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Old 27th September 2019, 16:50   #31
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

Excellent thread GTO. A thorough and comprehensive assay. A thread that can go on for years, perhaps we may even track how the pros and cons evolve with time.

My two cents:
1. The biggest hurdle for EVs in India is not power generation but rather the DISCOMs. Inefficiency in electricity distribution, rampant power thefts and mounting payment backlogs to power plants have plagued DISCOMs. Even with present installed capacity, the power plants can produce twice as much as they do today but payment backlogs are hurting bigtime. Law enforcement is key to fully realize the scale of electricity supply we are envisioning.

2. Breakthrough in charging technologies also go a long way. Years down the line, fast charging ~ 0-80% in 15-20 minutes that gives a range of 300 km would change everything. 15-20 minutes is like a coffee/meal break while your vehicles is powered up in the parking lot. Highway hotels may have a business case around it.

3. Some one rightly pointed out the concern around end of life of Li-ion. I wish things get better with scale. A few technologies can also minimize battery requirement such as "charging on the go" i.e. powered roads that enable wireless charging from beneath.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 27th September 2019 at 16:54.
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Old 27th September 2019, 17:54   #32
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
That said, I am ready to welcome an EV as the 2nd or 3rd car of the house today, if the need for a city commuter arises. It'll be the perfect replacement for my Sunny.
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Originally Posted by boniver View Post
In the (distant) future though, I can see an EV sharing space with an ICE powered car in my garage. Maybe for my parents or maybe because I'll be finally warming up to them. Never as my primary car, though. Just like I also use an Android device now, but as my secondary phone
Good luck keeping your EV as your secondary car once you buy it .
I bought an e2o as a secondary car and it turned out to be quite the opposite. My Cruze has been lying idle for most part of the years while e2o has been lapping up miles and ran 12K+ KM in last one year. My Cruze hardly crossed 3K and that too only because I deliberately took it for long drives every few months to keep its battery and its internals healthy.

I always thought myself as a petrol head and enjoyed driving powerful cars all my life. If an un-ergonomic, under powered, un-enthusiastic, low range and weird looking vehicle can warrant such a change in my usage, what do you think a vehicle like Tesla or the likes will bring to your garage? I bet 100 bucks that your so-called "ICE car for enthusiasts" will lie idle as a secondary car being used only for occasional long highway drives.

My next car would obviously be a long range EV (on the likes of Model3) replacing my e2o. I haven't yet decided what to do with my Cruze. I enjoy driving it on highways, but I guess my next EV might be even more powerful and more enjoyable.

Last edited by Holyghost : 27th September 2019 at 17:55.
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Old 27th September 2019, 18:09   #33
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

My assessment is that EVs and Plug-In Hybrids will take the market by storm and in 10 years time our ability to sell our ICE cars in the second hand market will be difficult. And in 15 years time it may be impossible. If the Volvo XC40 EV comes to India soon and also has great interiors then I am quite sure I'll go for it and replace my Volvo XC60 and Honda Jazz.

Battery disposal, power DISCOMs, charging points are all issues which will get solved as the demand surges up. This being India it wont happen in an orderly manner and it will go through bumps and starts but it will all get done. I can see the quintessential dhaba wallah on the road side offering charging points powered by electricity stolen from the grid.
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Old 27th September 2019, 18:18   #34
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

In the near term, even with 250km range, I foresee range anxiety for outstation trips for the following reason: where will I charge? Can I plug in at a random hotel overnight? Do I need to check with the hotel beforehand? Even if it's yes, do they have a convenient power point? And who pays the bill? I expect, as EVs become more common, these things will get sorted out.

The other thing: for fast charging is there a common standard? We can fill any petrol car with the same petrol. Can we plug in any car into the same fast-charging point?
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Old 27th September 2019, 19:12   #35
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

Thank you for the detailed write up GTO. Answered so many questions about EVs.

Cannot agree more about EV being the 2nd car in the house. Still a long way from it being the only/primary car in ones house.

With affordable EVs lined up by car manufacturers, such as,
1) Mahindra focusing on EV's - E20, E20 NXT, eKUV300.
2) Tata Tigor EV

All the above in the range of 8L-12L, I am sure in the next 5-7 years, EV's will be ruling the metros.

As for the highway riders, manufactures should work together to setup battery replacement stations on the highway, just like petrol pumps. One should be able to replace their empty battery with a fully charged battery, and carry on travelling. Until, that happens, i think, ICs will rule the highways for another decade or more.
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Old 27th September 2019, 19:37   #36
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

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Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
In the near term, even with 250km range, I foresee range anxiety for outstation trips for the following reason: where will I charge? Can I plug in at a random hotel overnight? Do I need to check with the hotel beforehand? Even if it's yes, do they have a convenient power point? And who pays the bill? I expect, as EVs become more common, these things will get sorted out.

The other thing: for fast charging is there a common standard? We can fill any petrol car with the same petrol. Can we plug in any car into the same fast-charging point?
250KM range is strictly a city car with some capacity to do small outings in 100KM radius. This will be fine for majority of the users and the rest will either have another car for long drives or will have to use car rentals. 1Hr charging stop for every 2 hours of drive is not at all practical.

Regarding fast charging, initially there will be compatibility issues with different standards. We already have Chinese GB/T (same as Bharat DC01), Chademo, CCS and Tesla Supercharger standards. India Govt was inclining towards GB/T but I believe Kona is CCS type. But unlike petrol/diesel/cng/ethanol etc the electricity is same that goes into the car. So it is just a matter of making a compatible connector and some software changes on the charger side to accommodate different standards. These are already available for many EVs including Tesla. It may take some time, but eventually we will have a common charger type or compatible adapters available at all stations.

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Originally Posted by SatishChour View Post
As for the highway riders, manufactures should work together to setup battery replacement stations on the highway, just like petrol pumps. One should be able to replace their empty battery with a fully charged battery, and carry on travelling. Until, that happens, i think, ICs will rule the highways for another decade or more.
This may not work considering the evolution in battery technology and its changes in chemistry that has been taking place in last few years. It is only the cost that needs to come down and once we have affordable vehicles with 500KM+ range, highway riders will find it at ease to take those vehicles on long drives. A range closer to 1000KM will be the holy grail since that will be the max most people could drive in a single day. An overnight charge and you are good to go another 1000KM. Once that happens, ICE will be history.

Last edited by Holyghost : 27th September 2019 at 19:46.
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Old 27th September 2019, 21:46   #37
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

Good thread. Rest of the points, (being said), regarding a dirty power source like coal I have this to say as a consumer - 'I don't worry where my diesel comes from. Whether it's from fracking (environmentally sensitive), or from some strife ridden African country (Conflict fuel, anyone?). I don't worry if it's from the pristine Godavari river basin or from an Arab nation who is 'cocking a snook' at the world. I buy the car, and it is up to the powers be, to figure out a way to deliver clean power to me. I'll just drive in a manner that is environmentally acceptable'. Just price it cheap. I'm eagerly awaiting the 'electric gen'!'
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Old 27th September 2019, 22:07   #38
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

Finally, a thread with a purpose on T-BHP.

Great read, and I mean it, I relate to the points made by Rushji 100%. Once you go electric you can never go eclectic, as far as I see it. Having driven the Hyundai Kona, everything to me felt right about it, everything, as far as the driver is concerned, spot-on height and visibility, good ground clearance, fantastic suspension (multi-link rear).. took every rough patch with a muted thud and the build quality is one of the finest I've seen, good thud on the door, heavy feeling door handles, NVH control is insane specially in quiet mode.

Now to the driving, the car just takes the road with full aplomb.. I thought for once just how lame the process of sending fuel, burning fuel and slowwwly moving the car ahead 1-2 seconds after acceleration input is done, it is the equivalent of the then cranking the car engine by rotating a handle below the bonnet. The electric is fast to respond, the most telepathic car I've driven, period, specially when the mode is set up for Sport.. the Eco+ mode is superb for thick city conditions. The button settings for gear is fantastic and easy to use, saves a ton of time compared to the stick. I love how it moves, period.

Attention - this will interest everyone and I felt like a celebrity literally, BMWs and Mercedes drivers stopped to gawk at the vehicle, and most others were having their jaw on the floor all the way, though it looks quite like a normal Hyundai, something about it made people look at it all the way through the drive.. maybe the green plates or maybe the color but man did it drive the point home, this car can make people wish for it, even if the car they drive is 2-3 times more expensive, I was almost smirking for every second I had with it. I also felt special being among maybe, 1000 odd people in India who've sampled the electric car driving experience.

The decision - I've my heart filled after driving it, albeit briefly. One thing is for sure, at the given price point, no other vehicle will be even remotely on the shortlist for me, its going for a song. The only thing I'll be waiting and watching for is owner perceptions, reliability in a country like ours, and practical usage experiences. Next year should be just right for me to pull out the cheque. All my life I've wanted only two things, bottomless torque for city conditions, and silence, more the better and this delivers on both by the truckload.

Ecologically friendly? NAH. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Lithium-Ion mining is as environmentally dangerous and as chemically poisoned as it gets, as a bonus, the Indian power sector is mainly reliant on thermal energy i.e coal burning, basically electric cars here are charged from burning coal albeit indirectly and the government will after some years raise a issue out of this too with their incessant virtue signalling. Buy it for kicks, but as far as going green goes, you can do your bit by pooling/driving less/driving with a soft foot on any car, every bit counts.

Last edited by dark.knight : 27th September 2019 at 22:12.
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Old 27th September 2019, 22:28   #39
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

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Originally Posted by Holyghost View Post
A range closer to 1000KM will be the holy grail since that will be the max most people could drive in a single day. An overnight charge and you are good to go another 1000KM. Once that happens, ICE will be history.
Range like 1000 KMs needs much bigger battery and in turn much higher price. More than such range, we need ~500 KMs range coupled with ubiquitous ultra fast charging (150 KW or more). These two will cover the needs of almost everyone's requirements including frequent road trippers. The technology that delivers such range and fast charging is already available. For example, Tesla Model 3 can travel more than 500 KMs on single charge and their new V3 superchargers (250 KW) can give 375 kms (233 miles) of range in just 26 mins. So, you can travel more than 800 kms with just a single stop for less than half hour.

Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head-v3_supercharger_speeds.jpg

While Tesla Model 3 may be out of reach for most of the people in India, we will see much cheaper EVs because of competition, economies of scale sooner (4-5 years) than later. Once the EV like Kona comes down to the price of Rs ~10-12 lakh for base variants, it will no-brainer for majority of the customers considering very low running costs.

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Old 27th September 2019, 22:35   #40
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

EVs are the stop gap before we get to Hydrogen powered vehicles. I don't know how the Indian government will incentivize businesses to build chargers on the highway whereas 1 hydrogen filling station can serve an area.
Also, with street parking, I think EV charging in going to be a headache as most Indian cities don't have standardized footpaths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
[center][b]
Why are they so expensive?

It's typical of any new game-changing technology. Check out the prices of early mobile phones & calling charges in the 1990s! …..
Are they cheap to run?

Not only are they cheap, but they are C-H-E-A-P. Based on current electricity rates, the running cost works out to a paltry 0.8 - 1.1 rupees / km.....

What about maintenance costs?
Nevertheless, if you own an 8 – 10 year old EV, you should be prepared to get a new battery.

Also remember that, as batteries age, their range & performance will drop.....
The economics of running an EV are different. You pay the running cost up-front and your day-to-day costs are very less.

It's like free services offered with a new car- you pay for only the water and consumables (which are negligible) for the first 2 years/20k km.

You've to financially plan renew this investment at the 8 year mark.
Quote:
Can I modify it?

Typical BHPian question . Yes, absolutely. If anything, modifications for more power will be super easy as EVs depend a lot more on software
The only problem is that a grease monkey who's worked for 20 years on IC engines won't be happy as he might not be a geek.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 27th September 2019 at 22:36.
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Old 28th September 2019, 09:13   #41
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Good thread. Rest of the points, (being said), regarding a dirty power source like coal I have this to say as a consumer - 'I don't worry where my diesel comes from. Whether it's from fracking (environmentally sensitive), or from some strife ridden African country (Conflict fuel, anyone?). I don't worry if it's from the pristine Godavari river basin or from an Arab nation who is 'cocking a snook' at the world. I buy the car, and it is up to the powers be, to figure out a way to deliver clean power to me. I'll just drive in a manner that is environmentally acceptable'. Just price it cheap. I'm eagerly awaiting the 'electric gen'!'
Yes. So its probably not the best though process, but my first post says, that even after knowing the limitations and downsides, I would still buy one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
EVs are the stop gap before we get to Hydrogen powered vehicles. I don't know how the Indian government will incentivize businesses to build chargers on the highway whereas 1 hydrogen filling station can serve an area.
Also, with street parking, I think EV charging in going to be a headache as most Indian cities don't have standardized footpaths.
Totally agree. Hydrogen Fuel Cell may very well be the future and rightly so!
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Old 28th September 2019, 09:14   #42
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
[center][b]...

For the typical car owner who changes his rides every 5 years, EVs might be cheaper to maintain. Don't know about the long-term though. Some batteries will be of good quality (many Teslas are doing 7+ years on the original battery), while some might fail prematurely (some Reva owners were hit with a Rs 60k battery bill after 3 years). Long battery warranties are becoming commonplace in the EV world - Hyundai is offering an 8 year warranty on the Kona's battery. Nevertheless, if you own an 8 – 10 year old EV, you should be prepared to get a new battery.

Also remember that, as batteries age, their range & performance will drop.

...
Thanks for the great opinion piece. It's nice to read this from an Indian POV to help understand what the electric experience might be like for us in India.

There is a company called Tesloop n California who rent Tesla cars for driving between LA and San Diego. They used to run a shuttle service between LA and Las Vegas, that was suspended because of regulatory problems. They claim that their cars run up to 17,000 miles per month. Here is a blog post from their website which has info on their oldest Teslas which have run over 400,000 miles: https://www.tesloop.com/blog/2018/7/...737-kilometers
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Old 28th September 2019, 09:19   #43
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

Look at the comment on the Facebook post.

A new career opportunity for GTO.
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Old 28th September 2019, 09:41   #44
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

Great review. Given that my max highway distances are about 200 km (bar two trips to Goa in 10 years), electric cars would work perfectly for me. However, we do need to do a lot on the grid side to make ourselves ready for these cars. Peak loads of super-chargers are enormous - and even ordinary portable charges consume as much as the connected load of a large apartment in an affluent building in Mumbai (about 22 KW). If everybody gets home and starts charging at the same time, it would cause the grid to collapse. And setting up additional capacity without knowing how fast adoption will spread will be uneconomical too.
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Old 28th September 2019, 11:56   #45
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

To complement the great thread by GTO, I would like to share few numbers on the electricity requirements for EVs in India if all the vehicles becomes EVs. This is to dispel some worries most of us had about EVs electricity requirements and how we can achieve all that with just clean energy (solar and wind):

Before we go into estimations, let us understand few units and conversions between them. Battery capacity is measured in terms of energy and units for that is kWh. kWh (1 kWh = 1 unit) is same as the electricity units that we get on our household electricity bills.

Here are the annual electricity requirements for different major segments of vehicles if all the sales in an year are EVs:

Cars:
Annual car sales are around 3 million. Let us assume all these are EVs. Assume all those are Hyundai Kona electric SUV. It has 258 miles (415 KMs) of electric range and battery capacity is 64 KWh. Means it needs 64 units of power to travel 415 KMs or 6.48 KMs per unit of electricity (1 KWh).

Let us assume average driving distance of these 3 million cars is 15,000 KMs per year (I heard its around 12,000 KMs but let's be conservative). So each car needs 15000/6.48 = ~2315 KWh of electricity per year. For 3 million EVs its ~7,000 GWh of electricity per year.

2 wheelers:
Annual 2 wheeler sales are around ~22 million. Let us assume all these are EVs (Ather 450). Ather mentions that with ECO mode on, it gets 75 KM range and 60 KM without ECO mode. Let us be pessimistic and take range of without ECO mode. It has 2.4 KWh battery means 2.4 units of electricity to fully charge the battery. So it goes 25 KMs per unit of electricity (60/2.4 = 25).

Let us assumer average driving distance of these 22 million 2-wheelers is 1,000 KMs per month or 12,000 KMs per year for each vehicle. So each 2-wheeler needs 12,000/25 = 480 KWh of electricity per year. For 22 million 2-wheelers, it is 10,560 GWh of electricity per year.

3 wheelers:
7 lakh 3 wheelers are sold in FY19 in India. Let us assume all these are electric (Mahindra Treo for example) and travel 200 KMs per day. Mahindra claims 170 KMs certified range and 130 KMs typical driving range. Let's be pessimistic and assume the real world range of only 100KMs. It has 7.37 kWh battery. So that's ~15 units per day and 5,475 units per year per vehicle. For 7 lakh 3 wheeler EVs, ~3,832 GWh of electricity per year.

Buses:
Annual bus sales are around 1,00,000. Let us assume they travel ~250 KMs per day and all of them are electric (BYD K9 for example). Energy consumption for this bus 1.2 kWh per km, means it needs 300 (250 * 1.2) units per day and 1.1 lakh units per year per bus. For 1 lakh EV buses, that's 11,000 GWh of electricity per year.

For these 4 segments combined, new electricity requirement will be 32,392 GWh (32.3 TWh) per year. Assuming it takes 10 years to replace all older vehicles it will be 3,23,000 GWh (323 TWh) per year. In FY19 country's total electricity generation was 1,547 TWh. So, if all the new vehicles of 4 major segments becomes EVs overnight, electricity requirement will be just 2% more (32.3/1547) than what we generated in FY19. In 10 years that will be over 20% extra requirement over the current generation which will be easily achievable.

Coming to clean energy, solar and wind capacity and generation grown tremendously in the last 4-5 years in our country. In FY15, solar output is 4.6 TWh. In just 4 years it has grown to 39.27 TWh. Wind capacity also growing at a rapid pace. In the same period (FY15 to FY19) wind output has grown from 28 TWh to 62 TWh. Solar and wind power have become cheaper to build and maintain than just the maintenance costs of older coal plants. Many older coal plants being closed due to higher maintenance costs and pollution and being replaced with wind and solar plants. Adding rooftop solar makes more economical sense for families with individual houses and EV car at home resulting in quicker ROI. Over the time, our electricity emissions and transport emissions will be reduced drastically with EVs and sold/wind energy.
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