back to article 700km on a single charge: Mercedes says it's in it for the long run

In the same week that the motoring industry discovered the Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase, Mercedes-Benz unveiled an electric supercar at the Frankfurt Motor Show with high expectations, and probably no little relief. The Vision EQS looks every bit the luxury sedan and features a startling headlight …

  1. Symon Silver badge
    Happy

    Pony up.

    Impressive. Now, all they need to do is make it sound like this:-

    https://youtu.be/no7XR7s8Z7o

    1. Natalie Gritpants Jr

      Re: Pony up.

      Like the green Beetle that appears four times?

      Also hilarious how many one-wheel-peels there are (love those solid rear axles).

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Pony up.

        It's not the axle that causes the single wheel to lose traction, it's the differential. They chose that diff option for the movie for effect (more smoke). There were (and are) better options for traction that are a simple bolt-in for that axle housing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pony up.

          IIRC some american cars had no diff, hence "solid axle". Wooden beams holding the leaf springs for suspension, and a solid rod driving the wheels.

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

            Re: Pony up.

            No, a solid axle can have a diff in the middle, and almost always does (when it's a driven set of wheels). It's very rare to want the advantages of having both wheels locked together on hard surfaces enough to accept the disadvantages. Drift cars, that's about it. Very heavy trucks used to have no diff because it was too expensive to build one which could handle the torque.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Pony up.

              "Solid axle" here is used as opposed to independent rear suspension, it's also known as the axle housing. What you are referring to is called the axle shaft.

              1. Symon Silver badge
                Go

                Re: Pony up.

                Here it's called a live axle. The driveshafts and differential are all enclosed in a chunk of steel, wallowing in hypoid gear oil. These things are attached to the car with leaf springs. This system is simple, strong and cheap, and it keeps both rear wheels vertical when cornering. Cf mark I Ford Escort. But it has various disadvantages. The ride is crap because of the large unsprung weight. The traction is crap because the prop shaft imparts a torque onto the axle which pushes one wheel into the tarmac (good) but lifts the other off the road (bad). That's the single black line from the Mustang in the clip. It's also got terrible axle tramp, where the wheels shake up and down, because the shock absorbers' damping settings have to be a compromise between comfort and performance. Also, you can get bump steer where a bump under one wheel lifts the whole axle which can reduce traction on the other wheel and even twist the axle's steering direction. Oh, and axle wrap, that's no good either!

                As Colin Chapman would've told you, you wanna bolt the rear diff to the chassis, move the brakes to the inboard end of the driveshafts, and use wishbones to suspend the axles. He might even suggest using the driveshaft as part of the lower suspension, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapman_strut . But he wouldn't tell you that at Le Mans, because the bastards wouldn't let him race.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_23#Banned_from_Le_Mans

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: Pony up.

            Sounds like my Morgan ... which is oh-so-very British.

        2. Fungus Bob Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: type of differential

          Sadly, Traction Lok (tm) was optional, not standard.

    2. elaar

      Re: Pony up.

      To be fair, the majority of the sound comes from the tyres, as the Americans were incapable of designing a car that could go round corners at speeds greater than 10mph without sliding all over the place.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Pony up.

        To be honestly fair, who was on the podium at Le Mans in 1966, two years prior to that movie?

        1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Pony up.

          You mean those racing cars with British designed and built chassis (based off the lola mk VI)? Those podium finishers?

          1. agurney

            Re: Pony up.

            Wasn't 1967 an all-American win (drivers, team and car)?

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: Pony up.

            No, I'm talking about the cars that Carrol Shelby &Co. hand-built from the ground up to fix the flaws in the Lola design. (There are reasons that Lola only tried to race three of those cars, you know ... ).

            If you're ever at a Concours d'Elegance where both are displayed, compare and contrast the two. There is really nothing the same about them at all. (I had the chance to do this at Pebble in 2016 ... I got to drive a '67 MkIV "Gurney bump" car at Seca the following day. Once in a lifetime, still gives me goosebumps thinking about it.)

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Pony up.

        "the Americans were incapable of designing a car that could go round corners at speeds greater than 10mph without sliding all over the place."

        They were pretty crap at getting hubcaps to stay on too :-)

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Pony up.

      That's a truck engine in the Mustang (it's a 390). Ford made several engines that sound a lot better than that, from the 289 HO all the way up to the 427 cammer ...

    4. Blank Reg

      Re: Pony up.

      I'd rather have this one

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsdWgmp4TaQ

      No need for fake flames painted down the side of the car when you can have real ones.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Pony up.

        If you want "real flames" for cheap, get a Honda and throw on a turbo.

    5. Aussie Doc

      Re: Pony up.

      The comment about how many hub caps can a car lose made me giggle.

  2. G R Goslin

    350kW!!!!

    I can see a lot of brown outs when a few cars roll up for a quick charge. Finding a charging station should be easy. Just look for the rising clouds of steam from the cooling towers servicing the charging equipment. Or the roar from the banks of diesel generators. I shudder to think of the capital cost of all this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 350kW!!!!

      Yes, but that's what it takes to give a decent charge in a reasonable* time.

      The amount of power taken to do this is the bit that the eco-political lot haven't got to grips with yet, especially when you need to be able to charge 20+ vehicles at the same time somewhere like a motorway service area.

      *Though 5 minutes would be closer to the time for a conventional fill.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: 350kW!!!!

      Or to put it another way, a typical domestic installation in the UK could probably (at a push) support charging at 50A, that is (assuming 230V), 11.5kW. To fill a 100kWh battery would therefore take the best part of nine hours.

      However, this relies on said installation not having any other large loads. With supplier cut-outs (main fuses) commonly being 80A or even 60A (100A is possible but by no means universal, and I did once come across a 40A cutout), you'd not be able to charge at that rate while using an electric shower (32A or 40A) for example. Maybe the charger would have to be intelligent and monitor your other loads, and turn down its power take if necessary.

      If you played safe and charged at 32A (7.3kW) it would take nearly 14 hours, at 16A (think caravan hook-up) you would be looking at well over a day, and if you plugged into a standard 13A socket (just about 3kW)...

      You could talk to your local network about upgrading to three phase. It can be done domestically, but is rather expensive and if several of your neighbours also have cars with 100kWh batteries you might find the cost of installing the new transformer and possibly upgrading the 11kV infrastructure somewhat prohibitive :-)

      100kWh is 100 "units" of electricity. On the face of it, that's quite good value for the range when compared with petrol or Diesel, but that doesn't include any set-aside for replacing the battery in 5 or 7 years' time.

      M.

      1. Justthefacts

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        Perhaps we are looking at this from the wrong end of the telescope?

        The society-wide solution can’t be either 350kW or even 30 kW domestic charging anyway. If you allow that, then people all choose to charge at the same time when they get home or before they go to work. The peak power draw across the U.K. would be 3500GW, 100x what we can generate.

        But the typical current domestic limit of about 10kW fits with the existing power generation capability reasonably. So, most people, most of the time, will just have to re-train ourselves to trickle-charge overnight at 10kW.

        There does need to be a solution for the times when you forgot and have to charge the car quickly. Then you go to a charging station that can provide 350kW, and pay through the nose (maybe quadruple normal cost). That’s a mistake you won’t make more than very occasionally!

        Gradually replace pumps with plugs at the 8000 petrol stations in the U.K., 2-4MW each, 50% peak network usage, should be less than 10GW which seems achievable. The difficult bit is going to be ensuring that “petrol/charging stations” remain economically viable to remain open.

        Obviously, this does mean building out some more nuclear plants, rather than windmills. But it’s not complete fairyland like “in ten years everyone will be driving electric, and by the way rewire their house, magically find off-street parking, totally re-engineer national grid, and increase generating capability by 100x”

        1. JassMan Silver badge

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          @Justthefacts

          Sorry but I call BS. The official average mileage per car in the UK is just over 7k miles PER YEAR. Converting to km per day makes just 35km. ie just 5% of the 700km on a 100kWh battery. So assuming your domestic 30kW the average car could replace the days usage in 10 minutes. With the smart charging systems now being installed where the car can actually feed back to the grid on demand, car batteries left at home when the user takes public transport can supply power to their neighbours during high demand and re-topup later. In fact official calculations show that if everyone had electric cars with smart chargers and left them plugged in while stationary, peak power would reduce below the current limits. In reality, not everyone would plug in and not everyone would allow spare battery capacity used but since not everyone is going swap petrol for electric overnight we will have time to workout just how much extra capacity will be needed if any.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: 350kW!!!!

            JustTheFacts: The peak power draw across the U.K. would be 3500GW, 100x what we can generate

            JassMan: official average mileage per car in the UK is just over 7k miles PER YEAR

            Interesting points both. To take the first, the current generating capacity (if you include imports) in the UK is rather more than 35GW, but certainly not 100x more. Gridwatch is always fun to peruse.

            The complications are in the second. While you can't plan a system on maximum potential peak demand, you really can't base calculations on averages either.

            Electrical regulations have some quite interesting calculations for "diversity" which say - for example - that you don't have to allow for the full 9 or 10kW that an electric cooker could take because all those heaters are thermostatically controlled and unlikely to be switched on at the same time, for any great length of time, but those same calculations don't allow you to provide a circuit based on a theoretical "average" either.

            You might assume that a thermostatically controlled heater averages 50% duty cycle, but this is likely only when it has stabilised. For some time after switching on it will take 100%. A typical diversity calculation for a circuit supplying a domestic cooker is something like (from memory) 10A + 30% of the rest + 5A if there's a connected (13A) socket. Lighting, it's 66% of connected load (note, not 66% of the circuit capacity). Instantaneous water heating appliances are something like 100% of the first two and 25% of the remainder.

            I suppose what I'm trying to say is that while the average charging demand might genuinely be quite low, the actual demand at any given point in the day might be very high. Imagine, for example, a street of 20 houses populated by commuters and their school-age families. Many commuters will be doing a lot more than the 35km per day you calculate. They will all come home in the early evening and immediately plug their cars in - maybe two per house. As I pointed out earlier in the thread, the current domestic infrastructure will not support a charging socket with more than perhaps 11kW capacity, certainly nothing like the 30kW figure you use (30kW at 230V single phase is about 130A and domestic installations top out at 100A with most being 80A or 60A - this is the service cutout and is the maximum allowed for the whole domestic installation so you can't use it all to charge a car if you also want to stay warm, cook tea, watch TV and keep the lights on.

            Without intelligent control of charging even 20 x 11kW could easily overload the local network in the early evening, even if it is perfectly well specified for the "average".

            So are we going to get into a smart meter situation with electric cars? Will there be a point where it's not actually possible to connect any more "selfish" cars to the network, and all future cars must have some standardised way of co-operating to charge only when the local network can handle the load?

            As for two-way connections, using car batteries to prop up the local network, I refer the honourable gentleman to the problems we had recently when two generating stations dropped off the network and (very, very long story cut short) might have been survivable with the existing standby capacity, if 500MW of "embedded generation" (things like domestic solar installations) hadn't also dropped off the network. For safety reasons, embedded generators will always disconnect in this sort of circumstance, so are we heading for a situation where the network operator has to provide standby capacity equal not only to a major generator, but also to all those tens of thousands of car batteries?

            M.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: 350kW!!!!

              Connected vehicles - talking to the grid... everyone can plug in at the same time, the cars will simply charge at the rate the grid can handle.

              Since the ‘average’ car will have travelled 35km you have 8 hours to feed ~15kWh into the vehicle - that’s less than a kettle...

              And you know what - even if you aren’t at 100% in the morning it’s no problem, you only need to *not* be at zero percent... charge during the day, at work, or at home...

              1. Justthefacts

                Re: 350kW!!!!

                “everyone can plug in at the same time, the cars will simply charge at the rate the grid can handle.”

                No, that’s not the way electrical grids work.

                Firstly, grids dont discriminate between “car” and “your employers computer system”. If demand exceeds supply instantaneously by 30% that’s a general brownout where most electrical goods don’t work.

                And secondly, that’s *really* not the way grids work.

                Grids target 50Hz frequency as the way to maintain exact balance between supply and demand. If the frequency drops past 49.5Hz limit ( 1%) , they drop entire sections of the grid off completely until balance is regained. Once a section has been dropped, it takes between ten minutes and an hour to re-stabilise and reconnect. Can you see the problem?

                1. Stoneshop Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: 350kW!!!!

                  “everyone can plug in at the same time, the cars will simply charge at the rate the grid can handle.”

                  No, that’s not the way electrical grids work.

                  Not the grids as a whole, but EV charging systems can adapt the charge rate, and thus the grid load, to what's available. This would require coordination between those systems, the other stuff that wants some of those electrons, and the substation feeding the area.

                  A lot of people seem to think that if this Mercedes is able to charge at 350kW, we'd need that capacity at every domestic charge socket too. Which is utterly daft. You want to charge a car at maximum power when 'filling up' at an actual roadside service station. At a domestic connection there's usually more time and less current available to charge, and the charge controller (which is in the car) can, and should, adapt to that.

                2. Martin an gof Silver badge

                  Re: 350kW!!!!

                  If the frequency drops past 49.5Hz limit ( 1%) , they drop entire sections of the grid off completely until balance is regained

                  No they don't. The "demand response" doesn't kick in until 48.8Hz in the UK - see documents I linked elsewhere. "Frequency response" - where additional generating resources (generally fast ones like huge battery farms or pumped storage) kick in automatically - starts at 49.5Hz, but the intention of the grid operator is to avoid these automatic interventions and predict demand so that they can bring additional generation - more conventional sources such as gas or coal plants - online in time to meet demand. If a pattern emerges of large grid demands around 7pm when commuting owners of EVs plug them in to charge, the grid operator will learn this and will have plant "ready to go".

                  The point though is that although this is the way the grid currently operates, it isn't sustainable in the situation where there are millions of vehicles all needing (let's be generous) 15 - 30kWh of top up every evening. In those circumstances vehicle chargers will need to be intelligent and - crucially - will need to co-ordinate with the grid operator to delay charging or to charge at a slower rate to avoid unsustainable peaks in demand.

                  M.

                  1. werdsmith Silver badge

                    Re: 350kW!!!!

                    The demand for masses of electricity for charge cars is also offset by reduced demand for masses of electricity to refine oil to fuel. These refineries do some of their own power generation, their excess could be put back into the grid.

                    1. AMBxx Silver badge
                      Facepalm

                      Re: 350kW!!!!

                      They generate their own power using the fuel they're refining. There not just going to sit idle if we're refining less fuel - they'll close.

                      1. werdsmith Silver badge

                        Re: 350kW!!!!

                        Re: 350kW!!!!

                        They generate their own power using the fuel they're refining. There not just going to sit idle if we're refining less fuel - they'll close.

                        They generate some of their power from their own refine process. Sometimes they can get it cheaper.

                        If they get paid money to make electricity then they will make electricity..

                        1. werdsmith Silver badge

                          Re: 350kW!!!!

                          More to the point, because we are discussing personal transport electric cars, this does not mean that oil refining is going away because there are a lot of other uses for refined crude.

                3. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: 350kW!!!!

                  "No, that’s not the way electrical grids work.

                  Firstly, grids dont discriminate between “car” and “your employers computer system”. If demand exceeds supply instantaneously by 30% that’s a general brownout where most electrical goods don’t work."

                  No - but it can be the way car chargers work.

                  We basically have large computers which keep themselves charged and, as a side effect, allow personal transport.

                  The coordination is possible without resorting to changing the grid hugely - you have predictable (and potentially controllable) demand, which can also act as a balancing mechanism for the vast majority of vehicles.

                  Of course since new vehicles last many years before being replaced it will take a while for all those cars to be electric - at which point the early vehicle batteries will have been pulled from vehicles because the "only" have 85% of their capacity - which is fine, that battery will service household UPS or grid level storage for years to come - giving even more controllable demand/balancing.

                  Just because we used to use horses to travel long distances doesn't mean that cars are obviously useless and never going to work...

              2. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: 350kW!!!!

                8 hours to feed ~15kWh... - that’s less than a kettle...

                A 3kW kettle might take (umm...) two minutes to boil enough water to fill my teapot and make six mugs of tea. That's 0.1kWh (3kW * 1/30th of an hour), so 15kWh is enough to make something like 150 pots of tea which would fill 900 mugs.

                I think that even the famed tea-swilling readers of El Reg would have trouble knocking back that amount of tea in eight hours!

                M.

                1. Stoneshop Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: 350kW!!!!

                  I think that even the famed tea-swilling readers of El Reg would have trouble knocking back that amount of tea in eight hours!

                  You don't want to know the LHC energy usage expressed in kettles.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 350kW!!!!

                  Not so sure, when I go visit my mum. The amount of tea consumed must keep a clipper in trade for a month.

                3. Wellyboot Silver badge

                  Re: 350kW!!!!

                  As current generating capacity, transmission networks & homes are built around the historical usage pattern that has been known for decades there is no way electric cars can be added to the mix without something major changing. Millions of kettles/toasters/cookers/showers will be used at both ends of the working day and cars will just have to avoid being charged at the same time.

                  Overnight charging (for those with off road parking) will have to be restricted to off peak hours for decades to come.

                  So there's no quick fix for a 1st world middle class urban lifestyle with abundant available facilities for the current requirements without a total infrastructure overhaul.

                  Can anyone please give a realistic appraisal of how cities like Mumbai, Dhaka, Kinshasa & Lagos (about 50M people) could even begin to go electric in the next 50 years when they can't even manage sewage processing now?

                  There are 2 basic issues - (1) We have to remove 'fossil carbon' (coal & oil) as the planets primary power source. - (2) We can't stop 75% of the planet wanting (& trying very hard) to catch up with the lifestyle we've developed by using exactly that same 'fossil carbon'.

                  The only way I see these two being remotely reconciled by the 'balanced 2050 goal' is by building nuclear power plants (and that means western economies ponying up to build/run them in the 3rd world) & producing synthetic oil & coal from the CO2 we've been pushing out for centuries.

                  Once the planet CO2 is stabilised we can then move onto replacing the carbon based fuels with clean alternatives.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: 350kW!!!!

                    In California (and I expect in many other places with similar climate and demand patterns), hourly electricity prices (see https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=32172 ) tend to follow a similar shape to the net demand curve (i.e. total demand minus renewables, primarily solar and wind, aka the "duck curve"). Prices tend to be highest in the evening and night and lowest around midday and early morning. So for charging electric vehicles, it would make sense to provide charging stations at workplaces so people could charge midday, and for home charging programed for early hours of the morning. It seems entirely feasible to have smart charging stations that can be programmed to charge when prices are low, and limit current draw according to how much time is available. The main grid challenge is not so much from the size of the demand but rather the steep rising rate of the net demand ("duck") curve (around 4-7pm in the summer). If (most) electric vehicles can be programmed to charge at the bottom of the duck curve, that could conceivably flatten the curve and improve the grid situation rather than exacerbate it.

                    Third world cities have really no option but to try to move to electric vehicles for personal transport (hopefully they will build electric public transit systems as well), the pollution is already intolerable. That does not mean electric cars (which most cannot afford), it means electric scooters, bicycles and rickshaws. I think this is already happening.

                    I doubt that nuclear is a cheaper option than solar and wind for them, once all the factors (security, safety, supply and disposal of nuclear fuel, NIMBY etc) are considered. I expect buildings may start augmenting and then replacing their backup generators with batteries as they get cheaper (in many larger buildings they already have a significant backup generator capacity due to unreliability of the local grid), so they can use those batteries for when the renewable power is unavailable.

                    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                      Re: 350kW!!!!

                      That does not mean electric cars (which most cannot afford), it means electric scooters, bicycles and rickshaws. I think this is already happening.

                      It is, as per a recent article in the Grauniad (can't find it atm, sorry)

                      1. John Robson Silver badge

                        Re: 350kW!!!!

                        Not only can few afford an electric car - few need a car at all.

                        Even in the UK relatively few people *need* a car. I'm sure everyone could come up with reasons why they couldn't possibly do without at least two cars in the household, but in reality it's convenience, not requirement.

                    2. Qumefox

                      Re: 350kW!!!!

                      The duck curve doesn't drop during the day because demand is less. Demand is actually the least at night and early morning when people are asleep, devices are off, lights are out, etc. The duck curve drops during the day for one reason, and you mentioned it. Renewables.. In this case, the cause is solar. If you compare duck curves from 20 or even 10 years ago, you'll notice they look drastically different from today's, and don't really have nearly as much daytime droop.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: 350kW!!!!

                        "The duck curve doesn't drop during the day because demand is less. Demand is actually the least at night and early morning when people are asleep, devices are off, lights are out, etc. The duck curve drops during the day for one reason, and you mentioned it. Renewables."

                        Yes, but that's what I said. Here is the exact quote from my comment, which I think says the same thing:

                        "net demand curve (i.e. total demand minus renewables, primarily solar and wind, aka the "duck curve")."

                        My point is that smarter EV charging can flatten the duck curve (which is desirable from a grid control perspective) if it is done when the duck curve (net demand and also price) is low, not necessarily when the total demand is low.

            2. JassMan Silver badge

              Re: 350kW!!!!

              @Martin

              A lot of good points but the counter argument is that if we had had more two way connected cars on the network, the blackout may not have occurred in the first place. Remember it was caused by 2 major suppliers dropping off within a minute of each other. The second supplier only just took the system over the edge - if there had been sufficient connected battery backup, the grid could well have withstood the temporary overload. The problem they had was due to rate at which extra capacity could be spun up. Battery backup can be virtually instantaneous.

              Re: domestic solar contributing to the problem, again this was because very few are fitted with battery backup. When demand increases you can't just ask God to wind up the brightness of the sun and clear away all the clouds. When more cars are electric there will be a much larger supply of cheap batteries to create PowerWalls or equivalent. The 8 year life of EV batteries only refers to their life in the car because you don't want to be stranded on the roadside as a result of decreased capacity. Old EV batteries still generally have about 80-85% capacity and make very good fixed backup systems.

              1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: 350kW!!!!

                if we had had more two way connected cars on the network, the blackout may not have occurred in the first place

                No, you missed my point about that. There already are connected battery storage systems, and they were used on this occasion, but these are managed just like power stations and are connected to the grid in a similar manner. "Embedded generation", things like solar panels on houses or a few kW of local batteries must always disconnect when there's major distruption on the grid, for safety reasons. Safety of engineers working on the line (let's say there's a power cut due to a line fault) but mainly safety to the embedded devices themselves which would suddenly find themselves feeding into something akin to a short circuit.

                Imagine you are the only person in your road of (say) 20 houses with a Merc or Tesla. The battery pack may well be able to store 100kWh, but the inverter to the grid will not be able to supply anywhere near 100kW - it's more likely to be limited to 10kW or so (total guesswork). Beyond that level the components get expensive, and because they connect via the same cutout that supplies the house they will not want to risk blowing that (i.e. an ultimate limit of 14kW (60A cutout) to 23kW (100A cutout)).

                If just four of your neighbours happen to be boiling 3kW kettles and there's a power cut, that's more than the inverter can handle and it will switch off regardless.

                There may be mileage in using car batteries as big UPSes for individual houses, which would help (a little) but they would probably still need to shed load when the power goes off, they would also need to disconnect the house from the external network to avoid backfeeding and this in itself could cause safety problems if your earth is connected to the network neutral.

                National Grid's final report is now out with a few minor revisions over the interim report. It's worth noting that the first action following the line trip was the loss of 150MW of embedded generation protecting itself from "vector shift".

                Three quarters of a second later, Hornsea windfarm went offline (737MW) and one quarter of a second after that, Little Barford's steam turbine (244MW) "trip[ped] instantaneously". At the same time (as near as can be measured), a further 350MW of embedded generation disconnected due to "Rate of Change of Frequency protection".

                In other words, within about one second of the line trip (not merely "within a minute"), 1,481MW had been disconnected.

                There was only 1,000MW immediately available to replace that loss.

                And then - a minute or so later - the remaining units at Little Barford disconnected (210MW + 187MW) due to the failure of a steam bypass valve.

                I have to point out here that National Grid is (can't find the story now) actively investigating the use of small-scale battery systems such as EVs for "frequency response", but it's going to be very difficult to co-ordinate that when the system is set up for a small(ish) number of large inputs, rather than a huge number of very small units, and there's a lot more thinking and engineering needed if they could ever be considered for use as general purpose generating reserve.

                M.

                Sorry, rambling. Sunday afternoon :-)

                M.

                1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds

                  Re: 350kW!!!!

                  We need new tech to be designed, but no new tech to be invented. If we have a million electric cars parked at the end of suitably smart charging hardware, there will be an awful lot of grid connected batteries. How much to pay people for putting their batteries through charging cycles may be hard to work out, but I assume it will just be credit on the electricity bill.

                  1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                    Re: 350kW!!!!

                    All good until the owners of said cars want o use them after they've silently dumped their battery content to prop up the grid. In which case they either can't, or will try to fast-charge and risk overloading the grid again. I expect a significant number of owners would not leave their car plugged in, simply to avoid the risk of being unable to use it when they want/need to.

                    Besides, just because on average a million cars may be connected idle, doesn't mean at any given moment they'll all be connected. Not sure such assumptions would be sensible grid demand planning.

                    The proper solution is grid-scale generation build out to meet the demand, reliable not intermittent build out i.e. nuclear, and nationwide three-phase provision to every property that wants it.

                    Trouble is that's prohibitively expensive in short timescales.

                    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                      Re: 350kW!!!!

                      All good until the owners of said cars want o use them after they've silently dumped their battery content to prop up the grid.

                      You really think that EV owners will allow their car's batteries to be entirely depleted in feeding back to the grid? Even if the inverter in the car would have a controller setting to feed back until exhausted, the owner won't use that setting. And ultimately frobbing in a chip that fakes the battery level to be lower than it actually is if such a 'deplete' setting would become mandated.

                      Also, using your car's batteries for grid support might be a possibility in the future, but AFAIK no EV has that option yet.

                2. Stoneshop Silver badge

                  Re: 350kW!!!!

                  "Embedded generation", things like solar panels on houses or a few kW of local batteries must always disconnect when there's major distruption on the grid, for safety reasons.

                  That's right, but it doesn't need to stop your solar system charging your EV. Or just topping up your domestic battery or thermal storage; systems are increasingly designed and set up to operate that way. As long as the inverter is properly disconnected from the grid mains there's no problem with 'island' mode inverters running autonomously and delivering power to whatever can use it.

            3. a_builder

              Re: 350kW!!!!

              This is solved more by the Economy-7 type approach.

              You will be able to choose the priority of charge. Fast charge for now and pay standard rates or take a slow trickle when the grid wants to dump electricity and just tell the smart charger then you need the charged vehicle by it then turns into a very predictable supply and demand situation.

              The modelling of stress on the grid is getting pretty sophisticated even at hyper local levels - it won't be perfect but it will work in the end with some experience of it going wrong.

              It will be mandated that vehicle chargers will be voltage drop limited to prevent brown outs. That is pretty easy to do.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 350kW!!!!

                > You will be able to choose the priority of charge. Fast charge for now and pay standard rates or

                It might be rather more than standard rate.

                It's been decades since I've been involved in the sort of industrial wiring where you get your own substations, but back then if you drew more current that the supplier had planned for an you'd agreed to they fined you. A lot and they cut you off if you didn't pay up quickly.

                You might not have the option to just "well I'll pay for fast charge" it might still be a case of "I'll pay to go onto a tier one queue".

                It might be that the electrical supplier will auction off priority charging for people who feel they need it now.

                It's OK I'm rich I'll go first :-)

                Oh bugger my neighbour thinks he's rich, Ha, let's see I'll out bid that jumped up SoB

                and a bidding war occurs.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 350kW!!!!

            Yes. Daily charging. But my car does around 450m on a full tank. Close to your "700km".

            It takes me 5 mins to fill up. I often fill once a month.

            Yes, charging daily could swap for filling monthly/weekly. But still need the infrastructure.

            You know, I could go to making/using my own waste oil/biodiesel setup. It would be better, more economical, and more environmentally friendly than electric... but I don't have the space/logistics. If I did, I'd do it!

            Build it, and they will come and all that. But before it's built, it's all pie in the sky.

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge

              Re: 350kW!!!!

              Yes, charging daily could swap for filling monthly/weekly. But still need the infrastructure.

              So you drive 20 miles a day, roughly, six days a week. At an average power use of 350Wh/mile you'd be using about 7kWh per day. Which, if you trickle charge overnight, would be like running half a kettle for six or seven hours. Which doesn't need any changes to infrastructure at your end

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 350kW!!!!

                > So you drive 20 miles a day ...

                Last time I had a company car I was averaging more than a 1000miles a week and to start with I had on street parking. Somewhere near my house if I was lucky.

                These days most of what I do could be covered in the usage case you say, but range requirements are very job dependent.

            2. teknopaul Silver badge

              Re: 350kW!!!!

              Re "pie in the sky".

              Lot of EVs driving around right now disprove that. Right now they work for lots of people.

              My bro is buying two teslas, they have solar on top of the house and expect never to visit a filling station ever again and never to pay for car energy. They dont approach 100k in a day. I rarely top 25k in my car. 500k in a day is too much I'd take a train or plane.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: 350kW!!!!

                Your bro is obviously quite flush. What about the rest of us poor saps?

              2. Mad Mike

                Re: 350kW!!!!

                The number of pure EVs around at the moment is still very small in reality. Hybrids don't really count towards this, as they don't rely on the electric side; can always switch to ICE. The solar on top of the house is irrelevant to the cars unless they don't use them during the day or have installed a decent sized battery to store the generated electricity before passing to the cars overnight. In reality, you're taking about a setup there into 6 figures and that's something for the minority only. Very impractical for the majority,

              3. Oneman2Many

                Re: 350kW!!!!

                I am guessing your brother's doesn't actually want to actually drive anywhere ? In the middle of summer I get about 30kwh in a day which equates to about 100mile range. In winter I will let you guess how much the panels are generating a day.

              4. Stoneshop Silver badge

                Re: 350kW!!!!

                Lot of EVs driving around right now disprove that. Right now they work for lots of people.

                We recently got a 2012 Kangoo ZE in addition to a 2003 Kangoo diesel we've been using for the past eight years. Even with its limited range (~100km) we're figuring it can do at least 90% of our car rides. And even on average days the solar panels on our roof generate more than would be needed for a full battery.

                There are of course costs to owning two cars, like insurance and maintenance (though no road tax for BEV for at least the coming years), but maintenance for the diesel will go down, and city centre environment zones are accessible again.

          3. Justthefacts

            Re: 350kW!!!!

            Actually, we both missed something here.

            I agree that I mixed up peak power and average mileage, I got the numbers wrong. But your analysis is even more wrong.

            Firstly, I said that 350kW charging was unacceptable, but anyway so was 30 kW. The article is based on a car that charges at 350kW but you casually down-scoped by a factor of 12.

            “Overnight” is just not how plugging something into a socket works. Most people will typically arrive home roughly at clocking off time, synchronously, and plug in. At that time the full charging load kicks off for some length of time, even if it *theoretically could* be trickled overnight.

            The *right* solution is probably to limit typical domestic charging to 10 kW (not even 30) then everything automatically trickle charges overnight. Fast charge can be allowed, but must be separately and heavily premium priced to prevent everyone doing it.

            We actually agree on that side of the practical solution, you just chose to disagree for whatever reason.

            Your idea that people will agree to use their car batteries as spinning reserve for the national grid voluntarily, is economic rubbish for several reasons:

            1) The car battery lifetime depends on the number of charge/discharge cycles. Nobody is going to reduce the lifetime of their car to help out the grid, without both being paid a lot for it and having control over the process. And “paid” doesn’t mean per kWh, it’s paid for the capacity and capital depreciation. The grid would have to be prepared to pay every single car owner at least a thousand a year for the impact on their car. That’s paying £1000 to a customer who is only paying £500 annual total for their electricity..I don’t think the electricity company would stay in business long.....

            2) Obviously, I can’t risk going empty when I want to drive, so any smart charger must limit the usage to say 10% of capacity. You actually do recognise above that this requires over-provisioning the car to compensate, to achieve the same effective range. So, you are just replacing efficiently concentrated industrial capacity, with capacity that is both inefficiently fragmented and *hauled every day on the roads*. That’s just crazy.

            3) Recognising the idea as unworkable at scale, you just say “not overnight......there is time to build the extra capacity”. According to both the green lobby and car companies, the car transition should be largely complete by 2030. It would take a minimum of 20-30 years to even double our current grid capacity. So, no, there isn’t time even if we had started ten years ago.

            1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: 350kW!!!!

              I'd upvote this 100 times if I could.

              Your point (2) is exactly why most people will never leave their car hooked up to the grid unless it needs charging. Well, maybe they'll do it until the first time they can't drive their car because it's empty, then they'll never leave it plugged in again. And they'll tell all their friends to do the same.

          4. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: 350kW!!!!

            I don't think an average number is very helpful here.

            You have some retired people who take their car to the shops once a week. Those people, even if they were still burning leaded petrol, it wouldn't matter in the overall scheme of things.

            Go to a petrol station. Ask the people at the pump how many miles they drive. You will get a much higher number, because people who drive more miles visit the petrol station more frequently. That is the number you need to use in your planning.

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        You could talk to your local network about upgrading to three phase. It can be done domestically, but is rather expensive and if several of your neighbours also have cars with 100kWh batteries you might find the cost of installing the new transformer and possibly upgrading the 11kV infrastructure somewhat prohibitive :-)

        This is one of those wicked problems for urban UK. Especially anyone living in 'luxury' apartments, ie those who may be able to afford to be EV early adopters. So high people-density equates to higher power density, and although their are planning restrictions on parking spaces in flat developments, it's still going to be FUN supplying Nx350kW to those car parks. Current supply system has land scattered around with enough space for traditional domestic supply transformers, not larger substations to allow car charging.

        I guess the utilities could go vertical and build transformer towers on those plots, but I'm guessing that won't help for safety & maintenance.. plus neighbours would probably complain.

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          Transformers up in the air are a prime source of fireworks in the evening. They'd also likely be illegal under the current regs.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: 350kW!!!!

            They'd also likely be illegal under the current regs.

            Really?

            Plenty of pole-mounted transformers (Google Earth link) around South Wales, and in fact we had the one that feeds our village replaced no more than ten years ago. I remember the day well, the village had been on generator all day and I was in the middle of cooking chips (the proper way, in a pan on the hob) when the power went out.

            Gas only came to the village about 40 years ago, so many houses still had electric cookers (we'd fairly recently moved in and hadn't yet replaced the cooker) and the generator couldn't cope with the tea-time surge, in the winter (still some houses with electric heating), in the dark. The engineers didn't dare to try restarting the generator so power stayed off until they'd finished reconnecting the new transformer a few hours later.

            And the chips? Carried them over the road to a neighbour's house and finished cooking them on gas. Next priority was swapping to a gas cooker, which we preferred anyway.

            New transformer it may be, but we still get power cuts.

            M.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: 350kW!!!!

              Gas only came to the village about 40 years ago, so many houses still had electric cookers (we'd fairly recently moved in and hadn't yet replaced the cooker)

              ---

              I got rid of gas hob and went to induction quite a few years ago, so I don't remember. Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

              1. sabroni Silver badge

                Re: Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

                You can burn gas under a pot or you can burn gas in a power station, convert it to electricity, ship the electricity to a house and then turn it back into heat to heat a pot.

                How can the second ever be as efficient as the first, however good the final "electricity to heat" conversion is?

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

                  I don't think all electricity is from burned gas.

                  And a fossil fuel naked flame in a home? Making CO? In 2019?

                  1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                    Re: Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

                    So.... you're suggesting everyone with a (often perfectly functional) gas hob should upgrade to electric? Sounds expensive and wasteful.

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

                      So.... you're suggesting everyone with a (often perfectly functional) gas hob should upgrade to electric? Sounds expensive and wasteful.

                      Yup. And you'll also need to get rid of gas central heating.

                      Sadly, it's currently official government policy and will have to be done in order to meet UK (and EU) carbon reduction targets. There's a possible alternative though, namely changing the entire UK CH4 distribution infrastructure & appliances to burn H2 instead... Which would a FUN changeover to manage, not to mention producing all the H2 required to replace domestic/industrial gas heating & cooking needs.

                      1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
                        Flame

                        Re: Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

                        I very much prefer cooking with gas vs. electric. You have more control of the heat, instant on/off, and can use any type of pan you want. Inductive electric heating is not a bad choice, but I still prefer gas. The amount of CO produced is pretty meaningless for the small about of gas used and the time your range or oven is on. I also have a gas boiler and water heater.

                        If the big polluters were forced to stop, then no one would need idiotic legislation against citizens in the feeble attempt to bring pollutants in line by eliminating the comparatively meager amount produced by the average household.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

                    "And a fossil fuel naked flame in a home? Making CO? In 2019?"

                    Sounds good to me.

                    I'm damned if I'm going to throw away a perfectly working gas cooker, pay for a new cooker and to have a suitable cable run from my fusebox to the kitchen and also go and buy new saucepans and frying pans because the 20 year old stainless steel ones I've got aren't compatible with an induction hob, and still have at least a lifetime's worth of use left in them....

                  3. Martin an gof Silver badge

                    Re: Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

                    I don't think all electricity is from burned gas.

                    In the UK, a very large percentage of it is. Gas stations are quick and cheap to build and produce relatively cheap electricity with short start-up times - the main generators are basically jet engines, though the steam plant attached to the exhausts will take a little longer to get going. They release a lot less Carbon per MWh than coal- or oil-fired stations and as I write (1430 on Monday 16th September) they are currently supplying about 48% of the UK's energy needs.

                    Gridwatch has:

                    • Combined Cycle Gas Turbines at 48.3%, 17.32GW
                    • Nuclear at 18%, 6.44GW
                    • Wind at 11.49%, 4.12GW
                    • Solar (estimated) at 9.1%, 3.27GW
                    • Biomass at 5.05%, 1.81GW
                    • Coal at 2.04%, 0.73GW
                    and a few others such as hydro at 1% or less, oh, and just under 4½% coming in on the interconnect to France, so mostly nuclear.

                    Nuclear stays pretty much constant unless a plant is down for maintenance. Coal is only used occasionally in the summer and of course the amount available from wind and solar varies according to the weather.

                    M.

                    1. werdsmith Silver badge

                      Re: Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

                      Large percentage vs All.

                2. katrinab Silver badge

                  Re: Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

                  The electricity to heat conversion is 100%, in every case, no matter what appliance you use, even one completely unsuited to heat generation.

                  For gas, it is also 100%, however ventilation requirements mean that some of that heat is lost.

                3. Aitor 1 Silver badge

                  Re: Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

                  It can be more efficien t because heating a pot with brning gas is not very efficient, and a combined cycle power generator is.. plus induction hobs are extremely efficient.

                  As for the power losses.. compressing gas plus gas loses are qt least as costly as transporting electricity

                  1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                    Re: Would definitely not willingly go back to gas.

                    heating a pot with brning gas is not very efficient

                    I hear this said quite a lot, but my experience of cookers over the years is that gas gets the heating going much quicker (there's a definite lag with electric heating, particularly if you start off at low power levels where most electric cookers use some kind of on-off-on system) and at full blast gas gets the stuff hot at least as quickly.

                    The only place I'd agree is with a modern electric kettle. Our gas kettle does take longer to heat than the electric one but of course an electric kettle differs from a pan on an electric hob as the water is essentially in direct contact with the heating surface. Induction hobs may be better but I've not spent more than a couple of minutes with one of those.

                    A big advantage of our gas kettle though is that it takes more water than the electric one when necessary, and that it whistles when it boils which means you never miss it boiling then have to re-boil to get the water hot enough to brew.

                    M.

              2. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: 350kW!!!!

                I got rid of gas hob and went to induction quite a few years ago, so I don't remember. Would definitely not willingly go back to gas

                Have been forced to live with a glass-topped Halogen(?) style electric hob for the last 18 months. The touch controls are unresponsive if you have spilled anything or have wet hands but when the are not wet, they are so sensitive that I have seen a fly walk across them and turn a hotplate on. It takes ages to get any heat into the pan if you set it to a "simmer" setting at the outset (say I'm melting some butter) - you have to blast it with a minute of full power before reducing it, its heat doesn't spread beyond the confines of the "hotplate" so my large frying pan has warped, it's not possible to pick the pan up to (say) spread things around because you lose all connection with the heat (I imagine this'd be even worse with an induction hob) and it shuts itself off for no apparent reason sometimes in the middle of cooking.

                Induction hobs sound great, but like "wireless chargers" they will lose energy in the coupling, so they are not 100% efficient as some people claim, and many of my pans will not be compatible anyway.

                As soon as we get a chance we're moving back to gas which still - kWh for kWh - is somewhere between a quarter and a third the price of electricity and gives a much better cooking experience.

                There must be a reason why commercial kitchens - even on ships and trains where you'd have thought electricity would be safer - are almost exclusively gas.

                M.

                1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                  Re: 350kW!!!!

                  Oh, and I forgot. I have a couple of these, that is cast iron bakestones (meini), one of which is probably over a hundred years old, rather pitted on the heating surface and would just never heat up on a glass-topped cooker.

                  That is, if you didn't break the glass putting it down :-)

                  I use them mainly (or did, before we lost the gas) for Welshcakes. this recipe is close to the one I use, though I tend to use sultanas or raisins instead of currants, half plain and half self-raising flour and avoid the baking powder which does make fluffy cakes but also leaves a dry taste in my mouth. Anyway, the slightly flatter, denser cakes are my favourite. Lard makes a difference - some recipes use only butter, but definitely avoid recipes using margarine or oil.

                  M.

                2. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: 350kW!!!!

                  Have been forced to live with a glass-topped Halogen(?) style electric hob for the last 18 months. The touch controls are unresponsive if you have spilled anything or have wet hands but when the are not wet,

                  My Bosch induction controls don't behave like that.

                  I had to use gas cooking in a holiday cottage. What PitA, especially cleaning.

            2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

              Re: 350kW!!!!

              Regs for substation installation in urban areas are very different to rural, particularly on matters of cable routing and grounding. Even ignoring that, there are minimum separations required between a substation and surrounding infrastructure that would be extremely difficult to meet in any reasonably built up area.

              On a more general note, the electrical infrastructure in this country is in dire need of upgrade all over.

          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: 350kW!!!!

            Transformers up in the air are a prime source of fireworks in the evening. They'd also likely be illegal under the current regs.

            Not a problem, simply change the regs. It'd also allow pre-industrial levels of fire detection to accompany power generation. So we'd have windmills and fire beacons! Just needs re-introduction of fire wardens to keep an eye out for ol'Sparky.

            But it's going to be a problem. Even if consumers try to rely on plain'ol 13A charging, it'll still require upgrades to the electricity distribution networks which are space constrained by plots available to place substations & transformers. Especially when domestic heating is decarbonised, and there'd be the challenge of charging cars, cooking, heating and people running power-showers, possibly simultaneously. I guess wealthier neighbourhoods might brown-out first if sufficient numbers decide to buy EVs and 3-phase feeds so they can fast-charge at home.

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge

              Re: 350kW!!!!

              and people running power-showers

              I don't really get why you would use one of those instead of a storage heater. Maybe if you're space-constrained, but otherwise? 2kW over a couple of (night-time) hours would be much gentler on the grid than everybody pulling 10..15kW during a brief morning timewindow.

              1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: 350kW!!!!

                Common usage uses the name "electric shower" for the sort of thing you are talking about while a "power shower" is typically run from stored water using a booster pump for volume - particularly if the plumbing is gravity-fed as used to be ubiquitous in the UK.

                The arguments against storage are that there are heat losses while it is standing and that it is more efficient to heat water directly, and immediately before use. This applies to "combi" boilers and "multipoint" water heaters as well as electric showers and over-basin tap heaters.

                Losing the stored water certainly saves space in a typically tiny British house or flat, and where that house is occupied by one or two people who are out at work all day, what's the point having a cylinder of water gradually cooling down?

                But where there are several people living together instantaneous systems struggle to cope - even a "big" combi would find it hard to supply enough heat for one person to take a shower while another was filling a bath and a third was doing the washing up, and most domestic electric supplies aren't suitable for more than one high power electric shower unit.

                Stored systems can also integrate heat from multiple sources, so for our re-build we are intending to install a cylinder capable of being heated by solar panels, immersion heaters, a gas boiler and a log-burner's back boiler all at the same time if necessary. It will store the water at a much higher than normal temperature and we'll take heat out for both taps and radiators using heat exchangers. The heat exchanger for the taps (ignore the cylinder and scroll down to the Hot Water Module) is capable of being run in parallel, so if we find one is insufficient in the morning when three people try to take simultaneous showers we can simply (well, simply-ish) add another.

                M.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: 350kW!!!!

                  The arguments against storage are that there are heat losses while it is standing and that it is more efficient to heat water directly, and immediately before use. This applies to "combi" boilers and "multipoint" water heaters as well as electric showers and over-basin tap heaters.

                  I think there are other arguments. So it's not 'energy efficient' in an official sense, partly for the reasons you give. And they're also cheap, so don't make as much money for installers/maintainers as gas heaters do. So over 20yrs at my last place, the storage tank cost me about £20 for a new float valve and the same for a replacement heating element. And I could have hot water during a power cut.

                  But a lot of new builds don't have hot water tanks, or space for them. If you do, then your combo of solar + storage tanks is great. Especially if you can combine solar PV with thermal to pre-heat water. And of course heating elements don't care if they're being fed AC or DC given they're dumb resistive loads, which can increase efficiency/reduce costs, give or take building & wiring regs.

                  And perhaps most importantly, hot water tanks don't really 'waste' heat, unless they vent directly outside your property. If they're venting inside, they're contributing to warming your house. Plus if the tank(s) are inside an airing cupboard, keeps linens warm, and makes a handy spot for dough raising or booze fermenting.

                  ps.. if you're lucky, you may find washing machines that still have seperate hot/cold feeds, which can work out a lot cheaper than a cold-only machine having to heat water from mains temperatures.

                  1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                    Re: 350kW!!!!

                    The cylinder we intend to buy will have 100mm of foam insulation so it's actually fairly efficient at keeping warm and while I understand that the heat isn't truly "lost" if it simply warms a part of the house, energy efficiency certificates don't seem to understand this and seem to penalise cylinders.

                    There is the argument about whether you do need that heat in the house. In the summer, probably not but you do still need the hot water.

                    There are very few washing machines (in the UK, at any rate) which take a hot fill these days, and unless you are careful about layout they use so little water that having a hot fill has negligible impact on the power used.

                    Two machines ago we had both a cylinder and a machine with a hot & cold fill. I once actually measured the difference on a 60C cycle between running the hot tap next to the machine so that it actually got hot water when it asked for hot water, and not doing so so that it got cold - the cylinder was at the diagonally opposite end of the house and the first third of the pipe run was 22mm. The difference was very small, partly because it didn't just open the solenoid on the hot. It also opened the one on the cold, which was at much higher pressure.

                    I'm told that "biological" powders (which we don't use but many people do) don't work well with a hot feed. Temperatures above about 50C stop them working properly, so even if you have selected a 60C wash, the machine will spend some time at 30 or 40C first, to allow the enzymes to work, before taking the temperature to 60C for a short time.

                    And of course, if you have a combi, even if it is next to the washer, by the time the thing has fired up and got up to temperature the machine has taken in all the water it needs.

                    M.

                    1. jake Silver badge

                      Re: 350kW!!!!

                      "It also opened the one on the cold, which was at much higher pressure."

                      How does that work, considering that you only have a single water line into the house? Shirley all the internal potable water plumbing is at the same pressure?

                      With that asked, all I can contribute to this conversation is what I use here: GSHPs. Provides both scalding and ice cold tap water[0], and runs the HVAC and ice maker, all for almost zero energy input at all.

                      [0] Or whatever temperature I want to set them to ... the system has enough control that I can reverse the hot and cold taps from the control panel.

                      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                        Re: 350kW!!!!

                        How does that work

                        Because traditionally (post WWII) in the UK, cold water comes direct from the mains while hot water comes from a "vented" cylinder which is gravity-fed from a header tank in the loft. Cylinders since the 1990s have more and more been pressurised cylinders fed directly from the mains, so hot water will be at the same pressure as cold unless you have to have a pressure-reducing arrangement because the cylinder (which has to have special certification and be installed by a registered engineer) can't handle it.

                        With a combi boiler or (as we are intending to install) a heat exchanger on the stored water, modern systems have controls that limit the flow through the heat exchangers in order to maintain the set temperature. With older systems you can find yourself juggling the tap to get it right - too much and the water runs cold, too little and it scalds. This is a particular problem if you have just balanced the thing out to fill a bath and part-way through someone decides to do the washing up.

                        Not sure about GSHPs... for almost zero energy input at all. How do you work that out? The best figures I've seen here for ground source heat pumps is an average gain of somewhere around 4:1, i.e. you can get 4kW of usable heat out for every 1kW of electricity you put in. Efficiency varies according to the difference between the heat source and the temperature you need. A buried system at a fairly constant 10C raising water to 45C will be running more efficiently than if you try to raise the water to 60C.

                        The thing is that electricity is still (approximately) four times as expensive as gas kWh-for-kWh so it's far cheaper to install, and no more expensive to run a bog standard boiler.

                        This is also an argument against air source heat pumps, none of which seem to claim average efficiencies greater than somewhere between 2:1 and 3:1 with efficiency in the winter - when you need them most - being lower than in the summer simply due to the lower air temperatures.

                        M.

                      2. Roland6 Silver badge

                        Re: 350kW!!!!

                        How does that work, considering that you only have a single water line into the house? Shirley all the internal potable water plumbing is at the same pressure?

                        This is a very modern (last couple of decades) thinking, where everything is fed directly off the mains riser. Which is why in modern houses damage from water leaks is much more common than in older houses...

                        In traditional (post-WWII) houses only the kitchen cold tape (potable water supply) and attic tank were directly fed from the (high pressure) mains riser, all other water came via the attic tank and hence were at low (ie. gravity) pressure.

                        The irritation is that a post-WWII plumbed home can be quite readily converted to use rain water collection (ignoring the issues about locating the tank), whereas a modern house can't.

                        Re: GSHPs

                        These along with solar-thermal mean you have to have a different attitude to "hot water" as to you it is cheap and plentiful whereas for most 'traditional' homes you have to run the boiler and burn purchased energy...

                  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                    Re: 350kW!!!!

                    if you're lucky, you may find washing machines that still have seperate hot/cold feeds, which can work out a lot cheaper than a cold-only machine having to heat water from mains temperatures.

                    Modern machines use so little water that even the "hot" supply is unlikely to actually be running hot by the time the fill valve shuts off.

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: 350kW!!!!

                      Modern machines use so little water that even the "hot" supply is unlikely to actually be running hot by the time the fill valve shuts off.

                      I'm guessing thats manufacturing cost reductions, ie fill a reservoir and heat it vs having a mixing system that can regulate incoming hot & cold water. Which may or may not require pressure reduction on the cold side to stop that dominating. Or just open the hot side first. But would maybe add $1 in extra components and not count for energy efficiency ratings anyway.

                      But that's all part of the challenge, ie hot water tanks aren't regarded as 'energy efficient', even if they're giving you free hot water from solar PV, or sinking off-peak electricity loads. Logically, an appliance that can run a 60C hot wash without having to heat from 4-5c to 60C is more energy efficient than a cold-only model.

                      But the ever clueless BBC is running an advertorial from Renewables UK explaining that solving these problems will cost UK consumers around £500bn to convert residential heating & cooking from gas to electric. Then again it also says-

                      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/extra/DmZ6C9zSsR/road_to_clean_energy

                      Although it feels much more modern than Martin Edward’s (wind farm) field in Cornwall, Hinkley’s is a much older technology.

                      Which demonstrates just how dishonest (or dumb) the BBC is when it comes to promoting all things Green given windmills were a 9th Century invention & nuclear power.. rather more modern. It's also especially dishonest given Hinkley's EPR was designed in the 21st Century, and Edwards original windmills installed in 1991.

                      So much for the BBC's 'fact checking'.

                      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                        Re: 350kW!!!!

                        I'm guessing thats manufacturing cost reductions, ie fill a reservoir and heat it vs having a mixing system that can regulate incoming hot & cold water.

                        I think it's more related to efficient machines. An old front-loader would draw maybe 10 or more litres of water to fill a drum, plenty of time for the cold water in the pipes to be drawn and the hot to be flowing from the tank/boiler. New systems weigh their load, and draw the bare minimum required amount, could be only 5l or so. Even on a hot feed, they're still basically working with cold water.

                        Try turning on your kitchen tap and measuring how much water flows before it runs hot, you could be surprised.

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          it's still going to be FUN supplying Nx350kW to those car parks.

          Car parks associated with urban housing (i.e. where people live, and more specifically sleep) don't need to turbo charge every car that's parked there, nor do they have to be charged at the same time. In most cases they don't need to be charged from nearly empty to full either.

          Capacity to charge all cars parked there overnight, plus a bit of leeway so that you can have a few getting charged at max power if necessary (and their owners getting charged appropriately so people selecting that option only when they actually need it) would appear to me to be quite sufficient.

        3. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          Eh? Don't most large-ish buildings have substations built in? Office, hotel, apartments: the louvered sections with a lightening bolt sign above the door?

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: 350kW!!!!

            Eh? Don't most large-ish buildings have substations built in?

            How many of those are sufficiently overspec'ed (including the MV feed) that you can tack on a few 350kW charging points without things going frrzt (or boom, more likely)?

      3. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        Maybe the charger would have to be intelligent and monitor your other loads, and turn down its power take if necessary.

        I've just wired up a Type 2 EV charge point at home (3x 32A max). For a domestic feed you definitely need load monitoring, and while it's an option with this kit I have selected it. Just need to install the current transformers in the main distribution board, but as it's getting dark now it'll have to wait a bit as I don't relish working on electrics with only battery lighting if I can avoid it.

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          "as I don't relish working on electrics with only battery lighting if I can avoid it."

          What, you prefer to work on the mains with the mains lights operating?

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: 350kW!!!!

            What, you prefer to work on the mains with the mains lights operating?

            No, daylight, you oaf. Something that you could have easily deduced from "it's getting dark now".

      4. AndrueC Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        But surely only a problem if you regularly drive 700 km a day. Most of us probably drive less than half that. So roughly speaking that 19 hours recharge drops to 2 hours and becomes an easy overnight charge. Presumably that would extend the lifetime of the battery somewhat as well.

      5. a_builder

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        Well I didn't really believe it all either.

        Until I was given a Telsa S as a loaner for a couple of weeks while my usual truck was in the shop after someone Kindly drove into the back of it.

        The Tesla is amazing, yes really amazing.

        I've tried the various charge options 13A plug - don't bother unless you are desperate. Auto limits to 10A .....

        32A commando adaptor - works pretty well as luckily we have a 32A commando in the right sort of place at the office - cheap you only pay the actual cost of the electricity.

        5.5kW lampost charger - fine overnight - but you pay 24p/kW as opposed to 15p/kW for domestic.

        Tesla super chargers - amazing - realistically once you have got the kids out of the car and gone for a wee and got them back in the car it is a 25 mins project so in the 25 mins the battery is back at something like 80% if you start at 20% - OK usable range is a bit limited at that to 140 miles between stops. But with small kids you would be amazingly lucky to go for more than 2 hours between stops anyway.

        General verdict is it works perfectly well IRL and that was with a 75kW battery. With the 100kW battery it is easily usable for long range stuff at 180 miles between stop.

        Obviously you can set the vehicle to 100% charge so your first run is 80% of batter capacity rather then the 60% I am assuming above.

        Personally I suspect that battery capacity improvement will result in smaller lighter fast charging batteries rather than longer range. The light weight will increase range of itself. I simply put I don't see why the range needs to be increased much for UK use.

        Anyway that is my 2p worth based on real world testing with the family.

    3. Adair

      Re: 350kW!!!!

      No method of storing electricity in bulk quantities will ever be developed. By anybody. Anywhere. Ever.

      And rumours, or even actual reports, of any such storage method being developed, or in use? Fake news.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        "No method of storing electricity in bulk quantities will ever be developed. By anybody. Anywhere. Ever."

        Oh, I don't know. Pumped storage hydro comes to mind. Kind of hard to fit into an automobile, though ... even one as brobdingnagian as a Mercedes four door.

        1. Adair

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          Probably why the 'national grid' was developed.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          "Oh, I don't know. Pumped storage hydro comes to mind."

          The few in the UK are not really what I'd call bulk storage. They can only run for a very short while.

          288MW over 5 hours but can do up to 1300MW for a shorter time. I'd say it was a family size pack rather than bulk :-)

      2. Justthefacts

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        In the sense you mean it, indeed no it definitely won’t. Wind power often achieves less than 5% of its rated capacity across the whole of the U.K. for a couple of weeks at a time, so you need 30GW storage for a fortnight!

        To give a feel for the safety issues of energy storage failure, for a technology like pumped hydro, it’s 1000 Dinorwigs. Look at the map of the U.K. and realise that there is nowhere you can be more than 10 miles from such a one. The risk of building them so close is unacceptable, because a dam failure would wipe out a large town with a tsunami costing tens of thousands of lives.

        Dinorwig actually proves that this tech *isn’t* appropriate to cover windpower outages. If safety weren’t an issue, they would have built it closer to where the energy would be used, reducing the transmission costs, but they didn’t. It’s not just where the mountains are. Compare it with a nuclear power station. Those are also built in out-of-the-way places for safety reasons, with similar generating potential (1-2GW). But Dinorwig only generates power for 5 hours at full whack, and wind power needs 300-hour (at least) coverage to make it usable as a primary source. You need to find 60x as many safe sites for hydro as nuclear, when you think of it as wind power cover. In a country the size of the U.K. that isn’t going to happen.

        Why did they build Dinorwig at all? Simple. In the old days, storage meant “for as long as it takes a coal-fired or nuclear station to spin up”, which is a couple hours, and a good match for Dinorwig’s capabilities. It’s wind and solar that make demands that can’t be met.

        Ironically, we do know of one extremely stable, energy-dense storage medium, with engineering legacy. Hydrocarbon. And that’s not as crazy as it seems. If we had a means of driving carbon-capture from the atmosphere electrically into hydrocarbon, that would be a great storage tech, and then burn it in a standard gas turbine when needed. It would also be *the* grand solution for the atmospheric CO2 levels already baked in.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          "Those are also built in out-of-the-way places for safety reasons,"

          Not always

        2. G R Goslin

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          Dinorwig was designed and built as a 'peak lopping 'setup, for those times as the end of the Cup Final when the country all (or perhaps half) of the population put the kettle on. to celebrate. However, when it was sold to private enterprise, it's use changed to only supplying power when the price was at it's highest. So, probably would not have the capacity left for emergency generation, even had the price been 'right'

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Dinorwig

            Dinorwig is also a 'Black Start' power station. This is one of the few that can self start and can be used to restart the whole grid in the event of a massive failure.

            As a side note, Fiddlers Ferry, one of the last coal fired power stations will close next March.

            It seems that we have enough power generation capacity for now and the immediate future.

            I have to wonder how many of the informed comments posted in this threat actually come from people who own a BEV.

            Once you actually own one your whole mindset changes and well, things are just not the way people describe.

      3. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        I think EVs are exactly that. Huge bulk storage capacity that is mobile too.

        I suspect EVs will not only be storing charge for the grid shortly but will be moving it too.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          Huge bulk storage capacity that is mobile too.

          For extremely small values of 'huge'. 100kWh can power a dozen houses for a day or two if they're a bit frugal, way less if cooking, showering and/or heating is electric.

          I suspect EVs will not only be storing charge for the grid shortly but will be moving it too.

          For data there may be a lot of bandwidth in a stationwagon, for energy less so (unless as hydrocarbons).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 350kW!!!!

      Just get a few Cotswold villages to club together and buy their own nuclear power station, simples...

    5. Justthefacts

      Re: 350kW!!,

      I don’t think there will be brownouts because the system can’t be allowed to operate like that at scale.

      Half the population are going to want to top-up just before they go to work, drop the kids at school, or whatever else. There are 20 million cars on the road in the U.K., not even counting the big rigs. That’s 3500 GW peak power, which is 100x the available generating capacity. restricting to 30kW charging barely touches the problem as it’s still 10x of available peak capacity. Nor does telling them to plug in when they get home in the evening - same problem, different time.

      Once electric cars become more than a minority sport for the 0.1%, people simply can’t be allowed to decide when to charge their car. You will have an allocated time each day. There is no other way, this is a limitation of the tech. To be fair, it probably won’t look exactly like that to the consumer - more like overnight trickle-charging at reasonable prices; plus on-demand charging for emergencies but the price per unit would be quadruple to 10x base-price.

      So, the *real* irony is that the whole concern of “how long does it take to charge” will just disappear, because electricity will be re-priced to prevent people convenience-charging.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: 350kW!!,

        "There are 20 million cars on the road in the U.K."

        I thought it was 30 million so even more pessimistic.

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: 350kW!!,

        Wish I'd taken the time to read down the thread a bit before replying this morning :-)

        We came to pretty much the same conclusion, though you somewhat more succinctly, namely that the current free-for-all situation simply isn't sustainable if more than a very few people have all-electric cars, so charging will have to be intelligent and controlled in the future. Ultimately this could be seen as "rationing".

        Is anyone planning for this? Is there some kind of industry body or government department (sorry, of course not) looking into this, or are we going to end up in a situation similar to that currently the case with smart meters?

        Daft question.

        M.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: 350kW!!,

          so charging will have to be intelligent and controlled in the future. Ultimately this could be seen as "rationing".

          I can just imagine getting home from work, plugging in, sitting down to dinner and the phone rings. Some sort of emergency (child needs urgent picking up/family member rushed to hospital/any of many other scenarios, except you go to the car to find the charger said no, and it's not even started charging yet, let alone tricked some in over the last hour or two. I'll bet most people have had those sort of "I need the car NOW" situations over the years, especially if you have/had teenage kids or very elderly parents/grandparents.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: 350kW!!,

            "I'll bet most people have had those sort of "I need the car NOW" situations over the years"

            Over the years? Try at least once per week!

          2. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: 350kW!!,

            I can just imagine getting home from work, plugging in, sitting down to dinner and the phone rings. Some sort of emergency (child needs urgent picking up/family member rushed to hospital/any of many other scenarios, except you go to the car to find the charger said no, and it's not even started charging yet, let alone tricked some in over the last hour or two. I'll bet most people have had those sort of "I need the car NOW" situations over the years, especially if you have/had teenage kids or very elderly parents/grandparents.

            ---

            Yes, I had a situation like this on Saturday. I want to jump into my petrol/hybrid car but I couldn't because I had drank half a bottle of wine. So I got a neighbour to drive.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: 350kW!!,

              Oh, I see. You'll happily burn gas/petrol when it suits you. You don't really want an all electric car existence after all. There is a word for that ...

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Re: 350kW!!,

                Makes zero sense Jake. There's a word for that too.

          3. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: 350kW!!,

            That would only be an issue if you tended to drain the battery down to near zero before charging.

            Typically, if you trickle-charge every night, then an average daily commute would still leave you with 80%+ charge. Note, this is typical/average, i.e. urban dwellers, yes there are exceptions for people who live in remote areas, or have high usage (e.g. delivery drivers, etc.).

            Therefore it is unlikely you'd have to charge before dashing off to some urgent pickup for a typical person.

            And if you were out of charge for some reason, then there's always walking/biking (if not too far) or friends/neighbours/relatives/public transport/taxis if it truly is an 'emergency'.

            1. a_builder

              Re: 350kW!!,

              Your battery won’t last very long if you charge to 100% every night.

              More normally 80%.

              Before a long journey you can do 100%.

              But your general point is sound that as with a ICE car you don’t run to empty!

              Also charge rates are fastest and most efficient on emptier batteries and the last few percent are painfully slow.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: 350kW!!,

                "But your general point is sound that as with a ICE car you don’t run to empty!"

                Most EVs have the equivalent of a 2 Gallon tank!

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: 350kW!!,

              "Typically, if you trickle-charge every night, then an average daily commute would still leave you with 80%+ charge."

              You keep talking about this "average daily commute". Few people do that. There are large numbers of city dwellers who drive as little as 1-2 miles each way, skewing the average right down to an "average" of 10 miles per day (each way). But you are ignoring the similarly large numbers who do a more than 10 miles (each way) and especially those significant numbers who do 50+ miles each way every day. I can't find the link now, but a Gov report from about 2015 or so showed the graph and it was not a bell curve. It was more like a side view of a saucer (sans cup of tea)

              Having said that, the same report did show that the numbers of people commuting had reduced a little over the previous 10 years and the fewer people were commuting for a full 5 day week. But that was 4 years ago. Things may have changed, trends could be continuing or reversing now.

          4. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

            Re: 350kW!!,

            "except you go to the car to find the charger said no, and it's not even started charging yet," So you drain your battery most days? That would be risky, so I would either buy a car with bigger batteries, or stick with a car that burns dead dinosaurs.

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: 350kW!!,

              or stick with a car that burns dead dinosaurs.

              Yes, burning live dinosaurs is likely to run into a problem or two.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: 350kW!!,

              "So you drain your battery most days?"

              That's a reasonable assumption to make since most EVs have a limited range. December, headlights and heating on both to and from work, work is 30 miles away. Sounds perfectly doable, even with a 90-100 mile range on a full charge (range of many EVs). That's how a lot of people will see it. Until that time you have that emergency and there's barely 20 miles of range in the car because the smart charger isn't going to switch on 'till 2am.

              As per another reply upthread, many EVs barely have the equivalent of a 2 Gallon tank and smart chargers on a smart grid may well not allow you to charge up as soon as you get home.

        2. Fred Dibnah Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Is anyone planning for this?

          Yes.

          The Electric Nation project, which ran until recently, provided usage info so the power companies could see what impact charging will have on the grid at larger scale. They provided free home chargers to EV owners, with internet connectivity to allow them to monitor and control the charging. I had a phone app which showed me the charging rate, and it was set to give a low priority slow charge but with the option to request a faster charge if I wanted to fill up in a hurry. IRL that would incur a higher price per kW, and for the project they used the 'carrot' of Amazon vouchers instead. Once the project finished the internet connection was removed so now I charge at full speed, although I could delay and/or reduce the rate via the car itself if I wanted to.

          Since July 1st all new home charger installations have to have the ability to be 'smart' (ha) and allow the charging rate to be controlled remotely, in the same way mine was. This, of course, also allows the usage to be monitored and taxed, as it surely will be to replace the fuel duty that will be lost from ICE cars. I'm hanging on to my dumb charger, thanks :-)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 350kW!!,

        That won't be an issue, parliament already wants to ban private car ownership in favour of "usership" i.e. pay per use (and you know the cost will be eyewatering to "incentivise a modal shift onto public transport" aka mass transit "by rebalancing the cost equation away from private car use")

        and all to "save the planet"

        More like to make sure the motorways are clear so the "honourable members" can shoot down at 150mph now that the proles aren't in the way.....

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: 350kW!!,

          'parliament already wants to ban private car ownership"

          Here in the States, if a politician were to even bring that up as a "what if", s/he'd be tarred & feathered and run out of town on the rail. The bastards know it, too.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: 350kW!!,

            The US is more difficult, at least partly because of the distances involved, but it wouldn't be impossible in the UK to imagine a situation where public transport can take over most normal journeys. Most of the country will never be as well-provided as London is at the moment - but judicious re-openings of branch railways (maybe as light rail or even dedicated bus routes) could go a long way towards reducing most people's reliance on the car.

            You couldn't outright "ban" private car ownership - particularly in rural areas such as the Scottish highlands or mid Wales - but most people living in urban or sub-urban environments could probably be provided for with well-planned improvements to public transport, and it's possible that a fairly easy reduction from one-car-per-adult to one-car-per-household could be made.

            There would be other complications of course. My current 45-mile (one way) commute, for example, would take me at least two hours by public transport (20 minutes on the bus, 90 minutes on two trains, 10 minute brisk walk) and cost just under £25 at peak time (one way). It would mean I wasn't as flexible as I am at the moment about starting early or working late. A re-opened branch line might knock 10 minutes off that journey as it so happens I live near a closed line which would go more directly to the town's station than the bus does, but realistically I would be looking for a new job closer to home.

            My wife could get to her "base" quite easily by public transport - though it would take her nearer an hour than the 20 minutes it takes to drive. She does a lot of work "in the community", some days travelling 50 or 60 miles from base, but this could potentially be handled if her work provided a pool car, though with current mainstream technology a battery car would be marginal.

            We live in a semi-rural location and I don't think we could manage without a car at all (there's only so much shopping you can do online), but down to one car could have potential given some changes to public transport...

            M.

            1. Adelio

              Re: 350kW!!,

              Not everyone lives in a city or works in the same town they live in. (Or close to public transport).

              People livingin London would probaby be OK, after all, driving in Central Lodon is not really a good idea.

              But public transport (if it exists) can ofter be many times slower than cars and far less reliable.

              1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: 350kW!!,

                public transport (if it exists) can ofter be many times slower than cars and far less reliable

                Which was sort of my point, however there are ways public transport could be improved to make using it easier, but they'd only be viable if people wanted to use them which sort of implies some kind of coercion and a chicken-and-egg situation.

                For example, there are vague plans to re-open the branch line I mentioned earlier which runs near my house. It would directly connect Caerphilly to Newport and enable a lot more people to consider commuting by train than do at present.

                There are much more firm plans to vastly increase capacity on the valley lines. The one that runs through Caerphilly currently only has one train per hour into Cardiff from the extremity of the line at Rhymney, with three more per hour originating and terminating several miles down the line at Bargoed. Part of the improvement plan (which also involves buying new trains) will see that increase to four per hour from Rhymney and an additional two from Caerphilly.

                Trains running more often from Rhymney, and with an increased overall capacity on the line, makes commuting into Cardiff (which a lot of people do) by public transport more viable. It also make leisure use of the line more viable.

                That said, nothing beats London's underground where some platforms see a train arrive every ninety seconds. Dream on!

                M.

    6. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: 350kW!!!!

      Year: 1907.

      Horse drawn cart driver is talking about these new horseless carriage automobiles.

      "they will never catch on. Nobody is going to want to go into town to buy petroleum spirit from the chemist shop when every livery, stable, inn, farmyard has can give me oats and hay."

      Could you imagine in 1907 the network of pipelines that move fuel around the UK (I think mostly constructed for WW2 effort) the six massive refineries and dozens of filling stations in every town all being resupplied daily by giant tanker trucks? Imagine the effort to build that infrastructure from scratch today?

      I think developing charging infrastructure over the next three decades will be much easier. And that's without whatever breakthrough is round the corner - as I am aware of a lot of R&D going into this.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        "I think developing charging infrastructure over the next three decades will be much easier. And that's without whatever breakthrough is round the corner - as I am aware of a lot of R&D going into this."

        The current plan, in place, is to ban the sale of new ICE cars by 2040, only 2 decades away, with serious consideration being given to bringing that date forward to 2032, just 13 years away. This will mean people moving from ICE cars fairly rapidly well before whichever cut-off date is used. I'd say we have no more than a decade to have a decent infrastructure in place. Since wind, solar and tidal don't look too great for base load, I wonder how long it will take to get planning permission for a few more nuclear generators. Oh, and paying for/building them too.

    7. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: 350kW!!!!

      The place I work, which is strongly associated with the automotive industry, just installed a half dozen charging stations for free use by employees. You also get the nice benefit of a close parking spot probably because no one wanted to run more wire and have the associated voltage drop.

      That said, we are not a manufacturing plant, but still use just under 2MW when no one is even in the building. We have 2 of our own substations feeding the facility. Even a 350KW draw would barely be registered, no more than someone using a toaster in their home.

      What concerns me as electric vehicles are more widely adopted, is homeowners with aging infrastructure plugging their cars into ill-maintained outlets in their garages, etc. (I picked the flame icon for good reason)

      1. Adelio

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        Bully for you, and how many company car parks have NO charging points (My company for a start) And say you have 100 car parking places and half a dozen charging points. Not much help for the 94 other cars!

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        "You also get the nice benefit of a close parking spot probably because no one wanted to run more wire and have the associated voltage drop."

        How many staff park in the car park? What happens when there are more than 6 EVs? Are your parking spaces still free? Some towns and cities now charge extra business rates on a per parking space basis, the money being spent on public transport. The amounts are quite significant and some areas, eg Nottingham, have drive some businesses out and others to pass on much of the extra cost to the staff using the spaces.

        It's good that your employer is trying, but will they be so willing when every parking spot contains an EV?

        1. Unicornpiss Silver badge

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          "What happens when there are more than 6 EVs? Are your parking spaces still free?"

          When there are more than 6 EVs, people will have to start getting there early or learn to share. All the parking spaces are free and there are plenty for the whole staff and visitors.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 350kW!!!!

            When there are more than 6 EVs, people will have to start getting there early or learn to share.

            All stick, no carrot? That never works.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        half dozen charging stations for free use by employees

        Benefit in kind tax, for the parking space and the electricity? Not free...

        Even a 350KW draw would barely be registered,

        But "half-a-dozen" 350kW draws would double your existing 2MW at idle. How many employees do you have? How many charge points would you need for all the ones who come by car?

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: 350kW!!!!

          But "half-a-dozen" 350kW draws would mean that half a dozen employees have been able to buy this Mercedes.

          Somehow I don't think they'll be able to do so on short notice.

    8. Velv Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: 350kW!!!!

      There's a DeLorean in Hill Valley that takes a 1.21GW charge

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: 350kW!!!!

        Nah, it's input is measured in JiggerWatts and if I recall correctly from my drinking days, a Jigger is quite a small measure.

        PS, I think you just took my coat.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase

    er... what?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase

      My first thought too. I wonder if they meant "Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular EV car purchase" but even that seems a bit hard to believe.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase

        I could believe the "third most popular EV car" - assuming you discount hybrids. I see quite a lot of Teslas on the road these days, even in South Wales which is not renowned for quantity of high end cars (though there's quite a lot of Jaguars at the moment). I see a lot more Leafs (Leaves?) but am struggling to think of other pure EVs that are common.

        Perhaps the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders might have useful information?

        Yes, there's a lot there.

        Just taking 2019 to date, and assuming that "other imports" is all Tesla (which of course it isn't), they don't come close to being third, with a mere 0.34% of the market (though up from 0.19% last year). They are 18th on the list and are beaten by Nissan (2.51%), Honda (2.80%), Hyundai (2.90%), Skoda (3.03%) etc. etc., up to Audi (9.79%), Ford (11.63%) and Volkswagen (12.24%).

        If you assume that all Battery Electric Vehicles are Teslas (of course they aren't), they aren't even third by technology, though they are fifth behind Plug-in hybrid, Hybrid, Diesel and Petrol.

        Top ten for all sales so far in 2019 is:

        • Fiesta
        • Golf
        • Focus
        • Corsa
        • Qashqai
        • A-class
        • Polo
        • Kuga
        • Mini
        • Sportage

        Maybe something for Tim Harford?

        M.

        1. IGotOut

          Re: Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase

          It's most likely one of those fudge stats. Where the each individual model is broken down e.g. the 1/2 dozen or so Fiestas each count as a seperate model

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase

            "It's most likely one of those fudge stats. Where the each individual model is broken down e.g. the 1/2 dozen or so Fiestas each count as a seperate model"

            ---

            It's about new car deliveries so more likely that the cars became available and were delivering a long back order list all at the same time. The actual orders placed for these cars goes back years, so they should really be counted at the time of order rather than delivery.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase

          "(though there's quite a lot of Jaguars at the moment)."

          It's odd that mention that. I've also noticed what seems like a vast increase in the number of Jags on the roads this last 6 months or a year or so.

      2. EdFX

        Re: Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase

        No they're right, 3rd most popular period. This months sales.

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase

          From the links I posted earlier, for August 2019

          • Petrol : 59,019 units sold
          • Diesel: 24,484 units sold
          • Hybrid: 4,014 units sold
          • Battery Electric: 3,147 units sold

          And in case it needs restating, Tesla sales are only a small part of "Battery Electric" sales. At best Tesla's fourth.

          M.

          1. DJO Silver badge

            Re: Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase

            I think it should read:

            "Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase in the mid-luxury class"

            That is cars roughly between £30,000 and £60,000

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase

              That might make sense, but would still surprise me given the competition in that part of the market from Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus and so-on and so-on. In fact it's not difficult to specify a "normal" car up to £30,000 - some top-end Golfs, for example.

              M.

              1. Dapprman

                Re: Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase - Not even luxury

                As above, the only thing I can think of is electric - looking at the official figures Tesla come under Other Imports, not sure who else is in there, and Audi, BMW and Mercedes have way larger figures.

                What will not help Tesla is the fact that within the next 3-6 months there is a whole bunch of new, mainstream manufacturer, electric cars and updated electric cars due out. The Tesla 3 was heavilly hypes and the pre-ordering meant good delivery/purchase prices July through to October/November, after which they will become reliant on regular sales against the new Mini, Vauxhal/Opel Corsa, server Peugots, updated Renault, new Mercedes, VW ID range, ...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

    700 or "up to 700", when tested in a "special testing chamber"?

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

      In units that I can understand: that is 435 miles.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

        Do they have a special testing chamber with 435 miles of RealWorld roads and a fair-to-reasonable analogue of my right foot?

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

          At 2C (with heating) or 32C (with aircon cooling)?

          1. Ropewash

            Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

            Central Canada here...

            How about -40C with all heating/defrost on full?

            Not that I've broken my google fingers, but I'm lazy. What is the rated charge % for EV batteries at -40? I know from bitter experience that a lead-acid lasts for about 15 seconds of starter use at that temp before dying.

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

              Central Canada here...

              Not sure if they still do, but Nissan UK used to have a "range calculator" on their website where you could adjust for external temperature, usage of heaters, coolers, lights and types of roads. Very UK-centric (I am pretty certain it didn't go down to -40C) but might give you an idea.

              I have similar problems in that my commute is somewhere around 90 miles round trip, so you'd think a car with 120 to 150 mile range (e.g. Leaf) should be fine, but in the winter when it's cold, dark and probably wet, when over half of my commute is on motorways and when the battery is 5 years old that 150 mile range is suddenly very optimistic.

              M.

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

                but in the winter when it's cold,

                Yes, that eats into your range. But at least some EVs can be fitted with a diesel-fueled heater.

                dark and probably wet,

                Our Kangoo ZE runs the lights and the other non-traction stuff on a hefty conventional 12V battery. Which lasts well beyond the traction battery range.

                when over half of my commute is on motorways and when the battery is 5 years old that 150 mile range is suddenly very optimistic.

                It is.

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

                  Winter eats range of a normal car. My last petrol car would commute into the office doing about 50mpg on warm summer mornings. On sub zero winter mornings I would be lucky to get 40mpg.

                  20% drop in range between winter and summer is not just an electic car thing.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

                    That's odd. I get better fuel economy when it's cold out. Denser air charge makes for a more efficient engine.

                    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                      Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

                      I find (small Diesel car) two noticeable effects on range. One is rain. If the roads are wet - particularly the motorway - the car uses more fuel, I suppose because the rolling resistance is higher.

                      The other is a step-change usually sometime in November, and another one in perhaps late February. I have absolutely no evidence to back this up, but remember how Diesel always used to "freeze" in the winter? How we'd see news footage of lorry drivers lighting fires under their fuel tanks? Why does that never happen now? Is it because there's a special, slightly thinner, "winter mix" of Diesel being sold?

                      If there is, then that might explain at least a part of the "step change" I see in the winter, though obviously more use of lights, heaters, even air-con and (on average) wetter roads all contribute.

                      M.

                      1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

                        Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

                        You are correct - in the UK we run summer and winter blends of diesel due to summer diesel "waxing" at temps around 0-minus 5C, winter diesel is ok down to around minus 15C in the UK

                        Other nations winter diesel goes colder and some places have arctic diesel which goes down to REALLY cold, however its only suitable for some diesel engines, some common rail engines won't run on it as it doesn't have the same lubricity as summer or winter blends.

                        Basically winter diesel is diesel mixed with additives (used to be kerosene but might be diff now) which don't have the same energy value so hence you get lower mpg in winter.

                        Usually gets sent out to filling stations from now onwards to make sure filling station tanks all have winter diesel in them by the "official" start in November, stays on sale till around March, where deliveries of summer diesel recommence.

                        In Australia, its possible to fill up with diesel in Sydney, take the car up to the blue mountains to go skiing and come out in the morning to a car that won't start....reason being that the blend on sale in Sydney is for hot temperatures with a relatively high wax point, whereas blue mountains can get down to around 0C or colder overnight and the diesel for sale in that area is blended to handle colder temperatures.....

                    2. werdsmith Silver badge

                      Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

                      Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

                      That's odd. I get better fuel economy when it's cold out. Denser air charge makes for a more efficient engine.

                      Your engine has to get up to temperature to be efficient. And then it has to push your car through that denser air.

                2. DJO Silver badge

                  Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

                  Our Kangoo ZE runs the lights and the other non-traction stuff on a hefty conventional 12V battery. Which lasts well beyond the traction battery range.

                  Unless your Kangoo has a separate engine and alternator to charge the "conventional 12V battery" where the hell do you think it gets charged from? They use an isolated system because the traction gear runs at a different voltage but the power ultimately does come via the traction battery.

                  1. Stoneshop Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

                    Unless your Kangoo has a separate engine and alternator to charge the "conventional 12V battery" where the hell do you think it gets charged from?

                    The charge socket, where else? A fully charged 12V 70Ah battery can run the lights, wipers, ventilation, instruments and radio much longer than the traction battery can run the engine. And every time you hook up the car to a charger, the 12V battery gets charged too. Simple.

            2. CountCadaver Bronze badge

              Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

              My cellphone lasted about 10 minutes at minus 25C, ended up having to shift it to an inside pocket on my jacket to let the battery warm up.....

              and that was a Lithium Ion battery.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Boffin

        In units that I can understand: that is 435 miles.

        Say what?

        5062.006 Brontosauruses.

      3. Spanners Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

        units that I can understand

        You must be older than me then. I have to either use mental arithmetic or a phone app to "get the feel" of miles/feet/inches and the rest of the imperial system.

        Mind you, imperial weights and volumes are even more incomprehensible.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

      >"from a single full battery charge"

      I think we are going to see much more of this misleading phrase, as vendors adjust battery capacity to fit a price point or to grab a headline:

      Mercedes-Benz:350kW of "charging system" aka batteries to deliver 700km

      Telsa Model S: 100kW of batteries to deliver 595km

      It is clear the Tesla is the more efficient vehicle being capable of delivering 5.95km per kW, compared to the MB 2km per kW.

      1. JassMan Silver badge

        Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

        @Roland6

        I think you are confusing power and energy. the 350kW is the max charge rate. Like the Tesla, the Merc has a 100kWh battery. Since it does and extra 100km ish, that makes the Merc more efficient.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

          Since it does and extra 100km ish, that makes the Merc more efficient.

          Question that springs out for me is 'how?', ie how have Mercedes made their EV so much more efficient than Tesla. The answer I suspect is engineering vs hype.

          1. handle with cane

            Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

            My guess: less aero drag, i.e. the Merc doesn't look like the result of a brick having sex with a pair of trainers.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: can squeeze 700km from a single full battery charge

          @JassMan - I think you are confusing power and energy.

          Actually, probably more accurate to say totally confused as in my (admittedly brief) web search neither were really up front about their battery details. I think this is going to be one area which will need some form of government driven internation standard, so buyers can compare apples with apples.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    to project graphics onto the road surface ahead

    read: ads

    1. Bendacious

      Re: to project graphics onto the road surface ahead

      I have many times wanted to message other drivers on the road (beyond sign language). Every time I think about it I quickly realise what a terrible idea it would be. The message I want to display most is the question "who are you overtaking?" to cars sat in the middle lane. If a car has the ability to project images onto the road how long will it be until it is 'upgraded' by a driver to display custom messages. I would say 'this won't end well' but I can't see it ever being legal, at least in the UK.

      1. Adair

        Re: to project graphics onto the road surface ahead

        I agree about the angst caused by middle-lane zombies.

        But just to balance the angst with the reality that not infrequently hanging out in the middle lane is a lot less stressful than trying to inhabit the 'slow lane' whilst constantly dodging artics, drivers incapable of reaching the 70mph limit and slip lane dragsters aiming for tiny gaps.

        Truly, it's hell out there, which ever is your preferred lane.

  6. Roopee
    Unhappy

    Shame it's so ugly.

    As an aside, I'm looking forward to the council installing kerb-side sockets outside all the local terraced houses so we ordinary people can charge our electric cars without trailing extension leads across the pavement. Like that's going to happen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More likely double yellow lines around all residential streets to force people to either have a drive or better (for the council) to have to use their metered car parks...

  7. c1ue

    So $40,000 to $75,000 in batteries, plus EU0.30 per kwh = 30 euro per charge up vs. 1.40 euro per liter for gasoline.

    Not at all clear that this is a win - even at German gasoline prices.

    Average german fleet mileage is 13 km per liter, so 700 km reach = 75.4 euro in gasoline vs. 30 euro per charge plus the capital and interest costs of 36K to 67K euro in batteries.

    Yep, definitely luxury.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Don't be siily! That's entry level, not luxury!

      (Says the guy who gets around town in a stretched, chauffeur driven Mercedes Limo, and hasn't actually driven a car on the roads since roughly 1995).

  8. Dig

    No Need to Panic

    Are you assuming everyone would need a complete fill up every day at 350GW chargers.

    Average mileage per car per year is about 7500miles or 12000km. this is only 32Km/day. The car mentioned can do this in approx 100/700*32 or 4.5KWh a more realistic gold id.3 will do this in 8KWh. 23million registered cars = 184GWh per day, a lot of these will be overnight so assuming it averages at a 8 hour charge this will mean a maximum of 23GW/hr is required, this is quite easily achieved on the grid at the moment, and considering they will have 10-20 years before this capacity is fully reached and during that time the BMW type of efficiency may be achieved along with reductions in other energy usage, this should be easy. Of course there will be HGVs as well being replaced needing a bit more but my guess would be a lot of people would start installing solar PV with local battery storage which would reduce the load required on the grid.

    1. Justthefacts

      Re: No Need to Panic

      No, you’ve missed the hidden assumption, in the phrase “a lot of these will be overnight”

      It’s *possible* to make it work, but it will be an epic ClusterFK unless someone actually manages the technology correctly.

      “Overnight” is not how plugging something into a socket works today. Most of the population gets home at (roughly) clocking off time, and will plug their car in when they get home for “overnight topup”. But the plug doesn’t *know*. The entire topup would happen within 10 minutes after they get home, at 350kW per car, pretty much synchronously across the country. Immediate catastrophic blackout.

      The way to manage this, is simply to limit the *average domestic* charging to 10kW, so it automatically spreads the load overnight. And coincidentally doesn’t require change to the domestic infrastructure.

      It’s fine to have a fast-charge plug, but it has to be priced at premium if not punitive levels to prevent people lazily using it as the typical case.

      1. chr0m4t1c

        Re: No Need to Panic

        Overnight is exactly how plugging something into a socket can work today. Most EV/plug in hybrids can be set to only charge at set times *and* in some cases that can be combined with GPS location - so, for example, you can make sure the vehicle only charges overnight when at home, but can charge any time it's plugged in when away from home.

        My washing machine and dishwasher have timers, I set them to run overnight on cheap electricity so they finish about the time I get up.

        You could even offer people especially cheap power at staggered times to encourage them to set stuff up properly, rather than your solution of overcharging them to behave.

        Some problems are not impossible to solve, including the one that figuring out that the 350kW charging system in the article is not likely to be a domestic system - in the same way that the Tesla 120kW chargers aren't.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: No Need to Panic

          >My washing machine and dishwasher have timers, I set them to run overnight on cheap electricity so they finish about the time I get up.

          Unless you are running a laundrette and/or have other high use electrical applicances running (eg. stoage heaters, hot water tank), I suspect your annual electricity bill is larger than if you used the standard tariff.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Need to Panic

        10Kw at every home would take out the grid, its only built to handle something like houses using 30% of max load...substations kick out 3 phase, and at street level houses are connected to different phases, hence why in some streets losing a phase takes out every 3rd house and in others it would take out every 3rd row.

        Substation fuses are 400 or 600Amps per phase, large area covered by the substation could have it covering 400-600 homes easily...so something like 30amps per home sustained loading...

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: No Need to Panic

      "Average mileage per car per year is about 7500miles or 12000km. this is only 32Km/day."

      Is it? Last time I looked a few year ago, The AA were quoting 11,000 miles per year as an average. But in this case, we are not talking about an average across the population because we are nor including the low mileage run-about-town cars used for the school run and shopping. We only talking about very high end, high capacity luxury cars. The average users annual mileage could be very different, either up or down.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: No Need to Panic

        Is it the average mileage per car with so many multi car households, the mileage per driver can be a higher figure of it is spread across more than one car. Mine certainly is.

        Department for Transport gives the mileage per year figure. Not sure the AA can claim to be any authority on these things.

  9. Maltese Phil

    You can buy an 18 year old S class for around £2k these days. In 18 years time will the LED lights and touchscreens still work on these EQS?

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Don't see why not, a guy near me as a 2003 Jaguar XJ with touch screen in the dashboard that still works and LED tail lights that still work.

      Do touch screens and LED lights fail sometimes? Yep, but I don't see how that's significantly different from incandescent lights or mechanical switches to be honest.

      In fact, if they don't fail in the first five years (suggesting a build defect), then I'd expect them to be more reliable.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Do touch screens and LED lights fail sometimes? Yep, but I don't see how that's significantly different from incandescent lights or mechanical switches to be honest."

        Other than the cost of replacement and the hope that essential display indicators are not part of it so you can at least still drive the car.

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Touch screens in cars have *never* worked. They're an ergonomic disaster...

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Touch screens in cars have *never* worked. They're an ergonomic disaster...

        I would definitely agree with this. There is no way that repeatedly poking a piece of glass with a finger tip to change heating temp or audio volume is even close to a quick twist of a rotary knob.

      2. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

        They're an ergonomic disaster...

        ...but for the manufacturers, an economic miracle.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "a driver could project the arrows and so on in front of the car"

    Just what we need, encumbering the roads with projected images. What could possibly go wrong ?

    What's wrong with heads-up display ? Why do we have to absolutely bother everyone around with our little problems ?

    I blame Twitter.

    1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

      Re: "a driver could project the arrows and so on in front of the car"

      and it'll all be legal as its a "characteristic of the vehicle as intended by the manufacturer"

  11. itzman

    100kWh?

    Ok, I'll buy that. That's about what - 10 litres of diesel? 2.19 gallons?

    700km? That's around 437.5 miles

    200 miles per gallon equivalent.

    OK even with a power train at 90% instead of 30% efficient that's still pushing 66mpg equivalent.

    Especially lugging that much battery around

    But how long wail a fast charged battery last?

    50 charges?

    Before it's lost half its capacity?

    I really don't see it.

    1. JassMan Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: 100kWh? @itzman

      Are you still living in the last century? Battery technology and its controllers is progressing at a very fast pace now there is an incentive. Power density, kWh/kg and life cycle have improved tremendously in the last 5 years. 200mpg equivalent is easily achievable now. One of the main things petrol heads forget is that every time you accelerate in an IC car, all the energy is lost when you brake. In an EV energy lost in braking is recovered for use in the next acceleration.

      Battery life is now quoted as 8 years minimum and even then, an end of life battery will have 80-85% capacity. You can then reuse the battery rather than recycle the battery in a power standby system for another decade or 2.

  12. Al fazed
    WTF?

    BOLLOXS

    Can someone please discuss how using fucking great batteries makes this dick embiggening fad carbon nuetral ?

    Al fazed

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: BOLLOXS

      Can someone please discuss how using fucking great batteries makes this dick embiggening fad carbon nuetral ?

      I don't think it's about carbon so much as it is about local air quality in congested urban areas.

      Because the vehicle is not blowing out poisonous gas right in the vicinity of lots of human lungs.

      And at the traffic speeds where this is most important, tyre wear is minimal and regenerative brakes are less abrasive so particulates are not part of the problem.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a pointless exercise..

    First off, the full empty-to-80% recharge will need a mother of a supply to make it work for more than one car, or some way of creating a supply buffer.

    Secondly, although electricity is going to be the main energy provider of the future, sticking it in batteries will require better batteries. Lithium has a couple of problems, one of which is that when it starts burning, the fire brigade can do exactly nothing to extinguish it other than dragging it into a container and let it exhaust itself - I was recently informed this could comfortably take two days or more. This potentially means that E-cars could end up being banned from things like Eurotunnel and maybe even underground garages as that sort of long term fire can cause grave structural damage.

    I see more mileage (pardon the fun) in either hydrogen conversion or the electro fuel experiments where they combine gathered CO2 and electricity power into fossil fuel replacements from kerosine to petrol and diesel. It appears Germany is well ahead in that, and it has as main advantage that we already have the infrastructure in place for it. What is still missing is a good supply of power as solar and wind are by no means enough, but that is slowly being solved as well.

    I will not buy an E-car just yet.

    1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

      Re: What a pointless exercise..

      How about a giant wave power install in the Atlantic...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a pointless exercise..

      And Petrol does not just burn, it can explode. That is far more dangerous than a battery fire.

      H2 is a dead duck and has been for years. How much CO2 and Methane is given off making it in the sort of quantites that would be needed to power an entire fleet. Most H2 used these days comes from Oil and Gas so naturally the big Oil companies would love it to be the fuel of choice.

      How does lugging a highly pressurised container of H2 around with you compare to a Lithium battery?

      Those containers really do go boom in a big way.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: What a pointless exercise..

        And Petrol does not just burn, it can explode. That is far more dangerous than a battery fire.

        Yes and no.

        Conventional fires (petrol, wood, natural gas, coal) need oxygen, and the common method of extinguishing such a fire is to starve it of oxygen and/or cooling the fuel to a temperature below its ignition point. Which is old hat for any fire department.

        Battery fires are utterly different, as those are converting the stored energy directly into heat. If you have cells shorting internally you can't stop it, and only cool them (to try prevent the undamaged cells joining in the fun) until the stored energy is exhausted.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Daytongarmin

    Reminds me of Henry Ford

    All this reminds me of a Henry Ford quote, “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do”.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Reminds me of Henry Ford

      and his other quote about the exhaust smoke & smell - ' They'll just blow away in the wind'

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Reminds me of Henry Ford

      That was a century ago. Nowadays, it appears that you can.

  16. Andytug Bronze badge

    My phone already charges intelligently..

    If you plug it in during the day, it knows you want full charge asap and goes to 90% in about an hour (then does the last 10% more slowly). For night charge it learns from (presumably) your alarm settings and your activity, and charges much more slowly, targeting 100% for when you get up (I guess this is to help battery longevity/cut heat build up etc). Shouldn't be hard to make an EV do the same based on learning your normal commute/usage patterns.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: My phone already charges intelligently..

      Key difference is the car needs to be available as and when needed (assuming public transport options are unavailable/unsuitable/inadequate etc.).

      If you need to go somewhere urgently and your phone's not charged you can leave behind, or take it with you and charge it in the car.

      Can't really pick up your car and take it with you to charge on the way.

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