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The transition to electric vehicles

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop' started by Yellow Fang, 20 Jul 2011.

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Would you drive an electric car ?

  1. Yes, they are Eco-friendly, and the car of the future.

    100.0%
  2. No, nothing will replace gas for long distance travel

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    https://phys.org/news/2018-10-electric-cars-hazard-people.html

    "Electric cars are good for the environment – but not for people who cannot see. They have problems detecting the silent vehicles. However, Norwegian research scientists are working on a solution"

    Disappointingly their solution is to add artificial noise. Not very imaginative and not a good solution for reducing noise pollution.

    I thought of a better solution the first time I heard about this problem. Use a short range radio signal that is inaudible to all but can easily be converted into an audio signal for blind people. With the right tech you could possibly even and in direction and speed notification. I can't see why that would not work and all you would need is a little device or your phone to use the system when you get to a road.
     
  2. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    I've been doing a bit of 'back of the beer mat' calculations and I think the future looks good for electric transportation.

    Let's start with cars. As far as I can work out there is about 100 million new cars sold globally every year. This year it looks like there will be about 1 million new electric cars sold. The number of electric cars sold each year seems to be doubling year on year. There are a lot of companies without an electric version of their cars who are planning to launch their first electric cars over then next couple of years.

    There are two main driving forces causing this rapid acceleration. Firstly there is Tesla, who are on track to make half a million cars next year which would make up half the cars sold this year. This is starting to worry some of the big car makers. Give Tesla too long and they will be starting to get a very large slice of the pie. They are already hitting profits on similar prices petrol/diesel cars where the people with that sort of money are switching to Tesla or putting off buying a car till there is an electric car they like. Tesla has also just turned a profit, added a new light weight car a few grand cheaper and is nicely ramping up production. This is forcing more companies to roll out their cars so Tesla don't have too big a market lead. The big boy have a few years till Tesla gets really scary and may bring out the car at the right price point to enter the mass market and really start to hurt their sales. So reluctantly they will have to put out electric cars, which will increase the number on the road and I reckon by 2020 every brand will have an electric model and the market size will be about 5% of all new cars. By 2022 that could raise to 20% or more depending on how quickly the price drops. By 2025 it could be close to 75% and by the end of the decade there will only be a handful of non-electric cars for the enthusiast.

    The other big driving force is China, who already account for 40% of all electric car sales and only about 30% of all cars are sold in China. It's a big population and there are starting to be people getting their first car there that is electric. They may well never drive a petrol/diesel car in their life. Also if China maintains it's lead then they will have the infrastructure built out and along with their continued roll out of renewable energy, electrical grid and storage, they have the potential to be the first large country to go fully electric. They seem to have the political will to try and do this as fast as possible. With a target of 7 million electric cars on the road by 2025. I think they will smash that. I'd not be surprised if they are selling 7 million electric cars a year by 2025 and have 10-20 million cars on the road.
     
  3. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    Yes, it would probably have some minimalist Scandanavian appeal, but you'd need an Apple charging nozzle to charge it up.
     
  4. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    Not electric cars, but it looks like more rail lines are being electrified. I don't seen so many live rails any more, but there are more tracks with overhead rails.
     
  5. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    I reckon if everything is to go over to electric, including transport and heating, we will probably need to start building a lot more nuclear. I was watching Dave MacKay giving a Ted Talk. The amount of space we'd have to devote to renenwable energy just to cover what we use now it mind-boggling. Basically the only technology we have right now that could do it is nuclear.
     
  6. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    You should have a look at the tidal generation turbines coming on the market now. They have got the design down quite good now, you drop a cradle that is held in place by gravity then lower a turbine onto it and plug it in. Reliable, predictable electrical generation. Our biggest asset is the oceans and we already lead the world in research, we should put it into practice and run the country off the oceans. We could do that easily and power most of Europe too.
     
  7. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    If it's coming on line then good. They must have been working on them for at least a decade. I had a friend who was working for a tidal power company up in the Orkneys. There were some good looking prototypes on the quay, but it seemed to take an awful long time for them to get to market. How much electricity do they generate? The UK peak demand is about 60 GW iirc, but if heating and transport is to go electric, that figure will go up.
     
  8. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    One of the technical problems of mass adoption of electric vehicles is coping with a few million batteries trying to charge at the same time. If you plugged in a million cars to charge overnight at the moment the grid would fall over.

    Though not for long.

    https://www.edie.net/news/8/UK-s-energy-storage-sector-has-quadrupled-since-2016--study-finds/

    From almost nothing to GWs of storage in a few years. Within a year or two there will be enough storage to charge a million vehicles overnight without any generation needed. The amount of storage just keeps going up too.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...-gas-engine-backup-planned-for-u-k-power-grid

    There is of course a reason for this. We are supplying more and more wind energy to the grid. Wind is one of the most volatile energy generation forms. It can go from producing next to nothing to huge amounts of power if the ideal winds cover the whole country.

    https://www.current-news.co.uk/news...r-winter-as-batteries-used-to-sidestep-triads

    "High renewables output sent inertia from conventional plants falling, and managing significant quantities of wind power raised its own difficulties"

    We were generating more power than we could use. So a distributed gird of large scale batteries is the perfect solution. You can cache generated power near it's source, then move the electricity to other batteries nearer the demand. All in a nice leisurely and organised way.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/business-48764903/guildford-s-buses-go-electric

    For commercial vehicles the final stop will be a battery at your own charging depo. Then you can DC fast charge them from the batteries.

    The trick is to get enough storage to store more than the total possible output of all renewable energy and then keep up with the expansion of renewables. Until you can store a good week or more worth of total energy needs in grid storage. Then you can turn off most of the fossil fuel generators.
     
  9. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Anyone noticed the flurry of electric car adverts on tv this summer?

    I've been following the electric car progression since the days of to C-5 things, thanks Sinclair. In fact even before then, the old milk floats used to impress me. After all that is quite a heavy dead weight to keep starting and stopping.

    Both these also highlighted the problems. I saw many a milk float at the side of the road having a battery swap because it ran out of juice, delivered by a diesel van of course. While the C-5 showed you have to make it something people want to actually use.

    The main problem reared it's head in the 90s when we pretty much had the technology to make reasonable electric cars for certain use cases. At least enough to kick start the R&D needed the get to where we are now at least a decade earlier. That problem was that combustion powered vehicles where a gold mine to the car industry with spare parts and oil, services and that 0.05mpg increase on your last car. Then you have the oil industry doing everything they can to delay the switch over...

    ... Then came along Tesla and everything changed. Last year they took a sizeable chunk of the high end market and there was a noticed dip in conventional car sales with people putting off getting their next new car till there is an electric model they what, or save up to get a Tesla. This was a big enough swing that even the most reluctant car firm is actively bringing to market electric vehicles.

    The advantage Tesla has is their starting to benefit from economy of scale. They have a second mega factory almost built in China now. If they get this right, I believe their plan is everything in the car will be built in that one factory. From the batteries to the body work. They have built this within a year or so. To make any impact then other car manufactures need not only to start making electric vehicles but making them in volume to get economy of scale.

    So there are about a dozen top level car corporations suddenly starting production of 100,000s of electric cars for each of their major bread winning bands. Dead scared Tesla or their competition will beat them to that market and steal their most profitable sector. In some cases they can convert an existing factory to make these new cars but as Tesla is also trying to radically reduce the transportation involved in making a car, the ideal solution seems to be just to close down the old plants and get a nice tax break to build a new one elsewhere. Well they don't magically become nice people when they convert to electric.

    Following the sector's news over the last few years has shown a date that keeps coming up. 2022-2024. By the end of last year every car company on the planet wants at least one electric car being produced in volume by then. Most I think secretly might want all by then.

    They have to be looking at the mobile phone industry. That was not kind to the likes of MS, Intel, HP and the like. To be a big player in the current vehicle market is no guarantee of transitioning to the new era. You get it wrong or ignore the transition and your vehicle is the windows phone of the electric era.

    Also China is starting to be a huge market for electric vehicles. Massive investment to convert all their buses to electric and lots of little start ups. With the real threat that the equivalent of ARM or Android could come form China in the vehicle market.

    So I really think last year was the "oh fark, it's time to bite the bullet and go fully electric" realization. Again, because of economy of scale, you don't really want to be running two production pipelines at the same time. The adverts today might be *electric version optional. I think as quickly as 2022 that will be reversed.

    I'd say by the end of next year we will be able to fairly accurately predict when the last mass produced combustion car will stop being produced and it will probably be within years.

    Oh and this is not only cars but buses, trucks, boats and just about anything that currently uses an internal combustion engine.

    I finally feel like I'm about to see the era of non polluting electric transport I've dreamed about for so long.
     
  10. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50738983

    I would question whether this is actually a world first as I've heard of smaller aircraft offering services in Australia and I believe Asia but they are typically one or two passengers.

    This is a six person craft and their ambition is to convert their fleet, so it is a step forwards. Sounds like it's only got a range of 100 miles or so, which sounds short but as it's a sea plane it's probably used mainly for hopping across lakes and probably more than good enough for most of these types of flight. Even here in the UK these planes could have a use. We have a few islands with planes that hop between them. In fact we have the record for the shortest commercial flight between Scottish islands of Westray (population: 640) and Papa Westray (population: 72) in the Orkneys which takes just 90 seconds!

    Even things like a short hop across the English Channel would be possible. Though whether these will take of is questionable, the fact they exist will drive the technology and as the range increases they can be expanded to include longer range city to city flights or more passengers.
     
  11. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    https://www.theguardian.com/environ...ear-of-the-electric-car-say-industry-analysts

    Welcome to the 2020s, the decade of the electric vehicle.

    Let's start with last year. The UK sold about 2%-3% electric vehicles but we have gone from having about 20,000 to about 30,000 charging points. There are dozens of new models coming out this year and potentially a choice of over 300 models throughout Europe by 2025.

    Sales are expected to double every year or more, which means 5%-6% this year, 10%+ next year and 20%+ for 2022. The question is when do people stop buying oil based vehicles because they will be obsolete soon? Is it when most people decide their next car will by electric? That could happen within a year or two. Is it when the amount of new sales hits a trigger point like 25%-50%? That could mean you accelerate towards the end and oil based vehicles become impossible to sell and worthless to make within 3-4 years.

    Along with Tesla ramping up production fast, their new Chinese factory they started building last February is expected to start next week turning out 3K cars a week. Working up to 10k a week at full production. Then the German plant comes online sometime within the next few years.

    Production is still the big problem but you will this year have dozens of companies churning out 250K electric vehicle runs instead of one or two doing half that. The smart players have been gearing up towards this time and will be ready to supply consumers looking to switch over the next couple of years. Those who still think they will be selling combustion cars in 10 years.... I think they may be in trouble.

    At the moment I stand by my prediction that it will be more normal to buy a electric car, if buying a new car, by 2022 and by 2025 I doubt you will find many petrol or diesel cars for sale.
     
  12. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Welcome to the global shutdown edition of the move to electric vehicles. Well this year 2020 was supposed to be the big year for electric vehicles. There were a host of new models supposed to launch this year including the new Tesla Model Y. Now Tesla have been quite cleaver with this new car and even more so with the Cybertruck due out later. These are not just 'another electric vehicle' to cater for a specific market sector. Part of the goal is to make a vehicle where the production can be faster and automated the most. Tesla is questioning everything. Why do we need so many wires in a car? What is the most efficient way of changing the wiring? How can we implement that so it's easy to manufacture?

    Vehicle design, for the most part, has been a series of iterations where you have a system that works, Fords production line revolution, then you upgrade parts of the line but in a way that does not break the whole process that has been working so well. It has lead to enough innovations and cost savings to keep the cars fresh and new looking while maintaining profits but has lead to some complacency when it comes to adopting new and better ways to do some parts. Wiring seems to be one of these oversights. With new things like electric windows, locks, seat heaters, sensors, cameras and the like begin added to vehicles over the years, the standard solution has just been to run a new dedicated wire to the new thing. Tesla have seen this is not ideal and come up with a new solution. To me it looks like a simple POE type network loop that you would use in a building. You have an optimal hard wired backbone that can deliver power and data to hubs. You can then plug anything into these hubs and configure them to have the right power and data protocols. So for a headlight it's configured to draw from the high power rail and toggle on or off. For the rear video camera it can pull from the low power rail and only stream data.

    It's got the potential to make repairs easier, make it cheaper to make, cheaper to manufacture and easier to automate. This sort of ground up thinking is giving them a good head start. This new wiring loop gives them a nice fixed parameter of what resources you can get from each hub and you can then optimise all the things that plug into it so they perform well with the available resources. It's like with computers you may have a 5 volt and 12 volt rail. Most of the components, board design and the like are designed and optimised to use the common power lines. You get the 'how do I optimise this for the standard power' factor where the whole industry is working to get the most out of that rather than work out if 9 volts is better or 5.5 volts. So once Tesla gets this loop into all it's vehicles then components across all the lines can share things like hubs, controllers, cameras and the like. All being optimised to run on this loop.

    So the rest of the industry is a bit behind and they would need to spend many hours designing their own systems, close down factories for months to refit them with new processes and re-train a lot of their staff. Well the global shutdown could really help the older manufactures if they use their time wisely. For starters R&D most certainly can be done from home. Most of it is done virtually anyway in CAD programs that can get things incredibly accurate before you have to build a physical prototype. You have a good few months with no ongoing problems on the shop floor, no production problems, well except that you are not producing anything. You could really focus all your efforts on having a good long look at what you are doing and what could be done better. Take what you have learnt from the few electric vehicles you have made and see if there are any improvements you can easily implement when production starts up again. Maybe get those plans on how to transition to only making electric vehicles a bit more polished and see if you can move that along a bit faster. Maybe you can get the parts ordered for the electric production line and keep the plants closed till you rip out the old stuff and put in the new electric optimised production line.

    I think there is real potential here for the vehicle market to maybe take a bit of a larger hit than most from this shutdown but rise from the ashes with a whole new electric approach to moving us around. Which might be essential if these lock downs go on for months. Even after a few days most people are starting to notice a cleaner environment around them. A few months of fresh air and clean rivers, well people will notice the drop in quality once it all starts back up again. I think demand for cleaner and greener is just going to explode once things get going again. Vehicle manufactures that bet on ICE powered sales could be in for a big shock.
     
  13. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    It seems like the electric socket for charging vehicles is the next big format war. Currently there are two main types of socket for plugging your vehicle into the mains. Either CHAdeMO or Combined Charging System (CCS). CHAdeMO is popular in Asia while CCS is the main European standard. There could even be more coming. If one of the big super groups of car manufactures like Toyota, VW, Ford could go it alone with a more advanced different socket. Though I think time is running out to do that before too many chargers have been installed with either or both of these first types. There maybe even something down the road that will be the CD type technology that replaces both with a single format.

    I'm not quite sure if this is a format war like the video tape Betamax vs VHS of the 80s where there was only one winner. Or whether it will be more like you 13A mains socket where different countries have different standards or even some countries supporting both. Now they do seem fairly compatible with an adapter, though the are a bulky thing to carry around and cost quite a bit of money. If someone like the EU said that all chargers must off CCS plugs then it would mean travelling around in the EU you would not need to take charging cables with you or any adapters. That frees up quite a bit of space in your space limited vehicle.

    I think the technology will level out once we get to a point where you can top up say a 100kWh battery in about 5 minutes. That will then be about on par with the time it takes to top up a gasoline vehicle for the same sort of rang. That's top up not fill up. Mostly you want to run a battery between 40-60% to be most efficient and you can charge fastest in that range too. So to fill up from 20%-80% in about 5 mins would be more than good enough for most people.

    Obviously this depends too on how the battery development moves forwards. Maybe we get batteries that work well from 0% to 100% without the current limitations. Or maybe we get some breakthrough that gives 100x the energy storage per volume/weight at the moment, then you could have 500kWh batteries you only fill up once a month or so overnight.

    I do hope the world can come up with a universal socket like USB has become for computers. It makes life so much more simple only needing one type of cable.