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Is electric really the answer


pete

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1 hour ago, ramjet said:

If you did electric only trips, shouldn't your mpg get better?

Yes of course, but those are limited to max. 24 mile round trips only. Not much use as a business tool, since I only have one customer within that range. As stated above, if you only need a car for local trips then a PHEV is great, but if you need to pump in 300 odd mile journeys between charges, it’s of limited benefit.

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  • 5 weeks later...

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All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

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  • 1 month later...

First battery swap station in Europe...

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61310513

Without even a touch of the steering wheel, the electric car reverses autonomously into the recharging station.

I won't be plugging it in though, instead, the battery will be swapped for a fresh one, at this facility in Norway belonging to Chinese electric carmaker, Nio.

The technology is already widespread in China, but the new Power Swap Station, just south of Oslo, is Europe's first.

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The issue with the Nio thing is the availability of sites to swap. One of my oldest friends, Steve Hubbard, used to work in F1 as a designer and was head hunted by Nio 5 years ago from Williams. He's been working on this since then so I know quite a bit about it.

Several things to note, positive and negative.

1. You need tens of thousands of sites countrywide. This on top of everyone else's preferred systems of charging
2. It's really expensive. "It's free to swap!" I hear you shout! Yes it is, but the cars themselves start (or will start) at 6 figures. Their biggest seller in China is £250k
3. Range is slightly less than current charging technology in real life, just from additional weight of the trays and additional electronics.
4. It's quick. Really quick.
5. You don't need a massive infrastructure such as lots of Charging totems
6. It is easily taxed. An electric car can be charged in 1-2 days of trickle charge costing basic electric pricing, from a 3 DIN plug. Currently the govt are looking at Taxing home charging at the same rate of Carbon fuels. This will be done directly from Electric companies based on the "Charging Totems" fitted to houses. Currently you can bypass this by trickle charging from a standard plug with the correct cable (I know I have one).

 

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Based on the above, the Govts around the world are already cracking down on my point 6. 

Peugeot stopped supplying trickle charging cables last year siting "Risk of fire" as a reason. There has never been a fire based on trickle charging, unless you use a non tripping extension cable as the supplied Proper cable is super insulated and can take the charge. I have experienced plugging my trickle charger into a standard garden extension cable and it trips every 30 mins or so cause it gets so hot. However parking closer and using the trickle charging cable supplied is fine. 

Just last month Kia announced they won't be supplying a trickle charger with any electric car, even a PHEV. Which also, like Peugeot said any use of non approved cables will result in warranty being null and void. 

However, you can't order a Kia cable as they have stopped making them. Effectively making every PHEV just a petrol car unless you have Totem fitted (which isn't price effective for just 30 miles range at £1000 to fit it and then the increased charge cost).

Speaking to all Peugeot and Kia dealers they totally agree this is wrong and the only reason for it is to prepare the infrastructure for Taxing.

personally I have got round it by keeping my charge cable from my last Kia. Its a proper Kia one so they can't say my new Kia Warranty is null and Void.

Grab them while you can because they will be phased out by all manufacturers following Govt requirements.

(Incidently they are happy not to supply them as they cost £650-800 each so thats extra profit in their cars).

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Interesting about the heat. I charged my Passat GTE PHEV yesterday on the 3 plug pin cable and when I came to unplug it from the domestic extension lead, the plug and socket were almost too hot to hold. I had never noticed it quite that bad before. 

By the way, I got 33 miles electric only out of the battery yesterday. That is significantly more than I have ever managed before. I bought the car last September, so am yet to enjoy the free bonus miles of the warm summer months!

Nevertheless, I am still struggling to average much more than 45 mpg overall, thanks to my predominantly long journey driving routine. 3875 miles vs 85.8 gallons of petrol to date. I guess that will improve slightly over the summer.

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Did you unwind the extension lead? To be fair, while no-one does, they should always be fully unwound to be used with anything, let alone a large & constant current like a car.

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bit of corrosion in the socket can be the problem

We used to have a big salamander grill in a cafe that used all of 13 amps and ran for hours at a time, unless it was a (fairly new) MK socket it would melt it in a matter of weeks, welding the pins to the socket and melting the plastic around it.

The round 16 amp stuff is much better designed

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8 hours ago, LotusLeftLotusRight said:

Interesting about the heat...... the plug and socket were almost too hot to hold.

There's a lot of scare mongering about this on the EV sites, but as is often the case there is a grain of truth in it too. Kimbers is wrong - there have been several (many?) fires from using granny chargers on a UK three pin plug.  This is not the fault of the charger, it is a problem with the basic design of our standard plug/socket.  Because we added the safety of a fuse into the plug there are many metal to metal interfaces.  As they age they tarnish and build up a slight resistance to current flow.  SO that's fuse to holder and plug pins to socket receptors.  Uniquely in a domestic environment a car charger will typically draw 10amps continuously for many hours.  With even slight resistance in the path, heat can build up significantly and eventually will set fire to the socket and anything combustable surrounding it.  

If you use a new socket with a new charger plug the risks are extremely low for years.  If you use something old with a bit of play in it then you're asking for trouble.

Edit:  to say as Simon suggests, a 16amp commando plug/socket is a much more suitable connection.   The snag is that the 13 amp charger plug will normally have overheat protection built in to it which you would lose if just cut off and replaced with a Commando.

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Been down in London with work, talking to the Taxi drivers the London Taxi EV is a shocker. Much more expensive to buy and 60 miles on a full charge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In other news:

https://www.autoevolution.com/news/evs-no-longer-an-economic-alternative-to-ices-as-supercharging-rates-go-through-the-roof-188884.html

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13 hours ago, MPx said:

There's a lot of scare mongering about this on the EV sites, but as is often the case there is a grain of truth in it too. Kimbers is wrong - there have been several (many?) fires from using granny chargers on a UK three pin plug. 

My point still stands, its not the leads fault. Its the electrical system, normally an extension cable TBH. I had an "outside plug socket" fitted 3 years ago and as a heavy duty socket I have not had a single issue. But I have used plug sockets in hotels, BnB's and other peoples houses and also never had an issue. 

What you haven't taken on board is that all of this will be an invalid argument as the Manufacturers are phasing them out and will not support vehicle warranties if you don't use the main lead linked to a totem. "You must use one of our leads", followed by "which we don't make anymore" is just a way to say no, you can't have one. It's all a fix I tells ya! A Fix!

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So I first learnt about the Body Control Unit, BCU, when I worked at a car dealership. I thought the BCU was a step in the wrong direction.

I have just been told today that if you own a Tesla, you have to use the centre 104cm tallscreen TV to adjust the steering wheel. Or the drivers seat.

So let's say you try to do that and some sort of gremlin says that you can't do that anymore. The computer says "NO!"

What else does this system control or is your car just dead in the water?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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Yep.

Any fly by wire car, the headlights, the brakes, the power steering etc. Most of these will be controlled by the BCU. The ECU will be focused on the electric motors, the charging system and possibly the regenerative braking battery recharging, electric drive system and battery conditions.

There is just too much that is out of the control of the driver.

Sure, I have seen drivers on the road where that would be considered a good thing, but I would like to think that anyone that takes care driving, would not be very impressed by where things are headed.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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1 hour ago, mg4lotus said:

I totally agree with your point and will never buy a Tesla

Cheekily FTFY

51 minutes ago, ramjet said:

Any fly by wire car, the headlights, the brakes, the power steering etc. Most of these will be controlled by the BCU.

I was looking to buy an Alfa Giulia Veloce as my new DD, but after reading reports of how the brakes were "fly by wire" and the signal failures I backed right off.  (1) Why the flip would you want to put that system in a car and (2) has anyone EVER trusted Italian electrics in a car!!!

Sorry, but I ran a mile after hearing of the issues and bought a safe, dull, boring, ashamed to say it, German car as a DD.  Thank fully it is not an Oooodi, but the hairdressers Merc E Class convertible which actually is bloody brilliant for cruising and munching the miles. I just need a head of hair now......

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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So if the brakes are fly-by-wire and handbrakes are more and more becoming electric. There was a time that the handbrake was to be used in the event of brake failure to slow your car down. It wasn't taught to people as far as I can remember, but I definitely remember my dad calling the handbrake an emergency brake at times.

Are the brakes actuated as a result of system failure? So something like just a good ol' fashioned spring to pull them on if the solenoids fail?

I am not sure how the Skoda brakes work? Not something I checked. Ignorance to keeping up with how cars are 'progressing/regressing'?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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I remember getting an early adopter electric handbrake Passat in 2005. Bored one day in a traffic jam crawling towards Goodwood FOS, I thought to myself, “what would happen if I pressed the electric hand brake button?” Big mistake: there was a loud bang and the car instantly stopped dead. I thought the back axle must have been ripped off somewhere behind me! 17 years and 5 Passats later, I have never attempted that again.

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Interestingly when I went an  Land Rover experience a few years ago - they tell you about the features on the car and one which isn't in the handbook is that while driving if you pull the "parking" brake on (electric) it immediately cuts the accelerator off, removes drive from the wheels and applies the brakes. They classed it as an emergency feature that could be used by the passenger in the event that the driver was taken ill.

Not tried it in my new car as the parking brake switch is next to the driver's door so not much use for the passenger!

Dave - 2000 Sport 350
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31 minutes ago, oneshot said:

Land Rover experience a few years ago

We had the same experience.... but have never tried it  - think this was on the 2.2 or 2.0 diesel evoque we had. Have not noticed it on the current P200.

Had fly by wire on the throttle of our 2008 Jeep Cherokee which was a pain when it started to fail. Causing it to go into limp mode having been doing 70 etc on the road suddenly loosing power.......

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Today Citroen announce the price of the city EV. Was hated by Fifth gear when they had a go in it. 

https://www.am-online.com/news/new-car-news/car-model-news/2022/05/24/citroen-s-tiny-ami-city-ev-to-be-priced-from-7-695

Citroën UK has announced the pricing and specification of its tiny Ami electric vehicle (EV), with the entry-level version on sales from £7,695

....6kW electric motor allows the new model to reach a top speed of 28mph while its 5.5kWh battery delivers a range of up to 46 miles 

So not too much danger of getting a speeding ticket or enjoyment from motoring in it.....

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