Discussion in 'transport' started by ch750536, Oct 5, 2005.
Anyone got one, what are they like, any good?
My Milk Float is the dogs bollocks.
Anyone got a fully electric car or van? Am interested in whether longer journeys are feasible by topping the battery up at service stations and just generally in what it's like to run one.
They still frighteningly expensive compared to their deisel or petrol equivalent, and you'll still be lucky to get more than 60 miles out a single charge.
Charging it off a standard plug will take six hours or so, but some service stations have fast charges to do an 80% charge in 45 mins or so.
If all you use your car for is short journeys to places you know have the charging infrastructure then they might be an option, but taking it on holiday or even just 'lets go out for the day..' seems outside of its capabilities.
Which is a polite way of saying they are expensive wank.
They're good for delivering milk though. Remember when these were a thing...
Used to live on the first major corner down the hill from a milk depot....they are just as good at covering roads in milk and glass.
Yes. I read an article last year written by a guy who'd taken his family on holiday from the UK to the south of France in a Tesla. Tesla's have longer ranges than other electric cars but even so he had to plan the trip out very carefully in advance to know where the right charging stations were, and this caused him to take some routes he'd rather have avoided, such as having to go into Paris rather than around it. It did sound like a lot of hassle - although on the plus side it would have been a hell of a lot cheaper than if he'd been driving a petrol/diesel car. Mind you, the purchase price of a Tesla means you'd have to own it for a long time and drive a lot of miles to recoup the costs of fuel in the long run - although of course it does enable you to feel smug about doing your bit for the environment.
They're like the estate version of these glorius machines...
...oops sorry I meant these...
Plug-in hybrids seem to be emerging to span the gap until the range gets bigger on electrics - to be honest the prices of electrics don't seem that bad when you think what you save on fuel, tax, parking permits etc.
I was looking for this battery technology I read about once which involved a fluid that could be withdrawn and replaced faster than a typical battery could be recharged, and I found this article:
A battery with liquid electrodes can be recharged or refilled
As with many technology things (eg computers), they'll most likely improve and become more cost effective. Correct me if I'm wrong but one of the main stumbling blocks appears to be battery technology which hasn't advanced anywhere nearly as quickly as other technological areas such as chip and digital storage technology which have seen massive improvements compared the very slow development of batteries.
I think battery technology has advanced very fast in more recent years, but batteries are up against a formidable challenge: the energy density of hydrocarbon fuels is huge, and even achieving a reasonable fraction of that is quite a tall order. The liquid electrode battery thing sounds very interesting - and almost going back to the whole concept of refuelling rather than recharging. It'll be some kind of paradigm shift like that which sees the electrical thing leap forward again.
Indeed batteries have improved but relatively s-l-o-w-l-y and been a bit laggy compared to other areas that have had fairly rapid almost exponential improvements
For example the battery technology in the latest Lenovo Thinkpad T470 isn't really that much of an an advance on what was used in the Thinkpad T40 Pentium 3 when it was IBM, that I bought on ebay in the early 2000's, but nearly everything else on the laptop has improved by several orders of magnitude. 1GB Ram and an 80gb hard disk was considered to be high end for a laptop back then, and brand new the model I bought was £2,650.
I agree with the paradigm shift point though. It might be some completely new and different technology that becomes a game changer.
Funnily enough the rate of improvement in processor speed has slowed right down and I think Moore's law is no longer holding true
Ah, well, I think laptops have paid the price for the great leaps of efficiency in solid-state devices like smartphones and tablets. The battery in my Galaxy tablet is giving up the ghost, and I've ordered a replacement. A 7Ah thing the size of a Caramac bar, for £20. I think what's happened is that the tablet world leapfrogged laptops and offered a reasonable compromise between performance and longevity that meant that a laptop wasn't the only potential device to do your stuff on any more. Why spend gazillions trying to double the capacity of a laptop battery when everyone's just buying tablets achieving the same (or greater) longevity by improvements in processors and hardware? It doesn't eliminate the laptop, but it certainly parks its tanks squarely on the laptop's lawn when it comes to deciding which device you're going to have on the train with you.
You can't really technologise away the physics of accelerating bits of metal and human between cities in the same way, so while laptops may not have been the driver for battery technology improvements in the same way, cars (well, transport in general) may well be. The good news is that, as the battery technology improves, it will feed back to the laptop market - they'll trail, rather than lead, the technology advances.
I've got a Nissan LEAF. I've had it nearly two years now and I love it. It's great to drive, very quiet and smooth and very fast pulling away. I don't tend to do long drives though so I've never needed to charge it anywhere other than at home. I've got the free solar panels that everyone also tells you to avoid so I probably only pay for about a quarter of the electricity it uses doing about 1500 miles a year. The longest trip I tend to do is a little over 40 miles there and back which I can do on about 50% charge driving carefully and more like 65% driving fast.
I can't say much about long journeys as I don't do them but I think the situation with public chargers is better than people assume, although there are still some bad areas. There's a map here although bear in mind that shows everything including the slow ones. The fast ones would get me to 80% in 30 minutes and I can get 52 free charges a year from the Ecotricity ones as they're my supplier at home. Otherwise I think they're £6 per charge. So depending on where you're going it could be feasible if you plan it out and have plenty of time. It's probably going to more or less double the journey time doing a 30 minute charge plus faffing about for every hour's driving though, so not going to work for people who are busy and do a lot of long journeys.
I think it says a lot for the electric car that in 12 years they've gone from crap jokes about milk floats, to proper consumer items that people on this forum actually use.
Apart from the milk float posted yesterday
Laptop battery longevity must have taken a leap forward now that SSDs are beginning to take over from spinning hard drives
I've a toyota hybrid and I really like it. The tank gets filled once a month...
It's also automatic which helps a lot. It does have a "power" switch which can be turned on. This means the car reverts fully to the 1.8 litre petrol engine.
Mine was bought 2 years ago and is a 6 year old car now....no issues or problems with it so far...
I know very little about the mechanics, but I do like watching the battery indicator as it fills up over the course of a journey.
Is it a Plug-in hybrid or just a regular one?
Eta: I'm guessing if it's six years old just regular one
Do you have a garage to charge it in at home?
Also does the leaf tell you with reasonable accuracy how far you can go on the current battery level? I was wondering what would happen if you were to run out of battery on the road - is there the wherewithal to rescue you?
Laptops are able to get more battery life mainly because they've become more efficient not because of a significant increase in battery capacity, which was the point I was trying to make earlier.
It is effectively the same battery technology that is used for electric cars and I don't believe the watts per kilo (or however you measure battery capacity) has really improved that much from the T20 days especially when compared to the giant leaps in storage capacity, cpu, graphics etc.
I've got to ask - but why don't you just use a taxi for every journey? - I mean 1500 miles a year or have I read something wrong?
I don't have a garage but I have a carport with a plug socket under it. It does tell you both in percent and miles how much you've got left. I vaguely remember hearing something about rescue but don't remember any details.
They don't have electric taxis here and it wouldn't be practical or convenient. (edit: I mean for me to use taxis - not for them to have electric ones).
We have the Mitsubishi Plug In Hybrid - its a "nice car" but too big and heavy to be really efficient. It works for us because Mrs Mx works about 20 miles away (in the sticks - no public transport option) and can charge it there for free, so she commutes for no petrol. Since we got it though, Little Miss Mx has wandered off to Uni, which seems to involve us driving 90 miles each way fairly frequently, and Mrs Mx now has to drive to her parents at least once a week, 70 ish miles away. It's not very fuel efficient on long journeys, but the hybrid bit means you can drive on electric for short journeys without worrying about where to charge on longer trips. And we don't have to pay the congestion charge, even if the battery runs out before we get anywhere near London.
It's a very popular car, slagged off by ecotricity who accuse their drivers of hogging the chargers at service stations preventing all electric drivers from getting a look in
They'll start putting the congestion charge on hybrids and electrics once they become widely adopted, since the problem with private cars in cities isn't just about pollution but the delay imposed on others, space taken up etc. It's just a carrot for now. Priusii are everywhere in London already so it won't be long before at least hybrids get roped into the payment system (imagine it'll be a reduced or token charge to start with).
Separate names with a comma.