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Hi guys

Just curiouse really and with being stuck in the house and the weather hammering it down here and seeing adverts on the box about electric cars it got me thinking has anyone on here got an electric car or know someone who has one that use it for towing a caravan or boat or something, what are they like towing, can they tow as with an engined powered car not all but a lot of peeps tow with cars and i don't just mean landy's it can be any electric car 🤔

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Electric cars often only seem to have a 500kg rating for towing, which is obviously no good for anything other than tip runs.

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17 hours ago, landroversforever said:

I think the Tesla’s are the only ones with a decent towing capacity... but as above it’s going to hammer the range!

An electric car towing a caravan will not have a range issue! Just means that the holiday will not be that far from home, of if a touring holiday a fortnight around the M25

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There's a movie out there about a guy with a Model X and a smallish trailer trying to get stuff from his field. He struggles a lot, not helped by the tyres on the X. But at least he's using it.

Range would obviously be a problem, with conditions (slopes, wind etc) having a much greater impact, meaning it would be difficult to make accurate estimates. You'd need to err well on the safe side when chosing charging points.

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There is a kid on YouTube who's collected a Radical on a trailer with a Model X, range was down to 100 miles at best even without the Radical on the back.

If I remember correctly he was from Los Angeles and bought it in Canada, not a journey that'd be pleasant having to stop every 100 miles to recharge. At least my recent 700 mile trip I only had to stop twice for fuel, and twice for naps (mostly due to only 3.5h sleep the night before) in the 110.

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He's a bit of a ham-fisted muppet but "Rich Rebuilds" on Youtube has been messing about with Teslas for a long time and it's quite interesting to see his "real world" experiences of Tesla ownership, even if he does commit some hideous bodges in the process.

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35 minutes ago, FridgeFreezer said:

He's a bit of a ham-fisted muppet but "Rich Rebuilds" on Youtube has been messing about with Teslas for a long time and it's quite interesting to see his "real world" experiences of Tesla ownership, even if he does commit some hideous bodges in the process.

I watched a lot of his videos.  He put me off the idea of having a Tesla because of their obstructive nature to self-repair and their build quality, though their innovation is amazing.

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While not "full electric", I used to own a Mitsubishi Outlander (PHEV), and it towed really well.  If I recall, the limit was 1500Kg?  All that torque meant the caravan on the back might as well not have been there.  It did, of course, chew through the batteries really quickly, and mean the petrol engine was running (charging) almost all the time.

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2 hours ago, SPendrey said:

While not "full electric", I used to own a Mitsubishi Outlander (PHEV), and it towed really well.  If I recall, the limit was 1500Kg?  All that torque meant the caravan on the back might as well not have been there.  It did, of course, chew through the batteries really quickly, and mean the petrol engine was running (charging) almost all the time.

According to the Outlander PHEV salesman I spoke to no PHEV including the Outlander is capable of self charging in any sort of meaningful way. So according to him you weren't charging you were just driving a petrol car!

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2 hours ago, Snagger said:

He put me off the idea of having a Tesla because of their obstructive nature to self-repair and their build quality.

The out of control offensive nutter who owns it puts me off.

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19 minutes ago, missingsid said:

According to the Outlander PHEV salesman I spoke to no PHEV including the Outlander is capable of self charging in any sort of meaningful way. So according to him you weren't charging you were just driving a petrol car!

I don't want to start an argument, but after 4 years of ownership I would suggest the salesman is wrong.  In fact, most of the time the engine is used exclusively for charging, and only at higher speeds (motorway) is it used as a power source.  You can also hit the "charge" button, and the engine will make lots of noise and a burning smell, and charge the batteries up.

Overall, most (over time) of the pulling power is from the electric motors, and they were very good for smooth towing.  It was a shame that all the other bits in the car were cr@p.

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59 minutes ago, FridgeFreezer said:

If you're running a petrol engine to charge batteries to run a motor to move the car that just sounds like a very complicated and heavy way to burn petrol to move you along the road...

"Self-charging hybrid" is one of the worst pieces of marketing bullsh!ttery I've heard in recent years :rtfm:

Absolutely, smoke and mirrors, that's all.

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1 hour ago, FridgeFreezer said:

If you're running a petrol engine to charge batteries to run a motor to move the car that just sounds like a very complicated and heavy way to burn petrol to move you along the road...

"Self-charging hybrid" is one of the worst pieces of marketing bullsh!ttery I've heard in recent years :rtfm:

Hmm, I wonder...

:stirthepot:

What's the typical efficiency of an automatic gearbox since most are these days vs. say an generator and motor setup? One benefit I see of petrol purely charging stuff is that you can run the engine and generator in the most efficient manner irrespective of speed and/or load. Even if you throw in AC/DC charging then you can achieve close to 99% efficiency on the conversion (I helped build a 500kW AC/DC converter that maintained an efficiency of >95% and power factor >0.9 pretty much irrespective of loading).

I doubt the vehicle manufacturers are doing that though - but an interesting consideration. After all there have been very successful experiments with using electric power steering, electric air-con etc., because loading can be taken off when not required so it ultimately works out more efficient.

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An alternator is only 50% efficient last time I looked, so everything else is just mitigating a massive power loss.

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2 minutes ago, Bowie69 said:

An alternator is only 50% efficient last time I looked, so everything else is just mitigating a massive power loss.

Specifically why I said "generator" rather than alternator.

Alternators in vehicles are quite heavily impacted by their operating conditions and therefore are massively compromised on maximum performance achievable. Simple point to consider - almost all alternators are 12V output which means big currents. The bigger the current the more power you lose due to the resistance of the wires (P = I²R). Similarly the laws of electromagnetism and physics mean that as you spin the alternator faster it should generate a higher voltage on the output. Alternators are designed so that they're operating in a safe "sweet" spot most of the time which again means compromise.

If you remove those limitations and let an "alternator" generate a higher voltage you lose less due to winding losses and you can step down in solid state electronics which is much more efficient. I'm sure it's got a bit better but certainly years ago when I looked into it you could reasonably comfortably achieve >90% efficiency in a generator setup provided you designed the loading correctly.

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I'm certainly aware that the whole diesel-electric thing in trains etc. is considered viable but I'm not sure how well it scales to passenger cars, given the weight & complexity penalties that big kit like trains don't worry so much about as they're heavy and complex whatever you do.

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29 minutes ago, Ed Poore said:

Specifically why I said "generator" rather than alternator.

Alternators in vehicles are quite heavily impacted by their operating conditions and therefore are massively compromised on maximum performance achievable. Simple point to consider - almost all alternators are 12V output which means big currents. The bigger the current the more power you lose due to the resistance of the wires (P = I²R). Similarly the laws of electromagnetism and physics mean that as you spin the alternator faster it should generate a higher voltage on the output. Alternators are designed so that they're operating in a safe "sweet" spot most of the time which again means compromise.

If you remove those limitations and let an "alternator" generate a higher voltage you lose less due to winding losses and you can step down in solid state electronics which is much more efficient. I'm sure it's got a bit better but certainly years ago when I looked into it you could reasonably comfortably achieve >90% efficiency in a generator setup provided you designed the loading correctly.

All true, hadn't realised they it as far as 90%.... Impressive if they are doing it right in cars.

Even so, it is going to be less efficient than just using the petrol engine to drive the wheels directly. It remains a con in my book.

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A manual transmission is around 90% efficient from memory but then the engine isnt constantly running in its peak efficiency range so you loose efficiency there... then if you have a bad driver you loose more...

trains and mining trucks have used Diesel/Electric drive system for decades due to efficiency and reliability... combine that with the modern advances in EVs and small automotive diesel engines it would be interesting to see a modern Diesel/Electric 4x4!

It would give you the range and usability of a smaller Diesel running peak efficiency with the opportunity to run electric only or boost modes via supercapacitors. Long term it means the EV platform gets dialled in and the customer gets used to it... when battery/charging tech and UK infrastructure improves you yank the diesel generator and fuel tank out and install batteries and a charger so your platform lasts longer!

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