Electric tow cars or The elephant in the room

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Mar 14, 2005
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There is clearly a lot of interest in motor vehicles, after all second to a house purchase, the family car is a major investment, and one that many of us with repeat several times in our lives. We are therefore usually interested in how new technologies and how they are applied in cars.

What has changed over recent years has been the clamour about climate change and air pollution. I'm not going to debate the case for or against here that is for another thread or forum. Regardless of the rights or wrongs of the arguments governments have decided that we do need to make changes to start tackling them and especially air quality.

It does not take much effort to see the effects poor air quality has especially in urban areas, and even on rural roads, the colour of the hedgerows and plants nearer roads are often much less vivid than those further away, so road usage is a significant factor in localised pollution and especially cities. The government's policies for LEZ and car production are principally aimed at improving air quality. The government did not say make electric vehicles, they simply said stop making high polluting vehicles, they left it up to industry to find the solutions.

Industry naturally finds the easiest route to a solution, and this case we see the rise of electrics as there is little new principles involved, but also hydrogen and few other solutions may find favour in certain sectors.

There is a mass perception (fuelled by some car manufacturers advertising) that moving to a low emmision vehicle will be a big help to solve the world's climate change problem, but the reality is that all human activity has some size of carbon footprint. Personal transport certainly has a part to play, but it's not the major or only answer. It certainly has a part to play, and if we can start to reduce our personal impact then when it comes to replacing your car it is something you should consider.

But don't be under the illusion EV's have a zero impact on the environment, they do have an impact. but it is less than the like for like ICE vehicles.

Concerning the other consequential particulates like tyres and brake dust, As most EV's use regenerative braking, their use of friction brakes is actually much less. Tyres remain the same problem, but as greater automation is implemented for driving cars, its highly likely that harsh acceleration and cornering will diminish which will also reduce tyre wear.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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ProfJohnL said:
Dustydog said:
Lest we forget, there will be future unknown disposal costs. The latest batteries I understand are not easily recyclable. How much will that cost?...

It is my understanding that batteries are highly recyclable. In many cases when a battery pack is no longer good enough for EV duty, they can be re purposed for other jobs such as home storage, and even at their end of life the constituent parts are recoverable and can be reconstituted. it's the anti EV brigade who keep on claiming there's s problem.

It may not be quite as easy as putting a car through a crusher, but it is being done and it will become easier as technology advances.

The emergency services will need to careful around EVs, but they have to be careful already with house and factory fires where mixtures of combustible fuels and high voltages already exist. In not suggesting it's a walk in the park for them, and vehicle manufacturer's should be taking steps to design in safety systems that will automatically be triggered when a vehicle is involved.

Apologies for going back a few weeks.
Morning Prof,
There was a article in this Saturdays Daily Telegraph quoting Professor Andrew Abbott of Leicester University. His paper says we we will face a mountain of old car batteries which are not easily recyclable nor fit for landfill. He estimates electric cars sold in 2017 will generate 250,000 metric tonnes of unprocessed battery waste.By 2040 waste batteries will be a major problem.

Any thoughts from anyone?
 
May 7, 2012
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You would hope the industry is looking at this to see if anything can be salvaged from these batteries. Not sure what the problems are but landfill is not the answer.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Total scaremongering by the sounds of-plants already being set up-batteries fromcars are used to store energy for homes then when caput totally 80% recycled at the mo;https://auto.howstuffworks.com/can-electric-car-batteries-be-recycled.htm
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Dustydog said:
Apologies for going back a few weeks.
Morning Prof,
There was a article in this Saturdays Daily Telegraph quoting Professor Andrew Abbott of Leicester University. His paper says we we will face a mountain of old car batteries which are not easily recyclable nor fit for landfill. He estimates electric cars sold in 2017 will generate 250,000 metric tonnes of unprocessed battery waste.By 2040 waste batteries will be a major problem.

Any thoughts from anyone?

I have not read the article you mention, so I can't make a fair assessment of it.

As I understand it, virtually all of the constituent parts of EV car batteries can be highly recycled provided the facilities are available. Presently there are limited facilities within the UK, but more are coming on line as and when demand ramps up, but the fact is that the batteries fitted in EV's are exceeding the life expectancy the scaremongers love to suggest they'll last, and as others have pointed out, once an EV battery has become impractical for the EV, many can still have a useful life in other duties such as home storage. Consequently the dire outcome suggested in the article is very very pessimistic.

There is a trend emerging where the media is continually making very negative claims about the emerging EV technologies. They seem to love to look at a prospect that is several years in the future, yet to judge its impact on the present days facilities, and they will inevitably find the two aren't compatible. What they don't seem to be able to comprehend is the infrastructure will also develop at almost the same rate along side the new technology so the gap between technology and support will not be a great as suggested.

As a race we are now more aware of how our activities can affect our environment, and consequently sustainability is major consideration of development projects. Hopefully we are less likely to start a journey along a new technology without understanding its long term impact.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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We are now abandoning plastics. Paper bags are back in vogue. No one has repeated the worries about killing the trees and our eco system!
Where are we truly going???
 
Sep 26, 2018
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Dustydog said:
We are now abandoning plastics. Paper bags are back in vogue. No one has repeated the worries about killing the trees and our eco system!
Where are we truly going???

The Swedes are responsible for a lot of the paper produced for Europe, and the companies plant more conifer forests than they cut... It's called sustainable forestry
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Dustydog said:
We are now abandoning plastics. Paper bags are back in vogue. No one has repeated the worries about killing the trees and our eco system!
Where are we truly going???

It seems you just have. Perhaps you can tell us?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Interesting to see that Tesla will open its European design development and build facilities in Berlin. Now that will be an Elephant in the Room for German car makers. So much for Mrs Mays pledge for U.K. to be the leader in electric vehicles.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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otherclive said:
Interesting to see that Tesla will open its European design development and build facilities in Berlin. Now that will be an Elephant in the Room for German car makers. So much for Mrs Mays pledge for U.K. to be the leader in electric vehicles.
Not surprising. VAG have been trying very hard this year to buy the bulk of Tesla.
 
Sep 5, 2016
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Most wèeks now we are seeing car manufacturers giving dates of when electric car production will be their priority, personally I will run a diesel till they sre phased out I' getting more and more peed off by left wing piticians and paper girls from Norway bloody telling me how to live my life,
 
Nov 11, 2009
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camel said:
Most wèeks now we are seeing car manufacturers giving dates of when electric car production will be their priority, personally I will run a diesel till they sre phased out I' getting more and more peed off by left wing piticians and paper girls from Norway bloody telling me how to live my life,

I think it’s their priority now. The number of hybrids on the market has shot up this last couple of years and all electric are now more available too. A recent news release by VAG reckoned by 2025 80 percent of their cars will be hybrid or EV with the electric range of the hybrids increasing to around 60+ miles partnered with smaller high efficiency petrol engines. The new ALLTRACK GTE estate with its electric range of 30 approx miles would save me grief when I remind my wife that taking the car for a one mile return trip doesn’t do it any favours, and the reason we move house was to be more convenient for a whole range of shops and facilities. 90% of which we will be able to access with an EV (The Royale looks suitably racy) without even having to bump up kerbs.

https://www.mobilitysmart.co.uk/royale-sport-mobility-scooter.html?ff=2&fp=15966&msclkid=34f0a212793810808fa6ffde4d8817be&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Mobility%20Shopping&utm_term=4578503882482149&utm_content=Ad%20group%20%231
 
Nov 11, 2009
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There’s an excellent article in the BBC News app. It starts with the CIAs project to raise a sunken Soviet submarine, but then goes on to discuss ocean mining for metals required for an electrified world. Taken alongside the article on the impact the export of western plastic waste is having on Indonesia it gives food for thought.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/deep_sea_mining
 
Jul 18, 2017
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otherclive said:
Interesting to see that Tesla will open its European design development and build facilities in Berlin. Now that will be an Elephant in the Room for German car makers. So much for Mrs Mays pledge for U.K. to be the leader in electric vehicles.

I think it is brilliant news as we will not have to pay Tesla subsidies. besides the vehicles are so expensive that only the rich can afford to buy them so obviously a low turn over. Who would want to buy a 3 - 5 year old EV knowing that within 2 - 3 years you may have the expense of replacing the battery pack? I am still of the opinion that EVs are not environmentally friendly and are not the answer.
Maybe this is an answer to making the planet carbon neutral. I found a rather interesting article regarding a new type of fuel that does away with EVs and is compatible with current vehicles . See HERE. https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/environment-and-conservation/2018/06/petrol-made-carbon-sucked-air There is also a video. https://youtu.be/Mb_8DJF6Hp0
 
Nov 6, 2006
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The BBC also ran this story yesterday:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49759626

Its seems alarming that we are already at the point of what I guess is extreme mining, with the likelihood of extreme sea floor pollution to go with it, given that electric vehicle have barely taken off.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Buckman said:
I think it is brilliant news as we will not have to pay Tesla subsidies....Who would want to buy a 3 - 5 year old EV knowing that within 2 - 3 years you may have the expense of replacing the battery pack?

What subsidies are you paying Tesla?

I really don't know where you get your figures from? Yes EV batteries do degrade, The degradation is gradual and not catastrophic, and the evidence so far is they don't degrade any where near as quickly as your suggesting so batteries are usually quite capable of meeting users needs for much longer than petrol heads would like to admit.

Presently any loss of range is easily offset by the increasing number of charging points that are available so being stranded by a degraded battery is not a realistic issue.

The prospect of extracting CO2 direct from air is a very interesting idea. The video you point to is weak on technical and cost details, but it certainly seems to have a contribution to make in the bigger scheme of climate change.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Buckman said:
otherclive said:
Interesting to see that Tesla will open its European design development and build facilities in Berlin. Now that will be an Elephant in the Room for German car makers. So much for Mrs Mays pledge for U.K. to be the leader in electric vehicles.

I think it is brilliant news as we will not have to pay Tesla subsidies. besides the vehicles are so expensive that only the rich can afford to buy them so obviously a low turn over. Who would want to buy a 3 - 5 year old EV knowing that within 2 - 3 years you may have the expense of replacing the battery pack? I am still of the opinion that EVs are not environmentally friendly and are not the answer.
Maybe this is an answer to making the planet carbon neutral. I found a rather interesting article regarding a new type of fuel that does away with EVs and is compatible with current vehicles . See HERE. https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/environment-and-conservation/2018/06/petrol-made-carbon-sucked-air There is also a video. https://youtu.be/Mb_8DJF6Hp0

8 year warranty on Tesla batteries, Nissan too i think with caveats re percentage on that one!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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ProfJohnL said:
Buckman said:
I think it is brilliant news as we will not have to pay Tesla subsidies....Who would want to buy a 3 - 5 year old EV knowing that within 2 - 3 years you may have the expense of replacing the battery pack?

What subsidies are you paying Tesla?

I really don't know where you get your figures from? Yes EV batteries do degrade, The degradation is gradual and not catastrophic, and the evidence so far is they don't degrade any where near as quickly as your suggesting so batteries are usually quite capable of meeting users needs for much longer than petrol heads would like to admit.

Presently any loss of range is easily offset by the increasing number of charging points that are available so being stranded by a degraded battery is not a realistic issue.

The prospect of extracting CO2 direct from air is a very interesting idea. The video you point to is weak on technical and cost details, but it certainly seems to have a contribution to make in the bigger scheme of climate change.

In my working days extracting CO2 from the atmosphere was an essential prerequisite to staying alive. Soda lime, Monoethylyneamine, temperature swing adsorption or pressure swing adsorbtion all played a part. But not sure that scaling any of them would be too attractive.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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ProfJohnL said:
Buckman said:
I think it is brilliant news as we will not have to pay Tesla subsidies....Who would want to buy a 3 - 5 year old EV knowing that within 2 - 3 years you may have the expense of replacing the battery pack?
What subsidies are you paying Tesla?
I really don't know where you get your figures from? Yes EV batteries do degrade, The degradation is gradual and not catastrophic, and the evidence so far is they don't degrade any where near as quickly as your suggesting so batteries are usually quite capable of meeting users needs for much longer than petrol heads would like to admit.
Presently any loss of range is easily offset by the increasing number of charging points that are available so being stranded by a degraded battery is not a realistic issue.
The prospect of extracting CO2 direct from air is a very interesting idea. The video you point to is weak on technical and cost details, but it certainly seems to have a contribution to make in the bigger scheme of climate change.
Please read that I said we will not have to pay subsidies as hopefully we will be out of the EU by then! Reading your reply it seems we get our information from the same source! :cheer:
 
May 7, 2012
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ProfJohnL said:
Buckman said:
I think it is brilliant news as we will not have to pay Tesla subsidies....Who would want to buy a 3 - 5 year old EV knowing that within 2 - 3 years you may have the expense of replacing the battery pack?

What subsidies are you paying Tesla?

I really don't know where you get your figures from? Yes EV batteries do degrade, The degradation is gradual and not catastrophic, and the evidence so far is they don't degrade any where near as quickly as your suggesting so batteries are usually quite capable of meeting users needs for much longer than petrol heads would like to admit.

Presently any loss of range is easily offset by the increasing number of charging points that are available so being stranded by a degraded battery is not a realistic issue.

The prospect of extracting CO2 direct from air is a very interesting idea. The video you point to is weak on technical and cost details, but it certainly seems to have a contribution to make in the bigger scheme of climate change.

Hi Prof, I think you are correct that the batteries will last longer than rumours suggest. My nephew has a Tesla and has a 10 year guarantee so while they are not that old yet he has no problem so far with loss of range. Not sure all makes are equal though and the only person I know of who had one long enough found they lasted 6 years but those are now old types and the newer ones should do better.
On long distances though he has not had a serious problem because of the cars computer showing which points are working and free. Getting 200 miles or so before it needs a charge means that you can then stop for planned breaks so manages but cars without the computer information might struggle.
I accept that the numbers of charging points has increased but there is a problem with many being out of order for long periods and with the urban ones of people hooking up in the morning and leaving them there all day. Where we live there are two in a car park which are taken early and the cars left, preventing others using them, and two more in the station. These are taken by commuters, so again are not really effective. This is a problem that has to be dealt with if charging is to work. Essentially we have four charging points but only four people a day can use them most days.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Raywood said:
ProfJohnL said:
Buckman said:
I think it is brilliant news as we will not have to pay Tesla subsidies....Who would want to buy a 3 - 5 year old EV knowing that within 2 - 3 years you may have the expense of replacing the battery pack?

What subsidies are you paying Tesla?

I really don't know where you get your figures from? Yes EV batteries do degrade, The degradation is gradual and not catastrophic, and the evidence so far is they don't degrade any where near as quickly as your suggesting so batteries are usually quite capable of meeting users needs for much longer than petrol heads would like to admit.

Presently any loss of range is easily offset by the increasing number of charging points that are available so being stranded by a degraded battery is not a realistic issue.

The prospect of extracting CO2 direct from air is a very interesting idea. The video you point to is weak on technical and cost details, but it certainly seems to have a contribution to make in the bigger scheme of climate change.

Hi Prof, I think you are correct that the batteries will last longer than rumours suggest. My nephew has a Tesla and has a 10 year guarantee so while they are not that old yet he has no problem so far with loss of range. Not sure all makes are equal though and the only person I know of who had one long enough found they lasted 6 years but those are now old types and the newer ones should do better.
On long distances though he has not had a serious problem because of the cars computer showing which points are working and free. Getting 200 miles or so before it needs a charge means that you can then stop for planned breaks so manages but cars without the computer information might struggle.
I accept that the numbers of charging points has increased but there is a problem with many being out of order for long periods and with the urban ones of people hooking up in the morning and leaving them there all day. Where we live there are two in a car park which are taken early and the cars left, preventing others using them, and two more in the station. These are taken by commuters, so again are not really effective. This is a problem that has to be dealt with if charging is to work. Essentially we have four charging
points but only four people a day can use them most days.

Our station charging points have a time limit to prevent over staying. And a no return within a minimum time too. I suspect charging is going to be an inefficient activity. Like in supermarkets folks do their shop, then go for coffee and eats before going back to the car. When a 30 minute timescale would probably be sufficient to give the car sufficient amps for a reasonable period. When I was in Reykjavik last winter the garage we called at had three charging points and I noticed that all drivers stayed within the cars or alongside.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Ray,

I agree all things electric are not all right yet, we need more chargers, and those that we have kept in full operation. Its also the case that some EV users may needs to review their charging habits to free up charging points when charging is complete. We also need a more universal approach to pay for charging, which presently is unnecessarily complicated and protected.

The way we are most likely to end up using EV's is to have charging points at home, and the car will be recharged overnight, so a large proportion of of EV's will not need to be charged during the day, This should free up high speed chargers for those who are doing longer than range journeys.

We are still very much in the infancy of this significant change in transport habits, and it will take time for new procedures and laws to become established.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Just read that Lithium is classed as a rare element.
The major producers are Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.The boffins reckon there is enough to maintain supplies through to 2050. Let’s hope the South Americans don’t hold the world to ransom when we go full EV :whistle:
 

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