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Chinese Electric Cars

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Clive Hartland09/07/2017 13:44:50
2756 forum posts
40 photos

So from all this I shall have to wait a long time until I can have a Hover Car!


JasonB09/07/2017 14:26:20
21978 forum posts
2534 photos
1 articles

Just strap a few drones together Clive and you will soon be buzzing with your bees

Howard Lewis09/07/2017 14:27:41
5739 forum posts
13 photos

Sorry if I confused the issue about electric vehicles.

Hybrids were deliberately excluded from my comments, because the I C engine obviously extends the range. But this is because it is not a purely electric vehicle.

No doubt the Tesla does have a longer range than most purely electric cars. You get what you pay for; but it is not a mass market vehicle because of its price.

My comments are based on a lifetime spent with engines and vehicles, and so based more on practice than theory. (And in my youth, I did ride in pure electric vehicles; milk floats which never travelled further than a very few miles from their base, and were slow. There was no call for long range travel or high speed. They had a poor power/weight ratio because of the lead acid battery, and so carried less than their tare weight. But they were not intended as drag racers)

As yet, I see little prospect of a sub £20K pure electric car that can compete with my 12 year old petrol puddle jumper.

How many hybrids are sub £20K? Prices ARE falling, so watch this space.

And the battery weight will seriously reduce the payload of a commercial vehicle, (They are limited by legislation regarding gross vehicle weight and axle loading, as well as physical size. Payload vs cost is very important to the operator.)

I am not saying "Never", just "Not for some time yet". There is a lot more development needed, before hydrocarbon fuelled vehicles are made obsolete or extinct by pure electric powered ones.

Beware of climbing aboard the latest headline powered transport. It is good publicity to be supporting "green" technology, and high tech, even if, in reality, it is a long way off. Years ago, gas turbines were hailed as the future. The Rover gas turbine car , and the few gas turbine powered trucks, and Locomotives proved to be fairly short lived, once the disadvantages became apparent, not least of all fuel efficiency. Which was less dependant on close support fuel supplies in the Gulf war; the gas turbine Abrams or the diesel powered Challenger?

In the world of steam, the watertube boiler is excellent for steady state marine or static power generation use, but failed to cope with the rapidly varying loads of the locomotive. Horses for courses and all that

By all means suck it and see, (if you don't, new developments will never bear fruit) but Utopia may well be further away than we like to imagine!


Bob Brown 109/07/2017 14:48:44
1021 forum posts
127 photos

There is another problem with electric cars, like where is all this electricity going to come from never mind the stress they are likely to put on the current distribution network. Renewables are no good at night or when the wind speeds are to low or too high which is also unpredictable, do you stop people charging their EV at periods of peak demand?


Russell Eberhardt09/07/2017 15:35:17
2726 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by Geoff Theasby on 09/07/2017 13:40:53:

At the moment, CO2 is less of a problem than NOx or particulates

Possibly, at the moment. However I am more concerned for my grandchildren. If global warming continues at the predicted rate it will be a very serious problem for my grandchildren. We are already seeing significant effects.


Geoff Theasby09/07/2017 17:08:12
613 forum posts
17 photos

Yes, Russell, however I was never convinced that CO2 was a major problem. Methane, from cattle, from ourselves and melting permafrost, is more potent, as are several other common chemicals. Our grandchildren will be more concerned about the debts we are currently loading on to them, but that's another matter.


Andrew Tinsley09/07/2017 17:28:18
1513 forum posts

Thank you Howard for a cogently argued case of "Yes it will happen, but not yet!" May I ask how many of you on the forum have pure electric cars or even a hybrid? I bet the answer is zero (or maybe even one or two?). If you are for electric cars then why don't you own one?

The answer is simple, they are damn expensive and have limited range and the provision of country wide charging points is still years away. Right now electric cars are a bad deal unless you only travel a few miles and can charge them at home.

SURE, electric cars will be the norm in 20 years time. That will be when battery technology has increased the energy density of the batteries by at least 8 to 10 times over current units AND the infrastructure is there to service the recharging.

So energy density needs to be seriously increased and the charge rates need to be much higher than present. That represents a good chunk of innovation and development time. With a little inside knowledge of the problems involved, I would estimate this state of affairs will not exist for between 5 and 10 years, maybe closer to 10.

With this in mind, my next car will be definitely IC powered. Hybrid is the best bet at present, in terms of electric powered cars, pure electric is a very expensive gimmick and does not work for most of car users.

HGVs are another problem much more complex than people realise. If I had to bet, I would think fuel cell systems offer the best "energy density" solutions for long distance haulage. They certainly won't be around for a good many years. Yes there are many fuel cell systems around and people have been developing them for a very long time. But none are yet up to powering something like an HGV at an economical rate. It is no good spouting that X or Y is fuel cell powered and hence it is OK for HGVs. Vehicles that use fuel cells have yet to show the necessary economy and longevity required. If they did then manufacturers would be using them now!

Nobody in their right mind wants to continue using IC power, just look up the thermodynamic efficiency of even the best diesel engine. The fact that IC still has 98% of the market in the UK must tell you something (Figures taken from my "quality newspaper", I don't think they are far off either!)

Right now "hype" is the driving force that makes ordinary people buy electric. Give it a few more years and cold economics will dictate a change to electric vehicles.


Peter Bell09/07/2017 19:39:47
372 forum posts
164 photos

Interesting thread with lots of speculation backwards and forwards in time. Certainly think there will be some sort of revolution towards electric propulsion in the future with a fuel source of goodness know what.

However I expect to have to make a decision soon. My 15 year old VW Passat tdi which I've owned for 11 years has now covered 210,000 miles, returning 58mpg over last 2800 miles and passed an mot recently.

Problem is elec ain't here yet at a reasonable price new and second hand is older technology and is it fixable?

Petrol isnt really very clean (and friends with 2L petrol average 35-45mpg) also I far prefer the feel of a diesel under my right foot---what do I replace the Passat with at this moment in time?


JasonB09/07/2017 20:00:45
21978 forum posts
2534 photos
1 articles

Looks liek Neil may have wired this one upsmile o

Neil Wyatt10/07/2017 11:07:00
18893 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

"Two fire crews fought to extinguish the blaze, which hit 300 degrees Celsius"


You could solder at that temperature, that's almost hot enough to melt pure lead!


Neil Wyatt10/07/2017 11:08:11
18893 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles
Posted by Peter Bell on 09/07/2017 19:39:47:

However I expect to have to make a decision soon. My 15 year old VW Passat tdi which I've owned for 11 years has now covered 210,000 miles, returning 58mpg over last 2800 miles and passed an mot recently.

I might make you an offer for it

Martin Kyte10/07/2017 11:26:45
2635 forum posts
46 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 10/07/2017 11:07:00:

"Two fire crews fought to extinguish the blaze, which hit 300 degrees Celsius"


You could solder at that temperature, that's almost hot enough to melt pure lead!


Why would you think that is hot for a fire.? The ingition point for wood is 300°C

regards Martin

Nick_G10/07/2017 11:28:25
1808 forum posts
744 photos


People have mentioned Volvo and their pledge and they have also mentioned the problems HGV's will face with the technology.

Ain't Volvo a major player in the HGV manufacturing market.?


Mike10/07/2017 17:32:49
713 forum posts
6 photos

I remember that, in the 1970s, Perkins in Peterborough had an experimental gas turbine lorry on the road. I often used to see it go past my office. It made a shrill, whistling noise. Could be fun with one running on natural gas, hydrogen or vegetable alcohol. They were also experimenting with a lorry-size Stirling engine that would run on anything that would burn, but the plan was abandoned. An engineer who was involved told me that it needed a lot of cobalt steel in its construction, and it wasn't economical to build.

Edited By Mike on 10/07/2017 17:35:49

Samsaranda10/07/2017 19:11:42
1291 forum posts
5 photos

Very sceptical of the benefits of electric vehicles, particularly the high costs involved; have bad memories of when I spent a few months as a milkman, we had electric milk floats which when we returned to the depot every evening we had to plug in to recharge the huge lead acid batteries. One day half way round my round I noticed that the float was getting slower and slower, realisation dawned that I had forgotten to plug in and recharge after the previous day's outing. This required a grovelling phone call to the depot for a tow back to the depot, they duly despatched a transit van to assist. Those of us who had to request a tow were treated to perhaps the most horrendous journey home to the depot with the transit taking off as if in a formula one Grand Prix and the milk float being propelled at breakneck speed with the occupant clutching the steering wheel and fighting to keep the vehicle on the road. Milk floats are not known for good road holding, they were never intended to go faster than about 7 mph so doing 40 mph is truly frightening. If you have ever done that speed in a milk float you do not want to repeat the experience, the moral of the story is recharging is everything with an electric vehicle.


John Alexander Stewart10/07/2017 20:15:19
820 forum posts
56 photos
Posted by Russell Eberhardt on 09/07/2017 10:43:14:

Hmm... fuel cells are mentioned. Yes they promise quicker refuelling than battery operation but:

Myth; fuel cells are clean and emit only water. Where does the hydrogen come from? Water and it takes energy to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen. Where does that energy come from? Most of it from burning fossil fuels. sad

Agreed. Space Shuttle had a yuuuge hydrogen tank, hydrogen did NOT come from electrolysis, but from natural gas... It was more energy efficient than electrolysis, if I remember correctly. (looked at this a long time ago)

NASA used to tout the fact that all the exhaust you saw on launch was just "steam", or some such baloney - lots of hydrocarbons went into making that "steam".


Edited By John Alexander Stewart on 10/07/2017 20:18:46

not done it yet14/08/2017 10:28:30
6509 forum posts
20 photos

I wonder if any forum members think the 'tipping point' for electric vehicles is just around the corner.

Interesting fact : 42% of new cars in Norway are now pure electric. Not hybrids, plug ins or range extenders - but pure electric. OK, the UK is not Norway, but I reckon Norway is well past the 'tipping point' and the UK is just a long way behind on the curve. I would expect the government is watching developments....

Neil Wyatt14/08/2017 10:35:27
18893 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles
Posted by Martin Kyte on 10/07/2017 11:26:45:
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 10/07/2017 11:07:00:

"Two fire crews fought to extinguish the blaze, which hit 300 degrees Celsius"


You could solder at that temperature, that's almost hot enough to melt pure lead!


Why would you think that is hot for a fire.? The ingition point for wood is 300°C

regards Martin

I was being ironic...

Martin Kyte14/08/2017 10:45:35
2635 forum posts
46 photos


It's a bit hot for ironing though.



KWIL14/08/2017 10:56:45
3473 forum posts
66 photos

Point of interest re Norway. Excessive amounts of Hydro power available! Mainly town use of cars with longer distances by Train. Look at the maps to see why.

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