By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

Electric vehicles

Are they joking

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Martin Rock-Evans18/11/2020 22:23:38
23 forum posts
14 photos

Not just overhead wires, but wireless car charging road trials as well: **LINK**

I have no idea if either of these ideas will go anywhere, but neither did we really know how the motor car with IC engines would take off when they were first introduced. Less than a decade after the first few IC motor cars and the world had changed. The point is that although electric cars and the national infrastructure have limitations now, things will change. We just don't know what the answers will be, so lets be part of the solution trying to find the answers.

RRMBK18/11/2020 23:15:19
143 forum posts
18 photos

Whilst I am fully in favour of electric cars as they make sense on health grounds and the savings to the NHS from exhaust pollution health illness alone, they are a long way from being anywhere near practical for use in hilly rural Wales, Border counties or Scotland. But the issue here is nothing more than government sound bites ( bytes?)

If they were serious about cutting fuel usage AND emissions they would be targeting commercial vehicles. One 38 ton wagon emits the same pollution as 5 or 6 cars and uses 5 -6 times more fossil fuel . A sensible rail freight infrastructure that is not overloaded with profit hungry companies running passenger carriages and preventing slower freight trains from baulking their timetables; is vital. And that does not mean hs2 which is not intended for freight at all as far as I understand.

Until a government has the B***s to tackle the likes of supermarkets and fashion / homeware / furniture retailers and insist that they cannot have planning for a new store unless it is within25/ 30 miles of a rail fed distribution centre; with the exception of these very rural areas; then we will still have huge diesel burning HGV's trundling thousands of unnecessary miles daily. On that basis, tinkering around with banning private cars is a complete waste of time.

The huge advantage for a government though is that private individuals don't have the massive political support lobby of the road hauliers and supermarkets so as individuals, we are very simple, quiet and submissive easy pickings.

Steviegtr18/11/2020 23:23:28
1905 forum posts
250 photos

What about aircraft. While seated awaiting take off from Mauritius some years ago i asked one of the stewards what the delay was. He said we need another 25 ton of fuel. I could not believe how much fuel an aircraft uses on a single long haul flight.


RRMBK18/11/2020 23:40:24
143 forum posts
18 photos

Fully in agreement re aircraft again because of pollution as much as the fuel quantity, but that is an immense international problem. Lets at least start with bites that we can chew and that will have a direct effect on us here. If we could make this happen in the UK and reduce our HGV journeys by say 70 - 80% which would be achievable by better rail infrastructure and improved stock delivery lines, storage and warehousing, at least the rest of the world may take some notice. But as I say, as long as you have got big business and its hangars on lining their pockets with the profits, nothing will happen. You only need to look at the current PPE scandal to see where the money goes! Planning again should not allow any supermarket or retail outlet to be built without ensuring say a weeks storage of full stock on the premises, and put in planning restrictions about the number of delivery vehicles allowed in and out daily/ weekly.

Paul Kemp18/11/2020 23:42:53
599 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 18/11/2020 21:29:35:

From another forum I know quite a few people who are already very happy with their electric cars.

I think the biggest misconception above is that change is slow, 300 mile cars are a fact of life already.

Grid capacity is a non-issue. Cars charge mostly at night and actually bring a benefit because they use off-peak capacity.

I see three challenges:

1 - Infrastructure yes we will have to solve the charging conundrum, but this is basically about making charge points available where cars are parked, not about getting electricity from floor 24 to street level...

2 - Taxes the loss of revenue on fossil fuels is going to create tensions

3 - inequalities, if you can only afford an old banger how do you cope when fossil fuel prices are rocketing AND you have to pay road charges. There is s serious risk that the changeover period could effectively make driving unaffordable for people who presently get by with a tired diesel.

I certainly don't see performance or range being a problem long term. I also see other battery technologies coming on stream and maybe quick-swap standard packs so you can do a changeover at a service station as quickly as you could fill with petrol.

But don't get too excited, someone pointed out that under the new regime it's 20-25 years before someone with my buying habits will end up with an electric car...


Few points;

"Grid Capacity" To an extent I agree generating capacity may be there or getting there but your comment most cars charge at night is well and good as long as charging points are there at the night time parking space (home). Given there is still a very significant proportion of old housing stock - terrace properties with no off street parking residents only option is an on street charging point. Even older properties with off street facilities are likely to be served by grid connections (local cables) that were laid many years ago when the anticipated load per property was nowhere near today's consumption. So to my mind apart from generating capacity its distribution capacity that will become important to support the night time load - smart meters are supposed to encourage energy use in current off peak periods? If all the cars in my road were on charge every night the load "per house" is likely to be larger than during the day! Charge at the work place I hear. How many work places have dedicated parking? Many car parks have a token few chargers, look at the cost / logistics of equipping every bay to accommodate all. Someone said employers get off their butts and install - hospitals? Most NHS staff have to pay to park, NHS funds would be better spent on medical care?

Performance and range for cars is getting better and will continue to get better and trucks will improve a bit but there is a big difference in the power required to move an artic than a car so transport of goods will be affected.

The biggest change will have to be lifestyle adjustments and they will be driven both by range, performance and capital cost. There is a huge amount of money poised for investment in green projects with potential large rewards at the top for those funding. The pain will be at the bottom where car ownership will be pushed out of reach of many. There is no such thing as a cheap high tech battery and batteries are not as green as they appear to be. Hydrogen however has prospects but depending on the colour at the cost of large scale carbon storage, the proposal to stick it in the ground for ever may just be storing up another problem down the line?


Stuart Smith 518/11/2020 23:53:28
173 forum posts
26 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 18/11/2020 21:29:35:


‘Grid capacity is a non-issue. Cars charge mostly at night and actually bring a benefit because they use off-peak capacity. ‘



Standard single phase home charging points are advertised as 7kW but the electricity distribution network in the UK has long been designed with an ADMD (after diversity maximum demand) of only 1.5 kW. This figure is used to determine the size of cables, transformers etc needed. The network may be able to cope at the moment with relatively small numbers of electric cars but not if everyone has one. There have been a lot of research projects to work out ways to get round this (so called Smart Grids) but I think it will still be a problem.

The other problem is generation capacity. The existing nuclear power station have not been replaced and will be at the end of their life soon and gas power stations still cause emissions. Solar may help with car charging during the day, but obviously most people will want to charge their car in the evening.

10 years doesn’t seem long to remedy these issues.









Edited By Stuart Smith 5 on 18/11/2020 23:56:06

Michael Gilligan19/11/2020 00:00:23
17279 forum posts
778 photos

An interesting development: **LINK**


Henry Artist19/11/2020 01:08:45
121 forum posts
46 photos

I thought it was only the sale of new petrol and diesel cars that would be banned in 2030...

No mention of banning sales of other forms of infernal combustion engine transport (yet).

I expect a thriving second-hand market will exist for some time after 2030. Perhaps we should look to Cuba for inspiration on how to keep old vehicles running with severely limited resources.

Depressingly, there is a long and sad history of our Glorious Leaders enacting policies in the vague hope that reality will eventually conform to their aspirations at some unspecified point in the future e.g. diesel car emissions, public transport in general, the national railway system, etc.

Jeff Dayman19/11/2020 02:09:17
2057 forum posts
45 photos

From a North American perspective,there are major problems with widespread implementation of electric cars here. Current designs of electric cars do great for a 40-60 km commute in temperate areas like California. Long trips of up to about 500 km at 80 km/h are possible on one charge with some vehicles in temperate areas. But here are some regionally dependent issues that make all electric vehicles less viable:

1. range in below zero celsius temperatures are half or less of normal range. These temps happen in winter in many regions of N.A., including densely populated areas.

2. For trips over 500 km , several hours are needed for charging between 500 km sections of the distance in warm weather, in cold weather charging is needed much more often for several hours at a time. Distances in North America are vast - 4500 km New York to Los Angeles in USA, 5800 km Halifax to Vancouver in Canada. Long trips like these with electric vehicles will take a very long time, allowing for daily charging stops of some hours, which people used to gasoline or diesel powered vehicles will not be patient about.

3. Electricity supply and cost varies widely by region. Areas with huge hydroelectric capacity like Quebec Canada or some areas in the Western states of the USA have surplus capacity and low cost electricity. Areas that use primarily nuclear power or wind or gas turbine electricity generation have enormous power costs and the supply is very close to maxed out in peak demand circumstances. In recent years widespread brownouts / blackouts have happened at peak times in densely populated areas (like in New York state in USA or in Ontario Canada in summer when millions of people have AC on in +30 degree celsius heat for a few weeks)

Situation worldwide for electric cars may be FAR different than Europe and the UK. Electric cars make some sense in some areas of N.A. but certainly not all areas, and not for long trips of several thousand km.

A Nissan Leaf or Chev Volt where I live, for the few days we get -30 deg C temp, 90 km/h winds with 200 mm of snow on the ground and 1 metre snow drifts, is a non starter - literally - and would probably cost about $2000 a year in electricity to keep it charged.


Edited By Jeff Dayman on 19/11/2020 02:10:51

not done it yet19/11/2020 07:18:38
5581 forum posts
20 photos


While winter usage uses more energy, the rest of your post is mostly unreliable - even for the current state of development, let alone several years in the future.

500km range is becoming common - with some models designed for ‘town use’ and some for longer distances.

Charging rates are already more than adequate for most journeys. Some, now being got ready for roll-out can charge at nearly half a MegaWatt. Would that not be fast enough for you? That might be equivalent to 1500 - 2500km/h.

Capital investment for nuclear power is high, but the power supplied is dirt cheap during off-peak periods - as the reactors cannot be easily turned down.

People may have to learn to be less impatient. Not a bad trait, really?

Perhaps look at the situation in Australia - where the networks are worried that home generation may be reducing their supply to the pointvwhere power stations may need to turnnoff.🙂

As you state, different areas will require different solutions. Please note this thread is referring to the UK - less area than Ontario alone?

You are dead right about the Nissan Leaf - no active battery temperature control. But it is now ‘old hat’ technology, out-dated and long past its sell-by date. Technology has advanced greatly in the last few years at a rate which you clearly have not quite grasped. Leafs and Volts were pioneers and have been superceded by more useful designs and developments.

You would be better using up-to-date examples, not early models for any arguments - which would mean your current post would be totally out-dated - which it is, in the context of this silly thread, started by some petrol-head trying to be sensational instead of thinking seriously of the problems being caused bythe human race overload on the Earth’s resources.

pgk pgk19/11/2020 07:41:42
2059 forum posts
290 photos

There are misconceptions and falsehoods in the messages above. Battery tech is improving albeit with some limitations as to how far that can go. Tesla had a 'battery day' a few weeks ago when they announced some new tech changes leading to an efficiency improvement to halve the cost of making the batteries, remove cobalt entirely and a new 'tabless' architecture that improves capacity and improvements in longevity of the things towards the 'million mile' battery in duration. Range has already increased from the time 2018 model S I own by some 10%+ and newer models will be comming out with claims towards 500mile ranges.
Range claims are as meaningless as petrol usage claims compared to 'real world' and yes there is a winter time hit with cold weather.

The newer model 3 (smaller but bigger than average petrol cars) has th same range a smy S with a 75KWh pack compared to my 100KWh pack.

Real world on mine is that summer cruising at 70mph on motorways, on the flat in average weather and I get a genuine 300-320 wh/mile. At the other extreme in winter on short journeys with a hit to passenger heating and battery warming plus hills and twisty roads and a heavy foot I can drop than to 500wh/m but a longer journey in winter when everything is warmed up that range improved again towards 450 wh/m.

I made a number of trips last year to see the seals at Angel cove in the winter months. Round trip distance with comfort breaks each way and a bit of a look-around Llandudno beach front an the battery cooling right down while we seal watched was around 170 miles with some 70 miles range remaining. So my 300mile range theory dropped to a winter 240. A lighter foot would have made little difference to journey times but saved 10 miles range.

It takes very little extra planning to use 'shore power' at home to preheat the car or judge the final battery top-up from 90-100% before setting out to have max range with least battery degredation eect from full top-up. The latest incarnation of my S with same size battery has a range some 60 mies greater already than mine.

Wales is a charger desert but for most of the UK fast chargers have/are being rolled out. Again Tesla is ahead of the game - hopeully others will catch up. There are already UK sites with as many as 24 stalls although most sites have fewer but can be added to. The latest V3 chargers are 250KW capable such that a model 3 capable of accepting those charge rates can got from 10-60% capacity (its most efficient near the empty end) in less than 20 mins for a good 150+ miles top-up.

Tesla was founded in 2008 - that's only 12 years ago. The others already have some battery experience and certainly more car-making experience and truly should be able to match/exceed how far Tesla have gone within another 9 years - If they want to.

That still leaves a lot of disparity. A Tesla isn't a cheap car and most owners do have suitable home charging options but there are ways of sorting out those disparities with onstreet charging etc - it just takes the will to do it. And most folk don't need long ranges for their urban commutes and local shopping trips.

Norway has embraced EV motoring in a big way and their winter weather is pretty foul too.

If hydrogen production from non-fossil sources gets off the ground and generation is from 'spare' green capacity (night wind power etc) then it's inefficiencies become less important. And like everything it;s efficiencies will improve. It obviously has the benefit fo faster refuelling and avoids carting battery weight.

Fundamental truisms are that fossil fuel needs to stop being used and people need to stop making so many (whim) car journeys and and to stop the hedonism of buying stuff for the sake of it and demanding access to cheap jet travel. Western society is horrid in it's wastefullness.

Real world example. I have free supercharging with my car (no longer available but affects my planning). I had to help out my daughter south of London when she was having some urgent issues. I left Mid Wales with a low charge. Stopped at Telford for 30 mins. Stopped again at Heathrow Hilton for a 90% charge 45mins 'cos there's nowhere to charge where she lives. i stayed with her for 3 days and on the trip back did a splash and dash at Warwick to avoid any range anxiety. I could have made it home from there easy but elected to top up again at Telford for the free sparks and arrived home with more charge than when i left. Yes it added about 70 mins journey time each way but as an old man I'd have had to stop for a 15min comfort break anyway. If there had been a charge point on street where daughter lives and I'd kept my car topped to 90% at home the the 230 mile each way trips wouldn't have required any stops even with traffic congestions en route.


mgnbuk19/11/2020 07:48:41
927 forum posts
65 photos

in the context of this silly thread, started by some petrol-head trying to be sensational instead of thinking seriously of the problems being caused bythe human race overload on the Earth’s resources.

And the large scale implemantation of (currently) lithium batteries, rare earth magent electric motors & high power semiconductor drive electronics will have a negligable effect on the Earth's resources ?

While electric cars may be "zero emission" at the point of use, their total life cycle pollution makes them far from "Green".

Hydrogen ? The fuel fo the future - and always will be.

Nigel B.

Michael Gilligan19/11/2020 07:58:01
17279 forum posts
778 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 19/11/2020 07:18:38:


in the context of this silly thread, started by some petrol-head trying to be sensational instead of thinking seriously of the problems being caused […]


dont know Is that a fair assessment of Steve’s opening question ?


Have they really thought this through. I can understand Hybrid but pure electric. ??????.



Bo'sun19/11/2020 08:34:10
349 forum posts

It realy p""""s me off seeing these tree hugging eco warriors driving around in their humming milk floats labeled as being "carbon neutral" What on earth do they think was used to make it? And what will be used to recycle it?

I heard a guy from the SMMT saying, if you take into account the whole process (manufacture, running and disposal), the hybrid is no more beneficial than the latest diesel and petrol vehicles.

My guess is, this latest statement is aimed at being a kick up the arse to vehicle manufacturers to put more effort into more efficient and less polluting internal combustion engines.

As has been alluded to in this thread, charging hasn't been thought through properly. No surprise there then!

pgk pgk19/11/2020 09:00:59
2059 forum posts
290 photos

So no prejudices then?

Oil is finite, yes we can use land to grow a substitute or grow food.

My most eco-friendly car is my 27yr old inefficient gas guzzler because many folk would have had 9 new cars with the resource consumption of their manufacture in that time - and it's great fun to drive with no concerns about sudden airbag deployments or inadvertent emergency braking or any of that modern twaddle about onboard satnav or wastfully heating seats or adjusting them with stepper motors etc and since the radio died it's been a lot quieter.

Society is wasteful and that wonlt chage until forced by lack of resources or money but at least cars are pretty efficiently recycled and that includes the potential for recovering and recycling battery components. Cobalt free lithium batteries are a reality and should it be necesary then rare-earth free motors aren't a problem.

Be fair in accepting that the internat combustion engine has been around for 100 years and improved in tech makedly from those early days. EV;s are evolving quicker with modern tech and will continue to do so

Cars are an easy target but you'ld probably save more carbon and resources if folk stopped buying new phones every year or two, stopped having wastefully huge weddings, gender reveal parties, glastonbury festivals, take away coffee and bottled water and foreign bachelor booze-ups .......

(note an article on the BBC website re the carbon footprint of 'thank you' emails)


J Hancock19/11/2020 09:01:15
536 forum posts

Cars/transport are only the half of it.

Wait 'til the gas boiler/oven is ripped off your kitchen wall/unit and the JCB digs up your garden for the heat sink

for the heat pump, all at your expense.

martin perman19/11/2020 09:07:55
1936 forum posts
81 photos

Maybe I've missed something here but there is no real mention of cost, my wife and I are retired and are comfortable financially etc but there is no way I could justify the cost of an electric car, £30,000 and above seems to be the price of cars and none are big enought to get one let alone two mobility scooters in, then there is the degredation of batteries over time and the cost of replacement battery packs for the vehicles. I wouldnt buy second hand because of battery life as there is no way that garages could know how much life is left accurately enough to say there are no issues. You could buy a car showing a 100% and within weeks of buying that could drop to say 85% or even die.

Martin P

pgk pgk19/11/2020 09:09:37
2059 forum posts
290 photos
Posted by J Hancock on 19/11/2020 09:01:15:

Cars/transport are only the half of it.

Wait 'til the gas boiler/oven is ripped off your kitchen wall/unit and the JCB digs up your garden for the heat sink

for the heat pump, all at your expense.

Gosh! You mean my air-source heat pumps have to go? Pop round to appreciate how cold the water is from my 200ft borehole....
And yes, i can leave the fallen trees to rot in my woodland rather than burn them in my woodburner...

Andrew Johnston19/11/2020 09:15:24
5919 forum posts
663 photos

Posted by pgk pgk on 19/11/2020 07:41:42:

Fundamental truisms are that fossil fuel needs to stop being used and people need to stop making so many (whim) car journeys...............

You mean like multiple 170 mile round trips just to see a few seals?


pgk pgk19/11/2020 09:25:53
2059 forum posts
290 photos

Electrification will solve all that congestion.....

Benefits of electrification?


All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Support Our Partners
JD Metals
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest