Electric tow cars or The elephant in the room

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Nov 11, 2009
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There’s not much help that anyone can realistically give you. Where I live Bath is considering emission charging or bans but not affecting cars. The effect will be to direct heavy traffic to small towns with narrow roads and already with pollution levels well in excess of the legal limits. Bristol is still considering its options but whatever there are going to be restrictions.

I’m afraid it’s a sign of the times but with city pollution levels so high in some areas restrictions are unavoidable until traffic reduces or becomes cleaner.

You are just going to have to make your choice on the best information available. Could you use out of clean zone storage for a motorhome and a clean car to transport stuff to and fro.
 
Jun 19, 2014
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Hi OtherClive
If I found I was in the ULEZ I would just move out as I am looking to downsize anyway.
The point I am trying to make is that this whole electric vehicle fiasco is just that, a fiasco.
What the government has done is issue a decree to appease the eco faction and then sat back. They then leave it up to the motor industry to battle it out and to be competetive they produce cars with the same bells and whisles as fossil fueled cars at the cost of vehicle range.
I am also of the opinion that the reason for the HSR is that all Londoners will have electric cars which would get them maybe just up the M6 and this is the only way they could travel in a timely fashion.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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foggydave said:
Hi OtherClive
If I found I was in the ULEZ I would just move out as I am looking to downsize anyway.
The point I am trying to make is that this whole electric vehicle fiasco is just that, a fiasco.
What the government has done is issue a decree to appease the eco faction and then sat back. They then leave it up to the motor industry to battle it out and to be competetive they produce cars with the same bells and whisles as fossil fueled cars at the cost of vehicle range.
I am also of the opinion that the reason for the HSR is that all Londoners will have electric cars which would get them maybe just up the M6 and this is the only way they could travel in a timely fashion.

The move towards electric vehicles began long before the government made its announcement. I was involved with three warship classes back in the 1990s that went electric propulsion. One of the drivers was economy and reduced emissions. In that same period cruise liners were going in that direction too. Car development times mean that many of the models out now were starting development well before any announcement by the government.

Forward thinking car makers saw the future required lower emissions. Viz Toyota, Honda etc.

Government have spent a fortune of taxpayer money in promoting renewables and subsidising electric vehicles. These technologies are sufficiently mature to be able to go forward under normal market forces albeit nudged by the government. In nudged I mean with initiatives such as forcing more LEZs and by using pricing/taxes to modify behaviour. When fuel prices rise a few years back mileage dropped by 10%. Recent Scottish minimum pricing for alcohol has led to a reduction in consumption. Price is probably the most effective modifier of behaviour.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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foggydave said:
Hi OtherClive
If I found I was in the ULEZ I would just move out as I am looking to downsize anyway.
The point I am trying to make is that this whole electric vehicle fiasco is just that, a fiasco.
What the government has done is issue a decree to appease the eco faction and then sat back. They then leave it up to the motor industry to battle it out and to be competetive they produce cars with the same bells and whisles as fossil fueled cars at the cost of vehicle range.
I am also of the opinion that the reason for the HSR is that all Londoners will have electric cars which would get them maybe just up the M6 and this is the only way they could travel in a timely fashion.

The Government are between a rock and hard place, If they dictate how to do something, there is usually a backlash because a proportion of the population believe its wrong, or it provides blinkers which stifles innovation or development. And how many times have we seen Gov't schemes fall on their face becasue the technology has not been fully developed or has vastly outstripped the scope of the scheme.

The UK Government now tends to set targets but deliberately does not set out the way to achieve those targets, preferring to leave the development of schemes to the people that do the job. Some will fail to achieve but those that do will tend to become the accepted or prefered route to compliance.

In the case of the EV charging network, The Government does not sell electricity or distribute electricity, that is now in private hands. They could not predict at the outset how the charging networks would start to develop, so its up to those companies to work out how to meet the demands for charging. Now some systems are taking shape, its a shame that the industry has sought to "divide and conquer" it would have been far better if they had come to an industry agreed standard for payment. But now having seen the how things are panning out it might need pressure from government to force the industry to look at customer convenience rather than just commercial proffit.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I am aware that the government were instrumental in encouraging the move to diesel on grounds of reduced CO2 in the late 1990s. Now look where it’s got them. They are lambasted for the support to diesel. Yet the latest diesels are clean but the government don’t have the credibility to say so. Direct injection petrols are putting out small particles that themselves will require particulate filters. So realistically for urban driving electric is a no brainer. The benefits are positive unless you are a car repair center.
 
May 7, 2012
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ProfJohnL said:
foggydave said:
Hi OtherClive
If I found I was in the ULEZ I would just move out as I am looking to downsize anyway.
The point I am trying to make is that this whole electric vehicle fiasco is just that, a fiasco.
What the government has done is issue a decree to appease the eco faction and then sat back. They then leave it up to the motor industry to battle it out and to be competetive they produce cars with the same bells and whisles as fossil fueled cars at the cost of vehicle range.
I am also of the opinion that the reason for the HSR is that all Londoners will have electric cars which would get them maybe just up the M6 and this is the only way they could travel in a timely fashion.

The Government are between a rock and hard place, If they dictate how to do something, there is usually a backlash because a proportion of the population believe its wrong, or it provides blinkers which stifles innovation or development. And how many times have we seen Gov't schemes fall on their face becasue the technology has not been fully developed or has vastly outstripped the scope of the scheme.

The UK Government now tends to set targets but deliberately does not set out the way to achieve those targets, preferring to leave the development of schemes to the people that do the job. Some will fail to achieve but those that do will tend to become the accepted or prefered route to compliance.

In the case of the EV charging network, The Government does not sell electricity or distribute electricity, that is now in private hands. They could not predict at the outset how the charging networks would start to develop, so its up to those companies to work out how to meet the demands for charging. Now some systems are taking shape, its a shame that the industry has sought to "divide and conquer" it would have been far better if they had come to an industry agreed standard for payment. But now having seen the how things are panning out it might need pressure from government to force the industry to look at customer convenience rather than just commercial proffit.

I totally agree. As it stands different firms use different plug types so you need to carry several plugs. The government does need to look at this and possibly with other EU countries work out the best and impose this.
Payments should also be standardised although I think that is less of a problem.
A problem here is also getting to the charging points. People drive to work and then hook up to the charging point and leave the car there all day blocking others, many now have a time limit on how long they can be left there.
My nephew does have a Tesla and can do 300 miles in less than 8 hours without problem. Basically he needs a stop about half way for at least 30 minutes and then has drink or meal while the car charges. 300 miles is about the distance from his home to his mothers so he has done it many times. His main problem has been at the other end as there are no hook ups there so he uses his mothers domestic supply or the hotel they sometimes use with the cable out of the bedroom window into the car. He can book a specific room next to te car park and hopes the nearest parking spot is free.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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EH52ARH said:
I believe Tesla cars have their own dedicated charge points around the UK, is this true.?

Tesla have installed a number of their superchargers around parts of the UK, For some Tesla models the charging is free! but others do have to pay.

I don't know if non Tesla vehicles can use the superchargers, but Tesla's can certainly use other chargers provided the driver has signed up to network.

I know of one Model S owner who has a 7KW charger at home and one at work, so he is happy with his experience.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Raywood said:
ProfJohnL said:
foggydave said:
Hi OtherClive
If I found I was in the ULEZ I would just move out as I am looking to downsize anyway.
The point I am trying to make is that this whole electric vehicle fiasco is just that, a fiasco.
What the government has done is issue a decree to appease the eco faction and then sat back. They then leave it up to the motor industry to battle it out and to be competetive they produce cars with the same bells and whisles as fossil fueled cars at the cost of vehicle range.
I am also of the opinion that the reason for the HSR is that all Londoners will have electric cars which would get them maybe just up the M6 and this is the only way they could travel in a timely fashion.

The Government are between a rock and hard place, If they dictate how to do something, there is usually a backlash because a proportion of the population believe its wrong, or it provides blinkers which stifles innovation or development. And how many times have we seen Gov't schemes fall on their face becasue the technology has not been fully developed or has vastly outstripped the scope of the scheme.

The UK Government now tends to set targets but deliberately does not set out the way to achieve those targets, preferring to leave the development of schemes to the people that do the job. Some will fail to achieve but those that do will tend to become the accepted or prefered route to compliance.

In the case of the EV charging network, The Government does not sell electricity or distribute electricity, that is now in private hands. They could not predict at the outset how the charging networks would start to develop, so its up to those companies to work out how to meet the demands for charging. Now some systems are taking shape, its a shame that the industry has sought to "divide and conquer" it would have been far better if they had come to an industry agreed standard for payment. But now having seen the how things are panning out it might need pressure from government to force the industry to look at customer convenience rather than just commercial proffit.

I totally agree. As it stands different firms use different plug types so you need to carry several plugs. The government does need to look at this and possibly with other EU countries work out the best and impose this.
Payments should also be standardised although I think that is less of a problem.
A problem here is also getting to the charging points. People drive to work and then hook up to the charging point and leave the car there all day blocking others, many now have a time limit on how long they can be left there.
My nephew does have a Tesla and can do 300 miles in less than 8 hours without problem. Basically he needs a stop about half way for at least 30 minutes and then has drink or meal while the car charges. 300 miles is about the distance from his home to his mothers so he has done it many times. His main problem has been at the other end as there are no hook ups there so he uses his mothers domestic supply or the hotel they sometimes use with the cable out of the bedroom window into the car. He can book a specific room next to te car park and hopes the nearest parking spot is free.

I still have difficulty reconciling my mind to an electric car, low on charge, held up on a winters night due to an accident. Aircraft have fuel for a diversion airport, but not electric cars.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Tesla network is Tesla only-the X and S came with free charging but I think now they are selling so well he (Mr Musk) has put a cap on it and you have to pay for the cheaper Model 3 that retails around £38k!
Not 100% on this .
Tesla owners can buy an adapter that will let them charge using other networks BUT other electric cars CANNOT use TEsla chargers even though he made all of his inventions / ideas free from patent so that any car maker could use them-v sad that one if true!

Bear in mind all of this is from my interest in electric cars and lots of reading but not based on fact other than my father in law has a Leaf which we like; and yes in the cold and wet the charge goes down faster BUT if you freeze ie switch the heater off stereo off etc then you can maximise the range so that if it is daylight and the car isn't moving you don't use ANY energy-obviously you are if you have radio/lights and heater on. My wife found this to her cost when in the winter she made a 50 mile trip -the supposed range due to the heater etc being on dropped and by the time she got there it was showing only 49% charge left; the car finds chargers but i rang ahead to make sure they were working-not all do and some might be occupied, for the way back but by driving at 45mph and not having any electrical items on she got home with plenty to spare. NOT NICE though!!!!! Saying that Nissan will recover you for a flat battery, if you don't do it too often and will lend you for free a petrol or diesel car for 2 weeks every year for the first 3 years ownership-still not really the point!
 
May 7, 2012
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The Tesla does have dedicated charging points but the real advantage is that the car can identify them when on the move and even tell you how many are in use so that you can plan your stops.
If you hit a traffic jam and your charge is low then you could run out of power, but that is just the same as with a conventional vehicle if you let it run too low.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Yes the mapping is really good in the Nissan Leaf too-over the air updates and tells you if you need to stop enroute etc but the charging network isn't as good nor charging so quick.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Whilst not a tow car candidate today I saw a 2004 Peugeot 106 all electric car in A1 condition and with its NiCad batteries capable of 55-60 miles between charges. A bit before it’s time but could be useful fir some folks who only do short journeys. And it didn’t gain any HMG subsidy and no charging points around either other than three pin 240 v domestic. But still s good runner.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Got a reply from camc mag; v nice-apparently the test requires manufacturers to submit the car not the other way round-Tesla never have! Apparently they have had quite a few comments about why the Jag should win its class!
 
Nov 6, 2006
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Interesting to see that Dyson have just pulled out of continuing to develop an electric car citing it not being economically viable.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Yes; competing against the big boys isn't ever going to be easy as Tesla are finding out-still no profit apparently; and lessening government support too! mmmm
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I cannot readily imagine how Dyson even thought that developing a viable electric car was a reality. Be interesting to see how Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos gets on with his old style Defender vehicle. Not electric.

Had a lady come down today from Knighton in Powys to collect a 2m long carpet roll. Arrived in a BMW I3. Inside looked as if a pack of foxhounds lived in it. In went the carpet off went the I3. She lived on a farm and said it was a fantastic car.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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James Dyson is no fool, a realist. So his electric car isn’t viable for the general populace financially. The Tesla Is still a rich mans toy at a hefty price most cannot afford.
I believe we will go backwards. The Boeing 747 and Airbus A 380 are yesterday’s planes. Diesel and petrol will continue with leaner burn than ever . China building coal fired power stations almost makes a mockery of “clean” electric cars :whistle:
 
May 7, 2012
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At the end of the day whatever we do in the UK makes almost no difference. It is what the larger countries, China, India. USA etc. do that will be the decider although that is not an argument for doing nothing. We do have to realise that in this scenario we are a minnow and they are the sharks.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Raywood said:
At the end of the day whatever we do in the UK makes almost no difference. It is what the larger countries, China, India. USA etc. do that will be the decider although that is not an argument for doing nothing. We do have to realise that in this scenario we are a minnow and they are the sharks.

On a previous thread on electric vehicles I posted some links showing the large number of electric card, delivery vehicles and buses in one Chinese city. The buses were in their thousands. In 2018 Washington DC celebrated its fourteenth urban bus.

Chinese electric buses are also in use throughout the world in India, Columbia and even Japan. Watch this space or read Destined for War!

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/dec/12/silence-shenzhen-world-first-electric-bus-fleet
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I don’t think any sane person could deny the consequences of climate change will be very serious, But I’m not personally convinced that Man is responsible for causing it. There is irrefutable evidence that the earth has had several cycles of climate change over the millenia, and we are due another.

I do suspect our activities are exssasurbting or possibly accelerating change, and we should be conscious of how our activities do affect our environment and taking steps to reduce or if possible reverse what we have done.

Doing nothing is not really an option.

I do appreciate that in the face of much larger polluters it may seem pointless for people in the UK to take steps to reduce our own emissions, but the fact is any reduction however small does help the effort. But don’t forget that most of the EU countries are also taking a similar stance to our own so in practice it's not just a couple of percent of the world's population, but closer to 15%.

If we can pull it off and show that alternative technologies can work without major disadvantages, then it will encourage other economies and governments to consider it.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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ProfJohnL said:
I don’t think any sane person could deny the consequences of climate change will be very serious, But I’m not personally convinced that Man is responsible for causing it. There is irrefutable evidence that the earth has had several cycles of climate change over the millenia, and we are due another.

I do suspect our activities are exssasurbting or possibly accelerating change, and we should be conscious of how our activities do affect our environment and taking steps to reduce or if possible reverse what we have done.

Doing nothing is not really an option.

I do appreciate that in the face of much larger polluters it may seem pointless for people in the UK to take steps to reduce our own emissions, but the fact is any reduction however small does help the effort. But don’t forget that most of the EU countries are also taking a similar stance to our own so in practice it's not just a couple of percent of the world's population, but closer to 15%.

If we can pull it off and show that alternative technologies can work without major disadvantages, then it will encourage other economies and governments to consider it.

Per capita since 2005 the USA has reduced CO2 emissions by nearly 20% and more than the EU. This has been achieved by renewables but the surge in shale gas which has significantly reduced dependence on coal fired power. Although between them the EU and US reductions were outmatched by China and India increase.

Interesting article below:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2017/10/24/yes-the-u-s-leads-all-countries-in-reducing-carbon-emissions/#263ea8f43535
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If you look back through history at the introduction of ICE cars, when they first started to appear there were no fuel stations and they were very unreliable, and would have been no good at towing

Does this sound familiar? Well partly so , because present day EV’s are proving to be highly reliable.

The fact is it takes time for a new technology to be accepted and to develop the necessary infrastructure to make its use feasible and practical. It also takes time for common usage patterns to establish which informs energy suppliers on how best to provide access to refuel or recharging facilities.

I think it would be foolish to suggest that we could all change overnight to running EV’s, it's going to be a progressive change and I expect it will take a couple of decades for us to reach 75% or more EV vehicles on the road.

EV’s aren't new. Some of the earliest cars were EV’s, but it would be totally inappropriate to equate today’s EV’s with the earliest ones as, control systems and batteries have gone through a century of development all-be-it in different fields of application such as industry, and now there is a massive investment in their development and reapplication to transport.

We have seen modern EV’s with supercar performance which has helped plant seeds of the dream, now it’s time for manufacturers to stop showboating, and to produce effective family transport, and for energy suppliers to put in place simple effective charging solutions.

I always felt we lost something when electric milk floats and bread vans stopped being used, because they typified an excellent usage of electric propulsion, local, stop start, very quiet (except for the delivery man’s blasted whistling at 6.00am!) for what is now known as “last mile deliveries”

Some manufacturers are now building electric local delivery vans. Some councils and businesses are going or EV’s for their local use fleet vehicles.

Batteries especially are going to continue to improve, and when we can get an EV with a 300+ mile range, and have chargers that can pump in 350kW then the whole concept of living with an EV will become far more practical.

As for caravanners, Present day towing with EV’s is difficult. Most ev’s are designed for maximum efficiency with clever aerodynamics and running solo. Couple a caravan and your adding a significant additional weight, and severely compromising the aerodynamic efficiency. There is a blog on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVSHIZihESk
where an american site is trying to use a Tesla Model X to tow a large trailer. You may be interested to watch it.
 
Aug 23, 2006
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I would guess Dyson have pulled out because the major car companies have now past the tipping point and are committing to full EV car production.
With established car production techniques already in place I would think they will be far better placed to produce quality EV's for the masses.
[Obviously the more they switch to full EV, I would think the quicker we get vehicles more ready for towing.

At the moment we're talking of different batteries in different cars with different charging companies.
I'm hoping they can get towards more standardised batteries and charging points that are quicker and more like filling at pumps where one can just pay the pump, or even as is being spoken of changeable batteries.
 

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