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Another aspect to Electric cars

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Another aspect to Electric cars

With nothing else better to do on New Years eve, I thought I would have a long overdue look in this forum, and got taken by the Electric Car thread that runs to ten pages.

I don't have nor do I particularly want an electric car, at least not until there's a game changing change in battery technology. I do admit I looked (briefly) at hybrids a few months ago, but took the advice of my excellent garage and dropped the idea. 

Anyway, this post is not about whether to buy or not buy, please consider this hypothetical scenario.

Its mid January, you live in the north of Scotland and you have been invited to a wedding in Manchester (that's in the English bit!!). You decide to drive it in your brand new Nissan Leaf totally electric car. This will mean most likely driving overnight to get to the 10 O'clock nuptials.

There temperature is just above freezing, the clouds are dark and forbidding, the forecast is heavy snow with likely drifting. But you decide to go anyway and get at least one charge up on the way.

Unfortunately all the charge points are in use at the only services to have them on your route. You do some quick calculations and guess you can get to another motorway services to try again.

The snow has turned into blizzard conditions, several accidents have closed the motorway you are on with you and hundreds of others stuck on it not moving. 

I should point out that this is not fanciful, Scottish and north of England motorways get blocked on a fairly regular basis most years in the winter.

By necessity you have shut down your power in your electric car as the range left is down to under 20 miles. You are freezing cold, wrapped up in as much fabric as you can find in the car, but you cannot turn on the heater (as those drivers with petrol or diesel cars can to get a bit of heat in their cars). 

You risk a little heat and watch horrified as the power meter starts to drop like stone, you very smartly switch it off again, but try and get a radio traffic check, this only reports your predicament, with no forecast let up of the snow and temperatures forecast to plummet over night.

Nobody is going anywhere. The Police and rescue services are doing their best, but have to prioritise the elderly, the very young, the sick and pregnant women. At the last traffic report there was a five mile queue of parked cars on the motorway that was getting longer as every minute passed. You notice that there is no traffic going the other way on the northbound carriageway

You are now numb with cold and not feeling at all well. You try curling up on the back seat, but now you just feel sleepy.

Without help, you could die out here.

Do I want an all electric car, no thanks. Not unless I have a petrol one for winter as well.  

Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

That's just it.

Whatever imaginary "range" the manufacturer gives, in real life in dodgy weather with the air con, headlights, wipers, radio, etc all running you can probably half it at least.

As it stands the electric car is a rich man's toy those main purpose is / will be to restrict common folks travelling and keep them out of city centres.

 

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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

But that's a contrived scenario @petlew surely?

We know the range of the electric car, we 'know' what the weather is going to be like, and we know only how far Manchester is - so why not go by coach or train. Even a what, six hour drive from say Inverness to Manchester in a petrol driven car in bad weather would have me scratching my head. 

It's just a pity they are so expensive as they would be ideal for the average car journey the majority of which are local rather than long range.

We'll get there with electric cars but not just yet, in fact we'll have to - and then fossil fuels can stay in the ground where they belong.

Going back to before the days of the internal combustion engine (and assuming we are not all Dick Turpins) how far do you think would a horse would have taken us 😃

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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

Au contraire @billnotben, electric cars will keep us in rather than out of city centres. 

First they came for the diesel vehicle as they have done in Bristol I believe, then they'll come for the petrol...and the sooner the better - 'deep breath of clean air fingers crossed'.

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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars


@Minivanman wrote:

But that's a contrived scenario @petlew surely?

 

@Minivanman  obviously, you have not been sat in a motorway hold up for 7 hours, with the police stopping everyone else from going about their lawful business, just so they can "do their job"..

It`s ok for the police to stop traffic to carry out the emergency works, ambulance and fire crews, in safety, but they keep the road closed to traffic so they can "work in  peace" ..

. most of the "aftermath" work involves clearing the debris and measuring the salient points, taking notes, comparing notes, and photographing.  with today`s gps cameras this, which could take less than an hour, if done efficiently, and then analysed back at "the office" ...... instead, the senior bod there says  " its a crime scene" and nobody can go in/past/through it, until we have finished.

In the usa.. they have some horrendous pile ups involving hgv`s, and cars, and they have the road re-opened within the hour... 

There is no reason why the police have to close the road completely.... unless the road surface is so badly damaged it needs a "proper job" resurfacing it... let`s face it.... the odd "pot hole" is just the norm on many roads.. 

To "safeguard" the actual crash scene from gongoozellers/rubberneckers in passing traffic, they could erect screens and divert the held up traffic around the scene...

 

So .. no... @petlew  has got a good point...

We all know that even petrol and diesel mileages claimed by manufacturers are not "the real thing"... and so why should you accept that the electric manufacturers are any different..... indeed, they will stretch the point of how far you can travel in an electric car before re-charging, to try to convince people that they are cheaper by the mile to run than petrol or diesel cars, just so that creates the demand, which then justifies their existence

as a point of interest... would you be prepared to take on any electric car, and run it to the manufacturers (estimated) mileage, without getting a re-charge? 

and don`t compare that to petrol or diesel, because you  CAN actually try that out,... of course, you will have a gallon of the required fuel in the boot, so that when it does run out, you are not stranded....imagine having to carry a spare battery in the boot... there would be nowhere for the shopping.............(or picnic hamper) .....

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Aspiring Legend
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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

Not sure what point you are trying to make with any of that @shutter .

I have no argument with electric cars having their mileage hyped and we'd be beyond foolish to accept as gospel anything they tell us. 

The point I was making was that it should be no surprise to any of us that electric cars cannot take us from 'Lands End to John O' Groats' on a single charge.

Maybe one day, but not for a while yet. 😛

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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

And one other,’small’ point....

How long does it take you to fill up a petrol or diesel car ?

How long will it take you to charge up an electric car and how many power points will you need when there are more electric cars than petrol or diesel cars.

Other than for short journeys to the local town, school runs or local buses I see little future in electric cars..

And another small point....The government is going to lose millions in road tax as more people buy these cars....At some point they will be forced to introduce a token tax on electric cars which will soon turn into a tax equal to that paid on petrol & diesel cars.

The tide will turn against electric cars when we start to see a increasing number stuck on the hard shoulder or blocking small roads due to running out of electricity.

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Hero
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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

Electric cars make perfect sense if you need a local run around and for short commutes, providing you have off road parking so that you can recharge it overnight on cheap electricity or other cheap recharge options. The only snag is the purchase price and needing a different vehicle for longer journeys. I can see some sense if living in a city and perhaps hiring a car for the longer distance stuff. With today’s technology it’s a case of ‘horses for courses’.

My main vehicle is a self charging hybrid. This is not because I have any notions that it will help stop the near extinction of the human race through climate change, that’s inevitable, it’s because I want to run an economic car with automatic transmission and this fits the bill perfectly.

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Anonymous
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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

The police spend £1.49 million on electric cars 

https://www.unilad.co.uk/news/police-spend-1-5m-on-electric-cars-too-slow-to-catch-criminals/

 

Charlie Echo One Seven to YF just had to abort the pursuit of the stolen Range Rover my batteries are running low

 

Brian A

 

 

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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

@gleneagles 

I hardly think that even a 100 miles which is well within the capabilities of an electric car is a short journey, and many do more than twice that. Not enough to go mainstream but it's a start... and we have to start somewhere.

Got to thinking about the future of petrol garages and service stations and I guess petrol garages will become charging centres and service stations will be the same but with somewhere to shop, sleep or eat. All with have parking bays where you can just pull up and plug in (or maybe drive over some sort of induction pad) and hey presto, all charged up and ready to go like that anthropomorphic Duracell Bunny!

Capture.PNG

Beep beep... but only on a full charge. 😉

 

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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

My job sees me driving between 200 and 500 miles per day in my "dirty" diesel van. I can't see my company wanting to pay me overnight expenses, neither would I want to be staying out, just because there are not enough charging points and they take too long to charge. Imagine how much prices would have to go up to account for the increase in costs to a business.

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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

Actually my point in the scenario wasn't about the mileage range of totally electric cars, although on a different level it is an important factor. But the dire results (ok hypothetical) of the consequences of being stuck on an non-moving motorway for maybe hours, sometimes many hours, in freezing conditions, unable to use the heating without draining the electrical system completely. And therefore when the time comes being unable to move the car, you had better hope there are others around who will help you push it onto the hard shoulder (hopefully there will be one, or it maybe a long push or heaven forbid an ignominious tow to a refuge area). From there you will no doubt need recovery (at great expense if not part of a breakdown plan, check your small print) to the nearest charge point 

In my admitted ignorance of electric cars; how long would it take to drain the system if the heater is on in a static car, at full and say half charged?. I would hazard a guess not too long. Does regenerative braking (if fitted) assist this if the car is moving. However you won't (hopefully) be using your brakes much on a motorway. Are the services; lights, heating, air-con etc. powered by the main system, or is there an auxiliary power source for these?. 

Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

@Marksfish 

Well no of course not 🙂, but that's as is now and the future is going to be very different especially in the short term when cities such as Bristol ban those "dirty diesel" vans... and I drove diesel for years.

My guess is again in the short term, drop off hubs will be introduced where delivery drivers for example can exchange loads which will then be taken off into the city centre by some form of electric transport.

Electric vehicles need to be embraced, the trouble is there is very little to hug at the moment,

 

 

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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

@petlew 

I see your point but surely the hazardous journey you describe in an electric vehicle is no different to a conventional car setting out on the same journey with little fuel in the tank. So to me range when fully charged/tanked is key to the argument.

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Re: Another aspect to Electric cars

@petlew 

Does that no assume we will all have electric cars in the future?

I don't see it m'self, in probable fact less people with have cars I reckon as there will be a correlation in actually having a job to drive to in the future and a massive but massive increase in on-line shopping.... all being delivered by electric vehicles of course or being dropped off by drone!

Horses for courses and given my own situation I'd have one at the drop of a Rees-Mogg top hat as I rarely drive more than a hundred miles a week let alone a day. 

Steam trains? Never work, as it's a well known fact that the human body will fall apart at over thirty miles and hour. 😎