm.  I'm sceptical that they're so bad that the manufacture of one battery pack outweighs a lifetime of an ICE, but it's something to look into.

To further the hmmm... I believe it's an apple and oranges situation. Electric cars produce far less CO2 which might lead to the collapse of human civilisation, but producing batteries for electric cars involves mining lots of rare metals that results in pretty awful localised pollution*. Traditionally the US has been far better at controlling the second than the rest of the west, despite our attitude that they hate the environment.

(*admittedly, the things I've seen talking about this have completely failed to put this in context of all the mining and environmental damage that goes into making a regular car. But that's mostly iron which we're used to so it's fine)

Shit Good Nose

  • Several bags of balls
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2018, 09:38:51 AM »
Hmm.  I'm sceptical that they're so bad that the manufacture of one battery pack outweighs a lifetime of an ICE, but it's something to look into.
I'd have to say that once again it's not the car's fault per se and what's made and bought has already been made and bought... hopefully if this gets around they'll clean up the manufacturing.

We haven't totally or permanently discounted fully electric cars (and we've maintained our small fleet of fully electric transit vans, but they're only used for specific jobs and can't be used as staff pool cars), we're just stepping back until there's more of a transparent market for batteries which have been made through more sustainable and environmentally friendly methods.  I don't think we're too far away from that - the guy who manages it all thinks we'll be back to 100% electric fleet when the current contract with our fleet provider runs out in 3/4 years time.

But our investigations showed that the average "clean" and efficient low emissions petrol car (even when taking into consideration the initial resources, manufacturing process and subsequent use on the road) made in a modern factory is, currently, much more environmentally friendly than most electric cars when you factor in the battery manufacturing process and charging with electric generated by coal powered stations.

But that will all change, of course it will as more and more people go down that road - think of light bulbs, TVs etc - and it will change quick, as technology and new manufacturing processes always do.  It's just VERY bad at the moment.

Cloud

  • Elon who?
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2018, 12:09:44 PM »
I think we've got the right idea in general and hopefully the manufacturing issues will improve as you say.

Mind, from what I've been reading today we're fucked beyond the point of no return anyway, but we might as well try to save the future..

Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2018, 12:57:31 PM »

Cloud

  • Elon who?
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2018, 02:28:20 AM »
Interesting video that just came up on my youtube from the EV version of Brian Cox, regarding things like the claim about EV batteries being so damaging to produce. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RhtiPefVzM

tl;dw I think I'm okay with my 22kW Zoe.

Sherringford Hovis

  • (ᵔᴥᵔ)
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2018, 02:18:27 AM »
Unlikely that they'll ever be available in RHD unless Japan goes mental for them, but I'd love a Rivian R1T.

Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2018, 06:57:37 AM »
Anyone got a Scaletrix?

Captain Crunch

  • Twister, Dustbuster, Hospital Bed
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2019, 09:22:13 PM »
I’m trying to find a car in the work lease scheme and noticed they do the BMW i3.  Only gently flirting with the idea at the moment but if you’ve had a run on it I’d be grateful for your opinion, thanks. 

Dex Sawash

  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • Upphängningspunkterna
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2019, 09:47:16 PM »
I3 would look OK if it wasn't 3 different colors

Captain Crunch

  • Twister, Dustbuster, Hospital Bed
Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2019, 09:48:35 PM »
I've got loads of GWAR bumper stickers so that doesn't bother me. 

Re: Electric Vehicles
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2019, 03:46:30 PM »
I'm in co-wheels and occasionally rent the zoe's when I need to transport a bulky item across town. I think they're nicer and easier to drive than the Toyota Yaris' they also offer on the cheap, but I dunno if I'd buy one as a primary car. I could see one working as a secondary motor though.

If I need to go more than about 40 miles ill borrow a petrol car because although in theory I probably could recharge the car at my destination that's comparatively much more of a ballache innit.