back to article Boffins blow hot and cold over li-ion battery that can cut leccy car recharging to '10 mins'

The dream of charging an electric car in just ten minutes can be achieved in the not too distant future, according to a paper published in the journal Joule on Wednesday. “Electric vehicles will only be truly competitive when they can be charged as fast as refilling a gas tank,” the study's abstract notes. “The US Department …

  1. julian_n

    So really when Teslas burst into flames they are really just pre-heating their batteries.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interesting analysis, however Tesla already pre-heat their battery for supercharging and can already do a maximum of 1000 miles of charge an hour (200 mile in 12 minutes). However there are many variables to this, such as the current charge and the desired charge.

      For most trips using the charger in a Tesla isn't an issue, they are fast enough that you either top up for 5~10 minutes a couple of times or stop after driving for 5 hours for a 20~30 minute break for some food and top up then.

      For the vast majority of time charging isn't even thought about as you have a full car waiting every morning at home or at work.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        For an all-electric population of cars that means that every parking space at a motorway service station would have to be able to delver that charging current simultaneously. How?

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
          Flame

          Ssssh! No one's allowed to point out the giant elephant in the room.

          [Torn between '"Flame On" or "Joke Alert", but "Flame On" seems appropriate to the article]

          1. paulf Silver badge
            Alert

            Charge or just swap the batteries?

            I seem to recall the techy books* I had when I was younger pointed to an electric car future but the cars would have exchangeable batteries. Visiting a Petrol charging station would be a five minute affair involving swapping the discharged batteries for freshly charged units. Batteries could then be charged over longer periods from the grid or local wind/solar. Even that long ago they realised charging was the bottleneck and a quicker solution would involve charging the batteries separate from the car. The downside of this is it means batteries supplying traction current (ratings, voltage, potentially capacity, size, shape, mass) would have to be constant across manufacturers.

            There'd also be a change to the way the car owner pays for batteries. I looked at the Nissan Leaf two years ago (I was at risk of having to start driving to work). There were two capacity levels, and either buy outright with a 5 year warranty or lease them. Leasing cost more over 5 years but that's unsurprising with the "Peace of mind" premium. I guess that'd change to some kind of lease from a central "Battery Co" so you lease one set of batteries with your car and it's then up to Battery Co to replace them when they get returned for refuelling.

            It's not clear if this option has been considered and dismissed or not?

            *It was probably some Usborne book or another - I think I had quite a lot of those!

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

              Renault / Nissan tried that in Israel for taxis (I think). Sounds like a great plan until you realise you need sandardised batteries - actually you could even have smaller battery 'cells' with some cars able to fit two or more for longer range - when it becomes obvious that while there are no insurmountable technical problems with standardised batteries, manufacturers have no incentive whatsoever to work together on this. It's bad enough with the charging standards!

              M.

              1. Drew Scriver Bronze badge

                Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                Why do all these options remind me of the old'n days when stage coaches would swap out horses at strategically places way stations?

                Alternatively, travelers could rest their horses overnight so they could recharge...

              2. maffski

                Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                The problem with better place was that standardised battery - it was a weird t-shape that went under and behind the rear seats.

            2. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

              Would it not work the same was as Calor gas cylinders? When you buy the first one, you pay deposit + gas. You take it back for a new one, you pay just the gas. You buy a second, you pay another deposit + gas, you take it back without replacement, you get the deposit back?

              1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
                Joke

                Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                What EV manufacturers need to do is go with the same system used in amusement parks with bumper cars: ditch the battery and rely on a steady current from the overhead power grid. Cars will be lighter, making them more efficient. There will be 0 time spent at filling stations, although this will be offset by the inevitable power outages such a system will be vulnerable to.cars can be centrally routed and controlled, making gridlock and accidents a thing of the past. What could possibly go wrong?

                1. techmind

                  Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                  Like this...?

                  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-50223895/could-electric-roads-spark-a-green-transport-revolution

                  1. paulf Silver badge
                    Alert

                    Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                    Personally I'm not convinced about OLE for road lorries. We get enough problems on the railways when a faulty Pantograph or misaligned contact wire leads to the whole lot being torn down at 125mph and taking a day or more for the whole mangled mess to be reinstated (with full closure to traffic to allow the required track possession). The railway system uses a single pantograph with the rails being used as the neutral return whereas the linked story video shows two separate pantographs on the lorry - presumably one live and one neutral - to account for the return path. That makes it even more prone to failure. There's a very good reason why the railways use a single phase supply!

                    Plus the railway is a closed environment so easier to keep people away from the overhead wires. People on roads aren't used to bare electric cables so close to the tarmac and I can see plenty of electrocutions.

                    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                      Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                      Of course, many UK towns used to have trams (some still do) and in particular trolleybuses which run from a pair of overhead cables, rather than a single overhead and a ground return. You can ride on one at the Black Country Museum. Very quiet and comfortable and when you get to the other end you can buy chips cooked in beef dripping*. Tasty.

                      Maybe a hybrid solution is called for? Run on conventional Diesel or Diesel-electric hybrid power when on a motorway, but switch to overhead electric where available, for example in city centres. Slower speeds, less chance of falling off and if it does fall off there's the battery or Diesel engine to get the lorry back into position. I bet you could even build a self-locating wheeled pantograph these days - like on the old trams - rather than relying on a large contact zone.

                      M.

                      *Not sure who was the first, but several museums now seem to offer "old fashioned" fish and chips. Blists Hill has a fryer, St. Fagans has recently opened one too and I've no doubt there are many more. Lincolnshire even has a non-museum chip shop still using a coal-fired range.

                      Almost seems like an excuse for a chip-shop-crawl :-)

                      1. Alterhase

                        Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                        The San Francisco Municipal Transit ("Muni") still uses trolley buses (along with trolley cars/trams),

                        Recently they have deployed trolley buses with batteries which allow them to travel off the trolley wires, enabling them to route around problems (accidents, etc.) and to serve some areas without having to install the overhead wires.

                        (With regard to having high voltage trolley wires overhead, I have never heard of complaints or particular problems. But the power distribution system run by the Northern California public utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.....)

                  2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
                    Childcatcher

                    Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                    Like this...?

                    I was thinking more like this:

                    http://www.amcpacer.com/images/archives/mario-bros-3.jpg

                2. paulf Silver badge
                  Joke

                  Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                  It was suggested in Viz some years ago that people owning a Nissan Micra should attach a sparkler to the top of the roof. Since they are usually driven like dodgem cars they might as well look like them too!

                  1. MyffyW Silver badge

                    Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                    The Nissan Micra was much the best dodgem car I ever drove. I rather miss Molly Micra...

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                The problem is that a gas bottle doesn't age with each use. The valves are tested and the bottle is visually inspected for damage, but they're pretty robust and their replacement costs dwarfs the revenue they make.

                Batteries are altogether more complex. As some have pointed out already, it's fine making a battery that charges quicker, but a bit of calculation shows that you'll need an insane power supply to make use of it, and it gets worse if it's more than one vehicle which a general switch to electrics would suggest.

                Call me an outlier, but I'm yet to be convinced that e-cars are the solution they purport to be. I see more benefit in e-fuels where they use captured CO2 and power to re-create fuels that work in normal combustion engines because that does not require new infrastructure and new production processes that in themselves ALSO cost a lot of energy and resources.

                Just my two cents.

                1. IT Poser

                  Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                  You're an outlier.

                  I'm an outlier too. My concern is the natural gas storage that keeps my heat on in winter. The US natural gas storage system stores on the order of 4000 billion cubic feet(~110 billion cubic meters). In theory we could replace this with batteries, but we'll need >1.2 trillion kWh. At current battery prices we are looking at a ~quadrillion(10^15) dollar bill, not including installation. Then there is the cost to upgrade the electrical grid to consider. I'm having a hard time seeing how to afford the infrastructure upgrades.

                  An alternative would be to use the same Victorian era technology SpaceX is planning to use to make rocket fuel on Mars, the Sabatier reaction. This option allows us to continue using the existing natural gas storage, transmission, and distribution system, thereby allowing carbon neutral heating without spending that quadrillion+ dollars in infrastructure upgrades. Sure, the Sabatier reaction is lossy. With solar installations running at about $1/W a quadrillion dollars could theoretically buy enough solar panels to generate the electricity needed to completely fill US natural gas storage in roughly three hours. More realistically, the US is looking at costs on the order of $2 trillion to make our natural gas storage carbon neutral.

                  Returning to topic, methanol could be used for transportation and can also be produced by combining hydrogen and carbon dioxide in the presence of a catalyst. I'd have to do a lot of homework before I could run numbers, but I wouldn't be surprised if methanol fueled ICEs are a cheaper way to make transportation carbon neutral.

              3. Jon 37

                Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                Calor gas cylinders are standardised shapes. Car batteries can be made into weird shapes to fit perfectly in the space the car designer has available, but that makes them different for each car.

                A standardised, changeable battery is certainly possible, but would require compromises from the car manufacturers.

                And robot battery-changers are certainly possible, Tesla has a video of a carefully stage-managed demo of one, changing the battery in a modified version of one of their cars. The video is probably on YouTube somewhere. You can see the weird battery shape in the video. While an interesting demo, AFAIK Tesla haven't announced any plans to take the idea any further.

              4. SImon Hobson Silver badge

                Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                Would it not work the same was as Calor gas cylinders?

                Well yes and no. Yes, as in you could drive into any place doing "Sparky Batts" batteries and change it. But what if your local doesn't do Sparky Batts, just MacBatts, or ...

                That is already an issue for gas cylinder users. On the plus side, it means there is a choice of gas cylinder suppliers which means competition. On the downside, it means either renting a cylinder from more than one supplier, or only using one supplier for your gas.

            3. RLWatkins

              Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

              There are hundreds of pounds of batteries in a typical electric car, up to about a half-ton. One would need something like a forklift to make the swap. That said, I guess it could be done if they were a standard size and shape.

              1. Is It Me Bronze badge

                Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                The books referenced by the poster above always had the cars drive over a pit, with the batteries lowered out and then replaced from below.

                They might even have been on a conveyor belt with robotic arms doing the work

                1. paulf Silver badge
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                  You are right @Is It Me. I guess you had the same book? The big futuristic drawing in the book showed a variety of robotic machinery to push the old battery out and the new one in, while a conveyor was used to move freshly charged batteries into place underneath the forecourt. The Charging area was also underground to make efficient use of space. There certainly wasn't any intention for the swap to be done by some old guy with overalls and an oily rag!

                  Clearly the design of the car and the refuelling station would be specified to make the swap as quick and durable as possible to allow for car drivers that won't stop in exactly the right place. For something written in the 1980s it was, as I recall, a pretty well thought through solution even if the technology back then wasn't necessarily up to electric vehicles more powerful than a Milk Floats.

                  1. werdsmith Silver badge

                    Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                    The batteries in electric cars are built into the floors to lower the centre of gravity and to attempt to not intrude on interior space. So it would mean a very different design to a allow swap.

                    The solution to stranded cars without batteries is a charger battery on recovery vans, or a plug in unit that can go in the boot and give 20 miles or so.

            4. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Meh

              Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

              I think I'd rather use that "liquid energy" that I can fill my tank with in about 2 minutes.

              Electric cars won't be practical until they're all using FUEL CELLS. And storing fuel cell compatible fuels in a car [and re-filling the tank in 2 minutes] is still a long way off...

              When "Progress" causes you to GO BACKWARDS with respect to quality, convenience, or usefulness, it's *NOT* *PROGRESS*.

              (Right Microsoft? I'm talking about WIn-10-nic, and pointing a big fat finger at YOU)

              1. hmv Bronze badge

                Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                On the other hand if you accept that it isn't all about "me, me, and me" then you'll find yourself a better person.

                1. RyokuMas Silver badge
                  Stop

                  Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                  @hmv: personally, I can't make up my mind whether this a 5-year-old-child ("me, me, me") post, or just an excuse for a context switch in order to make the oh-so-banal anti-Microsoft comments we have come to expect.

                  I don't even bother with downvoting these days - although I'm a bit more liberal with the "report post" link, since attempting meaningful debate with someone who knee-jerk labels anyone with an opposed view as a "howler monkey" is always going to be a waste of heartbeats...

              2. Fred Goldstein

                Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

                Most fuel cell car efforts have been a feint -- doing something for show that you know won't succeed but which distracts from the real issue.

                Fuel cells generally require a supply of unbound hydrogen (H2). That's devilishly hard to store, since its atoms are so small. And it doesn't exist in nature, as it quickly oxidizes into water. So the supply of hydrogen at those few fuel-cell charging stations is generally natural gas, which can, with the application of heat (i.e., energy), be broken down into hydrogen and carbon. But it's much more efficient overall to just burn the damned natural gas as a fuel. As many buses here in Boston do (much cleaner than diesel).

                Fuel cell hydrogen can also be generated via reformers, but those too take heat, and thus waste energy. So no practical reformer fuel cell vehicles have shown up. Reformers are however used in some static fuel cells, like in the telecom outside plant, where natural gas pipeline fuel is available.

            5. Gonzo wizard
              FAIL

              Re: Charge or just swap the batteries?

              Teslas were all built in a way that allows the battery to be swapped. At one point in 2013 there was even a demo and announcement about an initial roll-out in the US where you'd be able to pull in and the battery would be swapped for a full one.

              However the whole thing was shelved in 2016 in favour of rolling out more fast chargers. It can be done, it has been demonstrated, but I'm not sure if more recently built examples still support the concept.

          2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Mushroom

            The other behemoth is the local grid capacity - what happens when the demand for (overnight) vehicle charging at home outstrips the capacity of the substation to deliver that power to the area it serves?

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              The Utility COmpanie are aware of this and building it into planning.

              1. Gonzo wizard

                Never mind the grid, what about the source?

                Our power station construction program isn't increasing in capacity, though. Capacity is actually reducing in the long term at the moment as older coal and gas stations are being retired.

                Electric drive has to be the way ahead - we can't keep burning fossil fuels without killing the planet, supply is limited, and is a major cause of political instability.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: Never mind the grid, what about the source?

                  Not it doesn't. Just MAKE some. Then you don't have to worry so much about fuels running out.

        2. stiine Silver badge

          re: how

          Very, very large wires connected to the grid, just like you'd find at a medium-sized manufacturing facility.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Does every car at a service station stop for fuel on the way out?

          Not every car will need to charge at every service station but I would also expect a big increase in chargers there.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            But the SOP being recommended for EVs on long journeys is that the stops we'd now make in the middle of a long journey would become recharging stops. That implies that the vast majority of drivers pulling into a motorway service station will not just expect but need to find a charger where they park capable of fully charging the car in the space of 20 or 30 minutes. Given the prices motorway service stations charge for petrol when most of the time most drivers manage to avoid filling up there I dread to think what prices they'll put on power.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Costs?

              Are the service areas going to start charging over-the-odds for a recharge once they have a captive market?

              Filling up with fuel at a service area is currently up to 25% more than else where. At the moment, I can fill up before a long journey and not have to pay this "premium".

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "I would expect the cars to be self-driving by then."

                Won't happen in our lifetime, if ever. Insurance companies *need* to have someone who pays the crashes and state *has to have* someone to steal money from, claiming they are "endangering" someone by driving some random speed over the as random speed limit.

                Self driving cars fly against both of those money generating schemes and thus won't be legal in a long time: Money is the most important thing.

                1. Fonant

                  Also: politics and ethics.

                  How many people are we happy to accept being killed each day by autonomous cars?

                  Given a choice, which type of person would we prefer to kill: those in the autonomous car, or people not in it?

                  Given the answers to those political decisions, how risk-averse do autonomous cars have to be, and how "timid" will they be in traffic?

                  [Ignore the political decisions about who is responsible for the software, software updates, etc.]

                  1. werdsmith Silver badge

                    How many people are we happy to accept being killed each day by autonomous cars?

                    Less than are currently killed by cars driven by humans and a number that will decline year on year.

                    Given the standard of driving we already have, that should be easily achievable.

                  2. Wicked Witch

                    I would expect future self-driving cars to be very cautious about road rules, just as they are now, because any manufacturer who can be shown to have deliberately programmed a car to break the law is painting a big "sue me" sign on themselves.

                    However, I can also foresee car manufactures and taxi companies lobbying for draconian enforcement of the road rules. That would mean that their cars are not disadvantaged by having to obey the law because so would human drivers and might even make them more cost effective overall, but it would also be something the cyclist and pedestrian lobby groups have been wanting for years so at least the business lobbying would do some good.

                2. Cav

                  A ridiculous comment. Speeding kills far more than violent crime. Punishing morons is not stealing from them.

              2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

                "Therefore I can use my map app to set my start point and end point"

                I can do that right now in my 40 year old shitbox. It doesn't require self driving capability. Just me paying attention to the little voice.

                The whole 'self driving' agenda is separate from electric cars, charging/re-fueling and related issues. It does seem to be closely attached to the shared car movement. And that opens up a whole other batch of issues. If I am willing to pay a premium for comfort, I might purchase an electric, self driving Bentley. But I'll be damned if I'm expected to put it in a loaner pool so some homeless bum can borrow it to make a liquor store run.

                1. Wicked Witch

                  By cutting the price of taxis self-driving taxis would increase the area where a car isn't worth owning for those occasional trips to the country or awkward tangential journeys around the city. Given the high labour cost of a taxi (minicab, etc.) if you need a car for an hour or two each week its likely to be cost effective, and then once you have a car the marginal cost of use for local journeys is relatively low, so you'll probably see car ownership collapse across Zone 3 and corresponding areas of other cities. (On the downside, it will make long-distance car commuting less unpleasant and so increase the rate of sprawl across rural areas.)

                  I think the reason people conflate self-driving with taxis that don't want to be regulated shared cars is their much higher capital cost, so they'll be much more common in taxis than personal vehicles for many years. The idea that individual buyers will own cars and add them to the pool is probably just Uber et al fantasising about not having to pay for drivers or fleet maintenance, but people have been mugs enough to lose money driving their own car in person for decades (before Uber, pizza delivery was the preferred way to wreck your car for someone else's profit) and it's quite possible that they'll continue to do so.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Not cheap.

              Here in North we already have examples of that: Public charging stations charge 10* what you pay for your housenhold electricity making whole idea of "cheap motoring" moot: Not cheap when it's priced at same level as gas and the car itself costs 3* of what non-electric car.

              And devalues to ~zero in 10 years when battery is used up. Doesn't really make any economic sense. At least here.

              1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

                Re: Not cheap.

                We have a BPChargemaster rapid charger (50kW) at our village shop in Wales. Subscribers (£8? month) pay about 10p per kWh, less than at home. Casual use is about 20-25p I think.

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: Not cheap.

                  Westgate Oxford car park has 50 charging spaces and they are free to use. If you can charge in under an hour that is £3.00 for the parking.

          2. katrinab Silver badge
            Coat

            I know which junctions on the motorways I drive on have supermarkets near them, and I use them as service stations. It is much cheaper that way. Yes I usually do fill up with petrol at those supermarkets.

            1. rcxb Bronze badge

              Yes I usually do fill up with petrol at those supermarkets.

              I might recommend filling up with brandy, instead.

        4. phuzz Silver badge

          Current* charging infrastructure seems to be keeping up with the increase in electric cars, so why wouldn't you assume that it's going to continue to do so? It's not like everyone's going to shift to electric cars only overnight, or even over the course of a single year.

          Most likely it'll take decades for electric vehicles to become the majority, and even longer before ICE cars are extinct.

          * pun not intended, but now I've noticed it I'm keeping it

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            > why wouldn't you assume that it's going to continue to do so?

            Because of the increasing difficulty (and thus cost).

            The first 5% was easy and (relatively) cheap to equip, from there it goes uphill, and becomes steeper and steeper: Putting an outlet on every mall parking spot (for instance) will be too big an investment (installation, energy capacity, etc.) and will probably never happen. Or they will start billing the parking time in hope to recoup their huge investment in the usual 2 years time (meaning it will be cheaper to go shopping in a private helicopter...).

            1. jmch Silver badge

              "Putting an outlet on every mall parking spot (for instance) will be too big an investment... "

              Why do you need that? If, as this article implies, we are on the way to being able to charge electric cars as fast as we can fill half an ICE car tank, you just need petrol stations to gradually switch from fuel pumps to charging points as electric cars increase and ICE ones decrease.

              Electric car charging points every which where are a symptom of current electric cars' short range and long charging times. If they evolve to longer range and shorter charging times you wouldn't need any of those.

              1. katrinab Silver badge

                UK petrol pumps push out 50 litres per minute which means that most people spend less than a minute at the pump actually pumping fuel. Obviously it takes longer once you add all the other things you have to do.

                1 litre of petrol is equivalent to 10kWh. So that means the petrol pump is equivalent to a 30MW supply. That is the same capacity as 10,000 UK domestic 13A plugs. That plug requires a conductor size of 1.25mm². Multiply that by 10,000 and do the maths to get diameter, you need a cable of 12.6cm thickness to carry that amount of current. Or, you will need a much higher voltage with a corresponding increase in insulation thickness.

                Does this sound in any way feasible?

                1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

                  Does everyone have a dead battery at the same time? Not likely. You could allocate a reasonable amount of power to the parking lot and people can find someplace else to go if the charge rate is too slow. Some charging parking lots are covered with solar panels to help out.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    "Does everyone have a dead battery at the same time? Not likely."

                    Much more often than cars equipped with petrol tanks. And still there's a queue at petrol station.

                    Despite the re-fuelling taking *much* shorter time than electric car.

                    "Some charging parking lots are covered with solar panels to help out."

                    Yea. 600kW to charge *one* car for 200 miles in 10 minutes ...totally wrong scale when parking lot size panel would give 6kW. Oh, it can do it, it just takes 100 hours. Or 4 days, assuming 24h charging, >8 days would be more realistic.

                    Nice if you don't need to drive 200 miles more often than twice a month. And sun shines all the time.

                    1. werdsmith Silver badge

                      I've never queued at a petrol station in the UK.

                      1. null void

                        I have queued for petrol/diesel many times and seen many people bail out rather than wait for long. Tesco near Costco in Milton Keynes on a Friday night was awful.

                2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

                  13A requires 2.5mm2. You're looking at a charging cable with a diameter in the region of two feet, with a bending radius of about a furlong.

                  1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                    Not that it really matters and I'm not a spark, but 13A only requires 1mm.

                    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

                      Depends how it's installed. Assuming "standard" installation:

                      13A ring main requires 30A protection -> 2.5mm2

                      13A radial - single circuit from fuse board - requires 15A protection -> 1.5mm2

                      13A flex from plug to appliance fused at plug - from memory that could be 1.0mm2, but i'm rarely installing a new flex on a portable appliance, always using the existing flex, or replacing the manufacturer-supplied flex with a replacement manufacturer-supplied flex.

                      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

                        Yep, checking my On-Site Guide, 1.0mm2 will carry 15A if "clipped direct", ie pinned directly to the surface of the wall, never running under floors or buried in plaster. "In free air" which is what a flex essentially is is essentially the same as "clipped direct", so a 13A flex to a portable appliance can be 1.0mm2, though I would prefer to de-rate it due to its structure undergoing flexation in use, and go back up to 1.5mm2 anyway.

                3. /dev/null

                  "1 litre of petrol is equivalent to 10kWh. So that means the petrol pump is equivalent to a 30MW supply. That is the same capacity as 10,000 UK domestic 13A plugs."

                  It's interesting to compare the effective energy transfer rate of petrol pumps with EV chargers, but it has to be remembered that electric motors are maybe around 3 times more efficient than ICEs, so that has to be factored in too.

                  Of course the inefficiency of an ICE comes in very handy in the middle of winter where a continuous blast of "free" hot air out of the dashboard as you drive can be very welcome...

                4. jmch Silver badge

                  "petrol pumps push out 50 litres per minute which means that most people spend less than a minute at the pump actually pumping fuel. Obviously it takes longer once you add all the other things you have to do."

                  Fair enough. I was lumping in the "other things" and estimating 5-10 minutes for filling the tank. 5 minutes for a full electric charge of a pretty huge battery eg 100kWh Tesla S would be 1.2MW. 10 minutes would require 600kW (current Tesla supercharger IIRC 250kW) , which following your figures would require 250mm2 conductor, = 9mm radius. That's still a pretty hefty cable but not that much compared to petrol hose diameter. There will be charging losses, but it's also unlikely to be charging from a fully empty battery, so order-of-magnitude shouldn't be impossible.

                  100kWh is comfortably good enough for 500-600km, so 10 minutes stop to fully charge that is not unreasonable wait at a motorway stop. Even if petrol cars fuel at twice the speed (5 min instead of 10), having double the amount of chargers (eg about 20 charging points per charging station) is feasible. So you would need 12MW for the whole station rather than 20MW for a single charge point

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "we are on the way to being able to charge electric cars as fast as we can fill half an ICE car tank,"

                Read it again: It doesn't mention anything at all where the electricity is coming from.

                Some facts: Electric car would use at least 60kWh for travelling 200 miles. Putting that into battery in 10 minutes means 600kW. You can't circumvent physics.

                Now, you realize that 600kW is an amount for a medium sized factory and then you should wonder that how do you transport that to *any* spot for *one* car?

                Even less to a "charging station" which can charge 20 cars at the same time.

                1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

                  "You can't circumvent physics"

                  Though it appears you can circumvent mathematics.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  The same way we transfer massively more energy to cities on the grid. You can't circumvent physics but physics offers lots of way to cheat - like high voltage transmission.

                3. jmch Silver badge

                  "Electric car would use at least 60kWh for travelling 200 miles"

                  Actually, 15kWh/100 km is typical (see link below). So about 24kWh for 200 miles

                  https://pushevs.com/2017/05/23/electric-car-range-efficiency-table-nedc/

                  But yes, you're looking at charging a battery by about 90kWh to give a range of about 600km (approx equivalent of a full petrol tank), and that DOES require 600kW for a 10-minute charge, so of course there are some infrastructure challenges

            2. Cav

              We'll never get petrol\gas stations set up every mile... Oh wait, we did.

              I remember reading, decades ago, that flat screen monitors would be impossible. Ditto video phone calls. "We'll never be able to compress the signal enough." and yet we did.

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            The infrastructure is impossible

            How are you going to get oil out of rocks a mile under the north sea, transport it to land, refine it and then deliver massive quantities of highly flammable liquid to the center of London and then have the average consumer/moron safely pour it into a car.

            The idea of widespread internal combustion engine use is a silly pipedream - it will never replace the horse!

            1. katrinab Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: The infrastructure is impossible

              Or, more accurately, it will never replace the steam engine or electric car.

              But it did.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The infrastructure is impossible

              Easily. It's a bulk product which doesn' cost *anything at all* at the source.

              It's always relatively easy to sell *free stuff* with profit.

              Anything is possible when there's huge amount of profit in it and there's no competition. Electric cars in widespread use would mean rebuilding every electric grid component from the scratch.

              Who do you think is going to pay that? Definitely not the electric company. Actually the reverse, they'll make at least 100% profit of said rebuild. *And* reduce maintenance cost as everything will be new.

              That's literally what is happening here in North, now. Electric "transfer fee" rises 20% year because "grid renovation because of electric cars".

              80% rise of what those were 10 years ago with no actual reason at all.

              1. null void

                Re: The infrastructure is impossible

                Big electricity demand 4-7pm (or similar). Surge prices and grid under high load. Midnight to 4am, sometimes plunge prices (negative - the suppliers pay users).

                An answer is to have electric storage (domestic/commercial) and cars/lorries/buses charge during the electricity gluts - possibly at a profit with potential to sell back at a profit during peak hours (article in metro/evening standard or other free rag mentioned £400+ per year). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle-to-grid - "A 2015 report on potential earnings associated with V2G found that with proper regulatory support, vehicle owners could earn $454, $394, and $318 per year depending on whether their average daily drive was 32, 64, or 97 km (20, 40, or 60 miles), respectively."

                Plus Japan is encouraging Vehicle to Grid to help after natural disasters. Japanese car manufacturers are pursuing (IMO) the daft idea of fuel cell driven electric-drive vehicles - but this article talks about a 2 cent per KWH difference generating $5000 per year - https://www.fleetcarma.com/electric-vehicles-relief-japans-grid/

                90-95% of all electric vehicle charging is done at home. Roughly £9 for 300 miles for me (bad case would be 200 miles in exceptional weather). Worst case for electric is a series of short winter stop-start journeys or autobahn speeds. First is bad because heating the car repeatedly is a waste. Second is bad as drag increases (squared?) at speed. Best cases would be Solar / powerwall or economy 7 (£3?).

                I've just computed my real world cost for 1100 miles of spectacularly sub-optimal EV driving. A few long drives in torrential rain (harder to push out of the way) loaded up with people and kit and most journeys of just 3 miles to/from train station with pre-heating of car (from phone app) so it's demisted, toasty and even on one morning defrosted. So more energy spent on heating than driving probably. Roughly £75 - 6.82 pence per mile.

                https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-powerwall-owners-pge-outage-gas-shortage/

                "Only a few gas stations remain operational in CA amid the power outage, resulting in long lines of vehicles as owners attempt to acquire fuel. Ali Alezzani, a manager of an Exxon station on San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito, noted to the Chronicle that tensions are currently so high, some gas car owners almost got into fights while they were waiting for their turn at the pump. Videos taken of gas stations across the state hint at extremely long wait times as large numbers of car owners line up for a chance to acquire fuel.

                ...

                Amidst the chaos surrounding the state, Tesla owners who purchased a Powerwall 2 battery with rooftop solar systems have reported that they are barely feeling the effects of the ongoing outage. Mark Flocco, a homeowner who acquired two Powerwalls for his home, noted in a Twitter post that his battery units have been powering his house with no issues since the outages started.

                ...

                While Tesla owners with residential battery systems and solar panels are practically immune to the effects of PG&E’s widespread shutdown, CEO Elon Musk has pledged to improve the company’s Supercharger Network by installing Powerpack batteries within the next few weeks. Musk also mentioned that solar panels will be added to its Superchargers as fast as possible, in order to acquire clean, 24/7 power. "

                In short, electric vehicle and static storage can help with the grid (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_energy_storage#Examples).

                This is why all OLEC grants for electric vehicle charging require smart 'chargers' (EVSEs). The high-power 400V chargers at service stations (rarely used by electric car drivers except for long journeys with no destination charging) only need some electric storage to even out demand from peak and could easily generate money from plunge / peak pricing.

                https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2019/Sep/IRENA_EV_smart_charging_2019.pdf

                " 5.6 million EVs on the world’s roads as of the

                beginning of 2019

                ➜ 5.2 million EV chargers in 2018

                (540 000 publicly available)

                ➜ Smart charging of EVs can significantly

                reduce the peak load and avoid grid

                reinforcements, at a cost of 10% of the total

                cost of reinforcing the grid"

            3. Dal90

              Re: The infrastructure is impossible

              ...developed over decades in a time with much fewer regulations.

              We couldn't rebuild a couple buildings in Manhattan in 10 years.

              When I hear the "Green New Deal" and "We only have 10 years to do this to prevent catastrophic consequences" the only rational answer is, "Better start planning the infrastructure to deal with those consequences."

              So you want to greatly expand the capacity of the electrical grid? Great. Electricians and linemen take about five years from the time they enter school until they reach the level of Journeyman where they are considered to be experienced enough to exercise independent judgement and work without immediate supervision.

              Can it be done? Yes. Can it be done quickly? No.

              1. null void

                Re: The infrastructure is impossible

                Powerwalls (plunge>peak) and ideally solar/wind.

          3. katrinab Silver badge

            Electric cars were invented in 1828, so "centuries" might be a better unit of measurement than "decades".

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Current* charging infrastructure seems to be keeping up with the increase in electric cars,"

            Because it is using the reserves built in to infra. No other reason.

            Once the reserves are used up, or there comes a consumption peak, whole infra comes crashing down. That point means it's getting very, very expensive as *everything* needs to be rebuilt from power station(s) to your house/building feed from the local station.

            And of course electric companies aren't paying a penny of it, it all goes to consumers as much higher cost.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "And of course electric companies aren't paying a penny of it, it all goes to consumers as much higher cost."

              Hmm, can anyone tell me where electric companies get their money from?

              Oh yes, it'll be their customers, like pretty much every other business on the planet.

              Where else do you expect their money to come from?

              As to the "higher cost", if you do a little research into how the UK infrastructure at a transmission and distribution level is funded then you'll probably find out how wrong you are.

        5. jmch Silver badge

          "For an all-electric population of cars that means that every parking space at a motorway service station would have to be able to delver that charging current simultaneously"

          What, you mean just like when we had an all-hydrocarbon population of cars every parking space at a motorway service station had a fuel pump?

          If (and I know it's a fairly large 'if') electric car batteries can really be charged at a similair rate to how fast an ICE car can be topped up with fuel, I would expect that a motorway charging station for an all-electric car population would need the same number of charging bays as they now have fuel pumps, ie about a dozen.

          Realistically, even with super-fast charging I still think a full charge (ie 500+ kms worth) would take around double what it takes to fill a tank. But then again, currently no-one has a drip-feed fuel pump at home they can fill their tank with overnight either. So anything from 12-20 super-fast chargers per charging station should be plenty. Certainly much much less than "every parking space"

        6. katrinab Silver badge
          Alert

          You would need something in the order of 1MW per parking space. That is a lot of electricity.

        7. rcxb Bronze badge

          Most people will charge (slowly) at home the vast majority of the time. That includes most of the people at a service station, who will wait until they get home to pay a lower rate for their charge.

          Even if you put charging stations at every parking space, they don't have to ALL run simultaneously. Cars will charge in 10 minutes while people remain parked for 30+ minutes while eating, shopping. Some spaces will be empty. It may be less than 10% of the spaces charging at any time. To deal with congestion, just have some monitoring and a count-down timer showing your car will start charging after a bit.

          Electric utilities will be happy to supply as much power capacity as you are willing to pay for... You might discover a new metal cabinet on your property that hums and stays rather warm, but there's no major technical hurdle there. Since the service station will make a profit on each car being charged, everyone should be perfectly happy with the arrangement.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Better to buy electric company shares, now

            "Most people will charge (slowly) at home the vast majority of the time. That includes most of the people at a service station, who will wait until they get home to pay a lower rate for their charge."

            Irrelevant as those people do not count any more than people who do not buy gas from gas station.

            Reality still is you need several hundred kilowatts *per car* to charge any significant amount of electricity in reasonable time. So having "only" 10 charging points would need several megawatts as input. That's major factory size of consumption.

            Multiplied by amount of charging stations around country. One major nuclear plant is about 2000MW, it could power about 1000 charging stations.

            How many service stations we have now? Divide that by 1000 and you get the amount of *new* nuclear plants needed to power them all.

            1. rcxb Bronze badge

              Re: Better to buy electric company shares, now

              Irrelevant as those people do not count any more than people who do not buy gas from gas station.

              Bollocks. People with petrol cars can't fill-up at home. Service stations will just simply go away.

              Refuelling your vehicle away from home will happen in the parking spaces at restaurants and shops, as electricity isn't as dangerous or need expensive, special equipment.

              But mostly it'll happen at home, overnight, while you otherwise would be using almost no electricity otherwise, so there may be no need to upgrade the electric infrastructure at all in many areas.

          2. Mike 137 Bronze badge

            "Most people will charge (slowly) at home the vast majority of the time"

            Most people with cars actually don't have their own drive. Over half the cars in the UK are parked on public roads, and in the majority of those cases they don't have access to designated parking spaces. Only those who can afford a house with a garage or drive thus have reliable access to a charging point over night.

            So once again, only the rich get to be considered - the poor can do without their own transport. Although we do indeed have to reduce pollution, the assumptions that underpin electric vehicle ownership (and other "green" measures such as charging zones) are yet another instance of the blinkered capitalist mentality. How about reducing the need for the "rush hour" rather just than making personal independence a luxury for the wealthy?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Most people will charge (slowly) at home the vast majority of the time"

              In many locations planning rules also require less than one parking space per property.

        8. DougS Silver badge

          Not EVERY space in a service station

          1) they aren't always full

          2) they could charge more slowly if they are always full

          3) the service station could have a jumbo battery allowing it to buffer power to account for peaks and valleys in usage (and benefit from time based utility pricing)

          If a service station has all bays full 24x7 then they need to pay the utility for the sort of utility feed a factory might need. With that much business, they ought to be able to afford it.

          It isn't like we will convert to electric cars overnight, a big service station with a couple dozen bays might have only one dedicated to electric cars today, four by the middle of next decade, half of them in the early 2030s, and have only one gasoline bay a quarter century from now. Plenty of time to allow for the slow pace of utility upgrades to distribute higher levels of power to service stations. Luckily the biggest ones are typically in areas near substations (because they are in dense areas near major roads which means they're also near industrial areas)

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: Not EVERY space in a service station

            If you are going to upgrade the electricity supply from something that powers the lighs and coffee machines to something that can provide fast charging to hundreds of cars at once; that is not something you do gradually. You are increasing power draw by several orders of magnitude, and you will need to completely rethink how you get electricity into the place. It will change from being a typical business power supply to something similar to what Network Rail and Transport for London have to power their rail networks.

        9. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          How many kilowatts?

          300 miles is about 90kWh, based on current EV technology. 90kWh in 10 mins means delivering 540kWh in an hour.

          That means a 3-phase 400V feed pulling 1350 Amps. It's the equivalent of running 180 3-kW electric fires at a time. Fire one of these up and the lights dim for miles. You'll need a 2-in diameter copper wire to feed it.

          Typical UK home uses about 3000 kWh per year. Switch to a car doing 15,000 miles a year, and you add another 4000+ kWh per year to that. Can our present grid infrastructure handle that? Not in a lot of rural Wales it can't. Sub-stations are already close to maxed out. How many billions to upgrade the grid? When? And who pays?

          Topping up at a motorway services? Okay, there will be fewer people using them than for petrol at present, as we assume they're all full when they leave home. But they'll probably want to plug straight in to their private pylon, or have a small nuke station in the car park.

          This is the elephant! The approach of having everyone use EVs with Li-Ion batteries for long range is not feasible. They're fine for local commuting - max 100 miles a day, charged at home (if you can). But don't try and replicate the current usage pattern.

          1. MyffyW Silver badge

            Re: How many kilowatts?

            Well said @pen-y-gors - that's not just the Hefalump in the room, it's a Pandora's Box full of Woozles.

          2. rcxb Bronze badge

            Re: How many kilowatts?

            How many billions to upgrade the grid? When? And who pays?

            Strangely enough, your electric utility company isn't going to give away the energy to charge your car for free. Those who need the power, are the ones who will pay for it. The extra fees will give the utilities the money to upgrade their infrastructure as long as it's a fairly gradual process. What's more, EVs have excellent usage patterns... i.e. that 4000KWH they consume is mostly going to be late at night while you're sleeping any your home would otherwise be using hardly any power, so often there isn't a need to upgrade the infrastructure, it just gets fully utilized around the clock rather than all during peak hours.

        10. Roland6 Silver badge

          >For an all-electric population of cars that means that every parking space at a motorway service station would have to be able to delver that charging current simultaneously. How?

          I thought that was obvious, due to the application of quantum physics, AI and Blockchain the necessary 10 minute charge will be delivered via a standard 240V/13A plug.

        11. Joe 35

          right, presumably because currently every parking space at a services has a petrol pump on the same logic ?

        12. Glen 1 Silver badge

          "delver that charging current simultaneously. How?"

          The thing about overnight charging is that it doesn't have to be as high a power.

          Take a single UK 'ring'

          230V * 13A * 12 hours ~= 35KWh

          Compare Tesla's model S 75KWh battery that gets ~250 mile range

          Lose 20% to charging efficiency, possibly gain a few more hours if it's put on charge as soon as you're home.

          A bog standard commuter could run the car without it ever seeing a fast charger.

          As for load on the grid, the load is the equivalent of leaving a space heater or 2 on overnight. Not exactly nothing, but not the insurmountable problem it is inferred above.

          If most domestic charging is done at home, there will be little need for charging stations. As for where they *are* needed, motorway services are not *typically* in built up areas where it would be difficult to run more power lines to.

          Local petrol stations on the other hand could run into capacity problems.

          The bigger problem I see is that comparatively few homes have places where any sort of domestic charging would be possible.

          1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            The same argument works for motorway service stations.

            Have a large number of low-speed chargers in the car park, capable of putting 100km range in 30min. Used by people going to eat who just want a top-up.

            Have a smaller number of high speed chargers in the redundant petrol filling area that can be used at higher cost. Note that petrol pumps, at least, tend to be underused - the actual filling time is only 30-50% of the total time, that includes positioning and paying. Allow for peak demands with a 'power wall' replacing the former underground tank.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And for all those of us living in flats, how do we charge our cars overnight?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          In the car park?

          1. Lazlo Woodbine

            You assume this is a tower block of flats with a car park, what about houses converted into flats with street only parking where one is lucky to get a parking space on the same street, never mind in front of their own dwelling...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Pavement side parking, public charging? If none of these work for you then stick with your ICE, but in reality if you are living in a converted house to flats with no parking nearby then you are unlikely to be able to buy a new electric vehicle anyway.

              1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

                So.... trailing an extension lead 300 yards down the road to the car?

              2. Lazlo Woodbine

                So you think houses converted into flats are just for paupers?

                Judgmental much...

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Not just judgemental, but wrong. Not all conversions are done for students - some are in prime locations.

            2. rcxb Bronze badge

              what about houses converted into flats with street only parking

              Once there are a number of EVs parking on the street, several companies will go around installing charging stations on every block. Much like parking meters, because there's money to be made.

              1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

                Like this one, you mean ?.

                (no, I don't know how they'll provide car-charge-level power from catv boxes but lets assume someone, somewhere has done some sums, in the absence of a more detailed description).

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: car-charge-level power from catv boxes

                  They won't, at least not according to some of the more well-informed sounding comments at ISPreview when the previous PR fluff came out in January 2019:

                  E.g. https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/01/virgin-media-uk-harness-broadband-cabinets-for-ev-car-charging.html#comment-199949

                  It's the ducts and the street furniture capabilities and "wayleaves" (may not be quite the right word) that the existing cable TV network brings to the table. Everything else looks likely to be build from scratch, including the power distribution.

                  That being said, why not give it a try, as long as they don't use their default streetworks and maintenance contractors :(

        2. Ragarath
          Joke

          Buy a house?

          1. TheDillinquent

            I have a house, but no parking spot near it. Hows that going to work?

            1. Ragarath
              Joke

              Buy a better house.

              I love how people miss the joke icon and immediately go on the down vote train.

        3. My-Handle
          Joke

          Tow a diesel generator around with you so you can charge up whenever you need :)

          (Hmm, troll or joke icon?)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            better red than dead

            "Tow a diesel generator around with you so you can charge up if the EV battery is dead"

            If the diesel generator was an agricultural thingie, could you feed it on red diesel?

            1. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: better red than dead

              If it is used at home and not attached to the car, then you could use whatever colour of fuel is taxed at the 5% domestic fuel rate. If you want to tow it around with you, then it has to be taxed at road fuel rates.

          2. Lazlo Woodbine

            I'm waiting for people to start buying massive USB powerpacks that can top up their car during the day

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              >I'm waiting for people to start buying massive USB powerpacks that can top up their car during the day

              The other half and the kids already treat the car as a massive portable USB powerpack - portable in the sense that it's other (useful) function is to take them places...

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Voila !

            The Toyota Prius, even if it is petrol assisted.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It's the subway for you plebs who can't even afford a private parking. It will tidy up the streets, too.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Nawwww! Those scary teenagers hang around in the subway.

          2. hmv Bronze badge

            And you'll make us dig it too I bet.

            (not everyone lives in London)

          3. Adelio

            Not everyone lives in a city with subways

          4. MrXavia

            Subways are way faster than driving in London, if you drive in central London during the day, you're an idiot or an uber driver....

        5. thondwe

          Does anyone have a petrol station at home? No - you fill up somewhere else once a week or two? So EVs need to be the same for those who can't?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "So EVs need to be the same for those who can't?"

            Nice idea. So you leave your car overnight to somewhere else to charge and walk home?

            "10 minute charging" won't happen for a long time, if ever: It just costs *way* too much.

            600kW of pure electric power in hand (on premises) costs tens of thousands before a single watt has been transferred. And that's for *one* car.

        6. F111F
          Paris Hilton

          On the Spot Recharging?

          If I offered a service to recharge your car (nightly, weekly, etc) from a giant battery/capacitor/generator in the bed of my F-350 (or Euro equivalent), would you consider it? There are some quiet generators that shouldn't wake the neighborhood, or I could recharge the capacitor/battery elsewhere...

          Just as some offer mobile car washing service...this might be a niche application to apartment dwellers or those on the interstate who run out of juice (though that may be a bit far-fetched).

          Just thinkin...

        7. werdsmith Silver badge

          I feel sorry for those in flats and terraced houses that don't have their own personal petrol pump on their driveway. How an earth to they manage to refuel their cars?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I feel sorry for you if your petrol refill take 10 hours...

      3. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        Nice work if you can get it.

        Unfortunately, there are all too many properties in the UK where home charging is ruled out by urban design. Where I live, in one of the older New Towns near London, its not possible for many people to plug a car into their house without trailing the lead across the pavement. There are council-provided hardstandings, but none are wired for charging, there are no plans for wiring them up, and the one I rent is 60m from my house and on the far side of the access road.

        1. Lazlo Woodbine

          And for us folks in rural settings still on aged substations we're limited to 30 amps per house, so no possibility of a domestic fast charger for me, it would take all weekend to charge up a car...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Have you asked your DNO? I mean 30amps for the house you wouldn't even be able to have an electric shower or cooker & hob.

            Even a kettle at the same time as a fan heater would be risky.

            However if that is the case then you won't be able to charge an EV until they upgrade the substation - same as people who couldn't have a mobile phone until they put a cell tower in their area. If you live in the sticks sometimes you can't have nice things, but you get other advantages so it doesn't matter.

            1. Lazlo Woodbine

              Kettle and microwave at the same time is the limit, no electric cooker or shower.

              Somehow I still manage to survive...

            2. Boring Bob

              I assume you are based in the USA and on 110V. In the UK with 240V you can comfortably have the kettle and fan heater on at the same time. However you would still probably be better off with a gas hob.

        2. jmch Silver badge

          "there are all too many properties in the UK where home charging is ruled out by urban design"

          Maybe true, but you don't have a petrol pipe at home next to your water one, do you? You fill your car up at a petrol station. Well, if boffins can build electric car batteries that can be charged at the same rate as fuel tank is filled, you don't need to charge at home just as you don't need to top your petrol up at home. In fact driver behaviour would be identical, and the difference would be the infrastructure requirements to wire up charging stations for high voltage

          1. Jim Mitchell

            Not quite a petrol pipe, but lots of houses due have a natural gas connection, and I get something similar to diesel ("fuel oil #2") delivered 3 or 4 times a year, so there is precedence for a petrol pipe.

          2. TheDillinquent
            Facepalm

            That's all very well but what happens when you go out to your car and the battery is flat I.E. a frosty morning?

            No I don't have a petrol pipeline to my house but if I run out of fuel in my ICE motor I can get a jerrycan full from my local filling station.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              1) don't let it get so low that it runs out - generally the sensible option

              2) you call your breakdown provider and they take you to the nearest supercharger.

              In fact #2 were be easier for me than walking to my nearest petrol station which would take a couple of hours.

            2. Cav

              "but if I run out of fuel in my ICE motor I can get a jerrycan full from my local filling station."

              I'm 50+ and have never had to do that - because of forethought.

          3. Martin an gof Silver badge

            if boffins can build electric car batteries that can be charged at the same rate as fuel tank is filled, you don't need to charge at home

            But that isn't quite what the article says and it isn't quite what is going to be possible. They are talking about adding 200 miles range in 10 minutes and at the moment few electric cars have more than that range even on a full battery.

            My small Diesel car can add over 700 miles range in less than 5 minutes of pumping. At the moment I top up about three times a month on average. Unless I can top an electric car up overnight or at work, I would be visiting a 'filling station' every two or three days.

            And that 5 or 10 minutes ignores the time and distance to travel to the filling station in the first instance.

            M.

            1. katrinab Silver badge

              "My small Diesel car can add over 700 miles range in less than 5 minutes of pumping."

              The pump pushes out 50 litres per minute, so I'm guessing 30s-1m of actual pumping, plus 4 minutes to position your car in the correct place, unlock the fuel cap, get the hose out, wait for the pump attendant to read your number plate and switch the pump on, put the hose pack, lock the fuel cap, pay for the diesel, then drive off.

              Maybe you won't need a locking fuel cap for an electric car, but all the other steps would be exactly the same.

          4. j.bourne
            Flame

            I don't need a petrol pipe at home to refuel my infernal combusting engines - The car does 600-700 miles on a tankful of diesel and both bikes can do well over 100 miles: it takes minutes to fill up any of them at any fuel station. I would need a massive power cable to re-charge electric vehicles if the argument is that a large part of charging would be done during vehicle downtime at home. This is why this fast charge news is welcome. Just need to up the range to 500+ miles for a large comfy car and 150+ miles for a proper sized bike. (oh yes, and also half the initial purchase cost, and solve the pollution problem of batteries (yes I know there's problems with oil pollution as well)).

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Have you actually asked the council or put a proposal in? They probably have a sustainability 'vision' that you can direct back at them.

          On the pavement you can get lead covers for the pavement or ask your council if they'll fit a cable run in the pavement?

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            I refer the honourable gentleman to another typical valleys town where few houses have off-street parking, many do not have rear-lane access and dozens of charging leads trailing across the pavements would be a serious impediment to pedestrians trying, for example, to get to school in the morning.

            M.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              As I said get the council to install pavement channels to run the lead along.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                It's not just the access for the lead. What about the dangers from vandelism, and theft of service?

                Even if you were allowed, would you run a power lead from your house supply out into the street?

                1. Wicked Witch

                  If the switch is inside there's little risk of theft. The vandalism risk depends on where you are, though if you're allowed to hang an arm over the footpath the risk would be slightly higher (unless it is high enough kids can't swing on it) but the repair cost would be smaller.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Some cities put charging stations on street lamp posts.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "simple but elegant"

    And it will still take up to 3 years to get it to the consumer.

    And after that, it will take another few years before Apple, Samsung and Huawei avoid having their models burst into flames while recharging.

    So, in ten years time, we'll finally have batteries we can recharge in just five minutes - from cars, to phones, to rechargeable AAs.

    Looking forward to it then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "simple but elegant"

      There is close to zero chance that your prediction will come true.

      If it is the case and that I can put a 60% charge into my car in 10-15 minutes then a lot of the reasons for not buying an EV will go away.

      Big Oil will (at least in the USofA) not want that to happen. They'll want people to carry on 'coal rolling' EV's in the monster trucks for another 20 years. The Oil industry will move heaven and earth to stop research like this from ever getting close to production let alone into vehicles that people can buy.

      IF they don't... then 'Big Oil' will soon go the way of 'Big Coal' where the largest coal miner in the USA filed for Bankwuptcy a few days ago.

      1. STOP_FORTH
        Joke

        Re: "simple but elegant"

        Big bad John is still alive?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "simple but elegant"

        "If it is the case and that I can put a 60% charge into my car in 10-15 minutes then a lot of the reasons for not buying an EV will go away."

        You can, today. A Model 3 LR will charge from 9% to 60% in 15 minutes on a V3 supercharger.

        V3 are only in the US at the moment but they are already getting built in the UK.

        It's a different mindset though. Getting to a fuel station and quickly filling with fuel is a significant part of owning a car.

        Having a full tank waiting each morning when charging at home or when driving back from work and only needing to stop to 'fill up' for 20~30mins every 5 hours on a long trip means that thinking about it completely changes.

        If you have no way of charging at home/work or nowhere nearby with a public charger and long commutes then there will be issues owning an EV. However this will be addressed and it affects less people than you may think.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Go

          Re: "simple but elegant"

          only needing to stop to 'fill up' for 20~30mins every 5 hours on a long trip means that thinking about it completely changes.

          I agree, a ten minute charge would mean you run to the loo and caffeinate and by the time you're done your car's charged and ready.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: "simple but elegant"

            So if you walk to the loo rather than running...

            A 15-20 minute break on a long journey is good for concentration.

            1. Dal90

              Re: "simple but elegant"

              It's all fun and games to take 20 minute breaks.

              Until you're evacuating from a wildfire or hurricane.

              (Mostly tongue in cheek, but realize folks the edge cases in automobile usage are often very important edge cases.)

        2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: However this will be addressed and it affects less people than you may think.

          Umm... how?

          And it will affect a lot more people than you may think, on the simple basis none of us can think or every situation that might be impacted.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: However this will be addressed and it affects less people than you may think.

            "Umm... how?"

            Well in England 66% of houses have off street parking. (80% of owner occupied housing)

            Most of these can easily use home charging.

            For the others they have an option of converting their front garden to parking (happens a lot in some areas), using a kerbside charging point, running a cable through a channel to their property to charge.

            Others may be able to rely on work charging or fill up on their way home from a commute once a week/fortnight (a similar but slower model to refueling a car).

            The point about "less people than you may think" is sometimes people in certain parts of the country think that off street parking is extremely rare. Even so I have met people who have no off street parking with an EV who utilise charging at public points without issue.

            Totally accept that it may be difficult for some - these are a category that wouldn't suit having an EV yet. but for 'most' the charging part shouldn't cause an issue. Broken chargers is the biggest issue, if you don't use Tesla's network.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: However this will be addressed and it affects less people than you may think.

              "Most of these can easily use home charging."

              Easily? Yea, sure.

              Just upgrade their 20A main fuse to 100A and build a new feed from local transformer to home as 100A won't fit in any current wire they have.

              That's how "easy" it is.

              1. hmv Bronze badge

                Re: However this will be addressed and it affects less people than you may think.

                So if you have a sub-standard domestic electrics (40A is the usual smallest main fuse), then you'll just have to resort to 13A chargers, or 20A chargers.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: However this will be addressed and it affects less people than you may think.

              " Even so I have met people who have no off street parking with an EV who utilise charging at public points without issue."

              So they drive their car to somewhere (miles away?), walk home and then in the morning walk there to get their car and pay how much for the electricity in "public point" again?

              Might as well use bus at that point.

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Re: However this will be addressed and it affects less people than you may think.

                No you just park next to a charger while you are out and charge the battery. No need for all that silly walking, that's just attention seeking.

        3. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: "simple but elegant"

          Less people than you think?

          Well, I'm thinking of all the people who live in flats etc, those without fixed parking spaces, those who won't be able to get charging points put into their car parks...

          I guess if there are enough electric charging points put in at supermarket car parks, there is the option to charge during the weekly shop - but then again, you don't need to charge in 10 minutes in that case...

          For longer journeys, there are still areas where getting a charge is near impossible. If I were to drive to my sister in a Tesla for example, it would want me to do a part-charge about halfway, and arrive running near empty...

          Which is great if I want to go anywhere else in it once I arrive.

          (yes, I have put this into the Tesla's sat-nav, I don't own one, but did test drive a model X)

          So yes, that will affect me - the only option would be a cable through her window, as she lives in the middle of nowhere and not near any chargers.

          Family friend on holiday with my father was making 80-100 mile detours just to charge his Tesla. It was the closest charging station.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "simple but elegant"

            Tesla sat nav only shows Tesla Chargers - not all the other thousands of EV chargers around the country. Try putting the details into https://abetterrouteplanner.com/ and allow any chargers. As for making 80~100 miles detours, not saying I don't believe you but either this was many, many years ago before the charging network was available, or it is an exaggeration or it is a very rare exception.

            As for your sister's - it's great to be able to chuck a cable through the window and still refill your car eh? If you visit here often enough an electrician could put an outside socket or even a 16a 'caravan' socket outside for very little money.

            I can understand though, I used to drive to my Father's on a weekend and for years there were no fuel stations open when driving back on a Sunday. Twice I forgot that and had to get the AA out as I didn't make it without running out.

            1. Baldrickk Silver badge

              Re: "simple but elegant"

              It's great to put the cable through the window and charge your dead battery, as long as you were not planning on going out together to somewhere you need the car to get to.

              And as long as they live in a place where they can do that. If they're in a flat again...

          2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

            Re: "simple but elegant"

            I have had to make large detours to be able to tank up my Mini (real one, not the new BMW) in the past while camping. I also have to make detours regularly to tank up my current car, as there are no fuel stations directly on my regular commute.

            In the end, as long as you are able to charge overnight at home, you will probably still save time overall having an EV compared to a dinosaur-juice vehicle. I worked out that it adds around 15mins on to my commute to tank up. If I have to do that every other week, that's over 6 hours in a year saved by charging at home. Let's say I do 2 holidays a year which each require 2 20min fast charges en-route (and I wouldn't have had to stop anyway), that would give me over 4 hours of time available for detours to find chargers....

        4. MrReynolds2U
          Meh

          Re: "simple but elegant"

          A lot of people live in apartments or pedestrianised areas. This is a significant hurdle to overcome when it comes to EV ownership. In lower income areas the investment isn't going to be made in that infrastructure because those on lower incomes can't afford EVs.

          The UK (and other countries) has plans to block sales of fossil-fuel-based cars which could well further dis-enfranchise poorer families who don't have the means to change to EVs. The governments argument against this would be "use public transport" but I often find that method of travel completely impractical*.

          I count myself among those people who would switch if economically, habitually and environmentally sound and feasible. Currently, this isn't the case.

          *a 5 mile commute becomes 2 buses + 25 minute walk. Plus 20-30 minutes become 60-90.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: "simple but elegant"

            The UK have *very* few pedestrianised residential areas.

            In your case a 5 mile commute becomes a 25 minute cycle (and that's really gentle)

            It's really not that hard - particularly not if you get an electric assist on the bike - you'll easily average 15+mph, so that's now under 20 minutes for the commute.

            One thing that all these people without access to anywhere to park have in common is that they (by definition) live in high density areas, so many journeys are short enough not to need a car, and public transport *tends* to be better.

            When I lived in central London I wouldn't have considered owning a car, it's just not needed.

            When I lived in flats on the outskirts I did own a car, but used it relatively rarely.

            10+ years ago my wife and I sold our second car, in that time we've hired a car twice to cover times when we both "needed" one - for a total of four days.

            1. D@v3

              Re: John Robson

              In my case, my 10 mile commute becomes an hours cycle (I've done it), down national speed limit roads, or through a forest, (with a predominantly sharp flint floor and very few paths), both routes have lots of hills up and down.

              Public transport would be at least 2 trains, (1 into London, change lines one back out) half hour walk to the nearest station, through said forest, and then another half hour from the station nearest to work, which buses do not go from - to the town in which i work.

              I am considering an e-bike when the weather improves, but at the moment it's either half an hour in the car, or a couple of hours by public transport.

              I would be quite happy with an electric car, having recently acquired a private parking space next to my house. It would handle most of the driving i do with no issue, and have no real problem with stopping for half an hour when making longer journeys. They thing that is putting me off at the moment is the initial outlay.

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Re: John Robson

                Stuff the cycling. We have one cycling zealot sweatbucket. People have developed subtle ways of avoiding sharing the lift with him.

                1. Baldrickk Silver badge

                  Re: John Robson

                  We have shower rooms on the ground floor, by the entrance from the bike shelter...

          2. Ogi

            Re: "simple but elegant"

            > The UK (and other countries) has plans to block sales of fossil-fuel-based cars which could well further dis-enfranchise poorer families who don't have the means to change to EVs. The governments argument against this would be "use public transport" but I often find that method of travel completely impractical*.

            One of the elephants in the room, which nobody wants to mention, is that the UK (and general "western") poor are most likely going to be dis-enfranchised when it comes to mobility. The western poor live better than the middle class in a good chunk of the rest of the world, with energy consumption (and emissions output) to match.

            Specifically, the mass personal transport boom of the last 50 or so years was an aberration due to very cheap fuel (due to build out of supply infrastructure for the war effort), and a surplus of ICE vehicles (and mechanics) from the end of WWII.

            Curbing emissions can't be done by bringing the entire world to western middle class standards of luxury living. Rather I think its more likely to see the middle class vanish into the upper and lower classes. Owning a car (especially an ICE car), will most likely be a luxury item, back how cars were originally if you think about it.

            Those too poor to have personal transportation, will have to live near to their place of work (or near to public transport). So I imagine ultra dense urban environments for the masses, with public transport/bicycles for mobility, while the countryside becomes the playground for the well off.

            I think the future in the west will look more like China did 10 to 20 years ago. A few rich people and politicians in personal vehicles, the rest on (electric)bicycles, public transport or taxis of some kind.

            I guess politicians don't mention it much, because "Vote for me and to curb climate change, I will tax you until you can't afford long range personal transportation, and will have to live packed like sardines in a city" is not much of a vote winner. Indeed, the initial spark of the French Yellow Vest protest was due to a fuel tax increase "to combat climate change".

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "simple but elegant"

              "Curbing emissions can't be done by bringing the entire world to western middle class standards of luxury living."

              Yea. Like having 2 works to pay a place to live in and food. *Really luxury*.

        5. batfink Silver badge

          Re: "simple but elegant"

          "Will be addressed" - a nice throwaway line. "Addressed" how exactly?

          And no, it doesn't affect <pedant> fewer </pedant> people than we think. In London, 75% of people get to park on the street. Yes, London would be the worst case in the country, but that's still a lot of people (and therefore market). Yes, a lot of people outside the high-density areas will be fine - but densities are high in some areas for a reason.

          Yes, you could argue that people in London don't need cars, and the public transport is better than most places in the country, but that's not really the point here.

          Providing charging in high-density areas will be neither easy nor cheap. I'm quite in favour of EV's in general, but we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake.

          But back to fast charging: am I the only one worried about overheating due to pushing a large amount of energy down to a battery in a short time like this?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

            No sane person should be suggesting that EVs are a universal solution.

            Quite a few people here and elsewhere seem to want to translate "EVs don't address all needs" (which is true - one size rarely fits all) into "EVs are totally irrelevant" (which is demonstrably untrue).

            How's that supposed to work, even here at El Reg?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

              > No sane person should be suggesting that EVs are a universal solution.

              Definitely. A pity I can only upvote once.

              I live in a flat and I use my car rarely, but when I do use it, it's for long, 700-1000 km trips (one way). If I switch to an EV, what is now a single day drive would become a 2 day migration including hotel charges. I literally can't afford that.

              EVs simply don't meet my needs as by now, YMMV. While I'm not hostile to the general EV idea as such, I definitely hate being forced to switch before EVs had the time to become as easy to use and versatile as petrol/diesel cars.

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                If you are driving for 10 hours straight at motorway speed then there are other issues with your journey planning. Mixed mode journeys would save you alot of effort.

                There is a good chance you'd be better off catching a train and hiring a car at the far end if you need one there at all.

                EVs are easier, and more versatile than liquid fueled cars - there are a very small number of journeys for which they extend the duration slightly.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                  Your comments are based on the area you are living in. Over here in Canada and the US, long distance driving is fairly regular. Trains would be nice, but for example if I take my family to Florida via car, I'm looking at approx $200 in Diesel. If I take the train it's going to be 4 x 500 - so close to $2000 off season. In season the costs will double. Plane fare are much the same and THEN I'd still need to rent out a car in Florida which would be another $500 - $1000...yes I know I don't go there every day, but we do go 3-4 times per year.

                  Daily driving to and from work, picking up kids from school etc add up to approx 25-30k kms per year. I purchased a new car in spring of 2018 and already have close to 50k kms on it....

                  We have extremely long distances to deal with and very limited non car transportation available....

                  1. Jan 0

                    Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                    > if I take my family to Florida via car, I'm looking at approx $200 in Diesel. If I take the train it's going to be 4 x 500 - so close to $2000 off season

                    But life wouldn't end if you didn't drive to Florida! Think globally, act locally?

                  2. John Robson Silver badge

                    Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                    "We have extremely long distances to deal with and very limited non car transportation available...."

                    You choose to do long distances, and not to push for any kind of reasonable transport alternatives.

                    When I visit the states I walk to the restaurant across the road, it must take me all of five minutes, but the looks I get for walking that far...

                    Also - most of this discussion was around urban areas, particularly London, which last time I checked wasn't in the US. End to end the UK mainland is under 850 miles...

                    But actually - long distances or not... if you aren't taking breaks on your journey then you should be, and if you are then it doesn't actually matter if you plug in whilst you stretch your legs, rest your eyes and brain and refresh yourself.

                    When petrol engines first arrived they were inconvenient - far easier to take a horse.

                    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

                      Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                      if you aren't taking breaks on your journey then you should be, and if you are then it doesn't actually matter if you plug in whilst you stretch your legs, rest your eyes and brain and refresh yourself

                      This!

                      Recommendations are for a 15 minute break every 2 hours. If you do this, 15 mins charging (pretty much enough time to go to the loo and have a cuppa) would give approx 45% charge. If this is a car with a 300 mile range, that's 135 miles. To cover that in 2 hours would give an average speed of 67.5mph.

                      Increase the break to 20 mins, you'll get around 60% charge/180 miles. That's enough to drive for over 2 and a half hours at the motorway speed limit of 70mph.

                      If you aren't already taking reasonable breaks, I would say an EV would be good for you (and other road users).

                    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

                      Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                      "When petrol engines first arrived they were inconvenient - far easier to take a horse."

                      That quickly changed when they found a car didn't get distracted or spooked, plus it required much less maintenance (horses have to eat even when they're not being used, cars less so--then there's the other end, recall one of the Labors of Hercules).

                      1. Kiwi Silver badge
                        Pint

                        Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                        "When petrol engines first arrived they were inconvenient - far easier to take a horse."

                        That quickly changed when they found a car didn't get distracted or spooked, plus it required much less maintenance (horses have to eat even when they're not being used, cars less so--then there's the other end, recall one of the Labors of Hercules).

                        Horses never require as much maintenance as a car. They can be self-fuelling, have a will-to-live (though that doesn't always carry over to their rider!), and have internal maintenance and repair systems that only an exceptional intelligence could've dreamed up or built.

                        Leave a car with a full tank parked up for a while in warm enough weather and you'll tend to get the fuel either evaporating or 'going off' ie breaking down and fouling carbs/injection systems and the like. This isn't always the case, I have known cars with 5 or 6 year old petrol in the tanks to still start and run (though not perfectly as the fuel did lose some of it's key bangmakerjuice).

                        A horse cannot do the same range as a modern car, but it can fuel itself without operator intervention, and it can find its way home without swerving off the road/under trucks etc. Oh, and their emissions are actually quite good for the environment, especially gardens!

                        But early cars? I think you were looking at a week's maintenance for every hour's driving! :)

                  3. Andre Carneiro

                    Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                    Pretty sure the US is serve by the best Supercharger network in the world.

                    I would be surprised (but happy to be corrected) if you were unable to make that journey easily on a Tesla with, admittedly, more breaks for recharges.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                  "EVs are easier, and more versatile than liquid fueled cars "

                  Based on what?

                  Electric car is literally a moving bomb because of lithium and what petrol can do isn't even near what lithium can do. "Versatile" when it needs charging from grid every day and *0 on-site charging*, totally unlike any liquid fuelled cars: No spare can in back.

                  80% of nasty problems in modern cars are because of electrics and electric cars use that *for moving*, therefore the failure-% is/will be multiple compared to traditional cars.

                  Easier? Just re-fuel it every other week? Oh, you can't. *More* service because of electronics, not less.

                  What was the point again? Versatile? Yea, like trolley bus: Works (if it works) as long as grid electricity is available and near.

                  1. John Robson Silver badge

                    Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                    Based on the fact that you start every day with a full 'tank', and never have to go somewhere special to refuel.

                    Average milage in the UK is under 30 miles a day

                    The Leaf (first one I looked up) gets 4m/kWh - so you need ~7.5kWh a day.

                    That's easily supplied with a 13A socket whilst you sleep - no need for fancy high power anything.

                    Of course that assumes that you only charge whilst you sleep, which is probably unlikely, unless you run on an economy7 style tariff. In reality you'll have many more hours than that available.

                    It's also the level of charging that should be targeted for office car parks etc (no need for high power charging in a car park when those parking will do so for several hours anyway)

                    Many of the people who can't charge overnight could then charge at work instead.

                    Just to point out that you need grid power for your liquid fuel pumps as well...

                    1. werdsmith Silver badge

                      Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                      They are perfect second cars. I've acquired a used Leaf and it is far far better than the petrol car it replaced. We retain a hybrid main car for longer trips. To unis etc. There's no way I'm willingly going back to an old fashioned car.

                      1. Kiwi Silver badge

                        Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                        There's no way I'm willingly going back to an old fashioned car.

                        You might not have much of a choice when materials for making batteries run low, or people start to realise just how bad the EV's are when it comes to pollution.

                    2. Kiwi Silver badge
                      Boffin

                      Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                      Of course that assumes that you only charge whilst you sleep, which is probably unlikely, unless you run on an economy7 style tariff. In reality you'll have many more hours than that available.

                      Just a small point many people seem to miss...

                      When you're charging a lot of cars over night, the overnight demand rates will climb - much more like the peak demands (and for longer). Don't think the cheap rates will survive long. Here in NZ we've already lost out cheap night rates because of demand/use patterns. It'll happen anywhere else such use patterns occur.

                      As to grid power/fuel pumps, give a thought to how much power is needed to move 50L of petrol from an underground storage tank to an above ground car tank. An EV will get very few KM for the same amount of 'leccy.

                3. Kiwi Silver badge

                  Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                  EVs are easier, and more versatile than liquid fueled cars - there are a very small number of journeys for which they extend the duration slightly.

                  My station wagon cost me a couple of $hundred a few year ago (actually I've had it around 7 years now!). Still runs great with no major issues, only some minor electrical work once and 'consumables' (oil, tyres etc) replaced in that time.

                  Every now and then it has to take standard sized fridge/freezer as I am helping someone move house. Usually it can take that, plus a lot of other stuff (eg bedding packed around the sides of it), plus tow a small/medium trailer with some of their other stuff.

                  At least fortnightly I'll take one of the oldies I care for out shopping or to do other things. That means their walker or even scooter in the back, them in the car, and still their shopping or whatever else we do. Other times I do shopping for several people in one trip, which means maybe the equivalent of at least half a dozen large suitcases in the back plus myself and 2 others in the seats (ie 3 adults).

                  During winter it becomes a 2-seater and gets the back part filled with free firewood at least twice a week, which goes to people who otherwise couldn't (I do get paid by someone else for this service).

                  This summer I plan to use it as a mini campervan and do some actual camping which I haven't done in ages. Toss a mattress inside, some curtains for the windows, little bit of space for stuff..

                  Any EV that is anywhere near as versatile as a basic 1990's station wagon? Any I could buy for less than a weeks wages? Hell, any I could buy 2nd hand and get even 2 years of life from?

                  My other vehicle - my daily runner - is a motorbike. Even older than the car, and I've had it a lot longer.

                  Range isn't an issue for me most of the time (I could borrow/hire if I really needed it). Price, long-term reliability and carrying capacity are. Especially the ability to be able to move a lot of stuff on very short notice, which has happened a few times over the last few years.

                  Can you name an EV that meets my needs? Especially price and longevity?

                  1. John Robson Silver badge

                    Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

                    Longevity - probably most of them

                    Price - when the second hand market is saturated, but look at the ‘new’ cost of your station wagon - that’s is after all what you are looking at for the EV.

                    Load carrying - actually EVs should be better than liquid fuels cars - batteries pack really nicely.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "we can't just ignore major blockers to uptake."

              "No sane person should be suggesting that EVs are a universal solution."

              Everyone in government not only say so, they *demand* it so.

              Sanity is irrelevant when you are *the government*.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "simple but elegant"

            Perfect, I posted above addressing this when before I read your comment.

            "The point about "less people than you may think" is sometimes people in certain parts of the country think that off street parking is extremely rare"

            Your comment is exactly what I meant - "I live in London and therefore my experience is the same as the rest of the country".

            Even in London, it probably affects "less than you seem to think" as for most of my life living there no-one I knew had their own car. They just hired a car when they needed to get out of the city.

            In the built up parts of London car ownership is less than 75% (also more likely to be people with private parking). In outer areas this rises to 50% where more houses have available parking. London is not typical. But I'd be interested to know where the 75% figure you quote comes from to see the percentage of those that drive a car and what miles they do per year (London also has the lowest average annual mileage so might be able to charge up once a month to cover their driving needs for instance?). London also has access to more Superchargers and Rapid Chargers than anywhere else in the UK so topping up the charge without home charging is easier than most other places in the UK.

        6. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: "simple but elegant"

          it affects less people than you may think

          I know other people have already replied to this but I thought I'd add my 2p with some Google maps links.

          Charging at home is going to be difficult for more people than you might think, but it depends on where you live. As already mentioned, flats converted from houses or in this case, an old school are pretty bad already (and this one had an old playground to use) and purpose-built flats are never going to supply one charge point per parking space without a massive investment.

          In South Wales, where I live, we have a vast amount of terrace housing on narrow streets where, if there is rear access (not always), it may not be possible to get your car down there.

          Even in the case of a more modern estate where off-road parking is provided (even if not everyone takes advantage) few properties would have the electrical capacity to provide more than one additional 32A circuit for charging, so in a multi-car house, who gets to charge up tonight?

          M.

          1. 2Nick3

            Re: "simple but elegant"

            If I can charge my car in 10 minutes I don't need a 1:1 ratio of parking spaces to chargers. 10 minute charging means one charger can service 48 vehicles over 8 hours, provided it has the supply to do it. Switching output between different attached vehicles is a simple problem to solve.

            Yes, you have to put in the infrastructure - that's obvious. But you have to anyway, at some level. Building smartly now, and retrofitting when it makes sense (and as demand dictates), is how all of these kinds of things get done.

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: "simple but elegant"

              If I can charge my car in 10 minutes I don't need a 1:1 ratio of parking spaces to chargers

              You'd think so, wouldn't you? But that simply doesn't work in many real-life circumstances.

              Take, for example, parking at a shopping centre. Are you going to park your car at a charge point and come back 15 minutes later to move it to a non-charge point, leaving a part-filled trolley in Sainsbury's?

              What about flats where each flat gets a single allocated parking space, with a few set aside for visitors?

              In the car park at work? Arrive, plug in, clock on, start the day's work, bleep from phone "your car's finished charging, please move it to a non-charging space within the next 30 minutes".

              Even in a typical suburban house where there's room for two cars off road, but not the electrical capacity to fit more than one charging outlet. It's already a problem when the person leaving first in the morning gets home first so the cars have to be shuffled. Having to swap the charger over on a dark and wet evening, just to make sure they both have enough for the following day... anyway, no domestic supply would be capable of charging a car in 10 minutes and in reality you'd have to have the car plugged in for several hours or overnight if you need to put a lot of charge in.

              So in most practical situations you really do need a 1:1 ratio of chargers to parking spaces. What you demonstrably do not need with a 10-minute charging car is a power supply capable of delivering to all those chargers at full rate simultaneously. You might need a button on the charger to say "I am topping up and need priority charging" and another to say "I'm going to be here for some time".

              As I note many other posters have also said, I'm not against electric cars, per-se, but they don't completely fill the gap that would be left were ICE engines to be banned, and they won't come close to filling that gap until other infrastructure is in place - chargers, public transport, car rental schemes - and until the technology has moved on sufficiently to give them a range of at least 300 miles at a price similar to a conventional car.

              It might never happen and we might simply have to put up with lifestyle changes to accommodate it. We've got used to the conveniences offered by relatively cheap personal transportation and relatively quick and easy motorway networks. That would have two major effects on my own life. Firstly I'd have to look for a job much closer to home - I currently commute 45 miles each way (about 75 minutes) 3½ days a week by car at a cost of under £9 total in Diesel and a couple of quid parking. I'd rather not, but it is what it is.

              That same commute by bus, two trains and a 10 minute (brisk) walk would take at least two hours (assuming quick connections) and cost somewhere around £25 in total. At a weekend (I work some weekends) it might not even be possible - I've just looked up the Sunday timetable for this week and there are no trains arriving before mid-day. This might be because of engineering work I know has been happening, but it doesn't say so on the National Rail Enquiries web site so it might be the usual state of affairs. I also very occasionally work late nights (after the trains), so staying overnight near work might be called for - i.e. hotel bills.

              Secondly, it'd make visiting the in-laws more difficult. Maybe we could hire a car (we have done so in the past), but by public transport the journey which currently takes about three hours each way and somewhere around £45 total in Diesel (we take the larger car), by bus, train, train and bus for the whole family it's pushing four hours each way (not a huge problem) looks likely to cost around £250 (that is a much bigger problem) and would make the annual Christmas present swap somewhat more difficult.

              In reality it would mean that we visited the in-laws perhaps only once a year instead of the three or four times we do at present. It might also mean that we only visit the immediate in-laws, as the rest of the family is somewhat more scattered.

              I dunno. Maybe that'd be a good thing :-) I'd hate to have to be the one to break it to the population as a whole though.

              M.

              1. 2Nick3

                Re: "simple but elegant"

                "In the car park at work? Arrive, plug in, clock on, start the day's work, bleep from phone "your car's finished charging, please move it to a non-charging space within the next 30 minutes"."

                My boss at my last job does exactly that - his Leaf lets him know when it is charged, he drops down to the parking lot to move it so the charger is available for someone else. He'll often tap someone on the shoulder so they know they can move their car to the charger (and the EV community seems to work that way pretty universally - they're pretty supportive of each other).

                That's manually switching. Having a charger with multiple leads - one power source that switches between multiple vehicles - is a pretty easy thing to set up, and would eliminate needing to moving the charging lead between vehicles.

                1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                  Re: "simple but elegant"

                  a charger with multiple leads

                  Of course, and is the thing I imagined when I said "one per space". You don't need one "station" per space, but realistically you will need (nearly) one "connection" per space. Depending on car park configuration, one charging station could probably serve between three and six parking spaces. Any more than that and you have trailing leads (two or four would be better) which could be a hazard.

                  M.

        7. j.bourne

          Re: "simple but elegant"

          Well then, that's settled isn't it? provided you've got £50k to spaff on just a car. Many people buying new ICE cars now are paying under £10k for a new car. Those same <£10k cars can drive the length of the country in a day just like any large ICE car. Bet there's no EV car under £10k that could do that.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: "simple but elegant"

            There are not many people who need or want to drive the length of the country in under a day either.

  3. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    They'll be able to put them in flying cars - which are always 2-3 years away.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Happy

      A shame they'll probably be too heavy for my hoverboard...

  4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Power required

    There's a big difference between the power required to fast-charge one cell, and that required to fill a 60-70 kWh battery in 10 minutes. The latter will require massive investment in power stations and grid infrastructure. How fast can we build 10 or 20 more Sizewell Bs? Not in 10 years, that's for sure.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Power required

      Actually this was thoroughly researched decades ago. The conclusion at the time was that the national grid could take it. An electric vehicle fleet actually made things easier if people set their cars to delay charging until the price of electricity dropped to near the lowest value of the previous day.

      If you have some modern research to back up your statements, please link to it.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Power required

        The conclusion was that even for slow charging, widespread use of EV needs a massive increase in power generation and in Grid infrastructure.

        Swapping battery packs is a better solution as fast charging needs x10 current, with potential issues supplying the charging stations, heavier wiring and even more peak demand infrastructure.

        Hydrogen isn't a solution. Perhaps making LPG using waste carbon and solar or nuclear power is a better idea? Oddly LPG can be transported with less energy loss than electricity. Also existing petrol vehicles have been modified to use LPG since 1970s. Safer than EV batteries and hydrogen.

        EV does make sense for stop-start and single person commute in cities / urban. LPG makes more sense for trucks, buses, rural cars, BUT only assuming synthetic production from renewable sources and maybe hybrid Fusion/Fission (the neutrons from Fusion allow Fission reactor waste to generate electricity and make the waste a lot safer). The carbon in synthetic LPG has to come from waste carbon.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Power required

          "The conclusion was that even for slow charging, widespread use of EV needs a massive increase in power generation and in Grid infrastructure."

          Who drew that conclusion? Citation welcome.

          My Electric Avenue and related followups say otherwise. See e.g.

          http://myelectricavenue.info/

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Power required

            Irrespective of whether the grid can supply the power in a distributed manner can it concentrate the power needed for a motorway service station car park full of cars whose owners have stopped for their 20-30 minute power and pee break after 5 hours?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Power required

              If it happened tomorrow, nope.

              If you had a year or two to plan it, yep.

              BTW, there'll be much, much more than a year or two before every car in a car park is electric.

            2. 2Nick3

              Re: Power required

              "Irrespective of whether the grid can supply the power in a distributed manner can it concentrate the power needed for a motorway service station car park full of cars whose owners have stopped for their 20-30 minute power and pee break after 5 hours?"

              When I build my EV Charging Station I plan for this - just like a petrol station does. Why build the station if I can't get the supply I need? I'll pick the location based on many factors, with this being one of them - can I get the current I need to drive the "pumps"? If I can only get some fraction of the power I need to run the station I either need to find another power source, store up power when demand is lower, or not open the station right there.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Power required

                And just hope that your location comes with a handy pool of potential customers nearby?

                The problems that a lot of people are illustrating is that there is very little overlap in the Venn diagram of "where people live/work" and "where there's a hefty amount of power available".

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Power required

            Hmm, you've read all those caveats I take it? Seems quite a few assumptions, but then they had to draw a line somewhere of end up with zero resulting data.

            Which reminds me, must find out who worked on that project and get the behind the scenes view.

          3. hmv Bronze badge

            Re: Power required

            How about the UK Government under the headline of their "Steady Progression" scenario (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/723234/Panel_of_Technical_Experts_2018_Report_on_the_ECR.pdf) ?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Power required

          No it doesn't assumptions around the power requirements for EVs were based upon everyone filling their battery completely when at 5:30pm when they get back from work. Therefore a big extra load on the grid.

          However in reality the new generation EVs with over 200 mile range would only need filling once every 10 days (3 times a month). Or on average topping up with 20 miles worth of leccy a night.

          Combine this with variable charging times (you know there is a reason why every home car charger needs to be a smart charger to get the £500 government grant) and some charging in the day at work or public areas and you have a load on the grid that could be supplied today.

          See this recent BBC Click episode

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Power required

            So OK for commuters but what about a journey of 300 miles? At any one time in any one place there'll be a lot of drivers wanting to do more than just top up.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Power required

              Well that will take some modelling based upon the number of drivers who do a 300mile+ trip, the amount of those that will be an a single place requiring a fill up, the range of the battery (over 300 miles is already available and likely to increase over time).

              Once you have this information then you can put in suitable amounts of chargers and with it suitable connectors to the substation to power it.

              It's not going to happen overnight - it will be a gradual increase.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Power required

                Look at the number of cars in a motorway car service station car park. Assume that 90% of those are going to want charging if EVs are the norm and they're going to want a charge in no more than 30 minutes that's going to last them for 3 hours at motorway speeds.

                Installing that infrastructure in a service station isn't going to be done overnight but it's not going to be done gradually either. It''s be a fair sized project to bring in the supply and dig up the tarmac to lay the cables.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Power required

                  I wouldn't use sleep over it. That's a problem for the Grid and the Service station to deal with. The CEO of one of the biggest Service Station chains is an EV fan and Tesla Owner.

                  Both are confident they can cope with it so the end user can let them get on with it.

                  I mean, as they lose revenue from their fuel station and EVs are going to park there because they haven't got capacity to charge their cars digging up the tarmac and bring in the supply isn't going to seem like such a difficult project.

                2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

                  Re: Power required

                  Look at the number of cars in a motorway car service station car park. Assume that 90% of those are going to want charging if EVs are the norm and they're going to want a charge in no more than 30 minutes that's going to last them for 3 hours at motorway speeds.

                  Do you suppose that 90% of the cars presently in the service area car park will fill up with petrol? I've no idea what the figure is, but I'd guess that no more than 20% of my stops are for refuelling*. Even adjusting for the lower range of EVs, that's still nowhere near 90%.

                  *and that's definitely not because I like service stations.

                  1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                    Re: Power required

                    Do you suppose that 90% of the cars presently in the service area car park will fill up with petrol?

                    I'm prepared to disbelieve the 90% figure, but I also have to emphasise your point that you are not comparing like with like. Cars parked at a motorway service station are almost by definition part way through a "long" journey. Cars using the motorway for short intra-city or inter-city hops will not be visiting service stations.

                    It is probably safe to assume that most cars parked at a motorway service station will have travelled around 100 miles to get there (few would feel the need to take a comfort break on a shorter journey) and might have 100 miles or more still to run. Even the smallest petrol engined cars can do perhaps 400 miles on a tank full, particularly at constant and easy motorway speeds, and most people on a long journey will fill up at supermarket prices before leaving, so motorway service stations are only used for topping up with petrol on the very longest journeys unless you are a sales rep with an account. My small Diesel (50ish litre tank) has a range of at least 700 miles and I genuinely can't remember the last time I bought motorway fuel, though I do remember that I only bought enough of the stuff to complete my journey and get me to a supermarket.

                    Electric vehicles on the other hand tend to reduce in range at motorway speeds and do not have a reliable (dark, cold, rain) range of more than 150 to 200 miles as things stand. Batteries also reduce in capacity as they age, and a car capable of 200 miles when new might struggle to make 150 miles after 50,000 miles of use.

                    In other words, far more of the electric cars parked at a motorway service station will want (or indeed will need) to charge up before continuing. It might not be 90% of them, but I'd be surprised if it were less than 50%, and probably nearer 75%.

                    Impossible to tell until someone does a proper study. All I have is anecdotal evidence that at the service stations I've visited recently I cannot remember seeing a Leaf or an i3 or a Tesla that wasn't parked at a charge point.

                    M.

                    1. hmv Bronze badge

                      Re: Power required

                      Draw up a list (or ask the Duck for one) of EV ranges and the top 10 all exceed 200 miles; reduce the range by 25% for cold, dark, real-world range and the top 10 will still all exceed 200 miles. Battery degredation is vastly overrated too.

                      And of course EVs at service stations are all charging - it makes sense to top them up for 10 minutes (even if it doesn't fill 'em) when you're stopped for a comfort break.

                      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                        Re: Power required

                        Draw up a list

                        What is apparently the UK's best-selling EV, the Nissan Leaf, comes as standard with an "up to 168 mile" range. That doesn't "exceed 200 miles" in anyone's book. You can pay extra for an "up to 239 miles" battery, but according to this calculator, on my typical work journey on the motorway in a UK winter with the cabin heater off and Eco mode on, I'd be lucky to get 150 miles even out of the larger battery, when new.

                        As pointed out in a previous post, Nissan reckons the battery is "dead" when it reaches 75% capacity, so towards the end of its life this battery should still - just about - manage my daily commute, which is around 90 miles. But with only a little to spare for diversions, and occasionally I have to divert over a route which is significantly more range-sapping (lots of climbing) than my usual route.

                        I know the Tesla battery starts out bigger and will probably match your 200 mile statement, but other cars? Even the BMW i3 (and I see these quite a lot these days - Wikipedia claims it's the third most popular worldwide) only claims a maximum range of 200 miles with the very biggest battery and the range extender running.

                        I don't have time to compile a complete top 10 right now, if you'd like to do so and prove your statement correct, please go ahead.

                        M.

                        Edit: Apologies, I just noticed you asked for a list of the 10 longest-range cars, and I was looking a the 10 most popular cars. Perhaps it's worth considering why the most popular cars aren't necessarily those with the longest ranges?

                3. jmch Silver badge

                  Re: Power required

                  "Look at the number of cars in a motorway car service station car park. Assume that 90% of those are going to want charging if EVs are the norm"

                  Why 90%? What %age of fuel cars in a motorway car service station car park have actually stopped for fuel and not for a coffee / food / pee break? I reckon far far less than 90%.

                  Secondly, of all of those fuel cars, what %age left home with a (nearly) full tank and didn't need to be topped up? Probably not that many compared to the %age of electric cars that left home on 100% charge thanks to home charger

            2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

              Re: Power required

              Company cars are only doing 1750 miles/year on average. There cannot be a significant proportion of 300 mile/day car drivers when the average is under 6 miles per day (and under half that for privately own cars).

              Source: nts0901.ods (libreoffice spreadsheet) from uk national-travel-survey-statistics.

              1. iron Silver badge

                Re: Power required

                No one uses company cars any more because of the way the government bend you over and fucks you in tax. When I had a company car I averaged 20k miles per year and was fairly typical for my company.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Power required

                  Unless you have an EV where the rate of BIK from next year is 0% (followed by 1% then 2% the years after).

                  A company car with that low BIK becomes a pretty amazing perk to give to employees in Lieu of a pay rise. A Tax free raise as it were.

              2. Mister Cheese

                Re: Power required

                Thanks for the link... but when I downloaded the file, it said 17,500 miles per year for company cars in 2018 - so you're a factor of 10 out...

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Power required

                  " it said 17,500 miles per year for company cars in 2018"

                  Correct as stated. It also says that of those 17500 miles, 5100 were business miles, 7600 were commute (which doesn't class as busienss miles), and 4700 miles were private mileage. Does that change the picture at all?

                  Use the source, look. Use it wisely.

                  Mind you the same spreadsheet row also says the survey's sample size was absolutely tiny.

                  Lies, damned lies, and Boris Johnson dead in a ditch, eh.

          2. Baldrickk Silver badge

            Re: Power required

            As long as your commute is under 10 miles each way. And there is no charge leakage while you are not driving the car.

            What about my old commute that was 2.5* that each way? you're now charging every third day, maybe every two, as charging only to 80% and not discharging completely is better for the battery.

            There are a surprisingly large number of people in my office who commute nearly twice that. Well, that's a daily charge.

            I was on a secondment for a while, a 130 mile trip each way - that'd be a charge before each journey.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Power required

              SO you could do 260 miles on one charge in your tax free company EV and fully charge each night at home while doing whatever you need to do.

              If your company supports EVs they may also put a charger in at the place of work. Then you can be charging while working as well.

              Otherwise, leave work 30 minutes earlier and stop at a charger station and finish your work from there while it charges. It's not like you'll be standing there holding the charge cable.

              1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                Re: Power required

                "

                It's not like you'll be standing there holding the charge cable.

                "

                No, you'll be stuck in a queue of cars waiting for a vacant charging bay.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Power required

                  I've waited far more time queuing for petrol than I ever have waiting for a charging bay at a supercharger.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Power required

                    "I've waited far more time queuing for petrol than I ever have waiting for a charging bay at a supercharger."

                    Yes, and how many $100k cars you see every day? Compared to cars in general. One in 1000? One in 100?

                    Here in North we see Teslas only in those area where the ultimate rich people live, <0.1% of population.

                2. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: Power required

                  The other day I was in a queue of cars waiting for parking spaces to free up whilst looking are several unoccupied EV charge points.

            2. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: Power required

              Another thing to remember:

              Go to a petrol pump

              Ask everyone who visits it how many miles they drive per week

              Take an average

              You will get a much higher number than if you work your way down the vehicle licencing database and ask everyone on it, because people who drive more miles visit the petrol station more often.

              Which number is correct? If you are planning electric vehicle charging infrastructure, it is the first one. And in any case, who cares about the old person who drives one mile per week to visit the shops? Most miles are driven by people who drive lots of miles, therefore things have to be planned accordingly.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: planned accordingly

                "Most miles are driven by people who drive lots of miles, therefore things have to be planned accordingly."

                vs

                "Most car journeys are driven by people who are on short journeys, therefore things have to be planned accordingly".

                Discuss, with particular reference to e.g. SUVs on the school/supermarket run, vs e.g. doctors doing a round of home visits..

        3. Baldrickk Silver badge

          Re: Power required

          Swapping battery packs isn't a great solution - it's been tried before in fact.

          You need to make compromises in the design to enable easy removal. - and everyone needs to standardise on a single battery design.

          They're big and heavy, so need expensive machinery to do the removal and reinstallation - you need a warehouse to store the charged batteries held in reserve and charge the dead ones that have been removed from vehicles.

          Big heavy and low energy density batteries, very expensive facilities - it is completely different from our current solution of pumping liquid fuels around. The two can't really be equated.

        4. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Power required

          "Swapping battery packs is a better solution as fast charging needs x10 current, with potential issues supplying the charging stations, heavier wiring and even more peak demand infrastructure."

          Swapping battery packs doesn't work and will never work (Tesla tried it on their Model S prototypes). The problem is that the battery pack in a well designed BEV is an integral part of the crash structure. If it needs to be swappable it needs to be outside the main crash cage (or inside in such a way it can be removed), which means it suddenly eats up much more space and makes the car much heavier. Turns out it also wasn't all that fast either.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Power required

            Not on their prototype. The actual Tesla Model S has a swappable battery pack. They even had a swap station running.

            However there are issues with being given an unknown battery - if yours is almost new and gets swapped for one that has done 300,000 miles you might not be too pleased.

            Also, the electronics for trip consumption, range etc are stored on the Car computer rather than the battery so they gave the wrong data.

            Mostly though, Tesla realised that supercharging times weren't really an issue and that more investment in more and faster superchargers paid off more than battery swaps - even though they could be done in about 7 minutes. It was trialled it just didn't work as it was too wedded to the idea of a filling station rather than driving an EV.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Power required

              Oh and the Model X as well. It was abandoned for the Model 3.

            2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

              Re: Power required

              I agree that swappable batteries are the only practical way to go. Forget the 10 minute charge time batteries - that will need a 120kW supply for each charging point. That's the equivalent of a 480A 250V supply.

              "

              ... if yours [battery] is almost new and gets swapped for one that has done 300,000 miles you might not be too pleased.

              "

              Just put a battery monitor and some non-volatile memory on every battery. When swapping the battery, the battery tells the service station how many kWh has been used since last full charge, and the motorist pays only for that amount of power. When the on-battery monitor shows that the battery capacity is below a certain level, then instead of getting recharged, it is recycled. The on-battery monitor also keeps track of the capacity of the battery (which will generally be lower for older batteries, but above a specified minimum). This will also be displayed to the driver to act as a fuel guage.

              Getting an old battery when you swap will then be as much of a non-issue as getting an old calor gas cylinder when you swap.

            3. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Power required

              However there are issues with being given an unknown battery - if yours is almost new and gets swapped for one that has done 300,000 miles you might not be too pleased.

              ---

              Part of the recharge process would mean that the battery is tested to make sure it meets requirements and anyway you would only have it for one discharge cycle.

      2. Justthefacts Bronze badge

        Re: Power required

        *Theoretically*, dynamic pricing fixes the problem but in practice there are so many problems.

        Firstly, does variable pricing work in the real economic world? In the UK we have Economy 7 day/night pricing, to support the very well established fact that it is cheaper to generate electricity at night than day. And.....only a minority actually have that meter installed. So, decades long market experiment tells you there's a problem with persuading people that's in their economic interest.

        Secondly, how will this dynamic pricing be implemented? Perhaps everyone will have a "much smarter meter" installed. How has the deployment of the first generation of smart meters gone? Has it actually justified the £14 billion cost? Did the cost-benefit calculations of the eco experts turn out to be correct, or regulatory capture crap?

        Or, perhaps everybody will have an app? What happens when that IT stuff goes down? We can see today: there are several apps which direct you to EV charging points; when the *pricing* goes offline because of 4G outage / website outage etc, the charging point has to go offline even if the leccy works, to price-charge the user correctly. At any one time 10-20% of charging points are offline due to this.

        Thirdly, you've ignored the way the infrastructure organisation was actually sliced up by Thatcher for ideological reasons. The stability benefit accrues to a company called "National Grid". Consumer pricing is handled by dozens of separate companies called like E.ON. What is the financial benefit to *E.ON* to implement a costly IT system, and *reduce its price at night*, to shore up the infrastructure of "National Grid"? And currently (pun intended) consumer supply companies compete for pricing on a quarterly time period - how is this going to work if they compete minute-by-minute at charging stations, it would be mayhem. You would need to re-nationalise the whole system to align its incentives.

        Fourthly, as you pointed out, this is decades old research based on the old electricity grid. The 21C grid contains highly variable and unpredictable generators like wind. You can't just wait "until the price of electricity dropped to near the lowest value of the previous day." If yesterday was a windy day, and today is dead calm, the price might never drop anything near - it might double or treble overnight. The problem is actually the unpredictability, not just variability. I can't "set the car to wait", because it has to be charged when I wake up to get to work, and the price might or might not drop to my target overnight. You've now got twenty million people addicted like sad gambling day-traders, checking their phones every few minutes to see when to charge their car.

        1. irrelevant

          Re: Power required

          Economy.. Admitedly it's a good few years since I last looked, but I considered it for overnight washing/drying machine use. It turned out that the daytime rate was more expensive than on the standard tariff, which would have more than obliterated the possible overnight savings.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Power required

            " the daytime rate was more expensive than on the standard tarif"

            Of course it was. Can you see why?

            "which would have more than obliterated the possible overnight savings."

            Which is why E7 (or equivalent) isn't for you, or lots of other people, at the moment. But it may suit some other people.

        2. Thoguht Silver badge

          Re: Power required

          Dynamic pricing has already been implemented, all you need is a smart meter and a supplier that offers it. If you have it specifically for a car, you tell an app when you next want to use your car and how many miles you need to drive, and the car will be charged between now and then using the cheapest available (or greenest, according to your preference) electricity.

          Depending on the model of car, how many miles you want to drive and where you live, it may even charge the battery completely with cheap off-peak electricity and then sell some of it back to the grid during peak times so you don't have to do your own speculating.

          1. Justthefacts Bronze badge

            Re: Power required

            Well, that is genuinely interesting. It shows the problem can be addressed from the consumer POV.

            But still not the general points related to scaleability of EV usage & electricity infrastructure:

            Just to be clear, I actually support this. But it's going to take a lot of system engineering, massive regulation, and possibly re-nationalisation of electricity industry

            "What happens when that IT stuff goes down" [or IOS updates & suddenly doesn't support the app] - Nothing much, then I'll just use a standard charging point & pay what it costs.......Errr, no you won't. When it goes down, it's down for everybody at the same time. That's a pain when only a few people have leccy cars. But it's pretty grim for society if forty million people suddenly have no means of making their cars go. And that's trucks delivering food, too. There is *no* system-wide single-point failure equivalent for a petrol station network.

            "What is the financial benefit to *E.ON* vs National Grid"

            - National Grid cannot depend on this app to maintain grid stability by running a distributed load-balancing algorithm on people's smartphones. That would be crazy. E.ON won't & can't provide any back-guarantee to National Grid. Moreover, E.ON & dozens of other utilities are entitled to change both electricity pricing & load-balancing algorithm in the app, without consulting each other. But without those guarantees, National Grid have to build *the same infrastructure as if the load-balancing didn't exist, in case it failed*.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Power required

            "when you next want to use your car and how many miles you need to drive"

            and then something unexpected happens, and your clever charger had been selling units back to grid

            and you only have 10miles in the tank.

            dumbest fucking idea on the planet, I really want to be at the mercy of a stupid fucking charger when a medical emgency happens, or something urgent comes up

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Power required

          Economy 7 is only of use for people who use a lot of power at night. Not many people do that's why there isn't much take up.

          With EVs, those users do use energy at night and so there is a good incentive to do it. Hence you get tariffs that allow periods of very cheap electricity (similar but not E7).

          As for "when IT stuff goes down" that applies to absolutely everything. Banking, fuel stations, traffic lights etc. You just mitigate around it. The costs and availability of electricity generation is fairly predictable. From the basic - cheaper at night, medium in mid day, high in evening. They can always fall back to that if they can't get real-time pricing. There are far more variable things in life that are taken into account each day.

        4. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: Power required

          "only a minority actually have that meter installed. So, decades long market experiment tells you there's a problem with persuading people that's in their economic interest."

          Things change quite a bit with an EV, though. Even with a relatively short commute (20 mile round trip) at a fairly economical usage rate (5 miles per kWh), you are looking at 4kWh/day. For many, this could mean charging their EV is a third of their electricity usage. If they can get that third at a significantly cheaper rate, especially without the meter change/double meters required before smart meters*, it becomes interesting.

          Increasing the figures to match my own, I can save over £400/year with the "best" ToU tariff I can find, which is around a 35% saving compared to not (without any other adjustments). It definitely becomes an interesting proposition, and may also move me to consider timing other activities for the cheap leccy times (e.g. washing)

          * Yes, I know, yuk! I would resist installation if I wasn't getting an EV soon, meaning the savings are worth putting up with it.

          1. Justthefacts Bronze badge

            Re: Power required

            Yes, I do agree with that - if you add “car fuel”, it may change people’s electricity behaviour.

            My point was - this is a pricing option where many people whom it would actually benefit, have decided not to select it. Because, they don’t really know what their day and night usage is before they get the E7 meter installed, and after that it would be too late. There are perfectly valid reasons that people might not follow price signals that economists assume they ought to.

            Plus - I have E7.....my day/night meter clock is *clockwork* and has no means to keep time. I can’t touch it, and meter readers don’t check it.Mine thinks that “daytime” starts at 2am. As far as I can guess, this is to my advantage. So, take that as you will.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: E7 etc

              "my day/night meter clock is *clockwork* "

              There may well be a clockwork time switch. If it's like the (inactive) one here, the clockwork is wound electrically (!), but as designed, there should always have been enough life in the clockwork spring to ride through foreseeable power outages. People used to care about these things. Nowadays, less so.

              "meter readers don’t check [time switch] has the right time"

              Why would they even check if they're not paid to, and especially if there's no administrative or field engineering process for getting the timeswitch corrected even if the issue were to be reported?

              "[people] don’t really know what their day and night usage is"

              Probably true, but readily fixable with a £50 or so (retail, quantity one) electricity usage monitor from someone like TheOwl. No installation (as such) necessary, no E7 needed, no "smart" meter needed. Just a clothes peg to go round the meter cable (well, a clamp on current sensor, actually) and a simple remote display which is capable of translating actual real usage (kWh) into cost (£££) if you tell it the per-unit charges and applicable times of day.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Power required

              "Because, they don’t really know what their day and night usage is before they get the E7 meter installed, and after that it would be too late."

              That's BS: At least I know by 1kWh resolution what the usage is as it's not only ~constant by day, it's almost constant by month and year too.

              E7-meter wouldn't change that an iota.

      3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Power required

        decades ago.

        i.e. before fast changing Li-Ion batteries was a thing.

        There are two separate issues, grid capacity and generating capacity.

        Just do the maths. EV batteries today hold 40-80kWh of energy. let's take 60 as a midpoint, such a battery will deliver 60kW for one hour, and charging isn't 100% efficient (i.e. it takes more than 60kWh to put 60kWh charge in) so to charge it in 10 minutes would require around 400kW.

        A normal filling station has from 4 to 10 pumps, so if each were replaced by a charger that would be a power requirement of 1.6 to 4MW per station. That's 200-400A at 11kV to every filling station, essentially a dedicated 11kV line per station. Also note that I can fill my diesel once, and get 5-600 miles on a tankful, but a range of 200 miles would mean I'd be filling 3x as often, so we would need more charging points.

        Then you have the total energy that needs to be supplied.The UK car fleet consumes about 140TWh petrol, 130TWh diesel (calculated as Tonnes of Oil Equivalent (TOE)), so a total of 270TWh per year. Let's be generous and halve that for electrical transport, since electric motors tend to be ~2x as efficient as ICE ones. That's still 140TWh/year. UK annual electricity consumption is 360TWh, so you're looking at a 40% increase in required generating capacity even without adding in haulage fuel requirements (150TWh) which makes it worse.

        Battery capacity & charge rate just isn't the problem, the infrastructure needs to be there to support it.

        1. Arisia

          Re: Power required

          Petrol cars have a max efficiency of 20-35%. i.e. a BEV is 3-5x as efficient as ICE using TOE.

          Those who can, are going to charge at home. About 50-60% I believe. I do at least 90% of my usage as that.

          That leaves a rump of the rest who are going long distance or don't have access to lower speed charging (no off road parking etc). Even relatively long distance, you start with a full charge so you only need the extra to get you there (+buffer).

          In reality chargers will pop up in every car park (especially including work ones), supermarkets, multi-stories etc so suddenly even most of the the people don't have offroad parking won't need rapid charging most of the time. So suddenly the infrastructure required - though still significant - is a lot smaller than you state.

          https://theenergyst.com/aurora-electric-vehicles-wont-break-power-grid/

          I find it immensely frustrating that people assume that you would "fuel" an EV in an identical manner to an ICE. Stuck in a mindset of what they know. YMMV/statistics/damned lies/etc

      4. katrinab Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Power required

        Could the local grid take it?

        In any case, I'm pretty sure that research wasn't done on having a 1MW charger outside my house that I plug in when I get home.

      5. hmv Bronze badge

        Re: Power required

        And without considering the possibility of vehicle to grid charging.

    2. Symon Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Power required

      Power calculations if we replaced all UK petroleum with nuclear electricity.

      UK's petroleum annual energy consumption :- 60 mtoe

      1 mtoe = 42 petajoules

      So, average power is = 80 GW

      Big nuclear power station generates 3.2GW

      Let's assume electric motors are twice as efficient as internal combustion engines, also space heating with electric heat pumps is at least twice as efficient as burning heating oil, that gives us between 10 and 20 Hinkley Points. FWIW, you'd need about three times as many Sizewell Bs, as that plant 'only' makes 1.2GW.

      There's a lot of energy in oil. A lot.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Power required

        Completely flawed calculations, you have no need to convert 'Oil' to 'Energy' to 'Electricity' and and guess at efficiencies etc.

        For a start you are assuming that petroleum is extracted without using any energy, and doesn't use any energy to deliver it to the end user.

        You then assume wild efficiencies based upon heat pumps. An EV motor such as the Tesla Model 3 is 97% efficient. An ICE is around 25% efficient, however this varies wildly with the gears, revs, speed etc. It's 0% when sat waiting with the engine on.

        The energy capacity of EVs are known, their typical range is known, the energy delivery from chargers is known, the average annual mileage is known. You can use that for calculations.

        Yes this FUD has been pushed by the Oil companies for many years, but most people have realised it is rubbish. However still you try to push this agenda? Why not switch to a better argument?

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Power required

          An ICE is around 25% efficient, however this varies wildly with the gears, revs, speed etc. It's 0% when sat waiting with the engine on.

          This is something that owning a hybrid has taught me - the inefficiency of ICE in urban areas. I own a Corolla and most of my driving is on single lane A roads at 50 mph. There's a bit of rush hour urban driving but it's probably only 10% of the total. Over the summer I was getting 60 mpg (measured at the pump).

          Someone on a forum I visit is a taxi driver and has the same car. Over summer they've been averaging high 70s mpg. It's noticeable that allowing for a few model differences those forum members that spend most of their time bimbling around town get better results than those of us mostly on the open road. With ICE it'd be completely different.

          Mind you it's also noticeable what effect weather has. I'm currently averaging 50 mpg so am suffering 20% higher fuel consumption and the battery is noticeably less keen and less capable.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: Power required

            I own a Corolla and most of my driving is on single lane A roads at 50 mph. There's a bit of rush hour urban driving but it's probably only 10% of the total. Over the summer I was getting 60 mpg

            I'll completely accept that ICE engines are terribly inefficient at stop-start town driving, but even accounting for the fact that your Corolla is somewhat bigger than my Modus and uses petrol rather than Diesel, I'd say those figures are slightly disappointing and one of the reasons I've never totally understood the benefits of hybrid driving.

            My Modus on a similar mix of roads would average perhaps 65 - 70 mpg (trip computer, zero'd at fill-up). Most of my own driving is at motorway speeds (bar a long slow queue to get to the motorway) and over this last summer it's made between 62mpg and 65mpg at every fill up. This, mind you, in a car which now has over 185,000 miles on the clock. It will be less over the winter but I expect to manage 60mpg most of the time.

            Before the Modus, in the last summer before I handed my Kangoo (very similar engine but very different gearing) over to my wife, that car did three tanks which each averaged something like 72mpg. Once it was relegated to the school run it still managed 55mpg+, and for that use a plug-in hybrid (with a battery capable of 20 - 30 miles) would probably be much more efficient.

            M.

            1. AndrueC Silver badge

              Re: Power required

              I'll completely accept that ICE engines are terribly inefficient at stop-start town driving, but even accounting for the fact that your Corolla is somewhat bigger than my Modus and uses petrol rather than Diesel, I'd say those figures are slightly disappointing and one of the reasons I've never totally understood the benefits of hybrid driving.

              Agreed..sorta. I was hoping for better. However the truth is that my typical journey is not what the hybrid system is best suited for. Hybrids are best around town where figures of 70 even 80 mpg are possible. But even so I am getting better figures than my previous car (a Honda Jazz 1.3 CVT). It's looking like the hybrid system has reduced my fuel consumption by around 10%.

              Would an equivalent diesel be better? I don't know. But I do think that a diesel would be noisier, smellier and possibly nowhere near as clean as the manufacturer claimed. Hybrids are not intended to be the next best thing. They are sold as more efficient than their petrol engine equivalents and especially so in an urban environment.

              Something else to consider is that I was already an efficient driver. It might be that a more typical driver would have seen a bigger improvement. I've long wondered about that since a lot of what a hybrid is about is reclaiming lost energy and I try not to lose it in the first place (eg; I try to avoid ever using my brakes).

              And one last thing - although I have the smaller 1.8 litre engine I do have the top spec which means bigger tyres. These have been found to be responsible for another 5 to 10% of fuel consumption with the previous Auris model. So like for like it's possible my fuel consumption has been reduced by 15% compared to my previous car with no loss of performance.

              Before the Modus, in the last summer before I handed my Kangoo (very similar engine but very different gearing) over to my wife, that car did three tanks which each averaged something like 72mpg. Once it was relegated to the school run it still managed 55mpg+, and for that use a plug-in hybrid (with a battery capable of 20 - 30 miles) would probably be much more efficient.

              And my Corolla would likely be 70 mpg or higher on a school run. This is why taxi drivers love the Prius. On the open-road it's above average for a petrol engine. Around town it's extremely good.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Power required

            "This is something that owning a hybrid has taught me - the inefficiency of ICE in urban areas."

            Semi-true, have a stop-start engine and it stops the engine when you stop. But the major fuel consumption is because stop&go -traffic, not idling.

            Reduce the size of the engine to moped size (just like hybrids have) and it doesn't consume so much in acceleration. Very easy: My motorbike uses about 4.5l/100km and road/city driving doesn't change that a bit.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Power required

              Reduce the size of the engine to moped size (just like hybrids have)

              Toyota hybrid systems, for example, use a 1.8 litre Atkinson cycle engine. I've never seen one of those on a moped.

              A hybrid generally does slow crawl stop/start urban driving on battery power. They are absolutely superb in these circumstances.

              1. AndrueC Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: Power required

                A hybrid generally does slow crawl stop/start urban driving on battery power. They are absolutely superb in these circumstances.

                That experience on the A55 outside Abergele certainly showed that. I'd wondered what happened on really long delays when the battery had no chance of keeping the car going. From that experience it appears that Toyota have developed a very effective system. It looks like running the ICE at maximum efficiency to get energy into the battery then using the battery to propel the car is a very efficient way to propel the car at slow speed. Interesting that it chose to run the ICE at relatively low RPMs though. I'd have thought it'd go for 2,000 rather than 1,200.

                It's a bloody boring and tedious way to drive past Abergele though :-/

          3. Lich

            Re: Power required

            I have a 2.0 ICE focus... in the UK I used to average around 39-40mpg. on a long run I would get high 50's.

            I now live in Malta, my average speed in around 9mph.... due to the traffic... and get around 22mpg - which goes to show the difference very urban traffic makes to ICE mpg....

            Although the size of the island would make an EV the perfect choice for my next car

        2. Justthefacts Bronze badge

          Re: Power required

          Agreed,

          “The energy capacity of EVs are known, their typical range is known, the energy delivery from chargers is known, the average annual mileage is known. You can use that for calculations.”

          So why didn’t you do the calculation then?

          90kWh buys you 200 miles range today, average 10k miles per year => 5MWh per vehicle. 40 million vehicles => 200 million MWh per year, 8000 hours per year => 25 GW on average. However, it really isn’t realistic that the charging demand is totally levelled across the day. *Let’s assume* that the peaking EV charging problems are mostly solved (unrealistic, but this is la la land), and just use the non-EV demand peak-to-average from Gridwatch, squeezes the demand into roughly 12 hours of the day, requires 50GW generating capacity.

          His back-of-the-envelope was 80 GW required, whereas the estimate based on EV and Gridwatch hard data an is only 60% of that.

          That’s a fair difference, but I’m not seeing how it affects his argument?

          Whereas your argument does have some massive holes:

          1) An ICE may be 25% efficient, but burning fossil fuel in a power plant is also only about 45% efficient. Taking into account 15% electricity transmission loss, and 10% battery charging loss, the truth is there isn’t much difference in fuel-to-wheel energy efficiency.

          But the trade off was *never* about thermodynamic efficiency, that’s just rubbish.

          2) Ironically, your statement “assuming that petroleum is extracted without using any energy” is the key one, both positive and negative. 30-40% of all the primary energy goes into refining it to petrol, and that’s bad. Whereas oil burning generators are more forgiving and can use a wider range.

          But, the UK moved to gas from oil for generating, not for thermo efficiency reasons, but because it is dispatchable, ie spins up quickly in response to demand. In fact, you couldn’t have wind generation *at all* if we hadn’t done so. It would be simply impossible to run a Grid like that.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Power required

            But you have to start with real figures, remember GIGO.

            75kWh buys you 310 miles today (Model 3 LR). UK average travel distance = 7k miles per year. 32.5 Million cars on the road.

            So your calculations include a 20% bigger battery, for 36% range, travelling 42% more miles with 23% more cars on the road. And then you overstate the answer by 11%.

            So using the actual figures gives you 6.27GW per hour (24 hours)

            Wow, amazing how simple errors add up eh? You figure is almost four times the size. That's not including the doubling of the Grid losses (8.5%), battery charging loss is about right for AC but it is much less for DC.

            So with that, squeeze it into 12 hours, that's 12.54GW * 1.085 *1.1 = approx 15GW extra for 12 hours.

            There is already a difference of this between day/night electricity use (about 20GW). In fact there is almost as much difference between summer and winter peak use as this (about 11GW).

            In fact the UK grid is capable of 2.5x the current Peak usage under absolutely ideal conditions, everything firing on full blast - inclusing wind and solar. Realistically if we take wind and solar completely out of the mix. There is still well over double the capacity of peak require now if it all works fully. However we are nowhere near peak capacity of the grid even during absolute peak times on a peak day.

            That isn't even including the interconnects from Europe which have a capacity of 5.5GW max.

            Also your figures for Oil burning power plant efficiency are way out. Not only are they much more efficient than quoted but a new one which takes waste heat and uses this to power a separate turbine has even greater gains. I can't get the exact figures due to the lack of available source material but it would be well over 50% and I would expect it to be nearer 70%.

            1. Symon Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Power required

              "you have to start with real figures"

              You also have to use real units, what is "6.27GW per hour"?

              "your figures for Oil burning power plant efficiency are way out. [] I can't get the exact figures"

              Try using a search engine? thermal efficiency of oil power station

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_fuel_power_station#Basic_concepts:_heat_into_mechanical_energy

              These power stations are about 37% efficient.

              Next, what you need to do is some research into this French bloke called Carnot. We cannot make a 70% efficient power station. It would melt itself. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnot_heat_engine

              BTW, the energy used to extract the oil from the ground is about 5% of the energy content of the extracted oil. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421513003856

              Look, I don't think anyone here is saying that it's impossible to run electric vehicles, and I believe the consensus is that any efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption are admirable. We're simply pointing out that it is not as easy it first appears to replace fossil fuels with something else, and we are doing some fag packet calculations to show this. Personally, I would hope we built a load of fast integral nuclear reactors, and I'm not alone in this. https://www.monbiot.com/category/nuclear/

              Cheers! --->

            2. Justthefacts Bronze badge

              Re: Power required

              Nope, the actual value is closer to my estimate than yours.

              1) You are quoting manufacturer range 310 miles. Those figures are as delusional as petrol mpg figures. Try Autocar, who measure 155 miles real world versus 250 mile manufacturer figure on the basic model 3, with a 50 kWh battery, translates to 230 miles for the LR. I underestimated by 36%, but you overestimated by 50%

              https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/132416/tesla-model-3--

              2) “UK 32.5 million cars....7k miles”

              Cars, yes, vehicles no.....the trucks and buses also go electric, and need to be included. Turns out that’s a *lot*.

              327 billion vehicle miles, consisting of 32 million cars driving 7k each (250 billion miles) and 7 million vehicles consisting significantly of trucks and buses with starship mileages.

              Except, the trucks aren’t going to achieve the 3 miles/kWh of a family saloon. A diesel truck typically gets 17 mpg vs car 60mpg, and there’s no reason to think electric efficiency scales differently. So, although trucks drive only 67 billion miles, they use about 240 billion miles of fuel in car terms, for a total of about 500 billion car mile equivalents. That’s equivalent to 12.5k averaged over 40 million vehicles.

              So I actually *underestimated* by 25% when you claimed I overestimated by 65%.

              https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/741953/road-traffic-estimates-in-great-britain-2017.pdf

              The corrected estimate for EV usage adds 40 GW peak to U.K. generating capacity requirement. That’s way outside present capability.

            3. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: Power required

              interconnects from Europe which have a capacity of 5.5GW max.

              We currently have 2GW capacity to France, 1GW to the Netherlands and 1GW to Belgium (opened this year). A further 1GW to France was originally scheduled for this year but is now scheduled to open next year.

              You cannot count the Moyle and EWIC 500MW connectors to Ireland as they seem to be used almost exclusively to transport electricity to Ireland, rather than from it. In fact you could argue that their capacity should be added to the demand on the GB mainland :-)

              Mind you, over the next few years, a further 5.5GW or so is planned to be added. Not sure of the flows in those links. I suspect most will generally import to the UK.

              As a whole, Europe currently has a reasonable surplus of generating capacity. This might not be the case were EVs to take over from ICE cars across the continent!

              M.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Power required

              "In fact the UK grid is capable of 2.5x the current Peak usage under absolutely ideal conditions, everything firing on full blast - inclusing wind and solar."

              This is patentable BS. *No-one* builds grids like that, anywhere,ever. Fits the rest, no wonder.

              If there's even 10% reserve, I'm surprised. Here in North it's about that and it's totally because of winters we have.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Power required

          "EV motor such as the Tesla Model 3 is 97% efficient."

          Irrelevant as *anything* attached to motor is not. And never will be.

          Absolute BS.

          We are talking about *car* efficiency and it's obvious that 80% for that is very, very generous.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Power required

          "ICE is around 25% efficient, however this varies wildly with the gears, revs, speed etc."

          That's also BS. Might apply to 60s Beetle but that's obsolete anyway. 30- to 35% for a modern car, if turbo then a bit more.

          Electric car also needs transmission and that's basically the same as ordinary car, so no difference in that.

      2. Corin

        Re: Power required

        There's one gotcha in your analysis; you have assumed that the petroleum arrives pre-refined. Does the refining process not consume vast quantities of electricity - or, in other words, do our existing petrol/diesel cars place an indirect burden on the grid?

        Or in other words, the step 'up' to charge an electric car is offset by a step down in power requirement for the reduced oil consumption, closing the gap somewhat. Fewer new power generators needed!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Power required

          Does the refining process not consume vast quantities of electricity

          It consumes an amount of energy equivalent to between 6% and 8% of the energy in the crude oil.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Power required

          "Does the refining process not consume vast quantities of electricity"

          No. Refinery uses electricity for pumping stuff around, all of the rest comes from the crude oil. It still uses a lot of electricity, but not much relative to amount of fuel refined

          Separating U238 from U235 on the other hand typically needs an nuclear power station nearby.

      3. Matthew Smith

        Re: Power required

        Internal combustion engines are horribly inefficient. It would still make more sense to pour all the petrol into a handful of power stations, burn it to generate heat like a good old coal station, and use the electricity to power electric cars. Theres not going to be a problem supplying the energy for cars. Also, if you wanted to, you could also capture the CO2 much easily.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Power required

          Not sure about the downvotes, that statement is true. It'd be a shame to do that but it would be cheap, much more efficient and much more environmentally friendly to use generators powered by petrol/diesel to power electric cars than carry on running ICE in vehicles.

          However capturing the CO2 is not easy and not cheap.

          1. KarMann

            Re: Power required

            I assumed that he'd left out a 'more' in there, and meant it's much easier & cheaper to capture CO₂ from the power stations than at each individual ICE vehicle, which is true. But yeah, easier & cheaper than != easy & cheap.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Power required

            "Not sure about the downvotes, that statement is true."

            Because it is *not* true, not even near. Omit every loss in electricity generation and transfer and then it might be true. But that's as honest as omitting losses in ordinary petrol car.

        2. AndrueC Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Power required

          You could be right there.

          ICE efficiency is best at or near wide open throttle but that's a condition that you can't maintain for long in a road vehicle. The advantage of burning it in a power station is that it'd be easier to ensure that the power stations were operating at full throttle.

          Efficient ICE: Driving 10 kilometres, burning 10 litres of fuel and extracting 40% of the energy.

          Efficient vehicle: Driving 10 kilometres, burning 5 litres of fuel and extracting 30% of the energy.

          One of things Toyota's hybrid system does is to charge the battery from the ICE. Although this means putting an extra load on the ICE it usually does it in such a way as to run the ICE more efficiently than it would if it were just moving the car. It will also sometimes use the electric motor to assist the ICE to avoid having to move the ICE into a less efficient part of the performance curve.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Power required

            "ICE efficiency is best at or near wide open throttle"

            Semi-lie. Doesn't apply to diesels or turbos at all. Most of the small cars now have turbos, diesel or not.

            Diesel has almost constant efficiency and turbos have efficiency related to boost, for most modern models it means they've constant efficiency too once boost is on :Turbo exists for that purpose.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Power required

          "It would still make more sense to pour all the petrol into a handful of power stations, burn it to generate heat like a good old coal station, and use the electricity to power electric cars."

          And that would be *even worse*. You people have the idea that electricity can be moved and stored without losses. It isn't so. Not even near.

          Just *transferring it* is 10% loss. Before you can even do anything with it.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Not in ten years

      Not a problem, because the average age of cars on the road is over ten years (at least in the US, I assume the UK/EU is similar) so even if we started selling 100% electric cars today we wouldn't have even half the cars on the road be electric in a decade. The transition will take a long time for the cars, meaning we have a long time for any necessary utility upgrades.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not in ten years

        "meaning we have a long time for any necessary utility upgrades"

        better get fucking building now then, and not more fucking wind and solar shit.

        Unless you want shit more of the diesel gens that keep popping up everywhere to be ready for wind to stop or night to fall. (and fucking batteries are just as stupid).

        we haven't even started properly on the newest nuclear one that's been in planning for decades.

        so your "we have a long time" is bollocks of the highest order.

  5. John Sager

    The number of articles I've seen on 'battery breakthrough' over the years must now be in the hundreds, and few if any have found their way into commercial use. So the odds for this one are low. In any case, where is the power infrastructure to allow these charge rates at your average electrical filling station? And the investment to create it?

    1. cbars

      it's the science equivalent of knocking up a POC in your scrap/dev environment, then when it doesn't deliver on the promises and hype saying "hey, it worked in Dev!"

      The odds of success are low only because no-one puts the time/money into developing the POC into a product, because the capital investment is so much higher than the cost of just carrying on - just so long as everyone else thinks the same...

      1. A K Stiles
        Coat

        POC

        I presume you mean "Proof of Concept" rather than "Piece of Carp", which was my first thought on seeing "POC"

        1. Symon Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: POC

          Piece of carp? The swim bladder? :-)

          https://youtu.be/Ovum-GjYWKQ

          I went back to the store

          They gave me four more

          The guy told me at the door

          It's a piece of crap

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Boffin

      It's very similar to cancer research: there are always stories about advances, but it's rare that there are just huge leaps, just incremental improvements in treatment.

  6. Tomislav

    Not much left then...

    Don't expect to see this in mobiles because they don't have the required cooling. Unless you are willing to let your mobile phone preheat itself to 60 degrees C and then wait a couple of hours for it to cool to room temperature this will have no impact in your daily life.

    Recharging a car in 10 minutes will have enormous power requirements, the infrastructure and production to support this on a mass scale is just not there yet and might not be within the next 10 to 20 years. Remember, electricity needs to be produced somehow and then brought to the recharging station. Recharging a Tesla to 80% in 10 minutes will require about half a megawatt of power, now imagine a recharging station in the middle of the desert with a dozen cars recharging at the same time...

    1. seven of five
      Joke

      Re: Not much left then...

      Los Alamos flats - simples.

      Was way more than then a mere half megawatt/hour, btw.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not much left then...

        down-vote - purely for the use of "simples"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just needs sunshine and blue-sky thinking

      "...now imagine a recharging station in the middle of the desert with a dozen cars recharging at the same time..."

      Hmmm. Need to buy a few solar panels, then.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Not much left then...

      "now imagine a recharging station in the middle of the desert with a dozen cars recharging at the same time."

      I'm thinking more of a motorway service station beside the M1 with a hundred cars charging at the same time. And the same beside the other carriage way.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Not much left then...

        I'm thinking the same thing, only on the M25 with traffic flow both directions stationary* & either charging inductively from the road or everyone arguing over whose turn it is to charge from the motorway lighting or the emergency phone at the roadside.

        It's been a long while since I drove on the M25 (Rush hour or not).

    4. Killfalcon Silver badge

      Re: Not much left then...

      I'm note sure about cooling, but my phone seems quite willing to pre-heat itself with the mildest encouragement downloaded from the App Store.

  7. CN Hill

    How many amps does it draw from the mains?

    1kW of mains equates to 4A. Let's say 40kWhr to full charge so 160A for 1 hour. Or in 10 minutes 6 x 160A = 960A. Close on 1kA.

    Seriously?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "amps from the mains" (?)

      The amps referred to in the original article aren't mains voltage amps. Electric vehicle batteries tend not to operate at mains voltages either. But that's not really the point.

      Once electric vehicle chargers get much above 7kW output you don't necessarily connect them via domestic-style 240v mains. No problem, the next stage is three phase at 240V/440v, and beyond that for larger commercial EV chargers (at workplaces, shops, etc, and even for new residential developments) there's always the 3phase 11kV network to supply the chargers..

      Not rocket science. See e.g.

      https://www.zap-map.com/charge-points/ (relates geographically to the UK but the technologies don't vary much by country)

      1. CN Hill

        Re: "amps from the mains" (?)

        So every recharging point is going to be connected to a 11kV supply? Seriously?

      2. Tuomas Hosia

        Re: "amps from the mains" (?)

        "The amps referred to in the original article aren't mains voltage amps. "

        Irrelevant as getting 11kV outlet just for you won't happen in any foreseeable reality.

    2. Symon Silver badge
      Coat

      You can only drive via these locations:-

      https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/48352/1138-map-nuclear-power-stations-uk.pdf

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coat

        Sizewell I never

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The actual original article/paper ?

    Start at https://www.cell.com/joul/newarticles

    The original Cell article under discussion here (?) was freely available (to me anyway, a non-subscriber with no professional affiliations although an ex MInstPhys and ex MIET and former observer of sodium-sulphur battery technology in electric vehicles in the 1970s/1980s) at

    https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(19)30481-7

    https://www.cell.com/joule/pdf/S2542-4351(19)30481-7.pdf

    filed under

    (2019),Asymmetric Temperature Modulation for Extreme Fast Charging of Lithium-Ion Batteries:

    Xiao-Guang Yang,Teng Liu,Yue Gao,Shanhai Ge,Yongjun Leng,Donghai Wang,Chao-Yang Wang

    It's quite interesting.

  9. Chronos Silver badge
    Unhappy

    But...

    The one thing that needs addressing for EVs to be viable is the replacement cost of the pack. Sure, address fast charging if you must but do, please, sort this bleeding money pit out first. Until this goes away, I'll be sticking with internal combustion and a fuel tank that doesn't need a >£5k replacement every five to eight years.

    The old G-Wizz that everyone loves to hate are a case in point: These used lead acid, which are cheaper than li-ion, and you still see mountains of the things with "requires new battery." It's far from ecological to waste a whole vehicle just because its fragile, volatile energy storage system is shit. The only reason you don't see Priusen scrapped because their electrical storage ist kaput is because they have a petrol engine that hides the fact.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: But...

      According to this paper, and as stated in the article, this was tested and found to still be capable of holding 91.7% of the battery's full charge after 2,500 cycles. Assuming you charge once a workday on average, this comes out to over ten years worth of value from a single battery pack. The pack may be expensive but a decade of use is pretty good.

      If you are draining the battery multiple times a day, I would suggest that burning dinosaurs is probably going to make your life a lot easier until we have magic future battery tech.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But...

        "According to this paper, and as stated in the article, this was tested and found to still be capable of holding 91.7% of the battery's full charge after 2,500 cycles"

        In what time? Assuming that 2500 cycles in a month on the lab floor is the same as 2500 cycles in 10 years in a car, is very bold assumption.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But...

      Hmm so how long does a transmission or engine last in an iCE? In fact how long does the car last or least stay economically viable?

      200,000 miles? 300,000 miles?

      A Tesla Model 3 battery should last (i.e. not degrade below 80% of original capacity) 400,000~500,000 miles. The next battery tech for their newer models should last 1million miles.

      The replacement cost for a battery pack for a Model 3 should be similar to an engine replacement in a modern car at a dealer.

      In an ICE over 400,000 miles how many times will it be serviced, will you have mechanical problems with the engine, gearbox, fan belt etc. And what would the cost of all that be? An EV requires no regular servicing - just tyres and washer fluid need replacing. Brakes will last many people the life of the car 100.000~150,000 miles - the most likely issue is lack of use so need to be used or cleaned every now and then.

      The batteries at the end of lie (80% capacity) are then re-used in battery storage projects and at the end of that life are recycled in Europe.

      If you are talking about an early generation Nissan Leaf, then yes you have a point.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But...

        Also, you mentioned time (5-8 years) well an EV battery generally has a lifespan based on charge/recharge cycles. That's where the 400,000 to 500,000 miles comes from.

        So with an average annual mileage in the UK of 7,000 miles then the battery should last about 65 years.

        As that was the one thing they need to sort out, and until then you'll be sticking with an ICE vehicle. I think you'll find it's no longer an issue for newer generation of EVs. So looks like some EVs have that 'one last problem' solved.

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: But...

        I debunked the 400,000 mile claim in this post. Yes, it relates to Nissan, but the underlying technology is essentially the same. About all you can say is that Tesla's battery is bigger and so may not need so many charge cycles for the same distance.

        An EV requires no regular servicing

        Yer wot? Apart from the motive power and some of the transmission system, all the other systems are essentially the same as an ICE car. Brakes lasting 150,000 miles? Even with regenerative braking taking up some of the task I find this very hard to believe, and it's not just the pads, it's the discs (maybe drums) too, perhaps cylinders, and as EVs with batteries are heavier than the equivalent ICE car (Leaf GVW 1,995kg, Micra 1,550kg), the brakes have more work to do. What about the suspension system? The heating system? The metallic parts (corrosion)? The active safety systems (airbags, pretensioners etc.)? The lights? (anecdotally, I'm seeing a few cars with failed LED lighting now. Bet it's a bit more expensive to fix than a filament bulb :-)

        And in the UK at least, even EVs have to have a valid MOT certificate, which means a trip to the test centre once a year from year 3 onwards.

        My Modus has over 185,000 miles on the clock and while it does need a trip to the garage every 18,000 miles for fluids-and-filters and is now on its third timing belt (couple of hundred quid), the only other major non accident-related work it's had done was a clutch (quite expensive) and the replacement of a corroded structural part under the bonnet. I don't particularly like the car (it was a "distress" purchase), but I have to admit it's been fairly reliable and economic so far.

        Bet it'll blow the turbo next week now, or the high pressure fuel pump will die...

        Have you any real figures for the cost of a battery pack in the Tesla? You might be right about the comparison with a conventional engine. A refurbished battery pack for the Leaf seems to be around £2,000 (Japan price, ex-VAT, maybe after trade-in?) with a new pack costing twice or three times that. Given that the Tesla's battery is at least three times the capacity of the Leaf's and is fundamentally the same technology I'd not be surprised if it also costs three times that.

        I've never had to buy a new or reconditioned engine for an ICE car. Anyone with real figures for (say) a BMW 3 series?

        Electric cars probably are the way forward. I'm not hugely enthusiastic about batteries, but they're currently the only real option. I really doubt, however, that battery cars will ever be available new at similar prices to (for example) the Dacia Sandero which starts at a shade under £7,000 if you don't mind not having a radio, so maybe we're heading back to the 1950s in terms of car ownership, when only the middle-class could aspire personal transportation.

        Perhaps we also therefore need to return to 1950s levels of public transport?

        M.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But...

        "A Tesla Model 3 battery should last "

        Meaningless number which has no connection to any reality at all. Also Tesla costs $50 kilos, you could by a a luxury car with that price. It's obvious already that the rest of the Tesla 3 won't last even 200k miles and then imagined battery life time is also meaningless.

        "An EV requires no regular servicing - just tyres and washer fluid need replacing. "

        BS: It has all the same mechanical parts as ordinary car minus gearbox and thus *will* need servicing at regular intervals. Also: A lot of electronics means it *will be broken* regurarly. Just like any other modern car.

        Almost 80% of faults in new cars are in electronics, one way or another: Mechanics mostly just work.

    3. Corin

      Re: But...

      Where's this 5-8 year figure keep coming from? Have a look at the following article:

      https://electrek.co/2018/04/14/tesla-battery-degradation-data/

      It seems that total and utter battery failure is very rare, and the more common degradation due to use really isn't such a profound issue.

      I'd imagine that your average 150k mile car will be getting worse MPG than its best, and might well have the looming bill-cloud of a new turbo / dpf / injectors hovering over it, poised to strike in much the same way.

      Fortunately if the battery is degrading due to use, you've got the choice of whether to replace it or accept the lower range. If your was-250-now-200 mile range car is only used for commuting, you might not be so bothered. If your petrol car needs a new GPF and clutch, you've probably far less choice about whether or not to pay to repair it.

      I'm not saying that electric cars will be without their flaws, but please let's not forget that petrol/diesel cars that are getting on a bit are also vulnerable to large bills.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But...

        "... that are getting on a bit are also vulnerable to large bills."

        Yes and still ... no. I've several cars and the newest is now 20-year-old. Most of the parts for all of these are available from scrap yard and that means no large bills.

        Well, large relative to car value but when used engine and gearbox is like 800 euros, that's nothing compared to any part in an electric car: Those are dealer-only items for a long time.

  10. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Filling station power requirement

    Assuming 8 charging stations (same as the number of petrol pumps at a small garage), the same size battery as a Tesla 3 (75kWh) and a 60% charge top up in 10 minutes then the power required (with impossible 100% efficiency) is 75x8x0.6x6 kW i.e. 2.16 megawatts. And this is for a small garage!!!

    As the UK has 8000+ filling stations this would imply over 16GW peak possible demand for car recharging. Add in the demand from commercial vehicles many of which at present are refilled from storage tanks at their base location and the demand rises rapidly. A lot of additional nuclear power stations would be needed in the UK alone to meet the power demand.

    On a yearly basis the UK currently consumes 47 billion litres of petrol and diesel. The average new car can manage about 11 miles per litre and a Tesla 3 can manage 4 miles per kWh so 1 litre of fuel would need to be replaced by 2.75kWh. This implies an annual electrical demand of about 129 TWh if all UK vehicles were electric. This is over 40% of the current UK annual electrical consumption (301 TWh). As the demand would be very non-uniform the amount of generating capacity would need a huge increase.

    One final point 10 minutes for a charge is still slow compared to filling a tank with petrol or diesel - to get the same busy period throughput would require 2 or 3 charging stations to replace each petrol pump with a corresponding increase in the power demand.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Filling station power requirement

      I think by this point we already know who the downvoter is. Someone who cannot do math, and sees electric as a magic solution to everything.

      Your math is fine, you conclusion and opinion not bias. Why downvote, even if electric is the solution, because we *would* need extra generation/power supply. *That's what petrol currently is, a power source*!

      Thus it's not a road block, but a realistic and possibly untenable fact, that we would need more generation of power, if going full electric (back of the envelope maths would only need to be done on the number of engines you replace = KWh of power needed replacing into the grid).

      Can we build nuclear plants? Yes. Can we go solar/wind? Yes. Will we? Who knows! But it's nothing to start a flame war over. :P

      So thanks for the level headedness amongst so many loop fruit cakes.

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Filling station power requirement

        I'm not the downvoter, but my initial response was that considering needing large & centralised setups for EV charging doesn't necessarily make sense given the nature of how you get the "fuel" in.

        Having a big tank of Petrol/Diesel is a dangerous thing. Far safer for everybody if you have a somewhat centralised system of tanks managed by people who know what they're doing then every Tom, Dick and Harry storing these at home.

        Why have charging stations at centralised locations if you can charge your car overnight at home? That's not perfect for everybody, I am without a driveway at home myself and haven't gone electric for that reason, but if every home with a driveway is charging their car(s) at home, that significantly reduces requirement for petrol station style charging points.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Filling station power requirement

          Having a big tank of Petrol/Diesel is a dangerous thing.

          I'm not sure having dozens of untrained people manipulating 400kW charging connections would be any safer. Have you seen what happens when a high-power electricity line ruptures? It's a lot more explosive than a tank of diesel.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Filling station power requirement

          "Having a big tank of Petrol/Diesel is a dangerous thing"

          Diesel much less than Petrol. But both are dwarfed by 40 kilos of litium in a battery, that's literally killer stuff.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Filling station power requirement

          "Why have charging stations at centralised locations if you can charge your car overnight at home? "

          Because you can't. Unless you upgrade your electric bill to triple what it is now by buying 100A mains. Or just drive few miles per day ... a bicycle job.

    2. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Filling station power requirement

      While I agree with your maths, the idea of replacing petrol pumps withe charging stations is old school thinking

      Because there is no need for large petrol storage tanks., electrical charging stations can be distributed anywhere there is a adequate power supply.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Filling station power requirement

        "electrical charging stations can be distributed anywhere there is a adequate power supply."

        And a place to park the car while it's charging.

        Would work for me. We have space to get both cars off the road.

        Just down in the village there's a stretch of road with cars parked nose to tail down one side of the road. A little further along they're parked nose to tail don both sides. That's because there are so many houses built in the days before the car and there was no room for off-road parking and no feasible way to provide it.

        Wouldn't work for them. Even in the days when there were a couple of local filling stations they only had about a couple of pumps each and that was only to supply the choice of fuel as there was only space for one car at a time and for one of those the car was stood on the road whilst being fuelled.

        Would also work for me most of the time. In fact would probably work very well. Living half-way up a hill any journey, irrespective of whether I turn left or right outside the gate, involves at some point hauling the car up several hundred feet and converting the potential energy thus given it into heat by the time we get back to the bottom. Getting some of that back with regenerative breaking would be great and the mileages are sufficient for an overnight top-up.

        That's most of the time but only about half the annual mileage. The rest is on holiday when there's a journey each way which is going to require a big re-charge at a service station in the middle and the reassurance that at the other end there's going to be a charging point for each car in the hotel car park. That's why I can't see a fully electric car doing the job for me. Why not, you might argue, just hire a petrol car for the holiday? Good idea but how do I - or you - do that in the all-electic EV Nirvana?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Filling station power requirement

          Dammit. Regenerative braking. That's the 2nd time I've done that. Must be more careful.

      2. Justthefacts Bronze badge

        Re: Filling station power requirement

        No they can’t be that distributed. Or at least there’s a bunch of Engineering thinking you haven’t gone through, as to what is “an adequate power supply”

        You want to fast-charge a single car, 75kWh battery, in ten minutes. Ok, so you *must* be charging at 450kW, whatever the technology. If this is at domestic 240V, that’s 4000A rms. A domestic supply maxes at 100A. Even an upgrade to commercial 3-phase is only going to get you to 70kVA. That’s a factor x5 short of what this fast charge requires.

        There’s a specific reason for that limit. Running 4000A at 240V is stupid and nobody does it, because the transmission loss would be nuts. What people can and do, for those sort of requirements, is run in an 11kV line, and have a substation, which reduces the amperage to 35A. That’s fine, and hardly rocket science. But you can’t have 11kV substations on home properties for bulk and safety reasons. Everyone knows what an electricity substation looks like, and how big it is. It certainly isn’t “smaller than a petrol pump”.

        There are 400,000 substations in the U.K., and the voltage is a trade off between transmission loss, length of transmission line, and cost of substation that’s been in place for decades. There are 8000 petrol stations in the U.K.

        If you want another few tens of thousands of substations, that can probably be built out. So, charging stations can be more decentralised than petrol stations, but what they *can’t* be is the eco-warrior fantasy of one per dwelling or even at the end of each road. It doesn’t fit. There are other options here:

        1) Abandon fast-charge. If you accept overnight trickle charging at home, this problem largely goes away. You only need 10kW overnight, which is easily doable on standard consumer unit. But what about people who have an unanticipated need, drive more than 200 miles in a day, or have no off-street parking.

        2) Allow fast-charge only on moderately centralised stations. The equivalent of a motorway service station could require up to 20MW for 40 “pumps” (remember, ten minutes is still a lot slower than petrol so you need more slots). That’s *serious* grunt, and well beyond a small 11kV substation. Now you need 350kV high voltage coming in, otherwise again the transmission loss due to massive current would be insane. But a few thousand of them could be built.

        3) Intermediate charging speed - one hour charging at 70kVA, can be done with commercial three-phase. A few per town high street. Councils are starting to provide a few of these, but we would need some hundreds of thousands of these.

        4) An appropriate mixture of the above. As an engineer, I have *never* seen a problem where the correct answer is anything other than “an appropriate mixture of several solutions”

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Filling station power requirement

          "charging stations can be more decentralised than petrol stations, but what they *can’t* be is the eco-warrior fantasy of one per dwelling or even at the end of each road. It doesn’t fit."

          So what. Does it fit a block of flats with shared car parking? Does it fit a commercial organisation with a fleet of small or medium size round-town vehicles? Are there a significant number of such applications in parts of the UK?

          I'm writing this in a forty year old development of a few dozen flats. Like many (most?) similar premises, each apartment has a 240V 100A feed. 100A is perhaps surprisingly large, but there is no mains gas on the premises so heating and cooking is all electric here. Diversity says that the flats will never ALL need full capacity at the same time, and the same might well apply to any EV charging capacity that was installed. Are many new blocks of flats still being built with mains gas?

          Like many similar developments, this development has its own dedicated onsite substation, which is fed by 3 phase 11kV.The substation has been upgraded in the last few years; previously it was still the original 1960s transformer, fuses, switchgear etc, on the network side.

          The upgrade spec was changed mid project for various reasons, one of which was to allow for EV charging capability. The details aren't clear to the occupants but in principle the forty or so flats and their occupants and visitors could share a handful of three phase charge points, just as they could in a variety of similar shared premises. The actual work would cost more for 11kV, but if someone else is paying (eg that nice Mr Musk) it might still make sense,

          The upgrade project took longer than planned because team that did the upgrade works kept getting called away to do similar installations and upgrades elsewhere (where developers etc were paying for it; this one here was part of a freebie done for regulatory compliance reasons).

          A mile or so from here. a local pub has just had three publically accessible 11kV chargers installed in its car park. Paid for by Tesla, connected to an 11kV supply (so not the kind of thing that your average domestic sparky would/should be messing with). A little tiny bit further away, Asda have had EV charging points (and a petrol station) for a while, and Morrisons are in the process of having a couple of EV charge points installed.

          Most of these charge points, and a whole load of others and their associated info, are on zap-map.

          Those are some of the facts I see. As you rightly point out, the correct answer is generally “an appropriate mixture of several solutions”. Or as the Amercians used to say, YMMV.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Filling station power requirement

        "Because there is no need for large petrol storage tanks., electrical charging stations can be distributed anywhere there is a adequate power supply."

        You mean that "adequate power supply", i.e. dedicated 11kV line, is cheaper than 2 or 3 storage tanks? Think again.

        Storage tanks can literally be anywhere, where that 11kV line is billed by yard from major power line.

    3. cbars
      Joke

      Re: Filling station power requirement

      well... it's not an increase in energy demand, is it? It's a shift of supply. When we run out of FF, that demand will still exist. Trying to move toward a nuclear powered, less FF dependent economy is a good idea, we just need to get an Agile project manager in charge (hello upcoming general election, who's standing?) and define our sprints! ;)

      To go full blown ridiculous, your maths is wrong as half the pumps will be underwater, so it's not as bad as you think! :)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Filling station power requirement

      Eh? the maths isn't sound.

      As stated earlier, there is an assumption that the Oil extraction, Oil transportation, refinery energy, fuel station energy and all the other parts of Oil industry are energy free.

      Then there is the idea that all petrol/diesel is used by 'new cars' rather than other machinery like generators. Just the idea that most cars and vehicles on the road are 'new'' and can do 11 miles per litre?

      The other major flaw is the idea that you now need 'filling stations' equivalent to a 'petrol station' for EVs. Many owners will charge their car at home/work. So it is only for long trips that need a 'filling station'. Even then if it is a multi-day trip many will charge at a destination charger when they get there.

      So on average a long trip is done 2~3 times a year in a car. So whereas a fuel car has to go to a petrol station to fill up - no other viable choice. Many EV owners will be visiting a charging station (which could be in a car park, cinema parking area, etc a few times a year.

      It is very different think to starting with 'fuel cars' how do we get the equivalent. For evidence of how it can be done - look at Norway where 10% of cars on the road are plug-in electric and 60% of new sales.

      It's not going to be like 12 month transition for everyone to electric. It will happen gradually and the infrastructure will change gradually.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Filling station power requirement

        look at Norway where 10% of cars on the road are plug-in electric and 60% of new sales.

        Because the purchaser doesn't pay tax on an electric car, so the tax burden is spread out across all taxpayers, including those who don't own a car at all. Once everyone is buying electric it's a zero-sum game.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Filling station power requirement

          Oh boy, so it's gone from a capacity argument to a tax argument now?

          The arguments against EVs have evolved from the early days of ...

          Look like little unstable bubble cars

          Drive like a milk float

          Accelerate measures in days

          No match in performance to a gas car

          Not widely available

          No public charging

          Batteries need replacing every year

          Fire risk

          Range is too short

          Charging takes days/weeks

          Servicing costs will be astronomical

          (which have all been completely debunked - even being able to get supercar performance in a mid-high end family car)

          to

          Might not have enough power to power them

          There are too many tax implications

          I need to charge it for the odd long trip in 5 minutes rather than 15 minutes

          I know there are incentives for people to sow FUD with EVs but it's getting very weak now.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Filling station power requirement

            "Oh boy, so it's gone from a capacity argument to a tax argument now?"

            All the other arguments are still valid and you don't even try to overturn them. What was the point?

            Claiming that electric cars are common because they are so good, when those get $50k tax reduction per car is basically a lie: Remove tax reduction and electric cars aren't sold at all. That's how "good" they are at actual price.

            "I know there are incentives for people to sow FUD with EVs but it's getting very weak now."

            Pro-electric car FUD is getting even weaker, I have to say: Not even blatant bribery can be acknowledged.

        2. Justthefacts Bronze badge

          Re: Filling station power requirement

          For that matter, look at Denmark, and specifically the taxis....law of unintended tax consequences.

          Danes are exceptionally eco-conscious. They believe that cars should be heavily taxed.

          In Denmark, tax is *90%* on a new vehicle. Unless it’s bought solely as a working vehicle, and you keep it for at least two years.

          A car which in the U.K. costs £15k, costs a Danish citizen £150k new. After two years depreciation, it’s worth £75k. So a taxi driver can buy a car for £15k and make £60k profit on it after two years. Danes cycle a lot and are very healthy.

          The important thing is how this scales with price. As a taxi driver, it becomes financially sensible to buy the most expensive car they can possibly afford, because of its resale value. Buying a Mercedes AMG *as an airport taxi*, may cost £100k, but they can sell it for £500k after two years, as long as they can find a rich enough buyer. It’s not uncommon to be driven from the airport in a 600hp supercar. Not what the tax system intended at all.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Filling station power requirement

        "Even then if it is a multi-day trip many will charge at a destination charger when they get there."

        Ah, yes, the destination charger. In a couple of places I've stayed over the last couple of years there was a charger. Note the singular. Just one each. In one I had to park my ICE car there when I arrived because the other spaces were taken. Most places there have been none or, possibly, in the larger hotels, maybe one or two well hidden.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Filling station power requirement

          Hmm maybe, just maybe, as the demand rises so the number of chargers will rise? You can also run an extension lead to a 13 amp socket which will give it a reasonable charge overnight.

          You can go to a hotel in Norway and have 20 chargers there - because they have more EVs there. It's not rocket science.

          I've seen a number of hotels with electric car chargers, but I've never seen one with a petrol station in the hotel car park. That's why I would never consider buying a petrol or diesel car.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Filling station power requirement

            OTOH I've not seen the equivalent of a filling station able to charge a dozen cars at the same rate as a filling station fills cars up with petrol.

            But lucky old Norway - all that hydroelectric power. No problem with greens shouting that we must get rid of ICE cats but no fossil fuel power stations and no nuclear either.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Filling station power requirement

              OTOH I've never seen a fuel station at home or work (other than when I worked at a filling station)

              Also the reason you want fueling a car to be fast is because it is a PITA. It's not like anyway enjoys it, smelly, standing there, cold, waiting in line to pay, dirty, wasting time.

              So when you drive an ICE you convert that thinking of that experience to an EV. However none of the time charging an EV has to be wasted (Okay maybe 30 seconds to plug in). During that time I can get food, go shopping, make calls, do some work on a laptop, browse the net, watch TV, watch Netflix, play a computer game. Most of the stuff that I would be rushing to get somewhere to do anyway.

              All in a warm, dry, clean environment.

              I wouldn't even need to waste time in the morning heating the car, waiting for it to demist, clearing the windscreen. I could just walk out to a warm car, demisted, route already waiting on the sat nav - legally and securely without pumping out any pollution or CO2. That's quite a time saving I could put towards my journey time.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Filling station power requirement

                "without pumping out any pollution or CO2. "

                Achh, again one of *those people*. I hope it was satire?

                "Electricity comes from the outlet, thus isn't polluting at all."

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Filling station power requirement

            "You can go to a hotel in Norway and have 20 chargers there - because they have more EVs there"

            Norway also has 90% tax for new cars except electric cars. Very heavily subsidied industry and irrelevant as example: Norway has basically free electricity, from hydro power.

            Comparing that to any other country generating their electricity mostly with coal, is just a lie.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Filling station power requirement

            "electric car chargers"

            And did any of them charge 60kWh in 10 minutes like petrol station can? Of course not. Also you'll pay through the nose from the electricity in those.

            But "you've seen" so it's all good. Right.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Filling station power requirement

        "As stated earlier, there is an assumption that the Oil extraction, Oil transportation, refinery energy, fuel station energy and all the other parts of Oil industry are energy free."

        Blatant lie, no such assumption exists. The fact is that most of that *uses oil* for generating that energy. Oil itself costs exactly zero: It's literally pumped from the ground. You can't compete with that.

        "Many owners will charge their car at home/work"

        With what? They suddenly can put 60kWh in a battery over night? 6kW and 10 hours is 25A. House mains is that and it costs a f**load of money to increase that mains.

        "It will happen gradually and the infrastructure will change gradually."

        Can't build nuclear plant "gradually". Or local 11kV transformer. And us, as consumers, pay all of them of course. And hefty profit for power company, also of course.

    5. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Filling station power requirement

      You're looking at where we'd need to be in 25 years or so when almost all the cars on the road would be electric. If we banned the sale of gasoline/diesel vehicles next year, how long do you think it would take to reach 50% of the cars on the road being electric? I'd guess about 15 years, given that the average age of cars on the road is over 10 years and has been increasing over time.

      You don't need to upgrade them all at once. Nor do the ones who get the upgrade need to be upgraded to handle 100% electric at once. Heck, you might see people open new "electric only" stations that are located near electric substations where a high amount of power is more easily available. And many gasoline service stations would remain gas only until they eventually closed.

      This is a transition that will take a LONG time even if we were super aggressive today. In reality, we probably won't be selling 100% electric for at least a decade under the most optimistic projections, so you are looking until 2050 before your scenario comes due. Don't you think we can make the necessary changes given THREE DECADES of lead time?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Filling station power requirement

        "Don't you think we can make the necessary changes given THREE DECADES of lead time?"

        Necessary for who? Swapping from OPEC to local energy companies is a change from bad to worse and then *you* pay thousands for that. From petrol to coal and emissions multiply because of transfer losses.

        Petrol is easy to transport, electricity isn't. Really. 10% loss in transit is *low* for electricity.

        So I don't see anything necessary. It's not hard to make simple hydrocarbons from raw materials we have, like water and CO2.

  11. Swordfish1

    I'm fast charging my Galaxy Note 10 plus 5G, from 45% to 100% . The Lithium ion battery contained, is 4300milliamp hours, I believe

    That process takes at least 30-40 minutes

    So, to charge a car battery in less than 10 minutes, hmmmmmmm

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      re: Galaxy Note 10

      Try putting 400V @ 200A into your Galaxy and see what happens.

      Better stand well back. Better still do in on the 5th November. It would be interesting and make a great video on youTube.

      Totally different technologies in Phones and Cars. There are a very large number of cells in a car. The wiring and electronics in a car can take this sort of power.

      We are seeing cars that can take over 150kW when charging. (Audi E-Tron etc)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: re: Galaxy Note 10

        "We are seeing cars that can take over 150kW when charging."

        > 60 amps at mains voltage. Now charge a motorway service station car park full of them at the same rate.

        1. Mister Cheese

          Re: re: Galaxy Note 10

          Then service-stations would have a larger supply, bigger substation, etc to cope with the potential demand. 60A per parking-space is not a lot compared with the power-consumption of a data-centre full of IT kit.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: re: Galaxy Note 10

            "60A per parking-space is not a lot compared with the power-consumption of a data-centre full of IT kit."

            No of course not. Or paper mill or nuclear plant or what ever. How often you see any of those?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re: Galaxy Note 10

        "We are seeing cars that can take over 150kW when charging."

        Over very dedicated wiring on very dedicated charging station using kilovolts. Totally unsuitable for generic use.

  12. Any other name
    Boffin

    Don't hold your breath, though

    "Since the technology is simple but elegant, we expect that it takes two to three years of in-vehicle testing before it can be implemented and introduced in the marketplace."

    The technology may be elegant and clever, but it is anything but simple from the standpoint of thermal management. Let's do a bit of light boffinry:

    1. Wikipedia lists the energy density of the lithium-ion batteries as 0.36–0.875 MJ/kg. Let's pick a number close to the upper end of the range - let's say 0.8 MJ/kg, or 800J/g.

    2. Energy losses in batteries increase when they are charged (or discharged) very rapidly. The laboratory energy efficiency of a lithium ion battery is 0.97 at 0.5C[*] charge/discharge rate. For the 5C charge rate (charging is 12 minutes), the efficiency will be lower. Let's charitably choose twice the losses at 0.5C rate, or 6% energy loss.

    3. The heat capacity of most materials used in a lithium battery is 1 J/g-K.

    Now let's combine these numbers together:

    800 J/g * 0.06 / 1 J/g-K = 50 K [or C]

    This is our estimate of the average temperature increase within the battery. It will increase for better (higher energy density) batteries and for higher energy losses. There will also necessarily be hot-spots within the battery, where the temperature will increase by a larger amount.

    50K within 12 minutes is not an unmanageable temperature increase. However, for a bulky automotive battery, which can't cool down sufficiently rapidly through the natural heat diffusion, it will mostly likely require an active cooling system, and some serious rearrangement of the battery's insides to sense and limit the formation of hot spots. Both imply some new and interesting failure modes, and a lot of engineering and testing. It seems unlikely this could be accomplished within couple of years, to the point where it is ready to be inflicted on the unsuspecting public.

    [*] I.e. the battery gets fully charged/discharged in 2 hours.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't hold your breath, though

      Please read the original source paper itself, rather than diluted and potentially misleading reports of the paper.

      Charging at a controlled higher temperature has at least two significant beneficial effects:

      * the proportion of energy input lost to heat is reduced

      * the battery lifecycle is increased.

      Want to know more? Use the source, look, then come back and argue why it's not going to work.

      (Also applies to those claiming the grid can't cope, etc).

      Many thanks.

      1. Any other name

        Re: Don't hold your breath, though

        Use the source, look, then come back and argue why it's not going to work.

        Similar to many other comments, I do not argue that it is not going to work. Rather, I argue that, given the fundamental physics constraints, the engineering involved in making it work at scale is non-trivial, and will take time, money, and a lot of effort to accomplish. This applies to to the materials and design of the batteries themselves, power distribution systems, the overall power generation capacity needed to support the widespread use of EVs, and the waste/environmental management of the their production and eventual disposal/recycling.

        The existing fossil fuel-based transportation infrastructure took literally a century to create and to make reasonably safe and efficient. During that time, a very significant fraction of our society's resources went into its development, year after year. It is at least naive to expect that a shift to electrical transport can be accomplished in less than a generation - and, by setting unrealistic, inflated expectations for this shift, it could discredit the EV idea and make the transition fail altogether.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don't hold your breath, though

          A Tesla will already heat a battery up before supercharging (on the way there), it can already charge at a rate of 100miles per 6 minutes. It already has active cooling throughout the battery. They already do this at a large scale.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Don't hold your breath, though

            So does the BMW i3

  13. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    Phones could utilise the heating element to become handwarmers, when not charging

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Coat

      Handy when its -30C outside.

      Icon getting me heavier coat ready for Canada Winter Wonderlands.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Motorway charging

    There's always a lot on informed comments hereb on El Reg whenever EV are discussed, and it always make interesting reading.

    One subject often mentioned is that EV is far cheaper per mile than ICE, and talk of fast charging at motorway services. However, on the basis that motorway services currently have no guilt about adding 25-30% surcharge onto their petrol/diesel costs, just how much do we think they will overcharge (pun intended) for the priviliege of fast charging? Always amazes me that anyone stops to fill up there - but as long as they do I can stop for a pee and move on again.

    Or do I predict a growing business for fast chrage parks on industrial estates closeby motorwat junctions?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Motorway charging

      Any motorway services I've been to in the last couple of years has already had EV charge points, and the charge points have been separate (separately located, separately owned) from the usual petrol/diesel/LPG operations. It seems likely to stay that way for a while in many cases, though interestingly the ChargeMaster network in the UK now seems to have some association with BP:

      https://bpchargemaster.com/

      https://www.bp.com/en_gb/united-kingdom/home/products-and-services/bp-chargemaster.html

      So speculation about whether there'll be abuse of monopoly might or might not be premature.

      On the other hand, lots of shopping centres, town centre car parks, business parks, pubs, etc are installing public-access EV charge points (including supermarkets that never had petrol stations because of space or cost or safety or other issues).

      "do I predict a growing business for fast chrage parks on industrial estates closeby motorwat junctions?"

      There's already a market for info on where to refuel (or to eat) just off the motorway. Some of the eating places etc already have EV charge points. I'd expect the numbers to increase.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Motorway charging

        Or they could make the charging free.

        The markup on food/coffee/gentlemens' special interest magazines, is way higher than on fuel.

        If service station A charges 10x the home rate for electricity while station B has free charging and I have to hang around their gift shop and cafe for 30mins - who is going to make the most $$$$$

        One of local supermarket chain has a free DC fast charger, guess where I now shop 2x a week ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Motorway charging

          "If service station A charges 10x the home rate for electricity while station B has free charging and I have to hang around their gift shop and cafe for 30mins -"

          A. At least if B gives any meaningful amount of electricity to you.

          "Free charging" and 800 watts is of course basically free advertisement for B.

          "One of local supermarket chain has a free DC fast charger, guess where I now shop 2x a week ?"

          How fast is "fast"? 2 hours to get 2% more battery? No wonder if it's free.

      2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Motorway charging

        motortwat junctions?

        FTFY.

        Icon.........

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Motorway charging

      One subject often mentioned is that EV is far cheaper per mile than ICE

      Largely because the price of oil-based fuels (in Europe) is ~60% tax and duty, which governments are not going to give up. If EV charging stations were taxed to make up the same income the cost difference would be a lot smaller.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Motorway charging

        Any time I've done the sums, the cost per mile before tax is about the same for both fuels, and the difference is the tax.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Motorway charging

      "... how much do we think they will overcharge (pun intended) for the priviliege of fast charging?"

      The public stations I've seen here in North charge about three times (3*) what you would pay at home.

      No-one sane uses those stations, they are for emergency only.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Motorway charging

      "One subject often mentioned is that EV is far cheaper per mile than ICE"

      And much more expensive to buy, typically 2:1. Also *any* maintenance needs and electrician *and* auto mechanic. £120/h is the price for that.

      Petrol also has almost 80% of taxes slapped on it, so any cost difference is because tax reduction, not for any actual difference. Slap same taxes to electricity and it's *more* expensive to use than petrol.

      Also they compare apples to oranges: Typical EV has much less power than petrol powered cars. Power doesn't come for free in petrol car.

  15. david 64

    Wireless charging

    Perhaps once the tech has matured enough and time has rolled on, there will be the future-equivalent of a wireless charging pad built in to the parking space surface, so you just park up, go into the services and do whatever, while your vehicle is charged wirelessly.

    To get even more futuristic - perhaps these kind of wireless charging capabilities could be built in to roads themselves in future. You could have a 'charging lane' or something like that.

    Gosh it's naive of me to think this country could organise that.

  16. ma1010 Silver badge
    Flame

    Never happen in California

    Here in California, PG&E, which sometimes provides power for much of the state, often doesn't provide any power at all, so there's no electricity to charge anything unless you have your own generator, in which case it's better to have a diesel or gas vehicle. And a wood-burning stove. As well as look into laying in a good-sized stock of canned or freeze-dried goods.

    Many thousands of people here have been without power for days due to power cuts every time the wind blows due to fear of another giant wildfire like happened last year. That was caused by PG&E's lack of maintaining their infrastructure in favor of compensating the C-suite. But they've also been careful to compensate the governor and legislature, so no fear of repercussions there for their negligence. If thousands go without power for a week or more at a time, so be it, apparently.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never happen in California

      So not because the state blames them for forest fires and fines them $Bn, would require them to update 1000 of miles of rural transmission lines to the explosion proof standards found in an oil refinery - but limits the amount they are allowed to charge ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Never happen in California

        "... limits the amount they are allowed to charge "

        I hope you don't mean a local monopoly company could charge whatever they want *for electricity*?

        Stock holder's wet dream: Extorting whole state at once. Because that's what it is.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A reason why hugh asda/tescos/otherones is here to stay.

    I dont think im giving much away by suggesting supermarkets and the like will have 100s of charging bays and sell you a charge while you shop in the future.

    Im sure its easier to achieve than installing all the petrol pumps and tanks and having a tanker lorry blocking up the place a few times a week.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: A reason why hugh asda/tescos/otherones is here to stay.

      They are all rushing to do that here.

      Especially after they discovered that EV owners are likely to be richer than average and more willing to buy expensive/eco products than the typical arriving by bus shopper

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A reason why hugh asda/tescos/otherones is here to stay.

        " EV owners are likely to be richer than average"

        "likely", really?

        You can bet that >90% of population won't and can't buy a Tesla so you can bet they are *much* more richer than majority of population.

        *Porks for the rich*, once again. No doubt they'll say it will trickle down and everyone benefits.

    2. adam 40 Bronze badge

      Re: A reason why hugh asda/tescos/otherones is here to stay.

      > shop in the future <

      So - these batteries are only fitted to De Loreans???

    3. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: A reason why hugh asda/tescos/otherones is here to stay.

      As I said above - to have 8 charging stations capable of doing the mythical 10 minute charge would require over 2 megawatts - to have hundreds of EV charging points with that charge rate would need over 25 megawatts per 100.

      Using 7kW chargers (approx 30 miles per hour of charge) each 100 charge points would need 700kW , using 22kW chargers (approx 90 miles per hour of charge) each 100 charge points would need 2.2MW and using 50kW rapid chargers (approx 90 miles in 30mins of charge) would need 5MW per 100.

      Very few supermarkets have an electrical supply capable of sustaining extra megawatts of demand.

      Apart from one or 2 showpiece supermarkets - any with a large number of charge points are probably going to have most of them being 7kW (or less). (Or possibly they will have their own onsite diesel powered generator to provide the power at times of high demand !!!)

      Fat chance of them remaining free for long - at the moment each 7kW charger uses about £1 worth of electricity per hour - supermarkets will not give away this amount of money for long.

      (miles per hour of charge from this website - https://pod-point.com/guides/driver/how-long-to-charge-an-electric-car )

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A reason why hugh asda/tescos/otherones is here to stay.

        "possibly they will have their own onsite diesel powered generator to provide the power at times of high demand "

        Why not ? Or even replace your diesel generator with an industrial gas turbine+generator and add heat recovery for on-site hot water? Some of these things burn akmost anything from coal dust (in days gone by) to ... well you name it, and can produce tens of MW pretty much on demand, and then ramp down again just as quickly if there's no profit to be made.

        Yep, you could be on to something, but don't tell Rolls Royce (the jet engine one) as they sold off their Industrial Trent range (30MW to 60MW or so) to Siemens as part of a deal to fund buying back RR shares a few years ago.

        If not a gas turbine, containerised diesel generators in sensible power capacities were a growing market not too long ago, when companies like Green Frog were filling fields full of them around the country for the "peak lopping"/STOR market. 'Course that business model doesn't look so plausible after the grid events and subsequent chaos of August 9th this year, so supplying fast response power for EV charging might be another market for them to address.

        Edit for F111F: a bit of creative metalbending and you could indeed probably build a trailer-mounted one (in fact there are already companies that will hire you that kind of gear, for temporary use).

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: A reason why hugh asda/tescos/otherones is here to stay.

          Remember they only need 2MW while being used - which isn't 24x7

          The highpower DC fast chargers here supposedly use the battery pack from the BMW i3 as a buffer

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A reason why hugh asda/tescos/otherones is here to stay.

          " Or even replace your diesel generator with an industrial gas turbine+generator and add heat recovery for on-site hot water?"

          At least here in North having *anything* that even looks like a power station needs several files full of different permissions from at least dozen government agencies.

          Basically only a power company can get a permission. Protect the monopoly etc., you know.

  18. adam 40 Bronze badge
    Flame

    Death Valley

    So - no more driving through Death Valley then.

    Last time I was there, ambient was 57C

    IN THE SHADE

    let alone in the sun.

  19. Blackjack

    Hot and Cold?

    I wouldn't worry so much if modern smartphones batteries weren't already made of explodium...

    One that goes hot and cold? How durable would it be anyway?

  20. David Gillies

    Doesn't add up

    Petrol has an energy density of 34.2 MJ/l. Flow rate on a US petrol pump is limited to 38 litres a minute, but even so that's delivering 1.3 GJ a minute or 21 MW.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ok, every other month someone comes out with a new battery technology that is coming to market in 2-3 years, a mantra that sounds like "commercially viable fusion generated electricity" is only 10 years away" and has been for the last 40 years.

  22. Timmy B Silver badge

    “Electric vehicles will only be truly competitive when they can be charged as fast as refilling a gas tank,”

    Simply not true. This ignores the way that most EV drivers (like myself) actually use the cars. We fill up overnight 99% of the time.

    1. John Latham

      The amount of blind ignorance in these comments is incredible.

      We don't have to guess what a world would look like with high take up of EVs, because there are countries (e.g. Norway) that have already achieved it, approx half of all new car sales and 10% of overall fleet.

      People who can't charge at home can charge other places they naturally spend time, like supermarkets, workplaces and public multi-storey car parks. Fast chargers are often only used for long journeys.

      Bjorn Nyland recently did 1000km in a Model 3 in exactly 10 hours. In winter, on normal public roads, at normal speeds.

      This is all a solved problem, just not yet in the UK (in terms of public charging infrastructure). But right now there are few enough EVs to go round that the main market is people who can charge at home. There will a long tail of people for whom that's not possible, who will continue to run fossil cars for maybe the next 10-20 years whilst the charging infrastructure is sorted out.

      As for "the electricity supply problem is impossible to resolve" type comments, I remember exactly the same conversations 20 years ago criticising the idea of non-broadcast video streaming. And now we have Netflix and Youtube, and somehow the internetz haven't broken.

      I currently own two diesels, and they will likely be the last two fossil utility vehicles I own. Yay for clean air.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        "The amount of blind ignorance in these comments is incredible."

        Totally agree. Sadly for a tech site I think that fear of change is the reason. I have actually been told by people that they will never swap to electric regardless of environmental or performance improvements because they just don't sound the same!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          " Sadly for a tech site I think that fear of change is the reason"

          And you know that because of what? You don't, so bullshit.

          " they will never swap to electric regardless of environmental or performance improvements "

          Because there isn't either. What was your point again? Burning coal to make electricity to power electric car (and losing >50% of energy content in transitions) doesn't make any sense whatsoever and that's the reality currently.

          *If* that changes I'll change my mind, not before that.

          People like you are the worst environmental disasters there are: "Anything new *must* be good because it's new!" and "Ooh, shiny!" and of course the classic "Electricity is *so* clean and comes from wall outlet!"

          Just sheer stupidity.

          And if you'd bother to check even 20 seconds:

          Power costs even more money in electric car than in other cars: Mine has about 160kW and if I want anything near in electric car it's Tesla or something like that, at £50k range. Instead of £20k.

          1. John Latham

            @ac

            > Burning coal to make electricity to power electric car (and losing >50% of energy content in transitions) doesn't make any sense whatsoever and that's the reality currently.

            Not where I live (Ireland). 32% of electricity demand in 2018 was met by renewables, with coal at 9%. That coal percentage will be lower still for 2019, we've had significant periods with no production from coal whatsoever. Coal is just not cost-competitive any more.

            > Power costs even more money in electric car than in other cars: Mine has about 160kW and if I want anything near in electric car it's Tesla or something like that, at £50k range. Instead of £20k.

            This is not true. A Kona or e-Niro produces 150kW and is about £35k, and that 150kW is much more available than in an ICE car,

            Also, what's with the rage? It's Friday.

          2. null void

            Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt - for a non Daily mail inspired view - https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/10/electric-car-myth-buster-efficiency/

            £40-50K for a Tesla (many more options in 2010, incidentally at 0-2% Benefit in Kind rates for next few years) plus massive fuel and servicing cost savings. 1-6p a mile depending on whether economy 7 and type of journey.

            https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-uk-renewables-generate-more-electricity-than-fossil-fuels-for-first-time

            "In the third quarter of 2019, some 39% of UK electricity generation was from coal, oil and gas, including 38% from gas and less than 1% from coal and oil combined.

            Another 40% came from renewables, including 20% from wind, 12% from biomass and 6% from solar. Nuclear contributed most of the remainder, generating 19% of the total.

            While it is unlikely that renewables will generate more electricity than fossil fuels during the full year of 2019, it is now a question of when – rather than if – this further milestone will be passed."

            "Over the past year, the most significant reason for rising renewable generation has been an increase in capacity as new offshore windfarms have opened. The 1,200 megawatt (MW) Hornsea One project was completed in October, becoming the world’s largest offshore windfarm. The 588MW Beatrice offshore windfarm was completed in Q2 of this year.

            These schemes add to the more than 2,100MW of offshore capacity that started operating during 2018. Further capacity is already being built, including the 714MW East Anglia One project that started generating electricity this year and will be completed in 2020.

            In total, government contracts for offshore wind will take capacity from nearly 8,500MW today to around 20,000MW by the mid-2020s. The government and industry are jointly aiming for at least 30,000MW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, with two further contract auctions already expected."

            https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-record-low-uk-offshore-wind-cheaper-than-existing-gas-plants-by-2023

            "The UK is to get its first subsidy-free offshore windfarms after the government awarded contracts today for nearly 6 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, at prices below those it expects on the open market.

            The prices are so low that the windfarms could generate electricity more cheaply than existing gas-fired power stations as early as 2023, Carbon Brief analysis suggests"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The amount of blind ignorance in these comments is incredible.

        We don't have to guess what a world would look like with high take up of EVs, because there are countries (e.g. Norway) that have already achieved it, approx half of all new car sales and 10% of overall fleet."

        And you aren't *any better* when you ignore all the facts which lead to that situation in Norway and *no, those do not scale* to anywhere else.

        The amount of ignorance and *purposefully ignoring every fact related to Norway* to blow your own horn is ridiculous. Not only that, you have the nerve to call *other people* ignorant: Those people who actually *know* something about Norway.

        Go and look at the mirror: Real stupidity can be seen there.

        But, to the point:

        1) Norway is basically richest country in the world, per capita (Oil fund owns ~2% of *world* capital)

        2) In Norway electricity is basically free, made by hydro power so the source (water) literally drops from the sky, for free

        3) Norway has >90% tax for cars *except* electric cars so you can by either a Corolla or a Tesla. Guess which is more popular and why? Also yearly tax is 0 for Tesla, not so for Corolla.

        Now: Which one of those three can be applied to UK? Or any other EU country?

        None, except tax in Denmark, where electric cars do not sell at all, as they have same tax for those too.

  23. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Boffin

    Tinkering at the edges

    Electric vehicles are a great example of trying to solve problems in pieces, rather than looking at the bigger picture.

    As a replacement for the existing internal combustion engine car, an electric car is pants of the first order, sucks donkey balls, and early adopters are going to end up like Betamax owners of days gone past.

    Henry Ford famously observed that if he'd delivered what his customers wanted, it would be "faster horses", and we are at a similar threshold of a paradigm change.

    Where electric vehicles will (and it is a "will", not might about it) score big is when you add them to autonomous tech. Which will lead to a "huh" moment as the public twig (and looking at the financial implications will be the killer punch) that it's insane to keep a private car on a drive doing fuck all for 20+ hours a day, when you can Uber-up a taxi in less time than it takes to put a coat on. (Now the Uber interest in self driving cars makes sense).

    The future will be a network of driverless cars - all electric, charging as and when (so no need for much more work on batteries). Silently and emissionlessly cruising the streets (this will be a city-first shift) between pickups. No traffic. No accidents. Much less wear and tear on the vehicles themselves, as they will be driven properly and for maximum efficiency.

    In 100 years, we will look back at 1900-2000 and be astounded at the existence of private motor car ownership, as we go back to a model of shared resource usage. New houses won't need drives or garages for a start (not that UK houses are built with garages anymore anyway). Which might help.

    If you want a "fact" to back me up, how long will it be before the first autonomous car owners start pimping them out on an "Air-ring'n'ride" sort of service. Powered by Uber, no doubt ?

    However, you're probably best keeping this knowledge to yourselves. Any discussion in the wider world will run into the "it's all about me brigade" as people use their individual circumstances as a reason that progress will simply stop where it is.

    Incidentally, if the future of remote working that was promised us when I was at Uni in the 80s had actually been delivered, it's unlikely we'd be discussing this now.

    As for battery tech - fuck the cars, it's the smartphones that need a boost. Really we should be aiming for a week on charge, no matter what you're doing.

    If you've made it this far, firstly - well done. Secondly, read backwards and work out all the vested interests that are most definitely not going to like the future that is developing. Then look at where the problems are. I can't guarantee a 1:1 relationship. But it wouldn't surprise me.

    Final note - for all the kicking and screaming, what happened to entire industries that were supported by horse-drawn transport as cars took over. They just died. What's happened before can happen again.

    1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: Tinkering at the edges

      I agree entirely. We are trying to solve the wrong problem. Cars didn't replace every aspect of how a horse worked. Transport of the future won't replace every aspect of how cars work either. Before cars, almost all transport was 'public' unless you had your own horse, and even then, how many people had their own horse and carriage?

      Now, our whole economy is based on the principle of getting from A to B really fast, and we assume everyone has private transport. But it's changing. I go to the shops less, because I can order online, for example. The concept of private transport will become less relevant (but not disappear) by my reckoning.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: Tinkering at the edges

        " Before cars, almost all transport was 'public' unless you had your own horse, and even then, how many people had their own horse and carriage?"

        At that time people travelling to the next town over was a huge endeavour.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tinkering at the edges

        "Before cars, almost all transport was 'public' unless you had your own horse,"

        What transport? Stage coach once in a week from here to there hardly counts as 'transport'.

        Definitely not public,you paid a lot for it: Carriage and drivers; more like taxi now and that's hardly public transport, more like private car and hired driver.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tinkering at the edges

          "What transport? Stage coach once in a week from here to there hardly counts as 'transport'."

          Just like the local bus service.

    2. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Tinkering at the edges

      "Where electric vehicles will (and it is a "will", not might about it) score big is when you add them to autonomous tech. Which will lead to a "huh" moment as the public twig (and looking at the financial implications will be the killer punch) that it's insane to keep a private car on a drive doing fuck all for 20+ hours a day, when you can Uber-up a taxi in less time than it takes to put a coat on. (Now the Uber interest in self driving cars makes sense)."

      "The future will be a network of driverless cars - all electric, charging as and when (so no need for much more work on batteries). Silently and emissionlessly cruising the streets (this will be a city-first shift)"

      Yeah - brilliant if you live in a city. But not all of us are encumbered with that curse and have the pleasure of living in the countryside. Are you suggesting that thousands of cars will pointlessly wonder country lanes in case I need one? The daftest stuff I've read for ages!

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Yeah - brilliant if you live in a city.

        Er, didn't I state it would start in the cities ?

        I also predicted:

        However, you're probably best keeping this knowledge to yourselves. Any discussion in the wider world will run into the "it's all about me brigade" as people use their individual circumstances as a reason that progress will simply stop where it is.

        So progress has to stop because you don't live in a city ?

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Yeah - brilliant if you live in a city.

          "So progress has to stop because you don't live in a city ?"

          no. Because it's not progress if large numbers of people cannot take advantage of it. It simply won't happen.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tinkering at the edges

      "hat it's insane to keep a private car on a drive doing fuck all for 20+ hours a day, when you can Uber-up a taxi in less time than it takes to put a coat on"

      And sit in someone else's urine in a steel box which is 20 years old?

      That's insane, literally. Only ultra-poor people would do that. Are you one of those?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tinkering at the edges

      "The future will be a network of driverless cars - all electric, charging as and when (so no need for much more work on batteries). Silently and emissionlessly cruising the streets "

      Oh yea, electricity comes from wall outlet, no emissions at all, once again.

      Driverless cars will crash as often as the ones with driver, anyone who thinks otherwise has *no idea* how these cars actually work.

      How reliable *any* software is, tell us?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tinkering at the edges

      "we go back to a model of shared resource usage."

      You mean communism, don't you? Because that's what it is.

      And it also means someone gets bigger share than the others. Just like now.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    me like choo choo noise

    Im by no means an expert on this subject but the clever reasons given for why an electric future is not possible are probably the same ones that doomed the UK to introducing new fleets of steam engine trains in the space age 1950s when somewhere like Switzerland had electric trains in the previous century.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: me like choo choo noise

      " clever reasons given for why an electric future is not possible are probably the same ones"

      Not even near, bad guess. This is about money and "who pays", more than anything else.

      Using old tech in Britain was political choice but now it's not about that: Electric cars will be *very* expensive and rich fanatics want that those people who can't afford them, pay the infrastructure needed to use them for the few rich. Porks for the rich, literally.

      You know: "You pay this nice toy car for me so *I* can feel better and mock you when you use your 30-year-old tin can".

      That's what it is, literally. So very suitable to UK.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: me like choo choo noise

      new fleets of steam engine trains in the space age 1950s

      Worth remembering quite what a dire state the British economy was in post-war. As far as the railways were concerned they had suffered perhaps ten years of non-investment and it was cheaper and quicker (the factories and expertise were already there) to build "new steam", even if it was ultimately less efficient. It was as much as we could afford to get the lines back to a safe state, let alone upgrading them with overhead cables or straightening them to allow high speed running.

      When we went all-out for new technologies a few years later we ended up with a complete mess of experimental engines, meaning steam had to be retained even longer. Things might have progressed differently if someone could have put some kind of order to the upgrade.

      One result, of course, was that when steam was finally retired it happened very, very quickly and some of the engines were almost "new". Class 9F Evening Star was only (IIRC) five years old at withdrawal. This speed led directly to a backlog of engines for scrapping and the large number of engines with valid boiler and main line certificates gave a good kick-start to the era of steam preservation.

      Another result is the sheer number of locomotives saved from the Woodham Brothers scrapyard in Barry, without which many preserved railways simply could not operate. I missed they heyday of this yard, but my grandmother lived in Barry and I do remember seeing rows and rows of engines still lined up in the 1970s.

      M.

  25. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    Britain had coal. Switzerland had Hydro. The Swiss actually ran steam locomotives on electricity during WW2 because they had a shortage of fossil fuel and more electricity than they knew what to do with.

  26. Boring Bob

    Isn't going to happen

    However you look at battery cars on mass isni going to happen. The energy on a litre if petrol is too big to replace with electricity. To produce the electricity needed we will need nuclear fusion, will happen one day. Burt the problem is the distribution and energy transfer to the car, the only way I can see to solve this is to use hydrogen.

    1. null void

      Re: Isn't going to happen

      Hydrogen is dangerous and very inefficient in cars.

      Electricity glut midnight to 4am, so electric cars/buses and static storage evens out demand, potentially selling back at peak times to generate income.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    99.9% of journeys will be on charge from when the car was parked overnight

    there will be no need for every parking space at the mall to have charging points.

    if only the 0.1% of journeys need a mid-way charge you need pretty few public points.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: 99.9% of journeys will be on charge from when the car was parked overnight

      Yes there well, for there are simply too many places where it's impossible or impractical to expect a car to be charged from the house overnight. The house may not have enough total current available, there is no guarantee of parking, AND there likely isn't enough time, money, or space to make any kind of retrofit.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: 99.9% of journeys will be on charge from when the car was parked overnight

        "Yes there well, for there are simply too many places where it's impossible or impractical to expect a car to be charged from the house overnight. The house may not have enough total current available, there is no guarantee of parking, AND there likely isn't enough time, money, or space to make any kind of retrofit."

        In places like this (blocks of flats) you're most likely to be in a city where there is already a great infrastructure for charging. Including lots of street side chargers. Look at Norway where this is very very common and EV uptake is huge.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: 99.9% of journeys will be on charge from when the car was parked overnight

          "In places like this (blocks of flats) you're most likely to be in a city where there is already a great infrastructure for charging."

          Not if they're retrofitted flats, or you're out in the sticks where infrastructure is poor several levels up.

  28. grimmriffer

    Electric isn't the only game in town

    I seem to recall that a diesel engine running natural gas produces 75% less CO2. But the environmental lobby don't like that because "loads less" isn't "zero", and so that would be "carrying on the same" (slightly odd use of the phrase "the same", if you ask me).

    Oh, and they don't like fracking because of the earthquakes almost as strong as "someone walking through the room".

    I swear, if it wasn't for environmentalists we'd have cracked the whole issue by now...

  29. Boring Bob

    The future is hydrogen.

    Very few people seem to understand just how much energy there is in a litre of petrol. There is 36MJ, in a petrol station you pump about 1/2 litre per second into your tank. That is a power of 18MW! It is okay to rely on science to solve issues in the future but you are wasting your time if you are relying on magic.

    The callosal energy production requirement could be met in the future with nuclear fusion. However the electricity transfer issue will require magic. Forget batteries, the future is hydrogen powered cars.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The future is hydrogen.

      the future is hydrogen powered cars.

      You do realise that most hydrogen is made from fossil fuels? It's an energy carrier, not a fuel.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The future is hydrogen.

        "most hydrogen is made from fossil fuels" At the moment.

        Renewable energy can be used to provide the power to produce hydrogen. Fuel cells can use fossil fuels to provide power and heat. Petrol and Diesel have had 100 years to get to their current level of refinement, expecting new technologies to match this level of efficiency in 10 years is unrealistic.

        Fuel cells are the future.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: The future is hydrogen.

          expecting new technologies to match this level of efficiency in 10 years is unrealistic.

          10 years? The hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell has been around since the 1930s, they were used in the Apollo spacecraft in the 60s.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The future is hydrogen.

          "Fuel cells are the future."

          We'll see.

          How's the Bloombox (aka Bloom Energy Server) doing these days?

          https://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/24/bloom_box/ (rom 2010, obvs, when Lewis Page was still at El Reg) - Bloombox fuel cell systems were the way of the future.

          Now find some recent actual news (as distinct from PR fluff).

          No prizes, it's just for fun.

          Maybe fuel cells are still in the future (for transport anyway?).<