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back to article Motorists' e-car interest revs up

Research shows that Britons are now keener than ever on e-car technology, but their willingness to ditch their fossil fuel motors for hybrids or battery vehicles is still being hindered by big rocks in the road. UK vehicle valuation company Glass' recently commissioned a series of surveys designed to measure punters' e-car …

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Survey

I don't suppose the survey mentioned the battery needing to be replaced at very great cost either. Maybe not within the life time of the first owner, but certainly in the life time of the second owner which means second hand prices as going to be very low compared to the original purchase price.

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Boffin

Possibly not...

I can only speak for one case here. (im not sure which car if any you are speaking of?) the Vauxhall Ampera is being designed so that the battery will not degrade significantly within 10 years (the govt scrappage age), and is going to be warranteed for a certain period also. whilst this is achieved by limiting the use of the battery at the extents of its charge (the dual fuel kicks in at 25% charge remaining ) and so technically making the car less efficient, it still returns good figures that are significantly better than an econodiesel, and if your commute is less than 40 miles then totally petrol free!

Whilst it is true that a second or third hand user may only get 30 miles on battery, thats still a petrol free commute for many, and is not a worthless vehicle.

Things can only get better on this front, as the technology progressess, which it will when people buy it.

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Anonymous Coward

You mean the Ampera/Volt, right?

Batteries generally don't just fail, some of the cells fail. There's a reason there's a significant in salvage batteries for the Prius. Just as the issue of Prius battery replacement has been overblown, so it is with EVs.

Batteries do degrade over time, but the degradation won't render an EV unusable. When talking about battery replacement, they're talking about it still having 80% capacity (even if it's a greater loss of usable capacity). But add in that the LEAF's design has 48 modules that can be individually replaced and it gives the ability to replace the most degraded cells rather than the whole pack.

Even then, if you do replace the lot that 80% capacity will still have value. There's a market out there for storage.

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Anonymous Coward

funny thing

Funny thing, a friend of mine had one of these (electric car) for a trial period, and she was told that if she had a serious crash or fire she would have to tell the Fire brigade not to go near it and call the manufacturer hot line as the emergency services are not yet properly prepared to deal with the vehicles (and all the nasty little problems a very large battery can bring).

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Press one if your car is on fire

If that's the case, better hope their call centre is in the UK

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This is driving me mad......

The media are doing an injustice to the population here.

When will a media outlet which has a genuine voice point out the followng:

1>. There is zero environmental benefit to buying an electric car whilst we are sstill burning fossil fuels to generate the leccy. The only currently viable alternative to this nuclear, and the very people buying the cars are the ones that shout the loudest against nuclear.

2>. It may be cheap now, as the government only taxes leccy at 5%. Is there anyone in the country who genuinely thinks this will remain the case when (if?) leccy cars become prevalent? If there are then they are incredibly stupid / naive / both. It will be taxed to the same levels as currently.

An infrastructure of charge points is an utter irrelevance. What is relevant is that the case for leccy cars, in both environmental and financial terms is built on a house of cards, and it is a gross dereliction of the media's duty that they are not instigating this debate. In short, idiots are being parted with their money under false pretences, by the government. Its no better than the lads from lagos.

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Anonymous Coward

But...

Why would a "media outlet which has a genuine voice" want to broadcast your opinion? when it's clear they should be broadcasting my opinion instead!

1. Carbon capture does work on powerstations and is being used! it doesn't work on cars.

2. I want more nuclear plants and less fossile fuel plants (especially gas!)

3. I want an electric car! BUT it must have dual fuel so I can replace my existing car, I do not want to have to have two cars for one driver.

4. Dual fuelling is likely to be oil based for many years, but for me 10% oil is a better start than just continueing to use 100% oil.

5. Battery Technology is being carefully designed to prevent the need to change them regularly, but this limits the capacity so making dual fuel more essential.

Fact is that Electric cars are coming, they will be here very soon and they will sell.

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Anonymous Coward

with almost no e-cars on the road other than the comedic G-Whiz.

And there in lies the problem. If the manufacturers would pull thier finger out and put some on sale perhaps they would end up on the road for a change.

Roll on 2012 with plug in hybrids.

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I'd buy one..

.. in a heartbeat if they were more affordable. Plus with my electricity tariff being 50% cheaper overnight, just set it to charge then :)

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Anonymous Coward

200 miles range needed, not 100.

200 miles is a minimum I recon...the current 'soon-to-be-released' standard of 100 miles is only enough for 1 journey really.

Which means you *must not* forget to charge it at night. Which is an immediate 'fail', since my wife can barely remember to do *any* post-activity 'clean-up' jobs, never mind remember something as "plug the car in after using it".

So you need 200 mile range to ensure *your* journey is not written off after the wife forgot to charge it after hers.

And they're nearly all £22k+. Needs to be <£20k.

Oh and personally, I ride a 1000cc bike, so filling up every 100-ish miles is actually ok, as I use it for commuting & most personal (non-family) journeys. But at least that only takes 5 mins, not 8 hours...

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Stop

G-Wizz?

Curiously the G-Wizz is not actually a car but a Quad. This gets it round a whole bunch of type approval regs. It also means it's not eligible for the subsidy (IMHO) and doesn't get counted in the stats about electric and hybrid car sales.

It would be nice if the gummint provided a workable subsidy scheme for electric bicycles as well instead of the faintly ridiculous "ride to work" scheme. Perhaps they could just make Bicycles and E-Bicycles 0% VAT rated. As if.

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Anonymous Coward

Electric quadricycle...

is truely an abhorent. it is definatly not a replacement car, and has made real electric cars a joke.

there is a problem with electric bicycles, that is that the law permits electric assist only not electric drive, that is classes as a moped and requires tax mot insurance and registration...

what this space though I know at least one electric cycle manufacturer is considering scrapping the expensive assist sensory equipment and just selling a cheaper electric moped, though it does requires dealers to accept the changes (or change of dealers - using existing moped dealers)

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Unhappy

The Problem is Not Just Range or Cost

...It's also that I, like a very large proportion of the population, don't have any garage or private parking so am unable to charge a vehicle unless the council install a point outside my house

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Anonymous Coward

Good point.

I think I'd rather give my money to an oil company than my local council. Even BP look competent by comparison.

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Anonymous Coward

@brightonbreezy

Charge it at your local supermarket then. Once electric cars take off the big 4 at least will fall over each other to provide fast charge facilities at their superstores. You'd get 80% charge in 30 minutes, which would fit in well with the weekly shopping trip.

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Ah - government at its traditional best

Giving money to middle class people.

It's what gets you elected you know.

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Stop

Last week I drove 1,200 miles

... in just two journeys. The northern-most two hundred miles was barely habited, and had no more than half a dozen petrol stations. Can't say I noticed any charging stations on the way.

Across Christmas the the New Year I drove to Berlin and back - another sixteen hundred miles in appalling conditions. (Two tanks of fuel in each direction).

Sorry, but until I can get into the car in London and get out without taking any significant time longer than the fuelling took, I ain't interested...

(I'm not even going to get into the discussion about the necessary infrastructure and power generation necessary to feed all these putative electric cars - you can't stick electrons in a convenient tanker, even assuming you've got enough spare on the national grid)

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Anonymous Coward

Erm...

390 mile range on an Ampera/Volt and you can fill it up at a regular petrol station.

Start small, but at least make a start!

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Anonymous Coward

@Neil Barnes

Clearly an electric car would be no good for you. But that, I am sorry to have to tell you, does not mean therefore electric cars would be pointless for anyone and everyone. Most car-drivers' needs would be met adequately with a 100 mile battery and a 30 min quick charge time.

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You're wrong, the media are right

Power stations are twice as efficient as car engines (35-50% vs ~20%), so they do reduce CO2 emissions despite the horribly dirty coal stations currently in use (for the G-Wizz the calculation was 80g/km vs 107g/km for an efficient ICE). More importantly, right now there is enough spare capacity during the night (~200GWh) to charge 10-20 million cars.

As the use of renewables and nuclear increases, the carbon intensity of electric power generation can be reduced significantly. While the efficiency of an ICE can be improved somewhat, it won't be able to match the 100x improvement low carbon electricity can give (5gCO2eq/kWh for nuclear or wind power vs 500gCO2eq/kWh for gas or 1000gCO2eq/kWh for coal).

So electric cars make sense today and even more so in the future. Sure, range is an issue today, but you'd only need a factor 2-3 improvement in battery capacity and charging time to make a pure EV practical for longer trips as well.

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