Author Topic: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)  (Read 1272 times)

Offline liontamerlou

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« on: July 03, 2020, 07:03:20 am »
Wow . . . I didn't realize that electric cars are (can be) so cheap to run.

Yeah they can be super cheap to run, I'm using the Octopus Go tariff and it's only 5p/KwH to charge between the hours of 00:30/04:30 which is insanely cheap. You do need a Smart meter though. I've just recently switched the Octopus and can definitely recommend them. Here's my referral link if you would like £50 credit for switching (I also get £50 off my bill) https://share.octopus.energy/sunny-rhino-720. You can also sign-up via this website too https://www.octopusenergyreferral.co/50-credit.

There's some great financial and environmental saving to be had with EVs as you can get your energy from 100% Green sources as well. The problem though is that the cars themselves are quite expensive so for the most part you're not usually saving because the monthly or initial outlay is more expensive but over a looong periood of time you will break even. EVs tend to be good for a lot more miles than ICE cars, Tesla's for instance are good for 500k+ miles and they are expected to announce soon their newer cars are good for 1m miles. They also require less services and less likely to go wrong as less moving parts as they're 'simpler'.

Offline ttxela2

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 113
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2020, 10:16:37 am »
Wow . . . I didn't realize that electric cars are (can be) so cheap to run.

Yeah they can be super cheap to run, I'm using the Octopus Go tariff and it's only 5p/KwH to charge between the hours of 00:30/04:30 which is insanely cheap. You do need a Smart meter though. I've just recently switched the Octopus and can definitely recommend them. Here's my referral link if you would like £50 credit for switching (I also get £50 off my bill) https://share.octopus.energy/sunny-rhino-720. You can also sign-up via this website too https://www.octopusenergyreferral.co/50-credit.

There's some great financial and environmental saving to be had with EVs as you can get your energy from 100% Green sources as well. The problem though is that the cars themselves are quite expensive so for the most part you're not usually saving because the monthly or initial outlay is more expensive but over a looong periood of time you will break even. EVs tend to be good for a lot more miles than ICE cars, Tesla's for instance are good for 500k+ miles and they are expected to announce soon their newer cars are good for 1m miles. They also require less services and less likely to go wrong as less moving parts as they're 'simpler'.

I bought a cheap electric motorcycle (Super Soco) secondhand and paid £1600 for it. The battery can be removed and charged off a 3 pin plug so I can charge it at work so at least half my commute is paid for by my employer.... The range is limited (about 40 miles) so only really good for my daily commute but I've kept my petrol car which I paid £600 for 7 years ago for occasional longer trips.

I calculated I only really needed to travel 3600 miles on my bike to break even if I assumed I'd be driving my car instead which is about 6 months commuting for me. Another bug plus is I haven't put a penny into Elon's pockets.....

Offline Fulk

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4235
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2020, 11:06:49 am »
Three years ago I visited Cuba, where electric motor bikes are fairly common. The problem is, they are virtually soundless, and they creep up on you (there tends to be not much traffic on Cuban streets and people often walk along the road and get a bike up their arse if they're not careful).

Offline ttxela2

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 113
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2020, 11:18:17 am »
Three years ago I visited Cuba, where electric motor bikes are fairly common. The problem is, they are virtually soundless, and they creep up on you (there tends to be not much traffic on Cuban streets and people often walk along the road and get a bike up their arse if they're not careful).

I had no idea they were popular in Cuba, from the folks that are in the owners groups on FB they seem popular in Asia and India - I guess places where you would normally expect lots of mopeds etc.

I love mine but I can't get enthusiastic about the idea of an electric car.

I've found the sound issue to be more of a problem with cyclists. Even giving them a wide berth they often seem startled as I pass, I guess most cyclists don't have mirrors. I've thought of sounding my horn as I approach but that's probably just as bad  :lol:

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 5334
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2020, 11:19:14 am »
This is at risk of straying off topic (and might make a valuable separate topic anyway?) but I've obviously considered an EV - and reluctantly discounted the possibility for the time being.

This is because I don't live in a city (and charging points are still few and far between round here in the Dales) and also because I need a small 4 x 4 and I just haven't seen one of the type I use which isn't petrol or diesel based. Anyone know of any?

The exhorbitant cost to buy an EV is very offputting too.

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 5334
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2020, 12:13:41 pm »
People who know a lot more about sparks than me suggest that a decent sized caving club, which may have 25 to 30 cars on a weekend (having travelled from the far end of the country and all needing a deep charge) would have such great demand it would probably have to have its own sub station.

Offline JoshW

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 413
  • YSS, BCA Youth and Development, BCA Group Rep
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2020, 12:23:11 pm »
I'd also be interested to know if there are any decent caving type electric vehicles about? even the hybrid types would be an improvement.

Online Ed W

  • I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve
  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2020, 12:25:04 pm »
liontamerlou said;

Quote
They also require less services and less likely to go wrong as less moving parts as they're 'simpler'.

Not necessarily...

https://www.driving.co.uk/news/american-survey-claims-tesla-build-quality-issues/

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 5334
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2020, 12:28:27 pm »
To whoever split this off as a separate topic - thanks.

Must admit I like the idea of a small petrol engine as a fall back option.
I think the problem with a small 4 x 4 is the difficulty of fitting both in. 
I've never come across such a hybrid 4 x 4 model but if anyone is aware of such an option I'd be delighted to know about it. (I did look at Mitsubishi's PHEV 4 x 4 a couple of years ago but it was very expensive, too big a vehicle for me - and the battery range wasn't very good.)

Offline 2xw

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 608
  • BPC, SUSS
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2020, 12:46:12 pm »
Not sure we're at a point where EVs are good for cavers who, due to mileage and road quality will probably be the last people to take them up.
The average journey is 13 miles or somat tho so good for the majority of the population

Offline ZombieCake

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1045
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2020, 12:56:28 pm »
The UK isn't always a sub tropical paradise - it gets cold. This can reduce range by 40% as batteries become less efficient and you need to use heaters etc.  Adding more load e.g luggage and passengers also add strain on the capacity.  The biggest issue is really current battery technology and their energy density.  It's currently nowhere near as good as hydrocarbon fuels  https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/problem-with-electric-cars-energy-density/
If circumstances and lifestyles permit an EV could well be a very good a choice.  For me they're pretty much useless as to get anywhere I have to go a long way.
More remote places with limited electric supply would not be able to cope with the demand if several cars need charging at once as they need a lot of energy to recharge.
Maybe other technologies will get better in time such as hydrogen fuel cells.

Offline ttxela2

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 113
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2020, 01:11:00 pm »
The UK isn't always a sub tropical paradise - it gets cold. This can reduce range by 40% as batteries become less efficient and you need to use heaters etc.  Adding more load e.g luggage and passengers also add strain on the capacity.  The biggest issue is really current battery technology and their energy density.  It's currently nowhere near as good as hydrocarbon fuels  https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/problem-with-electric-cars-energy-density/
If circumstances and lifestyles permit an EV could well be a very good a choice.  For me they're pretty much useless as to get anywhere I have to go a long way.
More remote places with limited electric supply would not be able to cope with the demand if several cars need charging at once as they need a lot of energy to recharge.
Maybe other technologies will get better in time such as hydrogen fuel cells.

This is exactly the reason I kept my petrol car and bought the bike for work commuting, I've also got the diesel motorhome for holidays - Although I accept having a range of different vehicles for different purposes is not practical for many folk and is perhaps questionable environmentally even  :-\

Still I maintain that the daily walking pace parade of SUV's, 4X4's and luxury saloons all hauling around 4+ empty seats that used to comprise my daily journey to work in Pre-Covid days was the biggest obviously addressable waste of money, energy and time around the country. It seems to me continuing the same madness but just under electric power is the least imaginitive way of solving it.

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 5334
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2020, 01:25:17 pm »
Agreed - in cities. Very different out here in the outback.

Offline Fjell

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 144
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2020, 01:35:08 pm »
You mean you aren't saving up for one of these with a hydrogen fuel cell and optional point defence system?

https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/ineos/grenadier/96387/new-ineos-grenadier-4x4-prices-specs-and-video-land-rover-defender-rival

My wife eyed it greedily. Could be on.

Online PeteHall

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1117
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2020, 02:26:12 pm »
People who know a lot more about sparks than me suggest that a decent sized caving club, which may have 25 to 30 cars on a weekend (having travelled from the far end of the country and all needing a deep charge) would have such great demand it would probably have to have its own sub station.

I think you are probably right. EV charging is pretty high demand on the grid, so trying to get this at a remote caving hut would likely involve considerable upgrades to the local network, as well as a local substation and all the charging points. Wouldn't be surprised if the cost was close to £1M to get a decent supply to somewhere like Bull pot Farm...
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline Fjell

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 144
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2020, 02:28:19 pm »
The grid demand if everyone has an EV and heat pumps is staggering. I see little sign of it being planned for, let alone built.

Online SamT

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 6282
    • The Eldon Pothole Club
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2020, 02:42:30 pm »
Few wider points.

The human race cannot carry on using petrol and diesel ad infinitum so we need an alternative, and fast. Our lungs and our eco systems cannot cope much longer.

Affluent countries like our own need to pave the way, be the trailblazers, prove the technology, what ever it might be, be the catalyst for the supply chain so that production costs tumble, allowing the poorer countries to follow suit.

You're right re demand on the grid.
Storage on the grid is a problem at the moment, however, if you plug in a few million batteries, you have one great interconnected battery system, that might be able to balance out some supply and demand.

I'm staggered that nobody had thought of standardizing the batteries, so you can whip out the dead ones, and load in some charged ones, at the petrol battery station.  Might actually be quicker than pumping 60l of diesel into them.

Hydrogen fuel cells will probably eventually replace the batteries in electric vehicles.  Battery operated EV's are probably a stop gap.

* There are a few technical hurdles to overcome, but nothing than tech cannot solve
* Humans need to radically alter the way they lead their live, which will probably not happen till the vast majority have been wiped out.

/2p

Online PeteHall

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1117
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2020, 02:56:30 pm »
Not sure we're at a point where EVs are good for cavers who, due to mileage and road quality will probably be the last people to take them up.
The average journey is 13 miles or somat tho so good for the majority of the population

My commute is 14 miles each way and we have free to use EV charging points at work. I worked out that with the purchase cost of an EV it would take me over 5 years to cover my cost and who's to say the battery would last that long.

Instead I bought a 4 year old Renault Megane estate for about £3k that does 65mpg, even fully loaded with caving kit. From full it has a range of over 800 miles and the road tax is free. If I scrapped it next year, it would have been cheaper (and a lot more practical) than and EV.

Unless you get a company car and benefit from the EV tax relief, I can't see what type of use would add up financially yet...
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Online PeteHall

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1117
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2020, 03:00:10 pm »
Affluent countries like our own need to pave the way, be the trailblazers, prove the technology, what ever it might be, be the catalyst for the supply chain so that production costs tumble, allowing the poorer countries to follow suit.

Not sure it will work like that.

Affluent countries like ours will start using EV's and improve the air quality where we live. Our quality of life will improve.

Poorer countries will be deforesting and mining to produce enough materials to make all the batteries, yet they will not reap any benefits. Their quality of life will suffer.

edit: perhaps I'm being too pessimistic...
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline Von Trippenhof

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2020, 07:56:22 pm »
I've got an EV, so I can contribute a bit about it in real life. I must say though that I quite like interesting cars and that's part of my decision making process... and for a few years I considered a motorcycle to be a perfectly practical caving vehicle. What I'm saying is your mileage may (quite literaly) vary.

Affordability: My last vehicle that ran directly on squashed dinosaurs was a 10 year old diesel skoda octavia scout. Over the 3 years i had it it cost me 38 pence per mile. I currently hire a BMW i3 on a deal that is inclusive of charging on the polar network. £400 a month, 1000 miles included in the deal = 40p per mile. I don't charge at home (I'm in a flat without the possibility) so that is the all-in cost. So that's 2p per mile more for a vehicle that's 9 years younger.

Practicality: The range we get is ~180 of city driving or ~140 miles of motorway at about 65 mph. During the week, this is more than ample for commuting, especially as I have charging at work. Provided I remember to plug in a couple of times a week at the office, range doesn't feature as a worry. Where it gets a bit more faffy is the weekend away. This takes a bit of planning however as a rapid charger can put in ~120 miles of electric in 20-25 minutes, it doesn't really affect total journey times as much as I expected as it's a pretty similar amount of time to have a wee and cup of tea (certainly by the time my baby is fed and has a fresh nappy, the car is ready to go). This all takes a bit of planning, especially if there is no charging at the destination, but there are plenty of good apps (I use Zap Map) that make it easy.

All in all, I'd say it takes a bit of a mind-shift, mostly around the planning. Overall though, it all fits with my lifestyle with very little adjustment. And it's an adjustment I'm happy to make as I find the car itself interesting to drive and 'own'. I'm only playing at it all with a monthly commitment on the rental, but I can see how the 2021 generation of cars with range ~300 miles will take away the practicality issues for almost everyone who can charge at home.

Ralph

Offline mountainpenguin

  • regular
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2020, 09:41:14 pm »
Wow there is some rubbish in this thread 40% loss of battery range in cold weather !!!
You do loose range but not 40%. The wind has a big effect too.
In the winter there is a different big bonus. The car being plugged in is pre heated either via an app or via a timer and as this is done from mains it heats up quick without affecting the range. You always start with a full battery and rapid chargers are getting much more plentiful. Some journeys require a bit more planning (though upgrading the battery and therfore range is a possibility)
We are very rural though most of our journeys are < 40 miles we have done more.
however for inspiration have a look at https://blog.zerocarbonadventures.co.uk/ glyn can tell you a lot more about the experience. Note the long trips to spain and europe all on a small battery.
It will have a significant affect on the grid but cars can be used as a house / grid battery too.
The raw efficiency of an EV is amazing
Quote
The average vehicle efficiency in the UK is 30 mpg or 0.68 miles/kWh. An electric car provides an energy saving of 83% compared to the average. A newer 50 mpg petrol car travels 1.13 miles/kWh, an EV would provide a 72% saving in this case.


Offline ZombieCake

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1045
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2020, 10:43:01 pm »
Quote
Wow there is some rubbish in this thread 40% loss of battery range in cold weather !!!

Yes, quite agree.  Lies, damned lies, and statistics.  I'm sure anything can be used to argue for and against the same thing.  All good fun to muse over.

https://apnews.com/04029bd1e0a94cd59ff9540a398c12d1#:~:text=DETROIT%20(AP)%20%E2%80%94%20Cold%20temperatures,as%20much%20as%20the%20cold.

I'll stick with petrol for the time being.  You don't have to keep it plugged in to a life support machine to use it.  Funnily enough I did look at a 2nd hand BMW i3 electric car when I swapped my car over in February. I baulked at the cost, not so much the forecourt price but the hidden extras such as the looming replacement battery cost and all the other BMW costs.  So current car is now a small full time 4x4 super mini with £30 road tax. Not perfect, but not too bad at all.
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing at all against electric cars, the geek in me generally likes the idea, and go-kart acceleration looks cool.  (I could also use as an excuse to add to my VDE tool collection!)
Thing is they don't suit all at present, and I don't go for all the marketing hype around them.

Online PeteHall

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1117
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2020, 10:57:48 pm »
In the winter there is a different big bonus. The car being plugged in is pre heated either via an app or via a timer and as this is done from mains it heats up quick without affecting the range.

If you can plug in at home.

My boss has PHEV,  and lives in the city with on street parking, so no charging at home and as I mentioned earlier, we have free EV charging at work. In the summer he gets home and back to the office on the battery. In winter he's lucky to make it home without the petrol engine.

Part of this is battery efficiency, but also in winter, you need the heating on, lights on, wipers on etc. Before you add the extra drag from a wet road or higher winds.

Regardless of the mechanism, in winter, he gets less than half the miles.

The other point this highlights is that people in the city (where EV's provide most benefit are least likely to have the option to charge at home.

Personally, I don't think there is enough personal incentive yet, an efficient diesel will be cheaper more flexible motoring. But if people don't take it up, the technology won't develop enough to create that incentive, which is where state and corporate support can help.

If companies who claim to be green only provided EV's as pool or company cars, it would boost uptake and also filter more 2nd hand vehicles into the market.
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline mountainpenguin

  • regular
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2020, 11:16:44 pm »
phev well yes at a guess its and outlander? if so its umm special. The heating in those a lot of those is resistive so I can believe a 40% drop and they don't do that well anyway. The leafs etc have a heat pump to provide heat so 3-5 times the efficiency.
I spent *Ages* looking before committing.  There are options for onroad at home charging (connections to lamp post). https://unboxed.co/product-stories/chargy/
They aren't perfect (yet) but they are *very* cheap to run and more practical that you think. I am convinced that a PHEV is the worst of all worlds though ! unreliable ICE and small and therefore hammered low lifespan battery. Our EV needs fewer brake pads as most of the time its re gen braking and other than topping up the screen wash it needs way less maintenance than any ICE. We were *very* nervous when buying it. Its a lot easier now as the batteries are bigger and there are more rapid chargers around. Its definitely not cheaper (for most) to get an efficient diesel though it is still a bit more flexible. So far the depreciation on our car over 3 years is <£1K and its saved us >4K so in cash terms its been a better investment than putting money in the bank!

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 5334
Re: Electric vehicles (split from Electricity smart meters)
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2020, 08:54:28 am »
Some really interesting information coming out here - thanks everybody. Wasn't the Outlander the first hybrid 4x4? So not as well evolved as models coming out now?

Pete Hall makes a good point above, with: "if people don't take it up, the technology won't develop enough to create that incentive". I'm really keen to reduce my own carbon footprint but I just can't (yet) identify anything anywhere near as good as the four Suzuki Jimnys I've had over the last 12 years. I'm watching the market though. Another problem for me is I'll probably be buying a used car, so I'd have to wait for second hand ones to start coming on the market.

Sam T also makes a good point about possible battery standardisation. For a long time I've thought that a battery swap arrangement would encourage me more towards an EV. Planning is all well and good (and I'd probably manage that easily in normal circumstances) but sometimes planning isn't really enough. Suppose a family member is suddenly is taken ill some distance away and needs help - if the battery wasn't charged fully (say, because there's plenty of energy for the normal short commute next day) you might not be able to make make the sudden longer emergency journey. A battery swap option would be the obvious solution.

Battery swapping would also get round a concern I've heard expressed - the fact that the battery is really expensive, so purchasers of EVs are (legitimately) worried about resale value, if the battery has degraded.


 

Main Menu

Forum Home Help Search