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The new Defender is now pointless

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15 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

The hype has advanced well beyond the reality unfortunately. If you can park it on your driveway to charge every night and don't do many long journeys then they're becoming viable - perhaps as city cars or for the school run.

As it is, they need a breakthrough on batteries which either increases the capacity 10x or reduces the charging time 10x to make them viable. All they're doing these days is getting gradually better at stuffing thousands of laptop batteries into the floor without the whole lot catching fire.

Spot on.  Batteries are key here, as is the necessary supporting infrastructure.  I did some research after a friend asked me about electric vehicles.  Depreciation seems very heavy which makes them a superficially attractive secondhand buy - if the short range and comparatively long charging times are acceptable.  I haven't seen published specs on automotive lithium batteries, but industrial are rated at something like 1000 charge discharge cycles before significant degradation in capacity occurs.  Replacement batteries cost an arm and a leg and I'm suspicious that, as it becomes more common, disposal/recycling costs will bevome a large factor.  I suspect that car manufacturers may deliberately include charge limiters such that the "full" capacity of the battery is not utilised.  That should extend the apparent life of the battery and was probably what Tesla do which enabled them to extend the range of their cars with a simple over the air software fix during the Florida storm evacuation a few months back.

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16 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

As it is, they need a breakthrough on batteries which either increases the capacity 10x or reduces the charging time 10x to make them viable. All they're doing these days is getting gradually better at stuffing thousands of laptop batteries into the floor without the whole lot catching fire.

:lol:

Well put...

Somewhere like here where for miles there are not even any houses, never mind places to plug one in, and electricity is 22p a unit, current EV technology is completely useless for most users. Same for rural Australia, most of Africa and no doubt much of the rest of the world. It'll probably catch up one day if fuel cells become a reality, but unless the EV is divorced from the daily requirement to plug it in for half the day by the invention of a new mass produced clean power source, it's going to be a while.

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18 hours ago, smallfry said:

And also remember how your cellphone/laptop/torch gradually loses capacity after a few months.

Will the current 25 mile range slowly become 12 ?

I read recently that an early Toyota (cough) Prius is now typically good for around one mile on its old battery!  Last year I had a drive in my friend's Nissan Leaf, his daily commuter.  It's his third one and he pointed out that battery life does significantly drop over time, so useful life is not high.  This leads to massive depreciation, making electric cars the preserve of the rich (yet, here in NZ, those rich people don't have to pay road tax on their electric playthings, while us poor mortals pay plenty to subsidise them, grr).  He also said Nissan take part worn batteries and use them in solar "farms", where lowered storage capacity is less of an issue.

For all that, something like a Rivian or Bollinger would work well for a work vehicle for what I do - provided I could charge it at the office on the very rare occasions that I go there (150 mile round trip).  The maths is different for a business.

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I think it’s pretty remarkable - charge times and battery performance aside there seems to be so much potential, and a huge attention to detail has gone into it.

The battery technology will come.

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Yes, 10 years on and they will all need new batteries at $20000+

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I am not anti electric vehicle but if there's millions of electric cars on the road - where is all this electricity coming from - I though we were at about 95% capacity now from the power stations .....

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That's a very big myth. Cars are charged overnight when the power generation is probably running at 15%.

If you are renewing your electricity supplier in near future, you will likely be offered a smart meter, and be charged differing amounts depending one what time of day you are using it.

This is all to manage the power usage to allow capacity in the generation system.

There is no power generation issue at all, in fact it will make the current system far more efficient than it currently is, while sitting idle most of the night.

 

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I've got clients who have had electric vehicles for a few years now and they all say they won't go back. (Mainly Tesla S or BMWi3). Most people's daily journeys are under 40 miles, so 'range anxiety is over stated. The 'not being able to charge it from my flat' is a real problem though; the current early adopters are charging at home, so the car's 'tank' is full every morning.

There are changes on the supply side that need looking at; soon all new external power points for car charging will be electronically identifiable - giving government a way of taxing motive electricity differently from domestic electricity. 

A Tesla S 100D could do 95% of my driving, (they don't do towing especially well), but the £100k purchase price is a lot of a downer. 

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2 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

That's a very big myth. Cars are charged overnight when the power generation is probably running at 15%.

If you are renewing your electricity supplier in near future, you will likely be offered a smart meter, and be charged differing amounts depending one what time of day you are using it.

This is all to manage the power usage to allow capacity in the generation system.

There is no power generation issue at all, in fact it will make the current system far more efficient than it currently is, while sitting idle most of the night. 

 

This is a good site if you want to see current demand for electricity in almost real time. We have a massive problem - we just can't stop burning stuff even at night. Arguably made worse by wind and solar.

I don't charge my company car at home as I won't pay for a charging point to monitor my use and the company pay a fixed rate for electricity rather than what I am billed for by my supplier. The technology is moving on, but I think we have a long way to go.

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4 hours ago, monkie said:

This is a good site if you want to see current demand for electricity in almost real time. We have a massive problem - we just can't stop burning stuff even at night. Arguably made worse by wind and solar.

 

Burning stuff? Do you mean coal/gas etc? If so then you can't just shut these down, they need to be kept ticking over as startup/shutdowns are where problems occur, and it makes them very innefficient.

Not sure what the big problem is?

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If you look at last years graph, the average is ~33GW, around half the UKs capacity.

If we can store the energy in car or home battery packs by charging overnight, then we can make use of the 50% of capacity that is not being utilised at all... That's a lot of power.

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Estimated Peak power increase for a fully electrified UK car fleet is around 3.5GW, or about one Hinkley point. By 2040 I reckon that is doable.

The challenge is getting charge points in, that's more likely to cost £20bn.... But spread over 30 years it is peanuts really.

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10 minutes ago, Bowie69 said:

Burning stuff? Do you mean coal/gas etc? If so then you can't just shut these down, they need to be kept ticking over as startup/shutdowns are where problems occur, and it makes them very innefficient.

Not sure what the big problem is?

Our big problem is that we can't stop burning stuff. Even at night when there is lowest demand we are still burning a lot of carbon, more than just keeping plants ticking over. It would be good if nuclear could take up much much more of that base load.

As it stands, if there was an extra demand placed on the grid through electric cars for example; you are right that most of the time we have more than enough capacity to easily cope, but at times we simply don't. And when we don't we have to fire up coal stations to fill the gap. When that happens the carbon credentials of electric cars really start to drop dramatically.

This is an excellent 14 minute TED talk by Michael Shellenberger on the issues of power production, worth listening to (I think I have posted a link to this before). He cites an interesting study on battery storage with some surprising figures.

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I suppose that all depends on whether you belive the carbon nonsense or not. We aren't talking about climate change, but generation capability.

The other point that seems to be skating under the radar is the huge efforts to manage and smooth the demand, home battery storage, including using cars for home battery storage. Different rates for different times of day, and even pumped storage systems. With this in place over the next couple of decades we will be fine.

I really don't think it is unmanageable at all.

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Both go hand in hand. The relationship between our carbon output and effect on climate change is not a matter of belief or opinion to the majority of the scientific world.

The guy in that talk in that link does mention the attempt to manage demand from wind/solar but these efforts only really tinker around the edges in the grand scheme and just serve to confuse the engery mix further. So, unmanageble? I agree, probably not. Effective? Not very due to the relatively low energy density which brings us back to batteries in cars again.

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But you must agree that with enough batteries, (to include vehicle to grid and home batteries) we still have 50% of the generation capacity that is begging to be used, irrespective of the 'carbon' issues?

They have even been planning on adding massive battery installations at charging points, so they don't rely on the grid, and can charge at cheap rate overnight.

As I said, this is not about 'carbon', it is about generation capacity.

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37 minutes ago, Bowie69 said:

But you must agree that with enough batteries, (to include vehicle to grid and home batteries) we still have 50% of the generation capacity that is begging to be used, irrespective of the 'carbon' issues?

They have even been planning on adding massive battery installations at charging points, so they don't rely on the grid, and can charge at cheap rate overnight.

As I said, this is not about 'carbon', it is about generation capacity.

I do agree, and I understand that they are trialling just this in at least Australia and California on a scale much bigger than anywhere previously done to my knowledge. Ignoring the carbon or green issue for a minute and assuming there is nothing game changing in battery technology within the next decade: I don't think batteries will do anything to cheapen power supply. Much the opposite! There are already papers being published on the cost and effectiveness of the Californian project that I am following.

I think any conversation about generation capacity is inextricably linked to carbon as it is shaping how we think about and do things. If it weren't for carbon I doubt we'd be having this conversation at all about electric vehicles and capacity in the grid. We would all be driving petrol cars and most powerstations would be coal or oil.

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1 minute ago, monkie said:

I think any conversation about generation capacity is inextricably linked to carbon as it is shaping how we think about and do things. If it weren't for carbon I doubt we'd be having this conversation at all about electric vehicles and capacity in the grid. We would all be driving petrol cars and most powerstations would be coal or oil.

I honestly think air quality is the biggest driver at the moment -it is going to be a game changer for London and other large cities.

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I agree with that 100% - its happening before our eyes at quite a pace. It seems to me that it is almost distracting politicians from earlier agreements to do with carbon emissions. There has already been suggestion to address the air quality issue has resulted in a larger carbon output for 2018.

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This thread has developed into an interesting discussion.

Edited to add I've linked to this in the International 👍🏻

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15 hours ago, Bowie69 said:

I honestly think air quality is the biggest driver at the moment -it is going to be a game changer for London and other large cities.

Right on cue, look what is in the news this morning......

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46823729

 

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And what about the rape of the planet to obtain the precious metals for the batteries ? Holes in Africa as big as London for a bucketful of Lithium or whatever ?

We DO have a problem with generation looming in this country I fear 

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There's very little lithium in lithium-ion batteries as it happens, and it is quite plentiful:

https://electrek.co/2016/11/01/breakdown-raw-materials-tesla-batteries-possible-bottleneck/

Better to be digging a hole in the ground and using it rather than just turning it into airborne pollutants.

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3 hours ago, smallfry said:

And what about the rape of the planet to obtain the precious metals for the batteries ? Holes in Africa as big as London for a bucketful of Lithium or whatever ?

We DO have a problem with generation looming in this country I fear 

We've been good at digging very big holes in the earth for a long time then leaving behind a right old mess. Just watch the scene at the end of Get Carter where Michael Caine kills that bloke after the chase and you'll be reminded that we used to dig up stuff out of a coal mine which was full of God know's what toxic materials then dump it straight into the sea and that was not that long ago in the UK!

1 hour ago, Bowie69 said:

There's very little lithium in lithium-ion batteries as it happens, and it is quite plentiful:

https://electrek.co/2016/11/01/breakdown-raw-materials-tesla-batteries-possible-bottleneck/

Better to be digging a hole in the ground and using it rather than just turning it into airborne pollutants.

Everything has to be considered - Gathering the raw materials, processing them, production of the battery, transport (often right round the world, before use then again after use), recycling/disposal once their useful life is over. And not just the batteries but also other exotic materials for the motors for example.

I found a paper published last year about the effects of recycling Li-ion batteries (not just cars but phones, laptops, tablets etc) and its not just the materials inside the battery; what about the plastics used for the casing, dump it in landfill, burn it? Somethings aren't as bad as you'd think, other's might be far worse. On balance we don't really know - for me, that is the scary part.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305693870_The_Environmental_Impacts_of_Recycling_Portable_Lithium-Ion_Batteries

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