Electric tow cars or The elephant in the room

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Nov 11, 2009
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Sedo said:
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.

Too much standardisation will stifle development progress. The Leaf has air cooled batteries which are simpler than water cooled but charge more slowly. But that may be fine for many users who predominantly drive locally or to and from work where chargers are available. But other vehicles used for longer journeys would benefit from faster charging. It’s really the connection interfaces that need to be flexible thus negating the need to carry adaptor cables.

There’s no reason at all to standardise charging payment. After all we are all used to arriving at a fuel outlet that supplied up to four different fuels where we can pay with a multitude of cards, cash or mobile phone apps. Payment will not be a problem as in the longer term I am sure that your cars interface will make the payment and your account will be charged. As we do in some car parks. After all unless cars get charging rates even higher than Tesla you will need to do something with yourself while waiting.

The real key to the progressive changeover to electric vehicles has got to be the increase in charging point needed to overcome people’s concerns that they could be left out of battery capacity.
 
Aug 23, 2006
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I would think another reason people may be reticent about changing over to EV may be that the 'shelf life' of a particular EV may be very short as they're being replaced at a rapid rate. Much quicker the ICE cars, plus I read the resale values plummet due to this very reason.
Also the method of supplying the required electricity the. battery itself may be changed in the future.
Lithium ion apparently may only be a stop gap before, solid state batteries, hydrogen cells, capacitors, even the reported aluminium/electrolyte batteries.
Lets face it we're in the middle of a changeover and things can change quite rapidly.
There is mention of the Nissan Leaf, how many upgrades have there been already in this model?
At a guess I'd say it's gone from around 70-80 mile range to 170-200.
It would be interesting to know if one can upgrade the original to do the present models range.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Sedo said:
I would think another reason people may be reticent about changing over to EV may be that the 'shelf life' of a particular EV may be very short as they're being replaced at a rapid rate. Much quicker the ICE cars, plus I read the resale values plummet due to this very reason.
Also the method of supplying the required electricity the. battery itself may be changed in the future.
Lithium ion apparently may only be a stop gap before, solid state batteries, hydrogen cells, capacitors, even the reported aluminium/electrolyte batteries.
Lets face it we're in the middle of a changeover and things can change quite rapidly.
There is mention of the Nissan Leaf, how many upgrades have there been already in this model?
At a guess I'd say it's gone from around 70-80 mile range to 170-200.
It would be interesting to know if one can upgrade the original to do the present models range.

You’re right on the speed of development and possible obsolescence. It would be nice to feel that say an older leaf could gain from an improved battery as its original one wears out or if an owner wants an upgrade. As long as the interfaces and controls ensured compatibility with the powertrain components most would probably settle for increased range and retain existing performance. I don’t know if any company offers this. Perhaps leasing batteries may be an approach where the manufacturer might see more advantage in an upgrade to range. Although it may not help with car sales. Interesting future ahead.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I don't think obselecance,i the sense that an EV range reduces with age will be a major issue. All the evidence suggests that the battery service life is proving to be much better than to doom merchants would like us to believe.

There is no doubt that batteries will drop some range as they get older, but it would be ridiculous for someone to buy an EV now that cannot travel the distance they presently want to , unless they have access to enough chargers at the present time. The rate of charger deployment is much faster than the degredation of batteries in service, so if you have enough range now, you will not find your vehicle not capable of doing the journey through lck of chargers.

EV systems are developing at quite a formidable rate, and it is quite possible that some of the present technology may be rendered obsolete, but that does not mean they stop working. just that new EV's from that point on may not use that particular technology. A good example of why its unlikely to be a problem may be the charging speeds, but most of the new high speed chargers will talk to the EV and only provide a charging rate suited to the connected vehicle.

We are just at the begining of an exciting new era of motor transport. and whenever there is a significant new development, it can affect many practices that have been in use for a long time. It's highly likely that our traditional freedoms to choose vehicles and use them at will, will face changes. We are seeing the roll out of ULEZ that will either prevent or charge drivers to use them, and I expect there will be much wider spread restrictions that will definately adversly affect traditional caravanning.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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ProfJohnL said:
I don't think obselecance,i the sense that an EV range reduces with age will be a major issue. All the evidence suggests that the battery service life is proving to be much better than to doom merchants would like us to believe.

There is no doubt that batteries will drop some range as they get older, but it would be ridiculous for someone to buy an EV now that cannot travel the distance they presently want to , unless they have access to enough chargers at the present time. The rate of charger deployment is much faster than the degredation of batteries in service, so if you have enough range now, you will not find your vehicle not capable of doing the journey through lck of chargers.

EV systems are developing at quite a formidable rate, and it is quite possible that some of the present technology may be rendered obsolete, but that does not mean they stop working. just that new EV's from that point on may not use that particular technology. A good example of why its unlikely to be a problem may be the charging speeds, but most of the new high speed chargers will talk to the EV and only provide a charging rate suited to the connected vehicle.

We are just at the begining of an exciting new era of motor transport. and whenever there is a significant new development, it can affect many practices that have been in use for a long time. It's highly likely that our traditional freedoms to choose vehicles and use them at will, will face changes. We are seeing the roll out of ULEZ that will either prevent or charge drivers to use them, and I expect there will be much wider spread restrictions that will definately adversly affect traditional caravanning.

I was thinking more that as electric vehicles technology rapidly advances the earlier vehicles will lose value more rapidly on account that their range will be limited compared to newer vehicles and their residual value will reduce as new vehicles prices reduce. So early owners may find they confront a larger financial hit.
There’s only one ULEZ and that is in what was the London Congestion Zone a relatively small area. None of the other cities identified in 2015 have yet had plans approved but most seem to be excluding private cars from their LEZ plans. On the simple reason it’s impracticable to ban cars which reside in the city. So some of their plans seem to be like some of the London boroughs, charge polluting cars to reside in the area irrespective of how much they are used. Others like Bath and Bristol seem inclined to exempt cars.

An electric car would suit us as a second vehicle as most shops, health center, Screwfix/Wickes/Po,bus routes etc are at most a 15 minute walk so starting a car up is not good news for its engine. But when we recently looked at the option even a second hand Leaf made no economic sense. So we went for a two year old Kia Rio, five years warranty and petrol at just over £7k. So if it is to be used to go “shopping” locally it is taken the long way round for a 3-4 mile warm up route. But at 55mpg and fuel at £1.25 it’s still a better option than the Leaf.

Interesting article on the way some German cities may be going to reduce traffic problems including pollution. Munich, home to BMW amongst the forefront.

https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-urban-planners-herald-end-of-the-car-in-cities-a-1278844.html#ref=nl-international
 
Aug 30, 2018
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otherclive said:
ProfJohnL said:
I don't think obselecance,i the sense that an EV range reduces with age will be a major issue. All the evidence suggests that the battery service life is proving to be much better than to doom merchants would like us to believe.

There is no doubt that batteries will drop some range as they get older, but it would be ridiculous for someone to buy an EV now that cannot travel the distance they presently want to , unless they have access to enough chargers at the present time. The rate of charger deployment is much faster than the degredation of batteries in service, so if you have enough range now, you will not find your vehicle not capable of doing the journey through lck of chargers.

EV systems are developing at quite a formidable rate, and it is quite possible that some of the present technology may be rendered obsolete, but that does not mean they stop working. just that new EV's from that point on may not use that particular technology. A good example of why its unlikely to be a problem may be the charging speeds, but most of the new high speed chargers will talk to the EV and only provide a charging rate suited to the connected vehicle.

We are just at the begining of an exciting new era of motor transport. and whenever there is a significant new development, it can affect many practices that have been in use for a long time. It's highly likely that our traditional freedoms to choose vehicles and use them at will, will face changes. We are seeing the roll out of ULEZ that will either prevent or charge drivers to use them, and I expect there will be much wider spread restrictions that will definately adversly affect traditional caravanning.

I was thinking more that as electric vehicles technology rapidly advances the earlier vehicles will lose value more rapidly on account that their range will be limited compared to newer vehicles and their residual value will reduce as new vehicles prices reduce. So early owners may find they confront a larger financial hit.
There’s only one ULEZ and that is in what was the London Congestion Zone a relatively small area. None of the other cities identified in 2015 have yet had plans approved but most seem to be excluding private cars from their LEZ plans. On the simple reason it’s impracticable to ban cars which reside in the city. So some of their plans seem to be like some of the London boroughs, charge polluting cars to reside in the area irrespective of how much they are used. Others like Bath and Bristol seem inclined to exempt cars.

An electric car would suit us as a second vehicle as most shops, health center, Screwfix/Wickes/Po,bus routes etc are at most a 15 minute walk so starting a car up is not good news for its engine. But when we recently looked at the option even a second hand Leaf made no economic sense. So we went for a two year old Kia Rio, five years warranty and petrol at just over £7k. So if it is to be used to go “shopping” locally it is taken the long way round for a 3-4 mile warm up route. But at 55mpg and fuel at £1.25 it’s still a better option than the Leaf.

Interesting article on the way some German cities may be going to reduce traffic problems including pollution. Munich, home to BMW amongst the forefront.

]https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-urban-planners-herald-end-of-the-car-in-cities-a-1278844.html#ref=nl-international
https://www.spiegel.de/internationa...es-a-1278844.html#ref=nl-international[/quote
There is no doubt that the range of EVs has increased enormously in the last few years, just look at a leaf or an I3 from 4-5years ago. The assumption that this will mean poor residual values for a Sh EV . But what is going to do for diesel and petrol cars if people think that electric is a viable alternative?

I am a company car driver this is the non tow car. I am due to change my car next year. I did some sums and if I was to opt for an EV that would put £3500 in my pocket per year and that is before any fuel savings. I have got to say that is mighty tempting.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Boff said:
otherclive said:
ProfJohnL said:
I don't think obselecance,i the sense that an EV range reduces with age will be a major issue. All the evidence suggests that the battery service life is proving to be much better than to doom merchants would like us to believe.

There is no doubt that batteries will drop some range as they get older, but it would be ridiculous for someone to buy an EV now that cannot travel the distance they presently want to , unless they have access to enough chargers at the present time. The rate of charger deployment is much faster than the degredation of batteries in service, so if you have enough range now, you will not find your vehicle not capable of doing the journey through lck of chargers.

EV systems are developing at quite a formidable rate, and it is quite possible that some of the present technology may be rendered obsolete, but that does not mean they stop working. just that new EV's from that point on may not use that particular technology. A good example of why its unlikely to be a problem may be the charging speeds, but most of the new high speed chargers will talk to the EV and only provide a charging rate suited to the connected vehicle.

We are just at the begining of an exciting new era of motor transport. and whenever there is a significant new development, it can affect many practices that have been in use for a long time. It's highly likely that our traditional freedoms to choose vehicles and use them at will, will face changes. We are seeing the roll out of ULEZ that will either prevent or charge drivers to use them, and I expect there will be much wider spread restrictions that will definately adversly affect traditional caravanning.

I was thinking more that as electric vehicles technology rapidly advances the earlier vehicles will lose value more rapidly on account that their range will be limited compared to newer vehicles and their residual value will reduce as new vehicles prices reduce. So early owners may find they confront a larger financial hit.
There’s only one ULEZ and that is in what was the London Congestion Zone a relatively small area. None of the other cities identified in 2015 have yet had plans approved but most seem to be excluding private cars from their LEZ plans. On the simple reason it’s impracticable to ban cars which reside in the city. So some of their plans seem to be like some of the London boroughs, charge polluting cars to reside in the area irrespective of how much they are used. Others like Bath and Bristol seem inclined to exempt cars.

An electric car would suit us as a second vehicle as most shops, health center, Screwfix/Wickes/Po,bus routes etc are at most a 15 minute walk so starting a car up is not good news for its engine. But when we recently looked at the option even a second hand Leaf made no economic sense. So we went for a two year old Kia Rio, five years warranty and petrol at just over £7k. So if it is to be used to go “shopping” locally it is taken the long way round for a 3-4 mile warm up route. But at 55mpg and fuel at £1.25 it’s still a better option than the Leaf.

Interesting article on the way some German cities may be going to reduce traffic problems including pollution. Munich, home to BMW amongst the forefront.

]https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-urban-planners-herald-end-of-the-car-in-cities-a-1278844.html#ref=nl-international
https://www.spiegel.de/internationa...es-a-1278844.html#ref=nl-international[/quote
There is no doubt that the range of EVs has increased enormously in the last few years, just look at a leaf or an I3 from 4-5years ago. The assumption that this will mean poor residual values for a Sh EV . But what is going to do for diesel and petrol cars if people think that electric is a viable alternative?

I am a company car driver this is the non tow car. I am due to change my car next year. I did some sums and if I was to opt for an EV that would put £3500 in my pocket per year and that is before any fuel savings. I have got to say that is mighty tempting.

Thank you. I can see how the economics of an EV work very much in your favour. My grandson uses his petrol car for commuting and uses two tankfuls a week (120litres) just going to and from his office an hours drive each way primarily on rural roads. So I can see how a company car fuel costs can be considerable. I think there are around 23 million ICE cars on our roads so it will be some time before electric cars really make inroads to their residuals. What will have more effect are emission zones/taxes on emissions particularly as less clean vehicles are targeted and EV or hybrids then come into favour as most makers will supply these without any choice of a straight ICE for the buyer.
 
Aug 30, 2018
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I guess I have an usual usage pattern I either do zero miles or over 300 in a day. My wife consistently does a 70 mile trip each day. If she were to use an EV my calculation based upon some reasonable assumptions would mean she would save £5 per day. On the other hand. I f I am doing a 300+ mile round trip I am going to need to recharge and I think that this is just about feasible.

For the foreseeable future I am going to need to accept that our 3L Touareg is going to be the tow car.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Strangely enough Bristol has just announced its plans to be introduced by 2021. Buses, HGV, taxis and vans will be charged to enter the zone up to £100 per day if their emissions exceed a specified level. All diesel cars will also be banned from a small area of the city center. No information if the latest EU6 will be exempt. Some form of scrappage scheme. Where funding for scrappage not clear.

Ps All diesels including EU 6 to be banned from inner area but it may only be between certain hours. Knowing Bristol and it’s Mayor debate/consultation is their forte. :evil:
 
Jan 31, 2018
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I don't agree with the 'no need to standardise payment ' comment. Yes you can pay for petrol and diesel in lots of different ways but those who don't have smart phones or don't use them can always pay by cash or debit card. For most roadside chargers this simply isn't possible and some require a monthly subscription that is only just being r ationalised. Not good enough imo!
 
May 7, 2012
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JezzerB said:
I don't agree with the 'no need to standardise payment ' comment. Yes you can pay for petrol and diesel in lots of different ways but those who don't have smart phones or don't use them can always pay by cash or debit card. For most roadside chargers this simply isn't possible and some require a monthly subscription that is only just being r ationalised. Not good enough imo!

I agree. We need a standard connection and all charging points to take credit and debit cards. Anything else reduces the take up of electric and hybrid cars. The problems are one of the main reasons for people avoiding them.
 
Sep 4, 2017
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Electric cars are the next scam after windmills & solar
They are charged from the grid, subsidized by tax payers, don't travel far enough, take too long to charge, are not green at all (part of the scam)

Green_cars.JPG
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Like it; however the above will improve for electric cars and the grid is moving toward greener power sources-all be it slowly. eg battery recycling etc but agree with you -cars get the hammer but there are a lot of bigger issues that they need to be looking at!
 
May 7, 2012
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The Tesla and BMW figures are a reasonable comparison assuming you can live with the recharging problems. On that basis the Tesla wins on the environment but other things do need to be considered.
The Mitsubishi is not comparable though and it needs something smaller to compare like the Nissan Leaf to get closer.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Grey13 said:
Electric cars are the next scam after windmills & solar
They are charged from the grid, subsidized by tax payers, don't travel far enough, take too long to charge, are not green at all (part of the scam)

Green_cars.JPG

Am I missing something here. The Tesla has lower Life Cycle Emissions than the BMW a comparative vehicle. But the Tesla slightly higher than the Mirage which isn't a relevant comparison. The Mirage should be compared to a Leaf, Zoe, Smart or I3.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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An interesting fact came out last week in the research into PM 2.5 particulates in urban areas. This is separates from Co2 or NOX emission concerns. But as vehicles have become cleaner the study found that some 55-60% of PM 2.5 was found to come from road wear debris, brakes and tyres. This is independent of whether the vehicle is petrol, diesel of electric. So perhaps we may be seeing the introduction of more complete vehicle restrictions in areas with high PM 2.5
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Am assuming the Mirage is there for comparison but as said; not very relevant. And of course the BMW is the only one here that will tow a decent van-however the Tesla model x for a bit more cash will ! 80k is no small sum however! They will get there though; electric vans in use already and Mr Tesla has an electric lorry in development!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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JezzerB said:
Am assuming the Mirage is there for comparison but as said; not very relevant. And of course the BMW is the only one here that will tow a decent van-however the Tesla model x for a bit more cash will ! 80k is no small sum however! They will get there though; electric vans in use already and Mr Tesla has an electric lorry in development!

The BMW 750i X drive list at a whisker under £82000 without options! Makes the Tesla look bargain. :whistle:
https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/bmw/7-series/specs/750i-xdrive-4dr-auto
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Grey13 said:
Electric cars are the next scam after windmills & solar
They are charged from the grid, subsidized by tax payers, don't travel far enough, take too long to charge, are not green at all (part of the scam)

Green_cars.JPG

Hmmm.

I note the chart is published by Trancik Lab MIT, and it is about US Midwest. It is therefore not appropriate to apply its conclusions world wide.

The Production CO2 figures need to be qualified as to how comparative the results really are. Do they genuiney compare apples to apples, or has the Tesla had some processes included where comparative processes for the ICE vehicles may have been excluded. I do not know the answer, but I am sceptical as other published figures that have been given on this forum included the CO2 footprint of extracting the chemicals to make the battery, but the ICE vehicles ignored the CO2 footprint of extracting and refining crude oil.

The chart shows the largest proportion of CO2 production rests with fuel usage to drive the vehicle. It is therefore highly dependent on how the electricity used charge the vehicle is produced. The mix of generation methods is therefore very significant, and localities that rely on fossil fuel power generation will fare much worse than localities where alternatives such as hydro electric and other renewables and even Nuclear have a greater percentage.

I do not disagree that presently EV's do not have attractive towing credentials. The four factors that make the biggest impact are EV's seem to have limited towed weight capacities, poor range and long charging times and location of charging points. All these factors do need to improve, and certainly range and charging times are coming along in leaps and bounds. New battery power densities have improved by about 25% over the last 3 years, and there is continuing improvements with real possibilities of achieving double the capacity in a few short years. Charging rates are also improving and the latest chargers can provide 80% charge in 20 to 30Min in compatible vehicles.

We are still in the infancy of the EV revolution, just think about how long it took for ICE vehicles to become available to the masses, before criticising too much. Manufacturers will naturally focus on core business, which is solo vehicles. Towing capacities are an area where car manufactures need to be made aware of consumers needs. The truth is that only about 10% of cars are used for any towing duties, so the car manufacturers (as opposed to commercial vehicles) don't see towing as a primary issue.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Aug 30, 2018
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What I tried and failed to link to is a letter by Professor Trancik and her coworkers published in the FT 20/11/2017. complaining that the comparison of the mirage with Tesla model S was “cherry picking” data and standing their conclusions on their head. Basically they were asserting that their data was being manipulated, because it was fundamentally unfair to to compare a luxury Tesla model S with a very small and basic Mitsubishi Mirage.

Also if you think about it. The basis of the graphic was to show, that Electric cars produce as much CO2 as conventional cars. If Man made climate change is a myth and CO2 emmissions do not contribute to climate change. Then then the relative amounts of CO2 EV’s and ICE vechicles produce is irrelevant.

By showing that graphic I can only assume that the person who posted it. Understands the importance of Climate change and CO2, he just doesn’t believe that EV’s are part of the solution. .
If you Google Trancik you find a link to the letter in the FT
 
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My personal belief regarding EVs and towing, they are at the same stage as Diesel engined vehicles were 40 years ago. Not many were in use because they may have had masses of torque but they had no power. So they were slow. Look at EV’s today, they have one issue and that’s range and that’s obvious. But look closer what attributes do you look for in a tow car? What about weight? Well EV’s are heavy because they have to carry 500kg of batteries about. Even better that additional weight is carried low down under the floor making them stable. What else do look for torque, which is the principal advantage of Diesel over petrol engines. An electric motor produces high torque and it produces it from 1rpm the torque curve is well flat.

So once the energy density issue is cracked, and so much money is being thrown at it, then you will then get Superb which will make current vehicles obsolete.
 

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