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Cold cars

Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Cold cars

I realise this is a bit behind but, when large numbers of vehicles were snow trapped on Scottish motorways recently for long periods. I heard one or two comments about electric cars and what happens to them in such circumstances. Occupants of petrol and diesel cars can run their engines (at least for reasonable periods) to keep some heat inside, possibly stopping themselves freezing to death. But running the heaters in electric cars can't be done for long before the batteries give up.

Then what?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: Cold cars

Actually i don't think it's a bit behind and it's something i'd never thought of myself. I can only assume when the car is running that it draws heat from the electric motor and / or a heating element in the blower assembly somewhere but in stationary traffic.. well that's an interesting thought isn't it.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Re: Cold cars

Whenever electric cars are mentioned (not hybrids, but totally electric such as the Nissan Leaf) I always think of the Top Gear road test of two such cars.

It seems to me that if you live in rural areas that don't have much in the way of nearby motorway service area's - Lincolnshire doesn't have any motorways for instance, nor at the time of the TG test any charging points in Lincoln - and want to travel in one direction more than 60 - 70 miles, if you want to get back again, then don't buy an electric car.

I can only assume that the owners of electric cars must spend their driving time living on the edge of a nervous breakdown, with one eye on the remaining power meter and the other on the weather forecast (in winter).

We quite often use the Oxford services on the M40 and regularly park adjacent to the charge points. There always seem to be a couple of men around with hands stuffed in pockets, tapping their toes looking quite glum, do you think they might have some regrets about their choice of car. 

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: Cold cars

Another point I wondered about electric cars is how efficient the batteries are over a period of time ?

A new car might be able to do 100 miles on a single charge but what is the position after a couple of years, will it still be able to do that 100 miles on a single charge.

No doubt batteries are changed after a period of time but that will not be cheap and can you buy and change the battery yourself or is it a garage job ?

One thing for certain I will never be buying an electric car.

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Re: Cold cars

Round in Central London a lot of the buses are hybrid.

So if they're just crawling along at a few MPH at traffic and lights it'll be the battery. Not sure of the speed, but it feels like something like 10-15 MPH and when it goes above that the engine automatically starts.

I believe from a friend some cars now will switch off the engine if you're stationary and just start themselves when you're on the move again.

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Re: Cold cars


Alex wrote:
I believe from a friend some cars now will switch off the engine if you're stationary and just start themselves when you're on the move again.

I had reason to do around 300 miles in my son's Merc with that feature and for a few miles of stop start driving out of Liverpool I kept thinking I had stalled it, not easy in an automatic though Wink

No handbrake lever is a pretty strange experience too.

The car did have a much meatier battery than my focus.

 

As mentioned before there has been talk of all electric cars having a standard size, shape and connectors battery.

Places like filling stations would have an appropriate stock quantity of fully charged batteries.

Electric cars needing a 'refill' would simply drive in, exchange their battery, pay the fee and be on their way in minutes.


 

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Re: Cold cars

There are places in London I've walked past with charging points.

Trouble is you need to find one of 4 spaces. Good luck with that one.

I assume they don't have to pay the Congestion Tax (neither should any vehicle neither). Makes me laugh - how does a physical object the same size as a car cause any less "congestion" than one which didn't use batteries. Oh silly me it is to make the air cleaner and for all of us to live longer. Not for TfL to make more money.

On a bit more rant over and a serious note, I don't know how you would in an auto. Driven an auto before in Florida and getting used to creep is a laugh, doesn't take too long. But yes if you want the car to be stationary in a set of lights put it into Neutral and not Drive Tongue

I've got a auto Merc with a dead battery so it reminds me to try and charge it up. Wish me luck. Undecided

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Re: Cold cars

I have no objection to electric cars in principle, but do feel there is a lot more research needed to make them a viable option to diesel/petrol cars yet.

A number of experts point out that using electric cars will not do too much to reduce pollution, when the power production of generating stations is taken into account.

I don't recall the exact details, but Top Gear's James May tested an electric car in I think California, that charged itself from sunlight and braking regeneration. He was very impressed with the technology, and the way forward... easy to say in sunny California.

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: Cold cars

I've a brilliant solution!!!:

 

Honda Power!!!Honda Power!!!

DaveyH
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Re: Cold cars


petlew wrote:

I have no objection to electric cars in principle, but do feel there is a lot more research needed to make them a viable option to diesel/petrol cars yet.

A number of experts point out that using electric cars will not do too much to reduce pollution, when the power production of generating stations is taken into account.

 


 

So the Jeremy Clarksons of the world would have you believe, but they fail to take into account our grids are getting cleaner as we make more use of renewables etc

https://qz.com/1121298/greenhouse-gas-global-warming-emissions-from-electric-cars-ranked-by-country/ 

 

And anyone seriously considering an EV should really consider generating (and storing for their own use later) their own.

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Re: Cold cars

Then there is nuclear fusion and dark energy yet to be harnessed.

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Jonpe
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Re: Cold cars

Instead of a sunroof, fit a solar panel; that should see you through the summer months at least (hopefully).

JPN
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Re: Cold cars

The amount of power generated by a solar panel that would fit on a car roof (say 250W?) would barely operate the door locks, never mind move the thing!

A study done a couple of years back of the full lifetime carbon audit of electric and internal combustion cars showed that a pure electric car had about the same carbon footprint as a VW Golf diesel (I forget which model).

The batteries do deteriorate.  The normal assumption is around a 5 year lifetime with a replacement cost of around £5k.

 

 

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Re: Cold cars

The battery problem of slow charging, for electric cars, will be solved by graphene (carbon) based super-capacitors. They'll charge up in a couple of minutes. 

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
JPN
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Re: Cold cars

Super capacitors certainly have a potential to improve matters, but by themselves just address a part of the problem.  To charge a 30kWh battery in a couple of minutes you not only need a battery physically capable of taking that rate of charge safely, you also need a local infrastructure that will deliver in excess of 1MegaWatt of power on demand (over 4000Amps at 240V!).

To do that would need a complete rebuild of the electricity network.

The assumptions implicit in current government plans for electric vehicles anticipates that they largely use slow charging overnight.  I suspect the politicians are not listening to the engineers. (What's new?).