Electric cars

(Rhys Williams) #101

I’m currently interested in another angle on all this - the electricity supply for home charging.
Background - I’ve been researching ready for changing my ancient Merc E class (petrol). Living in rural France we do numerous short to medium journeys - bricos, other shops, socialising, meds, all the usual stuff, 10 to 20 miles each way mostly. But we also go frequently on much longer journeys, which blow the point & benefit of hybrids out of the water, as has been discussed here earlier, unless we’re stopping more frequently and for much longer than I like to do, to recharge.
So a full electric once the batteries are up to the job in affordable cars. Whilst I’ll be happy to take charging from free public charging points, while they last (!) (And they can’t last, surely. There’s a massive and increasing infrastructure cost that someone will have to pay for and in the long run that’s going to be us.) So I’ll expect to be charging at home mostly, and, of course, paying for the electricity at domestic rates.
It’s easy enough to run a line for an ordinary socket to somewhere convenient for the car - in a hangar, in my case. But it takes hours and hours to charge from one of them, and even 8 hours overnight is not enough for many cars. So I’d like to install a faster charger. But the ones I’ve been looking at take 7.6kW (single phase). I have a three phase 18kVA supply which effectively means I have three separate 6kW feeds, which isn’t enough to feed 7.6kW to any one place. My supply is provided by the commune, not ERDF, and they refuse to swap it for a single phase system of anywhere near the same capacity, and ERDF won’t touch it themselves. In the winter peak I already use a big proportion of what I can get at times - mostly overnight - the same time as I’d need to charge the car. So I’m out of options.
The local electricity supply needs a serious upgrade if significant numbers of people want to install fast chargers and I’d guess this situation must be common across France. It will, of course, kill off the already fading HC benefits. I’ve not seen anywhere any suggestions of sorting this out. Any comments / ideas ?

(David Martin) #102

As I understand it your requirements are perfect for a plug in hybrid. You would be able to use the electrical power for your routine, everyday journeys and the internal combustion engine for the longer journeys that are out of the reach of full electrical vehicles without recharging stops.

(John Withall) #103

Rhys, this is one for Jonathan Badger, but what’s wrong with running a 3 phase cable to the charge point? That way you’ll balance the charge better and lower the cost relative to trying to use just one phase. The electrical supplier will treble what ever you use on the largest phase anyway.

The cost of the fast chargers is much higher that the low power so not surprising they are not likely to be free. That said much lower cost than petrol/diesel. I like the idea of getting our own back on the OPEC cartels

(John Withall) #104

I believe that will depend on which hybrid, they are not created equal. The best milage per cost is the Toyota Prius. Outside of that some only give 40 ish mpg. In the case of the Mitsubishi PHEV consumption on petrol is around 26 mpg and a ridiculous mileage on electric. Ok if your daily commute is only 10-15 miles without heating, lighting and wipers etc.

Some hybrids use the small engine to just charge the battery, others it actually powers the wheels.

Waiting for the full electric with 250-300 miles and with solid state batteries being fitted to cars around late 2020 surely worth the wait.

(David Martin) #105

My reply was to Rhys’ comment about his needs being no good for a hybrid because he regularly uses his car for longer journeys. That’s not true, if you have something like a Prius it can be used as an electric vehicle for local trips and a petrol one for the longer ones. MPG wasn’t mentioned, he was concerned with having to stop and recharge the electric power source.

(John Withall) #106

Yes David, I was fully aware of that, please let me know if you object to me answering? Not everyone reading this thread will know the difference between one hybrid and another so I believed it was relevant and of interest. Whilst MPG wasn’t mentioned, again it is worth noting the difference between some models. From Rhys’s post, I gathered cost was a consideration due to the mentioning of free charging points. Personally I don’t see the relevance myself as no garage will allow you free petrol even if you do fill slowly :grin: As for stopping, it’s a good idea regardless as every other bridge informs you Tiredness can kill. A chance to stretch the legs and have a cuppa whilst charging, provided it’s not too frequently no issue for me. It will potentially be better for service stations to. At the moment they hope to sell add-ons with fuel but many want fuel a pee and to get back on the road. Electric on the other hand will mean staying put for at least 20 minutes so a coffee, a snack etc are far more likely to occur, this is one reason why some service stations want fast chargers.

(Rhys Williams) #107

David. That’s what I hoped but most I’ve looked at have too little electric range to reliably do the shops etc and back, and the petrol (or diesel) consumption on long trips is worse than my present car.

(Rhys Williams) #108

Hi John. I don’t think that electricity is versatile enough to get by with just running 3phase to the charge point. The task itself is no more difficult than running a single phase cable, just a bit fatter for the two extra wires. The problem is that you can’t just join them together ! The 3-phase version of the charge point I considered takes 7kW from each phase - it’s for big high power charging stations.

(Rhys Williams) #109

Picking up a number of the points you’ve kindly contributed: MPG is still important - my ancient car always gives me 39mpg on long journeys, sometimes over 40. Getting 26, for example, on a new one is a definite backward step.

And of course cost is indeed also a consideration as at home I’ll pay my domestic tariff but the people installing charging points would go but quite quickly if they continued supplying electricity free for long, and they’ll want a fat profit on top of their corporate costs.

John’s point about stops is relevant too, as when I was younger I could happily do south Charente Maritime to Manchester in under 13 hours, but daren’t attempt that any more! However I don’t want to have to stop for half an hour or more several times on such a journey.

(Rhys Williams) #110

So I’ll park my green ambitions for another year or few. If I’m still driving later when the technology gets it together I’ll come back to it. But I’m disappointed at present.
In the meantime the bigger issue is the social one - 50 new power stations across Europe burning what? Oil, gas, nuclear, plus wind, waves, solar, almost all real-time rather than stored because EDF, I’m told, don’t want batteries everywhere like the Tesla wall ones. And everyone trying to charge their cars at home overnight, probably (?) cheaper than at charging stations. Doesn’t really solve the pollution problem but just moves it out of the cities (?), adds huge infrastructure costs. Boosts employment and the economy (?) for a while.

(John Withall) #111

Rhys the batteries will draw what current the charger built into the vehicle is programmed to do and with the silly way the French do the abandoment you will not be on your own. Hopefully Jonathan will pop by as he is both a qualified French spark and of course the user of the 40Kw Nissan Leaf.

I am only guessing but a charge point that is intelligent could solve the issue but I do agree lets wait a year or two and see what advances we have then.

(stella wood) #112

I was interested to see a 1968 classic transformed… and am hopeful that things will progress/evolve which will enable all/most classics to follow suit (if the owner so desires)… :hugs:

(John Scully) #113

(stella wood) #114

France is really pushing the electric option…

(John Withall) #115

It’s really cool, saw it some time back, they didn’t say who owned it but Tesla helped. It can be converted back to original as well should the need arise as none of the original parts have been harmed in the re making of this car

(John Withall) #116

I would like to some actual evidence rather than a news article. I found a scant number of slow chargers when I was over and did not have enough free time to go and look at other charging sites.

(stella wood) #117

They are planning to get things sorted within the next 4 years… so we wait …and see… hopefully things will really speed-up as new technology is always in the offing…:relaxed:

(stella wood) #118

That’s great news. I’m sure some purists had near heart-failure at what they might consider desecration… my BiL did not approve of my suggestion that he get one of his E-types transformed. Which one should I ruin? was more or less what he said, through clenched teeth… :wink::zipper_mouth_face:

(David Martin) #119

The E type, in my opinion, is the wrong sort of car to convert. The Jaguar’s engine is an integral part of the experience and the electric motor’a improved performance would not make up for the character it has lost. Something like an MX5 would be a more suitable base vehicle.

(stella wood) #120

Probably why BiL is adverse. His cars are his investment/pension pot…

and he left an MX5 with us until a week ago… drat, we could have had a go with that… :thinking::zipper_mouth_face: