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Electric charging infrastructure

Nov 11, 2009
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I have been reading an interesting article describing the 30+ km of high voltage cables routed via “ power tunnels “ under London. The work was completed late 2018 and the second phase is underway. These power lines are to supply above ground charging for electric vehicles. Wonder if other cities are doing likewise.
 
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I very much doubt it-they haven't appeared to be doing this in Lincoln!
Loved visiting Lincoln as a youngster looking out from the cathedral tower into the prison grounds. From your comment do I guess things haven’t moved on since Clayton and Shuttleworth built their threshing machine at the start of the Industrial Revolution. :whistle:
 
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Jan 31, 2018
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Moved on; probably reversed-they've closed little rat runs, built a bypass that goes from dual to single to dual to single to dual to single carriageway causing huge jams bottle necks and accidents, built a university that blocks the lovely cathedral view from the bottom end of the city and built thousands of new houses with absolutely no investment in infrastructure roads or city parking, and not even a decent park and ride. So Lincoln from 7.30am-9 and 4-7pm is total log jam. We're getting another western bypass-can't see how it will help as it starts from the dual atthe bottom end and runs up to the single carriage way road to Wragby. It isn't good . We live on the outskirts and never go in to Lincoln if we can help it! Nice new LED cathedral lights and bus station is great though!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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It makes a lot of sense to use the myriad of tunnels underground as installation costs would be comparatively low.

I'm pretty sure any city in a country that has decided to dump ICE cars will have or be considering how to spread the power line for city charging points.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Here there is an assumption the future of EV is one where they recharge some electrical energy, on the vehicle, storage device.
Not sure that ever will be more than a niche application on several counts.
  • The infrastructure costs and viability.
  • Physically recharging streets full of vehicles for those with no on property parking.
  • The destruction of the planet to acquire the massive quantities of battery minerals needed for the world's cars.
  • Again the planet's destruction from acquiring the copper or a similarly efficient conductor mineral to shunt around the amount of power in all the required cabling infrastructure.
I suspect the solution for the masses, who can't recharge, and indeed the planet itself is going to go a refuelling route. An EV that takes on board, speedily and at a fuelling station something that can fuel the generation on board of electrical power.
Here the present natural choice is using hydrogen, there being plenty of water in the world to access for its production and little environmental damage taking some of the sea and returning it as water after use.
 
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Here there is an assumption the future of EV is one where they recharge some electrical energy, on the vehicle, storage device.
Not sure that ever will be more than a niche application on several counts.
  • The infrastructure costs and viability.
  • Physically recharging streets full of vehicles for those with no on property parking.
  • The destruction of the planet to acquire the massive quantities of battery minerals needed for the world's cars.
  • Again the planet's destruction from acquiring the copper or a similarly efficient conductor mineral to shunt around the amount of power in all the required cabling infrastructure.
I suspect the solution for the masses, who can't recharge, and indeed the planet itself is going to go a refuelling route. An EV that takes on board, speedily and at a fuelling station something that can fuel the generation on board of electrical power.
Here the present natural choice is using hydrogen, there being plenty of water in the world to access for its production and little environmental damage taking some of the sea and returning it as water after use.
I'm sorry but I cant be sure what you are trying to say in your first paragraph. Can you try again please?

But in response to the remainder of your post I certainly don't think its going to be easy for everyone to change to EV's, in fact its going to mean adopting some new ways of owning and using cars, and of course for caravanners in the UK, the present choices of vehicles are all virtually non starters.

But we are just at the beginning of this new EV revolution, and it takes time for things to be worked out. Considering how long we have been driving ICE cars look how much development they are continuing to go through even though politically their days are numbered. It's only fair to assume that as time goes by the diversity and viability of EV from an operational perspective will only improve.

As far as the infrastructural goes, the National Grid has publicly stated they have the transmission capability to cope with the national EV demand, where they might struggle at the moment is with generation capacity at peak times. However with off peak charging they're actually quite pleased as it will balance the generator loading better. With further development of smart charging, it could actually help even more by facilitating peak load clipping where some of the capacity of the cars connected to the grid can help to supply local peak demands.

With almost any human mechanical endeavour there is a cost to the planet, but again the doom merchants are making unfair comparisons about the impact of sourcing materials for batteries. I have not studied in detail the actual figures, but whilst there must be some impact, its likely to be less than the damage wreaked sourcing and transporting fossil fuels. Unlike fossil fuels, which are one use only, batteries can be used many times, and even when they are no longer usable for cars, they can have a second or even third life in less demanding applications and even after that their components are highly recyclable.

Conductors, compared to the total annual industrial usage of such materials the additional material required to provide the charging infrastructure is small.

I believe Hydrogen will have its place for some users, but I don't see a trend yet that suggests its going to be the major fuel for cars, and my reasons for that are the technology to extract hydrogen, transport it and distribute it is complex and expensive.

Whilst the raw materials are plentiful, actually producing the gas in viable quantities is presently significantly less efficient than charging and using batteries. I acknowledge that just as we are in the infancy of EV's, HV's will also see further development, but until the energy required to crack hydrogen can be slashed, it will always be EV's that will be more popular.

But even since Tesla introduced their first practical car, we have seen some major improvements in battery technology:-
Higher power density leading to more practical real world range.
Systems that are capable of much greater charge rates, which significantly reduced recharging times, there are cars which can now receive an 80% charge in as little as 10 Minutes. Though that must be balance against the many that still take longer at the moment.
And battery life which is actually far better than was being predicted by the manufacturers, yet alone the doom merchants.

As I wrote at the top, its not going to be easy, and there are some real issues that need to be sorted concerning the charging infrastructure. The number and location of stations needs to increase, as do the number of faster chargers, accessibility not only to the physical chargers but also to the payment methods - it should be as simple going to a pay at the pump at any fuel station, without having to have special apps on your phone for all the different companies.

But there will also be pressure on all drivers (not just EV's) to change as we see greater restrictions on accessing urban areas, I also think we are likely to see more Toll roads.

Change is definitely on the way.
 
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I agree otherclive-the leaps made by manufacturers already mean that I am hopeful with this sort of pressure, we'll be there by 2035. Having had the use of a new model Nissan Leaf for some time I can vouch for its usability and fun to drive aspect. As a second car to a good towcar it would be fine. The only decent towing electric car as yet is the Tesla Model X 2200kg but range is hit hard! It 'll come -Elon Musk has just announced that it won't be long before his model S can do 400miles on a single charge!
 
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I agree otherclive-the leaps made by manufacturers already mean that I am hopeful with this sort of pressure, we'll be there by 2035. Having had the use of a new model Nissan Leaf for some time I can vouch for its usability and fun to drive aspect. As a second car to a good towcar it would be fine. The only decent towing electric car as yet is the Tesla Model X 2200kg but range is hit hard! It 'll come -Elon Musk has just announced that it won't be long before his model S can do 400miles on a single charge!
We shouldn’t underestimate the near term effect if the new emissions legislation introduced by the EU. If the fleet averages of all cars sold exceed a certain figure the manufacturer will be fined a fixed amount for each vehicle sold. This is already putting considerable pressure on car makers who fir some years have failed to address the forthcoming legislation. Some models have been discontinued, the marketing mix is being changed to try and achieve the fleet average and electrification to one degree or another is coming in very quickly.
I had to smile at the AA spokesman saying that the recent U.K. Goverment announcement of no more ICE sales by 2035 will hit sales of hybrids now! What world does he live in? Hybrids will be 15 years old by 2035 so probably ready for recycling, and anyway they will still be able to be driven beyond that date. Although possibly with more geographical restrictions in cities. But that’s an air quality debate not a climate change debate.

 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I'm sorry but I cant be sure what you are trying to say in your first paragraph. Can you try again please?
Sorry the point was not understood, “word-smithing” is not my territory, trying again:

In this discussion, there is an assumption the future of EV's is as vehicles that need charging with electricity.

Charging of something within the EV. It could be what we know as a battery or some other electrical storage device, but in concept some device that accepts and stores electrical energy.

IMO the rechargeable EV will fade into a niche option, all but a dead end, as with it comes so many environmentally damaging twist.
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To continue the debate:

I have little doubt the drive means of powering the vehicles of the future will be from electrical power. However, IMO it is displaying “boxed in thinking” to only consider them as devices receiving a periodic electrical recharge. Much wider lateral thinking ought to be involved than just clamping onto a classic technique.

I highlighted the huge logistical challenges of recharging row on row of on street vehicles as we have in our city's terraced roads, and at multi story dwellings. If inclusiveness is to feature in the car world these present particular challenges not likely to be sorted by simply tram-railing down the rechargeable route.

I have little doubt fast charging will come, but inevitably with that comes beefing up of the power distribution system even further from what is required for a lower speed.

The discussion should also consider EV's that generate their own electrical energy, from a “fuel”, so could relieve many of the recharging routes particular challenges.

A “fuel” that can be promptly dispensed to create electricity to self charge a small on board battery. Here a battery sized just to buffer peak acceleration duties not met by the “fuel cell's” modest steady state generating rate. Here immediately we see an easing of both the mining environmental challenges, and those of the providing an electrical power distribution infrastructure. Clearly replaced by others, but possibly less damaging and offering benefits.

Hydrogen was quoted as a less environmentally damaging solution, of any of the mining activities required for presently known battery options.
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Taking up one point; Seeing we have presently under construction in the Solent two underwater DC power cables from France, together building two massive inverter facilities, I don't buy the statement we have enough generating capacity, unless this scheme's investors were suckered very big time.
 
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Thank JTQ you for the clarification.

Until the either the government changes its mind, or there is a very significant breakthrough in the ease of producing hydrogen, the pure rechargeable EV will be the prefered route, simply becasue its simple and relatively cheap and easy for car manufacturers to implement.

Hydrogen may be a very clean fuel, but presently it is not well developed. It may become more popular, but until the necessary technology is cheaper than battery's it wont get a lot of development capitol.

As I previously suggested, I believe the impact of sourcing materials for batteries is unlikely to be as destructive as the fossil fuel it replaces, and new technological advances are making batteries less dependant on difficult to source materials. I'm not going to claim there will be zero mining, but it will become cleaner and safer and less dependant on single supply sources.

The National grid does presently have a power generation deficit to cover peak daytime load, and that is why we will buy power from elsewhere to cover peak periods. but as it stands at the moment the generators tell us they have enough off peak capacity to meet the EV charging needs. As time goes by we will have more solar and wind generating capacity, and Hinkley point C and other smaller power schemes including distributed local power storage should negate the need to purchase from abroad.

Admittedly there are a lot if ifs and buts and we don't have all the answers yet, because we are only at the early stages of this brave new world of transport, I agree we should not ignore alternative strategies, but the industry has been left to its own devices and the pragmatic approach suggests going with a technology that is well understood, and is comparatively easy to implement like battery powered EV. It will need a big shift in the cost and availability of any other technology to move the main stream manufactures away from this course.
 
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The two cables from France to U.K. come on line in 2021 and supply 2 Gw. Like the other 2 Gw cable that has been in use since 1986 they will work in both directions. The main driver for the new cable is cost of energy in U.K. With it being expensive compared to Europe the private investors see a commercial opportunity. There are also inter connectors between U.K. and the Netherlands, RoI and Northern Ireland too. Within Europe there are inter connectors being installed from northern Germany to the Low Countries and France. There is also the U.K—Norway Northlink cable being installed. And there’s Viking and Nedlink cables to UK under construction. It’s all part of making best use of generating supply especially when renewables either have excess capacity to export or are on reduced capacity where import is required. The ability to share power over such a large geographical area will keep prices down, and enormously help in the transition to cleaner sources of power including transport. But there has still to be the required degree of home grown resilience too.
 
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Kia have announced that for 2020 they will sell a third of their cars as hybrid or electric with one third of the third being full electric. The more powerful models will not be available. Sad to see the demise of the Stinger. This is in direct response to the need to meet the EU (and future UK) emissions rules requiring fleet average to be below €95 gm/km or face fines of €95 per car for every gm/km above the target. Kia has cut sales targets by 6% and is ditching volume sales of small petrol cars that aren’t so readily hybridised or electrified. What with Subaru ditching the turbo XT Forester and my wife’s petrol Kia Rio I’m beginning to feel like an automotive has been :)
 
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This euro 95% thing seems a bit mad; why don't makers just add the 9% euros to our bill-a lot of people would be happy to pay it or is it worse than that!?
 
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This euro 95% thing seems a bit mad; why don't makers just add the 9% euros to our bill-a lot of people would be happy to pay it or is it worse than that!?
Its €95 for each gram/ kilometre above the 95 target. But adding it to the bill wouldn’t help in reducing carbon dioxide Emmisions. I’ve always been a believer that money is a great moderator of behaviour. At a corporate level this legislation is driving change or else company profits slump.
Its akin to the effect fuel prices have on motorists. At a individual level increased fuel costs will modify personal behaviour and decisions. Look back a few years ago when fuel costs were around £1.45 and higher in some place. Traffic density reduced 10%.
 
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The information about the EU's 95gm/km limit and the stinging fines for exceeding it are slightly off topic, but it does show one of the political pressures on car manufacturers, and indirectly on consumer's which will be forcing people to choose less polluting solutions. Such pressure is going to force member countries to address the EV charging infrastructure.

It's very likely the UK will have to adopt the same scheme or something very similar, as we have not yet untied ourselves from all EU regulations and laws.

To address Jezzer's comment, any car company that is fined will have to fund the fine, and that will be from profit. But you can be sure that if profits are hit, the manufacture will up prices to match, so effectively the consumer ends up paying! Each manufacturer will decide how they structure price increases, some may apply it to the offending vehicles, and others may spread the costs across all models collectively.
 
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Aha, quite punitive then. Thank you-I can see the panic! Shame we're not out enough to abandon that especially since we now have the 2035 target anyway! Surely the fine should look at the factory and the CO2 produced there and not just the cars, but hey ho!
 
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The information about the EU's 95gm/km limit and the stinging fines for exceeding it are slightly off topic, but it does show one of the political pressures on car manufacturers, and indirectly on consumer's which will be forcing people to choose less polluting solutions. Such pressure is going to force member countries to address the EV charging infrastructure.

It's very likely the UK will have to adopt the same scheme or something very similar, as we have not yet untied ourselves from all EU regulations and laws.

To address Jezzer's comment, any car company that is fined will have to fund the fine, and that will be from profit. But you can be sure that if profits are hit, the manufacture will up prices to match, so effectively the consumer ends up paying! Each manufacturer will decide how they structure price increases, some may apply it to the offending vehicles, and others may spread the costs across all models collectively.
The U.K. government have confirmed that they will continue with the equivalence of emission standards. Realistically they have no alternative as most UK cars are imports. For companies such as Nissan and Toyota they would be beholden anyway and only JLR could have a degree of autonomy but the UK market for JLR isn’t large enough for them to be viable so there again if they wish to export to Europe they have to comply.
 
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It does seem most likely the 95gm/km target will force most manufacturers down the easy compliance route, which will almost certainly be EV's. This is going to restrict the consume's choice and it will mean many new car buyers will be considering EV's.

It does mean that the present charging network in the UK needs to **** up a gear or two to get their combined acts together and sort out the ineffective payment systems. We really need to make it as simple as presently filling up with liquid fuel and paying by cash or Debit/Credit card without brand restrictions.

The network needs to be expanded, and maintained, as too many points are found to be not working when you get there.

Smart charging where the car will charge on the cheapest rate but can also feed back at peak demand times needs to be implemented sooner rather than later.

Although I championed EV's I do understand that for some (like caravanners) there is not a realistic EV solution yet. There is reason for range anxiety becasue even if there is a charging point en route you still won't know if its in use or out of action when you get there. Range anxiety can become time anxiety.

We will need to reassess our travelling needs which may be different to our travelling desires, but sadly it will be needs that wins out for most.

I'd make a rough guess that we are about 1% there, which means we have a lot of work to do make the UK EV friendly.
 
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I have been in Coventry this last couple of days and in the Wyken area parking is quite tight. Just off of a main through-route I spotted two parking bays a lined out. They were both empty as the writing alongside said “Electric Vehicles” But these were roadside bays not near houses etc. I suspect they were painted in advance of charging bollards being installed. Anyway the good folks of Coventry steered clear of them and in the absence of any restrictive signs I’ve two days of easy parking. My car has a battery, several electric motors and lots of copper wiring. So until charging bollards are installed I saw no reason not to use the bays since as a taxpayer I subsidise the EV community. :eek: TIC
 
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We have four charging points in our village (it is a large one though). Two are at the back of a car park where access is difficult for larger vehicles and two are at the station where commuters will have to leave the car there all day and block other from using them. More though needs to be given to the location of these.
Asda at Motherwell has electric bays but on parking near them the other day I did notice that they were not being used except by ICE cars. I suppose this is good for the future though.
 
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Robert Llewellyn ( Of red dwarf fame) has become something of an eco commentator, and along with some other quite serious people hosts a web site under the name of Fully Charged. Its not just about cars, but that clearly is one of its corner stones. You may find some of their Youtube videos interesting.

I learnt to-day that there is UK legislation that all new rapid charging points (not pre existing ones) installed from Jan 2020 must be able to accept "Touch to Pay" using ordinary bank cards. However the installer may still offer preferential tariffs to customer who sign up to their brand.

I'm not sure if this will apply to Tesla whose chargers are just for Tesla owners only.
 
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Yes but a bit like shutting the door after etc etc. Should have legislated like this immediately.
 
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Like many things it is only when you start to operate them that problems come to light. The problems of the car being left all day though, would be blatantly obvious to anyone proposing a station parking bay.
 
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