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Old 1st October 2019, 09:39   #61
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

I am just wondering if this is a silly idea or if it is something already happening: How about having external batteries which would extend the range or come in handy in emergency situations? Just like the travel power banks we have for the mobile phones? Cars needs to have provision to plug these batteries while running.
Other idea I have is a small mobile 'generator' which runs on petrol This may look like 'self defeating' but they can provide peace of mind in a country like India when you are venturing out of town.
I am already exploring Kona/MG ZS as my next car but they seem to fall short of 100 kms in their range. It would be great to be able to extend the range somehow.
Other option would be to plug the car for charging whenever you stop for lunch/tea break (needs some work negotiating with the restaurant owner )
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Old 1st October 2019, 11:54   #62
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Originally Posted by good.car-ma View Post
That being said, there are 2 points i just cannot wrap my head around with the coming EV mainstream-ing and I really hope people smarter than me find a solution:

1. Using coal to power batteries. Just because we cannot see the problem and it's far away from us doesn't mean it doesn't exist. In the end, air pollution is air pollution.

2. The human rights issues surrounding mining of Cobalt, Lithium and other rare metals used in EVs and batteries. Unless new materials are found as cheap and common alternatives, or there are ethical measures in place, I find it unacceptable to buy an EV just as I would not buy a blood diamond.

Thoughts from others?
Thanks for bringing two important points or concerns about EVs. I will try to explain in detail.

1. Using coal power to charge EVs: Many people assume that EVs powered by coal power is as dirty as petrol cars. But that is not true. In fact even when EVs are only powered by coal power, they are still much cleaner than petrol cars.

Union of concerned scientists USA, published a detailed report comparing the lifetime emissions including the vehicle manufacturing and batteries, for EVs, PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrids) and petrol cars. For USA, below is the average emissions per mile.

Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head-us-nationwide.png

As you can see emissions from petrol vehicles are 3 times more than EVs on US nationwide average.

They also released an interactive tool to compare the emissions based on location (zip code) for all the states in USA.
https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicle...emissions-tool

Coming coal power comparison, 66% power generation in India is coal based.

In USA, Wyoming state has 85% of electricity from coal. Even in Wyoming with 85% coal power, EV emissions are much lower (41%) than petrol cars. Kona will have even lower emissions.

Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head-wyoming.png

On the other hand, California gets 50% of electricity from renewable sources. As you can see from below image, in California emissions will be 1/4th in EVs compared to petrol cars.

Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head-california.png

India nationwide has 66% power generation from coal which is much lower than 85% of Wyoming, means EVs in India are much cleaner than petrol cars. Another important aspect we need to consider is, while Indian power as a whole has 66% of coal power, its radically changing in many states like Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc... All these states have added substantial solar and wind power in the last 4-5 years and continue to add more every year. Almost all the incremental power demand is being met by renewable energy (solar and wind). Other Major states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP are also starting to setup large solar plants with huge targets in the next 4-5 years.

We will see green energy and EVs grow in parallel in our country, with green energy having a slight head start.

2. The human rights issues surrounding mining of Cobalt, Lithium and other rare metals: Only Cobalt has this issue because half of the world's cobalt reserves are in Congo. Cobalt usage in batteries is decreasing with each new generation. Tesla Model 3 has only 3% of cobalt in batteries and they are still trying to reduce the Cobalt usage for the next generation. Other major companies like LG Chem, CATL, SK Innovation are moving to NCM811 type of batteries which uses very less cobalt than earlier generations.
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Old 1st October 2019, 12:47   #63
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Default Re: Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head

What about safe disposal of the batteries? How will the explosion of bigger and better batteries on electric cars affect the environment, especially after adoption rates reach double figures? That'll be a policy that will have to be framed before widespread popularity.
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Old 1st October 2019, 16:32   #64
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Great and informative thread on Electric Cars. After reading 5 pages of this thread, I am skeptical about the weight of the car.

If the car has NO mechanical engine, 30 to 40% of its weight would be reduced(My rough Guess). With the same size and reduced weight, does the car really stick to the ground especially at high speeds ?

If the car does not stick to the ground, then, is it really safe at those high triple digit speeds?

The other question I have is, the fuel efficiency of petrol and diesel cars mainly depend on the speed of the car. If the car is at triple digits, then, the fuel efficiency drops heavily.

Is there a similar relation between battery consumption and speed?
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Old 2nd October 2019, 02:36   #65
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End of the day, apart from the running/operating cost, the only question which every one of us would ask oneself (especially for city commute)

How much more on time for me to reach home before battery runs out! Thanks to traffic. The day it becomes more predictable, the adoption would increase.

But thats again the toping. The base still is the power which is produced more by fossil fuels.

Oh but you have stumbled upon a really great point - and one of the reasons why I think electric cars / bikes will help a lot in a polluted country like India - standing still in traffic consumes a very tiny fraction of battery energy! Only in northern countries with negative temperatures, the battery heating consumes about 20-30% of the battery capacity at any given point of time. However in a country like India, there will be very little range loss when going through stop-n-go traffic, even with the AC on!

As GTO explained, in an EV, the range drops faster when you drive faster - city driving is the most efficient way to drive an EV, so stop-n-go traffic is never going to be a problem.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 02:42   #66
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Originally Posted by gkveda View Post
If the car has NO mechanical engine, 30 to 40% of its weight would be reduced(My rough Guess). With the same size and reduced weight, does the car really stick to the ground especially at high speeds ?
The giant battery pack is super heavy. A Model 3 is approximately the same weight as a BMW 330. Because there is no engine, they can place the heavy battery exactly in the middle, and as low as possible for a superior weight distribution.
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Old 2nd October 2019, 10:40   #67
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Oh but you have stumbled upon a really great point - and one of the reasons why I think electric cars / bikes will help a lot in a polluted country like India - standing still in traffic consumes a very tiny fraction of battery energy! Only in northern countries with negative temperatures, the battery heating consumes about 20-30% of the battery capacity at any given point of time. However in a country like India, there will be very little range loss when going through stop-n-go traffic, even with the AC on!
Very well put! Did not hit me. Yes, since its EV, its instant power down to standby on a standstill traffic !
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Old 2nd October 2019, 20:20   #68
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Originally Posted by gkveda View Post
Great and informative thread on Electric Cars. After reading 5 pages of this thread, I am skeptical about the weight of the car.

If the car has NO mechanical engine, 30 to 40% of its weight would be reduced(My rough Guess). With the same size and reduced weight, does the car really stick to the ground especially at high speeds ?

If the car does not stick to the ground, then, is it really safe at those high triple digit speeds?

The other question I have is, the fuel efficiency of petrol and diesel cars mainly depend on the speed of the car. If the car is at triple digits, then, the fuel efficiency drops heavily.

Is there a similar relation between battery consumption and speed?

As explained above by GutsyGibbon, the batteries in an EV are SUPER HEAVY. The battery in my long range Model 3 weighs around 480 kg - most automotive engines (even the heaviest ones) are below 250 kg. So rest assured - there's a lot of heft in an EV, to the point where its somewhat of a negative factor. Its quite a conundrum actually - if you want more range, you need bigger batteries - but bigger batteries means more dead weight to lug around, therefore it eats your range, so you need even more batteries to achieve your target range - which means even more weight, so more batteries... you get the idea! It's basically an optimization problem much like Rocket design - ISRO's GSLV for example has a payload rating of 10 tonnes to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), so to design a rocket with more than that, say 11 tonnes, you would need more thrust - which means carrying more fuel on board.. but the fuel itself will add (rough guesses here) maybe half a tonne, so you'll get only say 10.5 tonnes cargo capacity.. so lets add even more fuel, then at some optimum combination of fuel + payload rating you'll reach your design targets. There's a lot of work happening in cell chemistry and overall energy density improvements however, so maybe we'll see some weight reductions over the next couple of generations of EVs.

As for reaching high speeds, well (Disclaimer: Photo taken on closed race track):
Electric Cars...through the eyes of a diehard petrol-head-20190407_074149_crop.jpg

The car extremely stable at high speeds, aided of course by the weight of the battery, but also the rather stiff suspension (I've always felt the Model S suspension is softer and gives smoother ride, but well, the 3 is a "sports sedan", so that's to be expected - not that I appreciate it on pothole-infested Michigan roads).

As for your last question, an overwhelming YES. Range drops heavily at speeds above 120 kph, the sweet spot for the EPA rated range of 310 miles for my Model 3 is 65-70 mph (105-115 km/hr) or below. Which is the speed limit on most US roads so I guess they designed the car for that. The only two ways to get around this is to make the car even more aerodynamic, or use thinner/harder tyre compounds. Thankfully Tesla didn't skimp on tyres, but you can bet Indian manufacturers will for their EVs.
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Old 3rd October 2019, 02:38   #69
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Originally Posted by sri_tesla View Post
Thanks for bringing two important points or concerns about EVs. I will try to explain in detail.

1. Using coal power to charge EVs: Many people assume that EVs powered by coal power is as dirty as petrol cars. But that is not true. In fact even when EVs are only powered by coal power, they are still much cleaner than petrol cars.
All excellent points by Sri_tesla. A dirty grid + electric vehicle is still better than a dirty grid with gasoline (petrol). Diesel may have 10-15% lower CO2 footprint than petrol, but it comes with its own headaches such as higher NOxs and carbon particulates (carcinogen). Another common concern is battery life. Tesla has not had any major issues with battery life. Their spec is around 20% degradation after 8 years which is very conservative - see more below. Some Nissan leaf owners have encountered larger degradation. Leaf batteries are air cooled, which may be part of the problem. VW's upcoming MEB platform will also be liquid cooled, so it should be better. Battery life is only going to get better. https://www.wired.com/story/tesla-ma...million-miles/

So what happens when the batteries are no longer suitable for mobility applications? I'm talking about a >30% degradation presumably after 15 years of use. Such batteries could find a second home for power grid stabilization (think mega scale UPS systems), which is becoming very critical to enable clean energy sources such as solar and wind. In such cases, energy density is secondary to cost as they will not be in a moving object (no dead weight to carry around). In other words, these batteries would not have to be discarded, but could go on for use for another 15-30 years for energy storage. The electric car as well as storage batteries will help suck up surplus energy generated during periods of sun or wind and reverse the flow when there is no sun or wind. As unstable clean sources become larger players, the load balancing role played by EVs and battery storage systems will become even more important.

Anecdotally, my experience with electric cars (here in the US) has been great. We have owned a Model S for almost 4 years and have not noticed any obvious range loss. Besides cooling, another factor to long life is to not charge to 100%. We typically keep it at 80%, except for those rare occasions we need to make a long trip. Cost of ownership is nil. We actually have free charging where we live (ok $50 per year!). There is no maintenance required. No oil changes, filters, spark plugs etc. The brakes will probably outlive the car (thanks to regen). So far, just wipers, tires and the ac filter.

For most of the year, our electric car uses as much electricity as our home! Both are around 500kwh per month (for the car, it corresponds to 1500-2000km/month), so the ability of the car battery to help the grid stabilize the loads should not be underestimated. In Germany, where much of their grid has converted to solar and wind, there are times when they actually give you money to take their surplus energy, as having too much surplus energy can damage the grid.

What is simply amazing is that Tesla has continued to improve range and efficiency of this car and decrease costs. We paid around $80,000 for this car in 2015 (after taxes and rebates). It has a range of around 385km. Not great (though with the supercharger network, no killer for long range travel). Today, for "just" $90,000 (after taxes and rebate) one can buy a new long range model that has almost 600km in range.

I love gasoline cars. In fact our other car is a VW Golf. It is very lightweight and it handles a lot better than the heavy Tesla. But electric cars will get lighter as energy density and efficiency improve. The best analogy I can give is when the German fighter ace Adolf Galland compared the old piston aircraft with the then new jet fighters which were being introduced to the Luftwaffe during WW2. Upon completing his test flight of the new jet, he was quoted as saying that he felt "It was as though angels were pushing" his aircraft. That is also a very apt statement for the transition to electric power. Silent but powerful!
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Old 7th October 2019, 09:31   #70
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Originally Posted by GutsyGibbon View Post
The giant battery pack is super heavy.
Not just the weight of the battery, but to "protect the battery in an accident", the car will be about 100 kilos heavier. Read a detailed article in Fortune magazine where (among other things), VW said that the ID.3 will have ~6000 welds instead of the Golf's 5000 for safety.
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Old 7th October 2019, 10:24   #71
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To really summarise

EV's great for town and suburbia, it really is limited unless a standardised recharging network is built, similar to what Tesla has done.

Hybrid - good for 80% town and 20% long journeys.

Diesel - 80% long journeys - Still the winner for high speed cruising, the torque + tall gearing makes it the best in terms of carbon foot print
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Old 8th October 2019, 16:56   #72
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From the article -
"The complexity of the traditional ICE car is mind-boggling. There are several thousand moving parts that are interconnected by belts and gears and need to be constantly oiled and cooled. Air must be continuously pulled in to mix with gasoline to achieve combustion.

While the ICE engine is large, heavy, and "internally combusts" many times each second, the electric motor is exponentially simpler. It's much lighter and smaller, and you can count the number of moving parts on your right hand; it can be mounted right on the axle. This removes a lot of complexity in car design."

https://insideevs.com/news/374749/te...ectric-horses/
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Old 8th October 2019, 17:55   #73
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Originally Posted by Harshal.Bhosale View Post
As explained above by GutsyGibbon, the batteries in an EV are SUPER HEAVY. The battery in my long range Model 3 weighs around 480 kg
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Not just the weight of the battery, but to "protect the battery in an accident", the car will be about 100 kilos heavier.
While this is a problem at present, there are people looking into converting the battery to do double duty and act as the frame of the car. Think about ladder frame to monocoque designs but with batteries this time. For example, the "structural battery" in the article below is an idea along these lines.

https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-car...ocoque-unique/

Last edited by McLaren Rulez : 8th October 2019 at 17:59.
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Old 10th October 2019, 10:00   #74
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Adoption rates will go up as manufacturers and the government step up building of infrastructure and help the development of a healthy ecosystem.

MG is going to launch the ZS EV in December and they plan to :

1. Install fast chargers at all the dealerships.
2. Provide an onboard charger to charge on the go.
3. Provide mobile charging vans which can be called to charge your car battery and give you enough juice to reach a power source

They're also in talks with some players to install charging stations at busy areas, although that might take a bit longer.

It's good to see them trying to provide an umbrella of services to instill confidence in an EV buyer.
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Old 10th October 2019, 13:51   #75
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Good read. As GTO pointed out, in the near future(5 years) EVs can only be city centric and thus the second cars(Even that will be a healthy penetration)

I always felt that the EV mass market adoption will happen in that sweet spot where we currently have premium hatch/SUVs are positioned. Due to favourable taxes, A Nexon EV for example would mostly be priced same range as a top end diesel if not less. Almost all the top manufacturers have their premium offerings in that budget can launch EV flavours too.

e20 kind of addressed wrong segment. A car smaller then M800 being priced on par with the likes of Jazz,i20,Baleno.

Looking forward to the action in 2020+ and would love to jump into an EV as my city only car. I would still prefer a ICE for those long journeys for the heck of it !!
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