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Old 7th February 2021, 08:18 AM   #1
acbytesla
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Electric Vehicles

Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
The range issue for cars is caused by the "energy density" factor: "how much energy can you get out of this system per pound, and/or per cubic inch, of energy source you need to carry around?". The answer is still much lower for batteries and capacitors/supercapacitors than for carbon compounds, and likely to stay that way. And, even if we adapt and get used to the range issue in cars, it's much more crucial for aircraft. They're just not going to really work at all with a power source that's heavier and delivers less total output between refuelings/rechargings/replacements.

Then there's also the fact that batteries (along with LCD panels) call for some nasty mining processes to get at rare elements that only exist in a few (mostly foreign) places in the world and will run out in roughly the same time frame that fossil fuels will, and the fact that so many of those who are pushing for alternative energy sources think that one major energy source we'll definitely need to rely on is the work of the Devil, and the agricultural depletion of soil and diminishing groundwater supplies everywhere along with the loss of concrete-suitable sand... the loss of the resource that we make plastics and road tar out of could very well be the least of our problems over the next hundred years or so.
Really? My buddy's Tesla has a range of 400 miles. That's plenty
And no, the range is unlikely to stay low. Every issue you just mentioned are being addressed. Cobalt is being phased out for example. And methods are being created to effectively recycle and reuse the elements. Batteries are also getting lighter. Aviation is going to be harder to replace "electrically" but that doesn't mean mined petroleum fuels won't be able to be replaced through carbon capture created fuels.

But even if we can't replace aviation fuels in 30 years, we should able to replace petroleum and fossil fuels in passenger vehicles, trucking and industrial heat applications such as making concrete. If we can do that, we will have done a lot.

I'm convinced that it's important to get the ball rolling. Once we do, it's going to be a lot easier.
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Last edited by acbytesla; 7th February 2021 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 7th February 2021, 08:32 AM   #2
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What is needed is a standard for a modular battery form facto so that it can be slid in and out of the car.

Then you go to the charging station and they just swap a charged battery for your depleted one.

As battery technology improves you get a battery with more capacity swapped out.
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Old 7th February 2021, 08:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
What is needed is a standard for a modular battery form facto so that it can be slid in and out of the car.

Then you go to the charging station and they just swap a charged battery for your depleted one.

As battery technology improves you get a battery with more capacity swapped out.
People were seriously looking into that. I dont see that is a likely solution any more. Both the range and ability to charge faster issues will be solved with better batteries in the next few years.
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Old 7th February 2021, 08:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Really? My buddy's Tesla has a range of 400 miles. That's plenty
And no, the range is unlikely to stay low. Every issue you just mentioned are being addressed. Cobalt is being phased out for example. And methods are being created to effectively recycle and reuse the elements. Batteries are also getting lighter. Aviation is going to be harder to replace "electrically" but that doesn't mean mined petroleum fuels won't be able to be replaced through carbon capture created fuels.

But even if we can't replace aviation fuels in 30 years, we should able to replace petroleum and fossil fuels in passenger vehicles, trucking and industrial heat applications such as making concrete. If we can do that, we will have done a lot.

I'm convinced that it's important to get the ball rolling. Once we do, it's going to be a lot easier.
It seems to be an issue especially for deniers, but also sometimes for others, to demand all or nothing.

I recall long long ago, I think it was in Popular Science, a proposal for cheap, backyard windmills. The idea gained no traction, and was vociferously rejected by experts, because it would only reduce our oil consumption by about 20 percent. Why bother? Go big or go home.

Imagine if our oil consumption had been reduced by 20 percent for the last 40 years. And here we go again, it seems, with the problem that electric cars lack the range for many things. But so what? We get so hung up on absolutes that we forget how to live with two things at once. You could have a little electric car and still drive it to the tractor pull on weekends.

The same issue came up back in the wayback with emission controls. We can't get rid of all the pollution, it costs money and there's no law, so why bother to get rid of any? The car makers rejected small improvements for decades, until the problem got so bad they had suddenly to do it all at once, and the price they paid for decades of saving pennies was to go broke all at once building cars that barely ran at all, while the Japanese figured it out and ate their lunch.

And back a few decades ago, the same thing happened with river pollution. I grew up near the Housatonic River in Connecticut, and as a kid, it was so grossly polluted it left a brown scum on the banks. It stank. The few hardy fish were inedible. You could see, literally, turds floating down the river. Most of the towns in Massachusetts dumped raw sewage straight in, and GE in Pittsfield filled the river with toxic chemicals and PCB's. They all resisted efforts to do anything, claiming it was too expensive and complicated. Until, of course, it got so bad that regulators stepped in and made them do it all, all at once. The GE plant in Pittsfield closed. The towns had to up their taxes to punitive levels. (e.t.a. or floated bonds which enriched someone, but not their citizens!) What they could have done a little at a time they ended up having to do all at once.

It seems we (as a collective - obviously not us, the geniuses on the internet of course) never learn.
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Last edited by bruto; 7th February 2021 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 7th February 2021, 09:32 AM   #5
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I listen to a fun little podcast called “Skeptic’s Guide To The Universe” and frequent their forum.

One recent episode - #810, Jan 16, 2021 - had a brief but informed discussion about what are effectively “super capacitors” and how they could be used in EV’s. It starts around 10’ 26” in. They’re clearly not experts on this sort of thing, but I did find it quite interesting.

Available on your podcast aggregator of choice, or here:

https://www.theskepticsguide.org/podcasts/episode-810
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Old 7th February 2021, 10:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
It was easy to miss, but I said Petroleum fuels. I fully expect Petroleum to continue to have those others uses. 30 years also might be overly optimistic. A couple of years ago I would have said 30 years would also be impossible. But I think we're rapidly approaching a tipping point where dramatic changes will take place.
Recent events have certainly shown up the dangers of globalised operations. Self-reliance has become more attractive, such as the sunshine and wind everybody gets. We know there's a near future which doesn't run on coal (19th Century) and oil (20th), so let's get there early and reap the advantage.
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Old 7th February 2021, 10:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
Recent events have certainly shown up the dangers of globalised operations. Self-reliance has become more attractive, such as the sunshine and wind everybody gets. We know there's a near future which doesn't run on coal (19th Century) and oil (20th), so let's get there early and reap the advantage.
Right. Much of it is obtainable with current technology. A certain ex-president made fun of people wanting to watch TV when no wind was blowing. However, a modern TV can run for hours on a battery that can fit in a drawer. Same with LED lights. A battery pack the size of what goes into an electric car can provide the average home with power for a couple of days. We just need to work with the fact that power may not be available from the grid in less than 20 milliseconds like we were used to.

Hans
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Old 7th February 2021, 10:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
It seems to be an issue especially for deniers, but also sometimes for others, to demand all or nothing.

I recall long long ago, I think it was in Popular Science, a proposal for cheap, backyard windmills. The idea gained no traction, and was vociferously rejected by experts, because it would only reduce our oil consumption by about 20 percent. Why bother? Go big or go home.

Imagine if our oil consumption had been reduced by 20 percent for the last 40 years. And here we go again, it seems, with the problem that electric cars lack the range for many things. But so what? We get so hung up on absolutes that we forget how to live with two things at once. You could have a little electric car and still drive it to the tractor pull on weekends.

The same issue came up back in the wayback with emission controls. We can't get rid of all the pollution, it costs money and there's no law, so why bother to get rid of any? The car makers rejected small improvements for decades, until the problem got so bad they had suddenly to do it all at once, and the price they paid for decades of saving pennies was to go broke all at once building cars that barely ran at all, while the Japanese figured it out and ate their lunch.

And back a few decades ago, the same thing happened with river pollution. I grew up near the Housatonic River in Connecticut, and as a kid, it was so grossly polluted it left a brown scum on the banks. It stank. The few hardy fish were inedible. You could see, literally, turds floating down the river. Most of the towns in Massachusetts dumped raw sewage straight in, and GE in Pittsfield filled the river with toxic chemicals and PCB's. They all resisted efforts to do anything, claiming it was too expensive and complicated. Until, of course, it got so bad that regulators stepped in and made them do it all, all at once. The GE plant in Pittsfield closed. The towns had to up their taxes to punitive levels. (e.t.a. or floated bonds which enriched someone, but not their citizens!) What they could have done a little at a time they ended up having to do all at once.

It seems we (as a collective - obviously not us, the geniuses on the internet of course) never learn.
The thing is we must address these problems if they are ever going to be solved. And once we make the commitment, we begin to find better and cheaper ways to address them.
Simply because we have to.
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Old 7th February 2021, 10:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Really? My buddy's Tesla has a range of 400 miles. That's plenty
And no, the range is unlikely to stay low. Every issue you just mentioned are being addressed. Cobalt is being phased out for example. And methods are being created to effectively recycle and reuse the elements. Batteries are also getting lighter. Aviation is going to be harder to replace "electrically" but that doesn't mean mined petroleum fuels won't be able to be replaced through carbon capture created fuels.

But even if we can't replace aviation fuels in 30 years, we should able to replace petroleum and fossil fuels in passenger vehicles, trucking and industrial heat applications such as making concrete. If we can do that, we will have done a lot.

I'm convinced that it's important to get the ball rolling. Once we do, it's going to be a lot easier.
Kinda depends, doesn't it. That range would not get me to the closest operating (due to COVID) airport and back. If I had to pick someone up it would require an overnighter to recharge the batteries.

And no way I can afford a Tesla on my fixed income. There are a lot of people in this world who will not be driving electric vehicles until they are ubiquitous enough that cheap, reliable second hand electric vehicles can be had.
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Old 7th February 2021, 11:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Kinda depends, doesn't it. That range would not get me to the closest operating (due to COVID) airport and back. If I had to pick someone up it would require an overnighter to recharge the batteries.

And no way I can afford a Tesla on my fixed income. There are a lot of people in this world who will not be driving electric vehicles until they are ubiquitous enough that cheap, reliable second hand electric vehicles can be had.
Everything depends.

Where the hell do you live? And no it wouldn't likely require an over nighter.

My buddy's wife drives the Tesla most of the time and once every few months she drives it between Seattle and Medford, Oregon which is more than 400 miles away. That's from the middle of Washington State almost to the California border.
She stops once each way for a half hour charge. Usually has lunch. It's not an inconvenience. Or at least not much of one.

I can't afford a Tesla either. But product development cycles of items like this always begin with early adopters. But his Tesla is cheaper than his neighbor's F-350 diesel dually.
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Old 7th February 2021, 11:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Everything depends.

Where the hell do you live? And no it wouldn't likely require an over nighter.

My buddy's wife drives the Tesla most of the time and once every few months she drives it between Seattle and Medford, Oregon which is more than 400 miles away. That's from the middle of Washington State almost to the California border.
She stops once each way for a half hour charge. Usually has lunch. It's not an inconvenience. Or at least not much of one.

I can't afford a Tesla either. But product development cycles of items like this always begin with early adopters. But his Tesla is cheaper than his neighbor's F-350 diesel dually.
Yeah its an odd issue to raise, I mean how do you expect prices to come down unless people start buying them and Tesla can make more efficient use of their assets, potentially bringing the price of cars down. And of course there's the issue of self driving cars where you might not actually own one per se but simply have a contract whereby one turns up when you need it.
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Old 7th February 2021, 11:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Where the hell do you live? And no it wouldn't likely require an over nighter.

My buddy's wife drives the Tesla most of the time and once every few months she drives it between Seattle and Medford, Oregon which is more than 400 miles away. That's from the middle of Washington State almost to the California border.
She stops once each way for a half hour charge. Usually has lunch. It's not an inconvenience. Or at least not much of one.

I can't afford a Tesla either. But product development cycles of items like this always begin with early adopters. But his Tesla is cheaper than his neighbor's F-350 diesel dually.
Ok, I don't really know much about the details of electric vehicles. I accept that stopping for a charge would merely add several hours to my day.

Sydney Nova Scotia has a commercial airport but COVID has caused it to be closed because airlines stopped flying here - not enough traffic. Halifax is the closest open airport. Driving distance one way is just over 400km (250 miles). I did that trip in early December. It was unpleasant enough that I would not look forward to having a even couple of hours added for charging. the tank of gas to get home took 5 minutes.

No way I could afford an F-350 or anything similar either. Las year I paid $17,000 for my current vehicle and that was a strain on finances. I hope it will last me 12 or 15 years, by which time I may be too old to drive.
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Old 7th February 2021, 12:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Ok, I don't really know much about the details of electric vehicles. I accept that stopping for a charge would merely add several hours to my day.

Sydney Nova Scotia has a commercial airport but COVID has caused it to be closed because airlines stopped flying here - not enough traffic. Halifax is the closest open airport. Driving distance one way is just over 400km (250 miles). I did that trip in early December. It was unpleasant enough that I would not look forward to having a even couple of hours added for charging. the tank of gas to get home took 5 minutes.

No way I could afford an F-350 or anything similar either. Las year I paid $17,000 for my current vehicle and that was a strain on finances. I hope it will last me 12 or 15 years, by which time I may be too old to drive.
I get all that. The most I have ever paid for a vehicle is $15K. An EV is not a good fit for you or me at this moment. It may never be a fit. But I'm betting that at some time they will be.
They will come down in price over time. Musk is right now talking about Tesla building a $20,000 Tesla. In the meantime, Tesla just increased the price of the top of the line model S to over $120,000...ouch!
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Old 7th February 2021, 12:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Yeah its an odd issue to raise, I mean how do you expect prices to come down unless people start buying them and Tesla can make more efficient use of their assets, potentially bringing the price of cars down. And of course there's the issue of self driving cars where you might not actually own one per se but simply have a contract whereby one turns up when you need it.
I don't think it's an odd issue at all. It's just a misapprehension about product development and consumer adoption.

People base their ideas on today and not on future paradigms that are at best educated ideas at this point.

Our lives and consumption patterns are going to change dramatically over the next 30 years. Even the experts barely have a grasp on how. We know that EVs and fully autonomous vehicles are going to radically change everything including vehicle ownership, insurance practices, traffic patterns and more.
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Old 7th February 2021, 08:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
What is needed is a standard for a modular battery form facto so that it can be slid in and out of the car.

Then you go to the charging station and they just swap a charged battery for your depleted one.
No, that's not needed. It was tried back when batteries had much shorter range than now, and failed in the marketplace because nobody needed it. What's needed is faster charging in more places, and we are getting that.

The other thing needed is a change of behavior. You don't forget to charge your cell phone and expect to get a battery swap, even though until recently most phones had easily swappable batteries. We need to get out of the mentality that you must go to a gas station to 'fill up', and get into the habit of charging overnight or during planned stops on a long trip.

Quote:
As battery technology improves you get a battery with more capacity swapped out.
As battery technology improves the range is increasing and charging time is reducing. If I had the money, I could buy an electric car today that has more range than I will ever use.
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Old 7th February 2021, 09:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Ok, I don't really know much about the details of electric vehicles. I accept that stopping for a charge would merely add several hours to my day.

Sydney Nova Scotia has a commercial airport but COVID has caused it to be closed because airlines stopped flying here - not enough traffic. Halifax is the closest open airport. Driving distance one way is just over 400km (250 miles). I did that trip in early December. It was unpleasant enough that I would not look forward to having a even couple of hours added for charging. the tank of gas to get home took 5 minutes.
So due to the unprecedented Covid situation, you had to drive 400km to a far way airport, then turn straight around and drive back home again? A 500 mile round trip with only 5 minutes break in the middle, and so unpleasant that you couldn't stand staying any longer? That's your example of how an electric vehicle would 'add several hours to my day'?

A few years ago I drove a friend's car just over 400km non-stop, but there's no way I could have turned around and driven back again without a loong break (and breaks during the trip), especially now that I am older. That would be madness.

Quote:
Las year I paid $17,000 for my current vehicle and that was a strain on finances.
My budget was less than half that and it didn't stop me from buying an electric car. If I need to take a really long trip I will hire a car or find some other solution.

Quote:
I hope it will last me 12 or 15 years, by which time I may be too old to drive.
That's OK - you stick to your gas car because you are too old and set in your ways to change. But don't think your situation has any relevance to the rest of the world - because it doesn't.
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Old 7th February 2021, 09:47 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
No, that's not needed. It was tried back when batteries had much shorter range than now, and failed in the marketplace because nobody needed it. What's needed is faster charging in more places, and we are getting that.

The other thing needed is a change of behavior. You don't forget to charge your cell phone and expect to get a battery swap, even though until recently most phones had easily swappable batteries. We need to get out of the mentality that you must go to a gas station to 'fill up', and get into the habit of charging overnight or during planned stops on a long trip.

As battery technology improves the range is increasing and charging time is reducing. If I had the money, I could buy an electric car today that has more range than I will ever use.
I have saved Google News searches for "Solar breakthroughs, photovoltaic breakthroughs and battery breakthroughs.. Every other day there are new battery breakthroughs. Most I guess won't get out of the lab. But there are real advances being made right now. Huge amounts of money is being invested in factories for the making new batteries. Particularly, by Toyota, GM, VW, Panasonic and LG. Toyota is a very conservative company and they are throwing billions into solid state battery manufacturing. That's when you know it is real. Tesla is so far out in front but it is about to get competitive.
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Old 8th February 2021, 04:37 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Kinda depends, doesn't it. That range would not get me to the closest operating (due to COVID) airport and back. If I had to pick someone up it would require an overnighter to recharge the batteries.

And no way I can afford a Tesla on my fixed income. There are a lot of people in this world who will not be driving electric vehicles until they are ubiquitous enough that cheap, reliable second hand electric vehicles can be had.
Sounds like you may be atypical of the average commuting worker so basing policy on your circumstances would not be wise. The average American commute is 32 miles (16 each way) so a vehicle that has a range of 200 miles would do just fine and allow for weekend errands. If we solved that problem alone, it would be a huge change.

An even simpler solution is to dump the 5 day/ 8 hour day and go to 4/10 would make a big improvement alone.
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Old 8th February 2021, 05:12 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
The other thing needed is a change of behavior. You don't forget to charge your cell phone and expect to get a battery swap, even though until recently most phones had easily swappable batteries. We need to get out of the mentality that you must go to a gas station to 'fill up', and get into the habit of charging overnight or during planned stops on a long trip.
I agree, but there's a very large infrastructure cost there in urban areas. Around me, vanishingly few people have garages (as it should be for an urban area) and there are very few parking lots (as it should be for an urban area),so just about everyone parks on the street. Streets would have to get lined with charging stations. For a big city, that's not a simple task and introduces a chicken and egg problem. There's no political will to start lining the streets with charging stations because not enough people own electric cars, and people are slow to buy electric cars because there's no charging options.

I'd seriously consider buying an electric vehicle (or a plug-in hybrid with a relatively short electric range) except I don't have a place I can charge it over night. That, and the ones that would fit my needs best are too expensive. If I move in the next couple years, my next new car may be an electric one. Right now it looks like a Tesla is the most likely option, largely because their charging network is convenient for my needs for my decently common long trips
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Old 8th February 2021, 05:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
People were seriously looking into that. I dont see that is a likely solution any more. Both the range and ability to charge faster issues will be solved with better batteries in the next few years.
There is one other huge plus to this that makes it valuable--it means that the car owner isn't putting thousands of dollars out when the battery needs replacing. That would be paid by the swap stations, and spread out into the cost of each swap.
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Old 8th February 2021, 05:22 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by bonzombiekitty View Post
I agree, but there's a very large infrastructure cost there in urban areas. Around me, vanishingly few people have garages (as it should be for an urban area) and there are very few parking lots (as it should be for an urban area),so just about everyone parks on the street. Streets would have to get lined with charging stations. For a big city, that's not a simple task and introduces a chicken and egg problem. There's no political will to start lining the streets with charging stations because not enough people own electric cars, and people are slow to buy electric cars because there's no charging options.

I'd seriously consider buying an electric vehicle (or a plug-in hybrid with a relatively short electric range) except I don't have a place I can charge it over night. That, and the ones that would fit my needs best are too expensive. If I move in the next couple years, my next new car may be an electric one. Right now it looks like a Tesla is the most likely option, largely because their charging network is convenient for my needs for my decently common long trips
Large urban areas are ideal for electric cars. The city of Vancouver, I know, is very proactive with charging locations. Public ones are common and bylaws require developers to include them in all new building parking lots.

Around here (6000 km from Vancouver ) I have never seen a public charging station, and never actually even noticed an electric car on the road.
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Old 8th February 2021, 05:46 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Large urban areas are ideal for electric cars. The city of Vancouver, I know, is very proactive with charging locations. Public ones are common and bylaws require developers to include them in all new building parking lots.
I agree that a large city is a good spot to use electric cars b/c your driving distances are short. But there's very little political will to actually make it feasible. My city, for example, recently revoked the law allowing people to have a carve out an electric vehicle charging spot on their block. When parking lots around here are (rightfully) disappearing, mandating charging stations in new parking lots doesn't do much.

In order for it to be a real attractive option for the majority of the city, particularly a city like mine which is filled with single family row homes and no off street parking, the streets would have to be lined with chargers.
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Old 8th February 2021, 06:21 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by bonzombiekitty View Post
I agree that a large city is a good spot to use electric cars b/c your driving distances are short. But there's very little political will to actually make it feasible. My city, for example, recently revoked the law allowing people to have a carve out an electric vehicle charging spot on their block. When parking lots around here are (rightfully) disappearing, mandating charging stations in new parking lots doesn't do much.

In order for it to be a real attractive option for the majority of the city, particularly a city like mine which is filled with single family row homes and no off street parking, the streets would have to be lined with chargers.
Political will is often the bottleneck. In Vancouver the prevailing opinion of the residents is very much in favor of environmental action so the city is responding to that. For sure other cities, and their residents opinions, are entirely different
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Old 8th February 2021, 07:10 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
If I need to take a really long trip I will hire a car or find some other solution.
Until 18 months ago I'd have said that there's no way an electric vehicle could meet my needs. I regularly had to drive close to 300 miles in one stretch to go visit Daddy Don in his care home.

I don't have to do that any more and apart from a couple of round trips to London (which a Tesla S or 3 would have had plenty of range for), I don't think I've driven more than 100 miles at a time since February last year.

Almost all of our journeys are relatively short local jaunts and any of the smaller EVs would be perfectly fine - as long as they could accommodate our stuff. We could charge at home and if we got our act together with solar cells, we might be able to charge for free.

Every two or three years we drive to France to go skiing and take a couple of weeks to go there and back, shopping along the way. We may have to rent a car for that journey, then again we could plan the journey differently so as to take a break every 200 miles (as opposed to every 400 miles).
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Old 9th February 2021, 08:06 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Ok, I don't really know much about the details of electric vehicles. I accept that stopping for a charge would merely add several hours to my day.
No it would take a half hour stop to charge up at a high capacity charging station. There are more and more of these around. So it shouldn't add more than a half hour to the trip and combined with other stops and cutting out the stop for gas it is not a huge change.
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Old 9th February 2021, 09:20 AM   #26
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Continuing, just for the moment, the electric vehicle derail (perhaps it will be moved to its own thread eventually), I saw a youtube video recently of a person who duplicated a 2000 mile road trip he had made in summer in his Tesla, this time in subzero winter weather. The trip was pretty fuss free, and while his efficiency was down, it was still not too bad. Of course, this was a Tesla, a very expensive car capable of very fast charging on a route where the chargers were pretty easy to find. Nonetheless, as a study on how electric vehicles might work, it seemed a good preview:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


I don't think we're all ready for all electric vehicles, but we don't have to wait until there is nothing short of a complete, perfect fleet of electric vehicles, to start working in that direction.

Mind you, I think it will be a while before I, living in rural Vermont, will be able to do this. But it's not impossible.
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Old 9th February 2021, 09:22 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
So due to the unprecedented Covid situation, you had to drive 400km to a far way airport, then turn straight around and drive back home again? A 500 mile round trip with only 5 minutes break in the middle, and so unpleasant that you couldn't stand staying any longer? That's your example of how an electric vehicle would 'add several hours to my day'?

A few years ago I drove a friend's car just over 400km non-stop, but there's no way I could have turned around and driven back again without a loong break (and breaks during the trip), especially now that I am older. That would be madness.

My budget was less than half that and it didn't stop me from buying an electric car. If I need to take a really long trip I will hire a car or find some other solution.

That's OK - you stick to your gas car because you are too old and set in your ways to change. But don't think your situation has any relevance to the rest of the world - because it doesn't.

Sorry if I missed it upthread... but what EV vehicle did you get for half his 17k budget??

My vehicle is 8 years old, and I have 38,000 miles on it. Given how little I drive I cannot see an EV making financial sense at the moment. I plan to drive my current car until it has major drive train issues that don't make sense to repair. Then I may or may not buy an EV.
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Old 9th February 2021, 11:01 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
No it would take a half hour stop to charge up at a high capacity charging station. There are more and more of these around. So it shouldn't add more than a half hour to the trip and combined with other stops and cutting out the stop for gas it is not a huge change.
Interesting. This derail has caused me to look into the whole charging issue a little further. Purely academic because limited finances mean there is no new vehicle in my future, near or far. As we were discussing my trip to the Halifax airport I looked up high capacity chargers in that area to see how a driver of an electric vehicle would fare doing that trip today. Seems there are 3 high capacity chargers in the city of Halifax and zero at the airport approx 40 km outside the city. Halifax also has 54 "standard" chargers and the airport has 3. So driving 40 km to the city expecting a high capacity charger to be free exactly when I need it would likely be an exercise in futility. Likewise expecting one of the 3 chargers at the airport to be available. Your suggested additional half hour is out of the question. Undoubtedly that will change as electric vehicles and chargers become more and more common, affordable and practical. That trip in an electric vehicle today would be a problem.

In spite of all my apparent protest I am really very much in favor of electric vehicles. The time will come when (almost) all vehicles on the road are electric and that is a very positive thing. But outside of major urban areas with sufficient infrastructure there is still a long way to go. Given my age and location I do not see ever owning an electric vehicle myself. It may well be that our current vehicle will be our last.

Also - on the trip I described I made no other stops in either direction. A 4 hour drive does not really require stops. So, 5 minutes for gas, plus the unavoidable waiting time at the airport.

ETA - just remembered I said I was out of the EV derail. This time I mean it.
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Old 9th February 2021, 02:36 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Interesting. This derail has caused me to look into the whole charging issue a little further. Purely academic because limited finances mean there is no new vehicle in my future, near or far. As we were discussing my trip to the Halifax airport I looked up high capacity chargers in that area to see how a driver of an electric vehicle would fare doing that trip today. Seems there are 3 high capacity chargers in the city of Halifax and zero at the airport approx 40 km outside the city. Halifax also has 54 "standard" chargers and the airport has 3. So driving 40 km to the city expecting a high capacity charger to be free exactly when I need it would likely be an exercise in futility. Likewise expecting one of the 3 chargers at the airport to be available. Your suggested additional half hour is out of the question. Undoubtedly that will change as electric vehicles and chargers become more and more common, affordable and practical. That trip in an electric vehicle today would be a problem.

In spite of all my apparent protest I am really very much in favor of electric vehicles. The time will come when (almost) all vehicles on the road are electric and that is a very positive thing. But outside of major urban areas with sufficient infrastructure there is still a long way to go. Given my age and location I do not see ever owning an electric vehicle myself. It may well be that our current vehicle will be our last.

Also - on the trip I described I made no other stops in either direction. A 4 hour drive does not really require stops. So, 5 minutes for gas, plus the unavoidable waiting time at the airport.

ETA - just remembered I said I was out of the EV derail. This time I mean it.
This is a total derail, but I feel compelled to address it. You seem determined to figure out exactly how an EV won't work for you. And maybe it won't. But maybe for a few minutes lets think about how it would.

If you own an EV, you are going to want to charge at home as often as you can. It's cheaper to charge at home. And a lot cheaper than gas. A standard Tesla model 3 has a range of 500 KM. The Model S is over 650KM. Anyway, the average price of electricity in the US is 13 cents per KWH. The Model 3 has a 75KWH battery pack. Using a few assumptions that equals $11.50 to fill up from empty. Cost you $3.60 to drive 100 miles. (Not bad eh?) It's twice as much to use the Superchargers.

Not sure how often you drive to Halifax, but I bet it really isn't that often. But let's look at that trip. Let's say you left home with a fully charged car. Your route would take you past the Enfield Tesla Supercharger just off Highway 102, 7.8 KM North of the Halifax Airport .
You could easily recharge in 30 minutes drive and be off to pick up your passenger and then drive back to Sydney without another stop.

But I get that the vehicle isn't cheap and not necessarily a good fit for you. But the availability of charging stations isn't really that much of an issue for most EV users at the moment. Most of the Tesla charging stations I see these days always seem to have chargers available. But I do understand that there are full charging stations in California and other densely populated areas where it's not so easy.

This is as another poster mentioned, a chicken and egg problem the availability of charging stations will increase as people buy more EVs.
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Old 9th February 2021, 03:21 PM   #30
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Another note is that, unlike a gasoline car, you don't stop to fill up an electric car. Instead you just top it up a bit. A ten minute stop when you have 50% range left will squeeze in more range than a ten minute stop when you have 980% range left. The sweet spot seems to be between 20% and 80% for fast filling. Once you get over 80% it slows down considerably. So, two ten minutes stops may get you more range than one stop that fills it to 100%.

I just drove 400 kilometers on Sunday and that is a nice long trip. I don't stop on that trip, every time I do it, but I often take a ten minute break just to stretch my legs. If I had an electric car I would probably stop every time. Not a huge change in my routine, but a minor one. And only on the few days I drive that far. I'd take that as compared to hitting the gas station once a week.
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Old 9th February 2021, 03:53 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
This is a total derail, but I feel compelled to address it. You seem determined to figure out exactly how an EV won't work for you. And maybe it won't. But maybe for a few minutes lets think about how it would.

If you own an EV, you are going to want to charge at home as often as you can. It's cheaper to charge at home. And a lot cheaper than gas. A standard Tesla model 3 has a range of 500 KM. The Model S is over 650KM. Anyway, the average price of electricity in the US is 13 cents per KWH. The Model 3 has a 75KWH battery pack. Using a few assumptions that equals $11.50 to fill up from empty. Cost you $3.60 to drive 100 miles. (Not bad eh?) It's twice as much to use the Superchargers.

Not sure how often you drive to Halifax, but I bet it really isn't that often. But let's look at that trip. Let's say you left home with a fully charged car. Your route would take you past the Enfield Tesla Supercharger just off Highway 102, 7.8 KM North of the Halifax Airport .
You could easily recharge in 30 minutes drive and be off to pick up your passenger and then drive back to Sydney without another stop.

But I get that the vehicle isn't cheap and not necessarily a good fit for you. But the availability of charging stations isn't really that much of an issue for most EV users at the moment. Most of the Tesla charging stations I see these days always seem to have chargers available. But I do understand that there are full charging stations in California and other densely populated areas where it's not so easy.

This is as another poster mentioned, a chicken and egg problem the availability of charging stations will increase as people buy more EVs.
Exactly how an electric vehicle will work for me in the real world is totally irrelevant. I will never own one because I cannot afford one. Nor can I afford to buy a new gasoline powered vehicle. There is little to no possibility of my finances changing to the point that a new vehicle is a possibility. If I ever come into that sort of money I have much higher priorities for it. It is much easier for me to afford a few tanks of gas when needed that to cough up the cost of a car or to take on car loan payments (even if I could get one on my income). It is my sincere hope that the vehicle I am currently driving will last for the rest of my driving days.

Now that that is clear, here is my point. I have found through this discussion that some, perhaps many, of my ideas re electric vehicles are outdated. Electric vehicles are obviously very practical for some and I have no doubt that they will become practical for many more people in the near future as infrastructure to support them is improved. I will even concede that an electric vehicle may in fact work for the specific trip that I have described, at minimal convenience provided the described charging station is available and unoccupied when needed. The time will come, maybe in what remains of my lifetime, when that route has as many charging stations as it currently has gas pumps, and that will be fantastic. I am fully in favor of electric vehicles. I fully expect my daughter will acquire one when the gas guzzler we gave her dies.

I am learning. Your criticism of my ignorance is misdirected and unwarranted.
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Old 9th February 2021, 04:50 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Exactly how an electric vehicle will work for me in the real world is totally irrelevant. I will never own one because I cannot afford one. Nor can I afford to buy a new gasoline powered vehicle. There is little to no possibility of my finances changing to the point that a new vehicle is a possibility. If I ever come into that sort of money I have much higher priorities for it. It is much easier for me to afford a few tanks of gas when needed that to cough up the cost of a car or to take on car loan payments (even if I could get one on my income). It is my sincere hope that the vehicle I am currently driving will last for the rest of my driving days.

Now that that is clear, here is my point. I have found through this discussion that some, perhaps many, of my ideas re electric vehicles are outdated. Electric vehicles are obviously very practical for some and I have no doubt that they will become practical for many more people in the near future as infrastructure to support them is improved. I will even concede that an electric vehicle may in fact work for the specific trip that I have described, at minimal convenience provided the described charging station is available and unoccupied when needed. The time will come, maybe in what remains of my lifetime, when that route has as many charging stations as it currently has gas pumps, and that will be fantastic. I am fully in favor of electric vehicles. I fully expect my daughter will acquire one when the gas guzzler we gave her dies.

I am learning. Your criticism of my ignorance is misdirected and unwarranted.
I am not criticising your ignorance. And if you look at this thread, you will see that my posts have been respectful.

Also, I can't afford one either....at the moment. I drive a used van that I bought for $600.

I just wanted to point out that people have misconceptions about EVs. The range anxiety issue is a common concern. But for 75 percent of the drivers in the US, their concern for how they use the vehicle, it's an overrated concern.
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Old 9th February 2021, 05:08 PM   #33
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Electric vehicles are a lot like public transportation, they are a lot better; their upsides more up and their downsides more down, in dense urban areas and nobody can figure out why people who live out in the bumbfarts don't want to pay for infrastructures they will never use (or will get nowhere near the return on investment from.)
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Old 9th February 2021, 05:10 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I am not criticising your ignorance. And if you look at this thread, you will see that my posts have been respectful.

Also, I can't afford one either....at the moment. I drive a used van that I bought for $600.

I just wanted to point out that people have misconceptions about EVs. The range anxiety issue is a common concern. But for 75 percent of the drivers in the US, their concern for how they use the vehicle, it's an overrated concern.
Perhaps I over reacted to this:

"You seem determined to figure out exactly how an EV won't work for you."

If so. I apologize.

You have provided some useful info which I appreciate. At least some of my misconceptions re EV's have been corrected so the discussion has been useful. I am now better informed. All good.
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Old 9th February 2021, 05:19 PM   #35
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For what it's worth, here's my real world long-distance travel experience in a long-range Tesla.

We don't do a lot of road trips, but after I got the car I wanted to take one to see how it worked over an extended distance (and because it's just fun to drive). It worked out so well that we're now planning on taking one every year.

In 2019 we traveled ~6,000 km from Alberta to BC, down the Pacific coast to California, then back up through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana. In 2020 we did a ~2,700 km loop through Alberta and BC.

I planned the routes through more remote areas in advance to be sure we would have charging stations, but we really only found 3 places where we had to adjust our plans to ensure we could charge:
1) Montana. At one point we stopped for drinks and someone was so amazed at the sight of a Tesla that they asked me if they could take a picture.
2) Eastern BC between Kamloops and Jasper. We found one hotel with a charger, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to take highway 5 without a day-long charging stop.
3) Northern California. Not for a lack of chargers--they were just always busy!

We needed ~30 minutes to charge half-way through the day, but we used this stop to stretch, go to the bathroom, and grab something quick to eat, just like we would if we were in a gas car.

We drove ~6 hours a day, but there's no reason you couldn't do more. The longest legs we drove between charges were ~350km. We definitely could have charged less frequently if the driver was less of a leadfoot than I am (higher-than-posted highway speeds definitely chew into battery life). The lowest I ever saw the battery was ~30km range remaining and that was at the end of a ~350km leg through steep ups and downs in the Oregon mountains where I was having a bit too much fun in the turns.

In terms of charging fees, the 7,000km trip cost us $170 CAD (~$130 USD). A lot of hotels have chargers and charging was almost always free, so most of the charging fees were from our mid-day stops at a Supercharger. I didn't track the shorter trip.

These trips proved to me that long distance travel in electric vehicles is perfectly doable today with some caveats:
1) You're better off sticking to more inhabited areas (though it's worth noting that many people charge at campgrounds--we never did--which are almost everywhere).
2) I would not recommend just jumping in the car and going without a plan (at least not in Canada or the central US).
3) Avoid winter road trips! If the temperature gets below -15C, you need to account for a significant drop in range. We went on a short ~150km trip in -25C and the range dropped about twice as fast as normal. This will make some legs of a long roadtrip untenable.
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Old 9th February 2021, 05:36 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Winterfrost View Post
For what it's worth, here's my real world long-distance travel experience in a long-range Tesla.

We don't do a lot of road trips, but after I got the car I wanted to take one to see how it worked over an extended distance (and because it's just fun to drive). It worked out so well that we're now planning on taking one every year.

In 2019 we traveled ~6,000 km from Alberta to BC, down the Pacific coast to California, then back up through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana. In 2020 we did a ~2,700 km loop through Alberta and BC.

I planned the routes through more remote areas in advance to be sure we would have charging stations, but we really only found 3 places where we had to adjust our plans to ensure we could charge:
1) Montana. At one point we stopped for drinks and someone was so amazed at the sight of a Tesla that they asked me if they could take a picture.
2) Eastern BC between Kamloops and Jasper. We found one hotel with a charger, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to take highway 5 without a day-long charging stop.
3) Northern California. Not for a lack of chargers--they were just always busy!

We needed ~30 minutes to charge half-way through the day, but we used this stop to stretch, go to the bathroom, and grab something quick to eat, just like we would if we were in a gas car.

We drove ~6 hours a day, but there's no reason you couldn't do more. The longest legs we drove between charges were ~350km. We definitely could have charged less frequently if the driver was less of a leadfoot than I am (higher-than-posted highway speeds definitely chew into battery life). The lowest I ever saw the battery was ~30km range remaining and that was at the end of a ~350km leg through steep ups and downs in the Oregon mountains where I was having a bit too much fun in the turns.

In terms of charging fees, the 7,000km trip cost us $170 CAD (~$130 USD). A lot of hotels have chargers and charging was almost always free, so most of the charging fees were from our mid-day stops at a Supercharger. I didn't track the shorter trip.

These trips proved to me that long distance travel in electric vehicles is perfectly doable today with some caveats:
1) You're better off sticking to more inhabited areas (though it's worth noting that many people charge at campgrounds--we never did--which are almost everywhere).
2) I would not recommend just jumping in the car and going without a plan (at least not in Canada or the central US).
3) Avoid winter road trips! If the temperature gets below -15C, you need to account for a significant drop in range. We went on a short ~150km trip in -25C and the range dropped about twice as fast as normal. This will make some legs of a long roadtrip untenable.
Great post. What model do you have? My buddy absolutely loves his Model S.
That thing takes off like a rocket.
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Old 9th February 2021, 05:45 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Sorry if I missed it upthread... but what EV vehicle did you get for half his 17k budget??
A Nissan Leaf. It was 8 years old when I bought it 2 years ago, and cost $6500 (so actually a lot less than half $17k). It had just under 38,000 miles on it when I bought it, which was actually quite high for a Leaf of that age.

Quote:
My vehicle is 8 years old, and I have 38,000 miles on it. Given how little I drive...
My Leaf only gets 60 miles on a full charge, but the longest round trip I do is only 30 miles (which I might do once a month), so it's plenty.

Normally I only put in enough to do round-town driving because keeping it under half charge lessens battery degradation. If I think I might need to take a long trip I put it on charge overnight, and next morning it's ready to go. If I need to visit someone I insist that they allow me to 'top up' while I am there, and if I don't have enough charge to get there they have to wait.

I don't do a lot of miles, but I do drive almost every day. Compared to my old car the Leaf is a joy to drive, and something I look forward to. So it would be worth it for me even if I didn't save money, which I do because electricity is half the cost of gas here.

Another thing to consider is that maintenance costs are much lower. No oil changes, no timing belts to replace, brake pads last forever, tires wear less. The motor never needs to be tuned up or cleaned and there is no exhaust system to rust through, no catalytic converter to gum up etc. The smooth running electric drive system doesn't shake the car to bits or cover it with grime, so my 8 year old car was like brand new and should stay that way if I look after it.

Quote:
I cannot see an EV making financial sense at the moment. I plan to drive my current car until it has major drive train issues that don't make sense to repair. Then I may or may not buy an EV.
I planned to do that too, then I needed to get a few parts replaced and the bill was $1000 so I decided not to wait for a 'major issue'. Just as well I did too, because it turned out the transmission was almost shot.
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Old 9th February 2021, 06:20 PM   #38
acbytesla
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
A Nissan Leaf. It was 8 years old when I bought it 2 years ago, and cost $6500 (so actually a lot less than half $17k). It had just under 38,000 miles on it when I bought it, which was actually quite high for a Leaf of that age.



My Leaf only gets 60 miles on a full charge, but the longest round trip I do is only 30 miles (which I might do once a month), so it's plenty.

Normally I only put in enough to do round-town driving because keeping it under half charge lessens battery degradation. If I think I might need to take a long trip I put it on charge overnight, and next morning it's ready to go. If I need to visit someone I insist that they allow me to 'top up' while I am there, and if I don't have enough charge to get there they have to wait.

I don't do a lot of miles, but I do drive almost every day. Compared to my old car the Leaf is a joy to drive, and something I look forward to. So it would be worth it for me even if I didn't save money, which I do because electricity is half the cost of gas here.

Another thing to consider is that maintenance costs are much lower. No oil changes, no timing belts to replace, brake pads last forever, tires wear less. The motor never needs to be tuned up or cleaned and there is no exhaust system to rust through, no catalytic converter to gum up etc. The smooth running electric drive system doesn't shake the car to bits or cover it with grime, so my 8 year old car was like brand new and should stay that way if I look after it.

I planned to do that too, then I needed to get a few parts replaced and the bill was $1000 so I decided not to wait for a 'major issue'. Just as well I did too, because it turned out the transmission was almost shot.
No brake pads? So total regenerative braking?
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Old 9th February 2021, 06:24 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
The sweet spot seems to be between 20% and 80% for fast filling. Once you get over 80% it slows down considerably. So, two ten minutes stops may get you more range than one stop that fills it to 100%.
That's correct. It's due to how Lithium batteries are charged. At about 80% charge it reaches peak voltage, then the current has to be tapered off for the last 20%. Keeping between 80% and 20% also lessens battery wear because it puts less stress on the positive plate material, which expands and contracts as it absorbs and releases Lithium ions.

Originally Posted by bonzombiekitty
In order for it to be a real attractive option for the majority of the city, particularly a city like mine which is filled with single family row homes and no off street parking, the streets would have to be lined with chargers.
Sound like a good business opportunity there - the city could make money out of charging cars rather than just letting them use up parking spaces.

Or there's the other option - solar panels on the car. How many people drive their car to work and leave it in the hot sun all day? Imagine if you could roll out a solar panel over the roof to keep your car cool while charging it.

The Lightyear One claims to get up to 70km range per day on its solar panels alone. That's very optimistic, but even half that range would probably be more than enough for a lot of city dwellers.
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Old 9th February 2021, 07:12 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
That's correct. It's due to how Lithium batteries are charged. At about 80% charge it reaches peak voltage, then the current has to be tapered off for the last 20%. Keeping between 80% and 20% also lessens battery wear because it puts less stress on the positive plate material, which expands and contracts as it absorbs and releases Lithium ions.

Sound like a good business opportunity there - the city could make money out of charging cars rather than just letting them use up parking spaces.

Or there's the other option - solar panels on the car. How many people drive their car to work and leave it in the hot sun all day? Imagine if you could roll out a solar panel over the roof to keep your car cool while charging it.

The Lightyear One claims to get up to 70km range per day on its solar panels alone. That's very optimistic, but even half that range would probably be more than enough for a lot of city dwellers.
I don't buy it.

I have a 60 cell solar panel on my van. It's a 300 watt panel which is pretty high power. I use it to charge house batteries to run a refrigerator and blender for camping. You'd also be lucky to get the equivalent of a 150 watt panel molded on to car. But maybe.

But even that is peak power. Even if you got full power for 10 Solar hours a day during mid summer you're topping off at 3 Kwh a day. During the winter, you're looking at most 3 to 4 solar hours a day maybe getting 1 Kwh if that.

And frankly even during mid summer I'm lucky to ever top 200 watts. That's because unlike a home installation you can't really tilt your panels toward the sun. They're fixed flat. During the winter, it's close to useless. But i do live in the Northwest where winters are mild, but it's often cloudy.
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Last edited by acbytesla; 9th February 2021 at 07:37 PM.
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