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Old 08-03-2019   #1
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This could have some repercussions..

Spotted this story which on the face of it is the end of the VW up..

https://www.topgear.com/car-news/ele...s-not-electric

But would have some pretty wide ranging implications across the industry if other makers reach the same conclusions.

In some ways the electrification of city cars makes perfect sense..but if battery costs don't come down a lot in the intervening time there may not be a business case for them at all at the cheaper end of the market. VW have some of the highest prices in the class, at the other end of the market (Dacia for example) if they could continue on their current business model. Given a Zoe motive power battery runs at about 4 grand..it doesn't leave an awful lot of money for a car.
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Old 08-03-2019   #2
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

I suspect that the VAG experience has meant they appreciate the market.

Whereas FIAT are committed to a Euro build 500e - just 5+ years too late
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Old 08-03-2019   #3
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

It’s a fairly obvious dilema.

You buy a small cheap car because you want it to be small and cheap, economical and

You buy and electric car to be cheap to run and economical.

Historically electric cars are expensive and so they tend to be aimed at the top end of the market, people who want something futuristic but care about the environment and have a large disposable income. Not the sort of people to buy a up but will drop £70k on a tesla.

The people buying a little car like an up don’t have an abundance of disposable income and just want something cheap and economical but the big £70k Tesla is actually more economical than the little petrol Up. So you fit an electric motor to your £8k up and a battery, suddenly you have the smallest, cheapest to run little car in the world, but you doubled the price with an expensive battery. Now the regular Up buyers will buy something else, because no one is going to spend £20k on a basic and cheap little car.

This is the exact problem fiat have, they make small cars and so the margins are far small. When they did fit a motor to the 500e the price jumped to £30k and it only had a range of less than 100 miles. People don’t mind doing shorter distances if they can charge the car at night but they need to at least get to and from work.

It’s this exact problem which could kill small car makers like fiat.
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Old 08-03-2019   #4
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

It all depends on where battery costs go.

The electric drive train can theoretically be cheaper with its lack of gearbox and moving parts but you literally couldn't build a car with the same range as a current city car within the same footprint as a current city car. The energy density isn't there at the moment you need a big skate board battery pack to get the range. While it doesn't need a 300 mile range it'll need to be about half that.

Next class up seems safe with the recently announced e208 which pretty much confirms an electric C3, DS3, Corsa, 2008, C3 aircross e.t.c. will be available in electric versions. With platform sharing being what it is in PSA they'll spin that bad boy off endlessly. also hybrids have shown up in the form of the Yaris long ago.

But city cars themselves could end up being twizyesque!
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Old 08-03-2019   #5
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

Electric is such a stupid idea.

Whilst we can fix battery energy density, we can't fix charging rates, as a pipeline of fossil fuels provides a lot more energy in a shorter 'fill' than plugging into the electric.

We now see Tesla building batteries to charge batteries, because they're getting charge throttling issues when more than a single car wants a charge.

The fastest home chargers are likely to top out at the current 7kWh because domestic supplies can't deliver any more. And even if they could, you couldn't deliver 7kWh at the same time as your neighbour.

For those cars used to do 10 miles or so a day on the school run and to the supermarket, electric may make sense... but imagine the chaos on a Friday afternoon at Exeter services when everyone tries to get away for a weekend.

Charging infrastructure will just never be able to cope with that kind of peak demand. And that is why BEVs will fall down as the main family transport.
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Old 09-03-2019   #6
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

Charging infrastructure has always been the problem and will be until billions are spent beefing up the power cables. At least nobody will be able to drive while the roads are dug up for new cables.
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Old 14-03-2019   #7
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

I stopped thinking electric cars were the future when I realised that the electricity was coming from fossil fuel powered plants... The cover to Pink Floyd's "Animals" springs to mind, except in a 2030 modern London where the Battersea Power Station is converted into luxury apartments and gender fluid nonsensical startups... Anyway, where were we?!
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Old 14-03-2019   #8
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

Quote Originally Posted by SB1500 View Post
I stopped thinking electric cars were the future when I realised that the electricity was coming from fossil fuel powered plants... The cover to Pink Floyd's "Animals" springs to mind, except in a 2030 modern London where the Battersea Power Station is converted into luxury apartments and gender fluid nonsensical startups... Anyway, where were we?!
Very very little of our power comes from fossil fuels in the U.K. now and we have had many days where no fossil fuel has been used at all.
I probably should point out battersea has not been in action for decades.
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

Quote Originally Posted by AndyRKett View Post
Very very little of our power comes from fossil fuels in the U.K. now and we have had many days where no fossil fuel has been used at all.

I probably should point out battersea has not been in action for decades.


Really? Thatís actually great to be honest.

And yeah I know that, I read they were converting it into some modern day purpose though
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Old 14-03-2019   #10
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

Quote Originally Posted by AndyRKett View Post
Very very little of our power comes from fossil fuels in the U.K. now and we have had many days where no fossil fuel has been used at all.
I probably should point out battersea has not been in action for decades.
I thought we'd had coal free days, but still relied very much on natural gas.

As an aside, some definitions of 'renewable' are very vague and borderline outright lying.

I also worry about air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps as a source of domestic energy - nothing comes 'for free' - it just may take a few decades before people realise that pulling heat out of the air and the ground on a large scale causes irreversible environmental damage. (I always ponder this about tidal, too - if you're taking that energy out, the equal and opposite force nature expects is no longer there).
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Old 15-03-2019   #11
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

Proper introduction of electric vehicle infrastructure will likely require us to get out of the mindset of individual vehicle ownership. Schedule a vehicle to be where you need it, when you need it, drive it to a motorway services (for example) plug in to charge, go in and get your lunch, come out and get into a different fully charged vehicle and continue your journey. If the load on the network is constant it'll make it much easier to keep electric vehicles fully charged and ready for use. Any excess generation overnight for example while the majority of vehicles will be idle goes into large scale storage, perhaps even on site at major charging areas like M'way services, ready to be deployed when demand picks up again during the day.
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Old 15-03-2019   #12
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

With London becoming the first of many Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) and despite the expense of owning an electric car (even if you are only renting the batteries) it would still work out cheaper than the cheapest petrol/diesel/lpg vehicles.

Electric vehicles are nothing new. They phased out when petrol engines became more efficient a hundred or so years ago. Oil companies would like to have us think it's weird, different, difficult technology that needs further development and cost a fortune to manufacture, run and maintain blah blah, etc, etc; because the world is at the point now where half the oil is all but gone and the rest will cost a lot more to find, mine and refine.
As an industry oil have been drug dealers, getting us hooked and cranking the price up (yes most of it is tax but how much of that tax is back handed into the self serving alleged politicians pockets?). Now supply for oil will no longer outdo demand pricing will only go one way and it will not be long before cars as we know it become obsolete due to this elevated cost.

A while ago someone asked...

"If you had the last barrel of petrol left in the world and had to choose one vehicle to drive what would it be?"

...a lot of people said Ferrari F40, Porsche 911 etc but I said my Fiat Panda Fantasia because a barrel (35 Imperial gallons) of Petrol would be enough to do 1,800-1,900 miles.

All fun at the time but a stark reality now.

New electric cars all have the same two issues.

1/ The carbon footprint to manufacture them.
2/ The are mostly crap.

https://www.electricclassiccars.co.uk/

I've been looking at the prospect of converting my Panda to electric for a while.

1/ The car exists so no new carbon footprint.
2/ She's a Panda and therefore not a modern pile of crap.

For a fraction of the cost of a new electric car you can convert a classic using parts harvested from scrap yards or heavy industry. An electric fork lift motor moves a five ton truck carrying up to three tons it should punt a Panda along with relative ease.

Way off topic but whenever anyone says new electric cars are the future it's a tad short sighted.

Sometime soon I imagine there will be a government "scrapage scheme" to get people to part with their horrible disgusting petrol/diesel/lpg cars and go electric but why; when you can convert the car you already own, enjoy or even love to electric for less?
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Last edited by Liquid Knight II; 15-03-2019 at 09:06.
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Old 15-03-2019   #13
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

Quote Originally Posted by Eklipze3k View Post
Proper introduction of electric vehicle infrastructure will likely require us to get out of the mindset of individual vehicle ownership. Schedule a vehicle to be where you need it, when you need it, drive it to a motorway services (for example) plug in to charge, go in and get your lunch, come out and get into a different fully charged vehicle and continue your journey. If the load on the network is constant it'll make it much easier to keep electric vehicles fully charged and ready for use. Any excess generation overnight for example while the majority of vehicles will be idle goes into large scale storage, perhaps even on site at major charging areas like M'way services, ready to be deployed when demand picks up again during the day.
That's ridiculous, though.

My car contains loads of my own personal bits and pieces. Things I like to have with me (emergency electric razor, spare glasses, sunglasses, loads of other bits and pieces, alongside what I need to carry for work) - and, if you're on a motorway, you are probably going somewhere with luggage in the car.

Swapping cars to ease the load on charging infrastructure makes very little sense - it's downgrading cars to the level of public transport.

My car is my space. It's personal, it's to my standards of cleanliness and OCD setting of the controls. I hate hire cars and courtesy cars, purely because they're not my personal space.

You'll never break that mindset with a majority of road users and car owners - and why should we change because the government has backed a dodo?
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

Quote Originally Posted by Schumi2001 View Post
That's ridiculous, though.

My car contains loads of my own personal bits and pieces. Things I like to have with me (emergency electric razor, spare glasses, sunglasses, loads of other bits and pieces, alongside what I need to carry for work) - and, if you're on a motorway, you are probably going somewhere with luggage in the car.

Swapping cars to ease the load on charging infrastructure makes very little sense - it's downgrading cars to the level of public transport.

My car is my space. It's personal, it's to my standards of cleanliness and OCD setting of the controls. I hate hire cars and courtesy cars, purely because they're not my personal space.

You'll never break that mindset with a majority of road users and car owners - and why should we change because the government has backed a dodo?
All that is why car makers are not especially scared of self driving cars.


Also (1) they are along way away from doing the job and (2) do we really want to wait in the rain for a car to arrive only to find poo and sick on the floor?

They will be nothing more than driverless taxi cabs. And ugly ones if Apple and Google have any say in the design features.
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Re: This could have some repercussions..

Quote Originally Posted by Eklipze3k View Post
Proper introduction of electric vehicle infrastructure will likely require us to get out of the mindset of individual vehicle ownership. Schedule a vehicle to be where you need it, when you need it, drive it to a motorway services (for example) plug in to charge, go in and get your lunch, come out and get into a different fully charged vehicle and continue your journey. If the load on the network is constant it'll make it much easier to keep electric vehicles fully charged and ready for use. Any excess generation overnight for example while the majority of vehicles will be idle goes into large scale storage, perhaps even on site at major charging areas like M'way services, ready to be deployed when demand picks up again during the day.


Itís radically different, but I wouldnít mind that.

Less responsibility on my part
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