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Electric Vehicle (EV) discussion thread

April 2, 2014, 9:52 a.m.
Posts: 16121
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

By popular request.

I'm happy to share info, answer questions about EVs - any EV, not just Tesla. In all honesty, I'm learning as I go also - but the bottom line is that there isn't nearly the sacrifice that popular opinion makes it out to be.

Just about every negative I've heard is based on complete misinformation. There are negatives, but IMO the positives far outweigh them.

oh for sure like you've said that's the beauty of em's, essentially instant full power and torque - we'll never see an infernal combustion engine do that. i was just referring to range. at a good clip with the larger batteries you're getting about 400km of playtime in the tesla and the m5 is doing 650km.

I'd be suprised if you can get 650 km on a tank from an M5 … other than diesels, very few ICE cars carry enough fuel to go more than about 500-550 km on a tank.

However …

Lol how long do u gotta charge it for?

M5 u take to the petrol station and she good 2 go

Currently, the charging network is mostly Level 2 chargers - pushing 7-10 kW of energy. That adds about 30 - 50 km of range per hour of charging. More than adequate for tooling around town. In Canada, there's also the Sun Country network of 70 and 90 amp chargers which are pushing 2-3 times the charging rate of the normal level 2 charging stations So now we're talking like 80-100 km range per hour)

There is a rapidly growing network of Level 3 chargers (DC fast chargers), which are way fast. Tesla is growing their own network (Superchargers) that charge 300 km range in 30 minutes (170 kW/hr). That's getting pretty close to the 15 or so minutes you'd take to pump a full tank of gas. The ChaDemo network is starting to grow - for public stations - these chargers run about 65 kW/hr.

Right now, I can drive from Vancouver to San Diego along I-5 using Tesla Supercharger stations with 20-30 minute stops every 250-300 km. For a drive that long, you're going to stop for food and piss breaks anyway, so I'd bet that total travel time would be pretty close to what you'd need to drive in a gas-powered car.

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.

When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.

April 2, 2014, 9:55 a.m.
Posts: 1126
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

fyi, that comparison was based on highway driving for both vehicles.

my 92 syncro typically gets about 600km/tank - 70L tank.
the m5 also has a 70L tank.

edit: therefore my car is just as good as a 2014 M5!

context is everything

April 2, 2014, 10:04 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: June 9, 2009

What is the expected - or proven - lifespan of the batteries and is that affected by the quicker chargers?

Opinions on the other Electric vehicles (Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt)?

April 2, 2014, 10:11 a.m.
Posts: 14537
Joined: Dec. 16, 2003

Right now, I can drive from Vancouver to San Diego along I-5 using Tesla Supercharger stations with 20-30 minute stops every 250-300 km. For a drive that long, you're going to stop for food and piss breaks anyway, so I'd bet that total travel time would be pretty close to what you'd need to drive in a gas-powered car.

what about if you wanted to go to say Kelowna?

April 2, 2014, 10:17 a.m.
Posts: 16121
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

my 92 syncro typically gets about 600km/tank - 70L tank.
the m5 also has a 70L tank.

Hmmmm … now that I think about it, I do remember that my 98 BMW was able to do the drive from NorVan to Castlegar without refueling, which was just about 600 km spot on. I'd arrive in the Gar on fumes, but it would make it.

But … the other fuel tank just below my ribs would never last the 6+ hours without a fill stop! Usually I'd stop in Princeton for a sammich or something. There's a 70-amp station in Princeton, so right now I'd be able to do the same drive, but probably have to stop in Princeton for like and hour or maybe two. Not the most convenient, but make a proper meal of it and that's the first hour. There's also a DC fast charger in Merritt if needed.

Trip fuel cost: $0.00. That's a pretty strong argument for spending the extra hour, and the availability/speed of charging stations is only going to improve.

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.

When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.

April 2, 2014, 10:18 a.m.
Posts: 16121
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

what about if you wanted to go to say Kelowna?

90-amp sun country charger at the Merritt visitor center. Use a lot of power to climb the connector, get about half of it back on the way down the other side using regen.

However, charging infrastructure in Kelowna is teh sux right now. Someone needs to get on that!

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.

When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.

April 2, 2014, 10:23 a.m.
Posts: 13932
Joined: Feb. 19, 2003

What is the expected - or proven - lifespan of the batteries and is that affected by the quicker chargers?

I think this is the key in trying to understand whether EV cars actually are cheaper to own/maintain in the long term. Sure your electricity bill increase is a fraction of what your petrol bill is…. but if it's going to cost you 10K every 5 years* to replace the batteries, not sure if you're coming out ahead

*numbers pulled out of thin air. if anyone has actual data, please provide

Edit: got curious, first link on google:
http://www.plugincars.com/tesla-roadster-battery-life-study-85-percent-after-100000-miles-127733.html

Tesla offers an eight-year, 125,000-mile warranty on the Model S 60 kilowatt-hour battery, and the same eight years but unlimited mileage on the 85-kilowatt-hour model. The company recently said it would replace Model S 85-kilowatt-hour packs for $12,000, but only after eight years of ownership if they sign up upon purchase. The company is betting that battery costs will have come down considerably by then. Right now, such a battery pack is probably a $34,000 item.

April 2, 2014, 10:31 a.m.
Posts: 16121
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

What is the expected - or proven - lifespan of the batteries and is that affected by the quicker chargers?

Manufacturer provides full replacement guarantee for 8 years. Expected life is more like 12-15 years, based on monitoring the batteries of older EVs. The Tesla Roadsters that were built in 2008 are showing only minimal degradation in their charge capacity.

Edit: Battery lifespan is mostly affected by the level you charge to. If you charge to 80-90% of full charge, your batteries will last a very long time. If you charge to 100%, you take a very tiny amount out of the max charge each time. Tesla sets the software up to stop charging at 90%. If you're heading out on a long trip, just push the button for "range charge" and it allows the full 100% for one charge.

Opinions on the other Electric vehicles (Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt)?

Most current vehicles are really range-limited, which is unfortunate. I think they could do a lot better. But, I think cars like the Leaf and the MiEV are great for local driving, but the designers are still limiting their thinking. These cars have about 100-150 km range so a long road trip would be really tough to do. Simply re-thinking the battery system would get them out of that trap.

The Volt (IMO) is the wrong approach. They go with a 38 mile (60 km) range, then plop in a fookin gas engine to run an electric generator to re-charge and extend range to 380 mi (600 km). This is just hedging bets (again, my opinion). Why not take all the space consumed by the gas motor, alternator, gas tank, etc. and just put more batteries? A half-assed solution that was already proven unnecessary by Tesla.

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.

When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.

April 2, 2014, 10:43 a.m.
Posts: 433
Joined: Feb. 9, 2011

My question is (for everyone), why are people constantly defending their fuel powered vehicles, and putting down the EV's? No matter how you look at it, combustion vehicles are bad for the environment, among many other things. Of course electric vehicles are not for everyone right now. Just asking most people to buy a new vehicle right now is ridiculous. It will be many many years before I'm in one, but look forward to the day.

Like him or hate him, we need people like KenN to be the early adaptors. This allows for more research and design to go into the vehicles (which will make the costs over the long run much more appealing), and improve the number of, and efficiency of charging stations.

Stop bashing his vehicle decision, and start applauding him for taking some steps in the name of progress.

April 2, 2014, 10:55 a.m.
Posts: 3775
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

wait, kenn has a tesla? let's see pics yo

April 2, 2014, 10:59 a.m.
Posts: 1126
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Stop bashing his vehicle decision, and start applauding him for taking some steps in the name of progress.

he wasn't getting bashed for the vehicle decision; otherwise i agree with you.

out of all the ev's out there no doubt the tesla is the best choice, but the cost is prohibitive to most people. even ken acknowledged that if he didn't get the deal he got it might not have been an option. as battery tech improves the cost will come down and as the cost comes down and charging options improve more and more people will adopt to ev's.

my big question is still going to be where is all the electricity going to come from if everyone is running ev's?

context is everything

April 2, 2014, 11:03 a.m.
Posts: 16121
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I think this is the key in trying to understand whether EV cars actually are cheaper to own/maintain in the long term. Sure your electricity bill increase is a fraction of what your petrol bill is…. but if it's going to cost you 10K every 5 years* to replace the batteries, not sure if you're coming out ahead

Of course, everyone's driving habits differ, but because I've kept complete records of my spending for the last 10 years (in Quicken), I know that I've spent an average of $250/month on gas over the last two years. That's $3,000/year so $12k over four years.

There is so much free EV charging throughout BC (Canada?) that there's almost no need to charge at home. Occasionally when I drive a lot over a weekend without much time to stop at chargers.

What I didn't think of before buying an EV, but quickly learned is that you just have to tweak your re-fueling schedule from the usual ICE methods. Most ICE drivers fill the tank, drive until the tank is nearly empty, then re-fill. But since EV charging is everywhere, you just plug in and take a sip wherever you go. Going grocery shopping, to the mall, downtown to wander around a bit? Find an EV spot and plug in. Except for long trips, there's very little reason to let the charge drop to near empty before re-charging. Also, free. Almost all public charging in BC is free - sometimes you have to pay parking fees for a lot, but not for the charging!

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.

When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.

April 2, 2014, 11:03 a.m.
Posts: 7707
Joined: Sept. 11, 2003

What about mileage consistency? Can you go to Whistler and back on a single charge (say about 230 km)? I majin' there is a penalty for hauling that extra weight up those hills. And how do things like air conditioning, running at high speed, gadgets etc affect mileage?

April 2, 2014, 11:13 a.m.
Posts: 16121
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

out of all the ev's out there no doubt the tesla is the best choice, but the cost is prohibitive to most people. even ken acknowledged that if he didn't get the deal he got it might not have been an option. as battery tech improves the cost will come down and as the cost comes down and charging options improve more and more people will adopt to ev's.

Hang on about 2 more years for tesla to produce the model E. Targeting $35k (USD) price range. That will hit a significant affordability milestone. In the interim, I'd watch the other manufacturers. I suspect the success of Tesla will force them to respond with better EVs

my big question is still going to be where is all the electricity going to come from if everyone is running ev's?

BC Hydro is well aware of the potential effect, and planning for it!

http://www.bchydro.com/content/BCHydro/en/toolbar/about/sustainability/climate_action/plugin_vehicles/evfaqs.html

One thing I'm following very closely is the cost of solar. Believe it or not, you CAN get significant output from a solar array in our area. The cost is simply not worth it yet - you'd need about 15-20 years to pay back the cost of installing - but today's price of solar is about 1/3 what it was 5-8 years ago. Energy density is going way up and cost/kW going down FAST. I might just pull the trigger in a couple of years. With net metering, it becomes a revenue generator.

Getting a shitload of solar installed in southern BC will significantly offset increased load from EV charging.

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.

When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.

April 2, 2014, 11:19 a.m.
Posts: 16121
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

What about mileage consistency? Can you go to Whistler and back on a single charge (say about 230 km)? I majin' there is a penalty for hauling that extra weight up those hills. And how do things like air conditioning, running at high speed, gadgets etc affect mileage?

To Whiz and back without stopping would be unlikely. But there are four EV spots in Day lot 1 (the good one!) so if you're going up to ski for the day you're golden. Lots of charging in Squamish, including a couple of fast chargers, so if you can handle stopping for coffee on the way up you'll make it. Tesla will be opening up their first supercharger station in Canada mid-May. Garibaldi village area - you know, the plaza with Can Tire, Starbux, Tanatalus bikes, etc.

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity.

When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.

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