Electric Cars - likely to reduce rail travel?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Envoy, 11 Jul 2019.

  1. underbank

    underbank Member

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    They can do, but not at the same rate, so there'll be energy loss. I'm no expert but from what Physics I did learn, there's the conservation of energy theory etc. Due to loss of energy through heat, friction, light, sound, etc., you can never usefully keep all the energy you produce because some is inevitable lost in ways that aren't useful to you, so whilst you can use dynamos etc to preserve some of the energy used, it'll never be as much nor more than the energy used to move the car in the first place, unless you're always driving downhill, when you gain energy due to gravity, but since you normally have to use energy to get uphill in the first place, you'd be just re-gaining some of the energy used getting up whilst you're going down again. Of course, whilst you're going downhill or coasting on a straight road, the amount of power you are generating may well be wasted anyway if the batteries are already full as they can't be charged any more than their capacity.
     
  2. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Doesn't matter, we've none of that here either. Can't even get a decent/consistent 3g mobile signal either, so 4g and 5g are still just a pipe dream.

    Back to what started my comments re broadband, yes, the lack of decent infrastructure does impact on house prices. My sister has been selling her house and she was surprised that most viewers asked about broadband speeds etc., so it's definitely becoming an issue. Like the other poster said, electricity supplies are also likely to have an impact too., as are drives and/or on street charging points. It could well polarise house prices, i.e. increase prices for houses with good power/connectivity and reduce those without.
     
  3. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    For someone who has worked in the industry why are you obsessing with home charging?

    From what I have read from the electricity industry newsletters and also speaking to someone who was part of the team which designed the National Grid it will be obsolete very quickly.

    The future isn't home charging.
     
  4. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    You're very unlucky. EE, Three and O2 have over 99% 4G population coverage. EE have 90% 4G landmass coverage and plan to extend that to 95% by next year.
     
  5. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    There’s so many places that I don’t even get a phone reception with EE down here.:lol:
    Including everywhere in my house except the loft and garden!
     
  6. takno

    takno Established Member

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    As long as the model railway and barbecueing area are covered I don't see a problem tbh
     
  7. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Good point.
    I don’t want anyone to ring me while I’m eating sausages and watching trains go round...
     
  8. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Don’t get those mixed up.
     
  9. Tom B

    Tom B Established Member

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    The issues of congestion certainly won't change simply by having a different type of propulsion. That said, the advantages which are given to EVs (free parking permits, low VED etc) will dissipate over time - I'm fairly sure the same happened with hybrids?

    Outwith London/cities there's a huge number of car trips which people make where walking is perfectly feasible - it staggers me!
     
  10. Lucan

    Lucan Member

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    Your post is confusing. As the National Grid originated in the 1920s, and your friend was presumably fairly senior at the time, he must have retired a very long time ago and be very old indeed.

    I'm unclear also whether your friend meant that home charging will be obsolete very quickly or the National Grid will be. What do you suggest is the future for EVs if it isn't home charging?

    Home charging will have to be the preferred method of charging EVs for most people. There is no way in the foreseeable future that I would want to rely on being able to charge at places other than home, nor do I want to spend the time hanging around at those other places, sitting drinking Costa coffee after Costa coffee, while my EV was charging.

    Lady Lucan's smallish car would however be a good candidate for an EV; about all she uses it for is the shopping, a 20 mile round trip, so charge at home, and she'd have no need to get into charging rage confrontations at supermarket charging bays. Actually the supermarket has no charging bays for now, and even if it did install some as a "green gesture" I can't see it installing charging at every one of its 200+ parking slots any time soon. My own car is a big 4x4 that I use to carry a lot of stuff and sometimes pull a caravan or a flatbed trailer (reports are that all existing EVs are useless for these tasks), and it never goes anywhere near the kind of places EV enthusiasts promise there will soon be charging facilities, the exception being motorway services; but as I said there is a limit to the number of Costa coffees I want to drink while waiting for charging - in fact I don't want to spend any more time at motorway services than it takes to use their loos - I hate the places.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jul 2019
  11. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    The biggest change will be "resource wars" shifting from the Arabian peninsula and Niger delta, to the areas with the greatest Lithium deposits such as the Congo.
     
  12. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    There have been wars over mineral wealth in the Congo for a very very long time.

    And lithium has the advantage that it is not destroyed by use - so once the capital stock is accumulated it will last almost in perpetuity.



    ALso home charging is likely to be the only real choice for many people - where else will they regularly, and happily remain for hours at a time without need of the car.
    Night time will likely become the peak charging time for the grid, with interesting implications.
     
  13. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    For someone who has worked in the industry, you need to do a bit of reading about EVs. Most new EVs have a range of around 200 miles, and the latest Tesla S is nudging 400. More than enough for me to get to Blackpool from Hertfordshire (which I shall be doing shortly).

    Regarding the distribution network there are three key points. Firstly, not everyone is going to be charging their car every night - for exactly the same reason very few people go to the petrol station every day. Secondly, there will be smart systems of charging, where people who need to charge more urgently and or more quickly at peak times might be paying more than those who have less urgency. There may even be some ‘advanced purchase’ options. This will all help to balance demand. Third, and most important here, is that if there are certain feeders which can’t deal with the load, and there will be some, the the DNO or supplier may make a business decision to update the connection on the basis that they will then sell a lot more electricity. It is likely there will also be some government support here in the same way there has been for broadband.


    Back to the original question. No, EVs won’t make a dent in rail travel, except around the margins of a few markets with special characteristics (typically in rural areas).
     
  14. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Oh dear! Despite government encouragement/support, broadband is still pretty patchy in rural areas, in terms of whether there is any at all, and if there is, the typically pretty low speeds available. So, if that's anything to go by, not looking for for national grid infrastructure improvements in rural areas which is where you think there may be more use of electric vehicles.
     
  15. Lucan

    Lucan Member

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    You might get to Blackpool from Hertfordshire, but with those "most new EVs" you won't get back again without a charge. That was the OP's point I believe - that there will be thousands of people at Blackpool all needing to charge their EVs during the day in order to get home again.
     
  16. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Fortunately, like most people, when I go to Blackpool I don’t just stay for a couple of hours, and can charge it while I’m there, and I’d do it overnight. Also, unlike most people, I have a 500 mile round trip, whereas most people who drive to Blackpool will have trips substantially shorter (given by the people I meet and accents I hear there), and therefore can, if they wish, get home without charge in a vehicle with a typical 200 mile range.

    Yes there will be issues with DNO capacity in some places, but they are all easily overcome.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Back to the original topic of the threat to rail travel, is it not more local rail travel that would be threatened? Most families have two cars, and it's typically a "big, nice" family car for long journeys (very often driven by the male, for some reason I've never quite worked out) and a "little runaround" that is only used locally (very often by the female, again for some reason I've never quite worked out). Very often they'll never even get out of the 30mph zone.

    The one that is quite easily replaced by an EV, and in cities with local rail services is potentially a threat to rail, is the runaround, charged at home overnight and with plenty of range for knocking around the town/city you live in or a journey to the adjacent larger one. For the foreseeable future, the larger car is probably better as something like a plug-in hybrid which can do the same as the runaround in town but fire up a petrol engine for a long motorway run. And that has the most benefit - while carbon does need reducing, it's pollution at the point of use that presents a massive and immediate issue.

    This is the market the likes of the Nissan Leaf are in. The Tesla is a rather different and very premium (for the moment) market, and not at all mainstream.
     
  18. matacaster

    matacaster Member

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    I'd remember where they put the cable under the grass when you edge it!!
    Virgin took 7 weeks to fix our cable when a contractor chopeed it in half.
     
  19. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Agreed - sort of. I know quite a few 2 car families who have a bigger car for the whole family trips etc, and a smaller car (typically an i3, Leaf or Zoe) for the school runs. However I also know a few families who have got a Tesla or Mitsubishi PHEV as their ‘big car’, and kept the small petrol runabout.

    The new Tesla 3 (now being delivered in the U.K.) and the VW ID range (coming next year), amongst others, both have ranges around the 250-300 miles, and will be heading towards the affordable end of the market. The Tesla 3 is £37k (still expensive, but rather less than the S), and the ID will be less still. Given the whole life costs, this will be giving fleet buyers something to think about. And there’s very very few drivers who regularly notch up more than 250 miles without taking an extended break where recharging would be possible.
     
  20. Tom B

    Tom B Established Member

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    Anecdotally I've heard tales of many small cars (Fiestas etc) fail MoTs on emissions as they never get out of town - a bit of redex in the carb and a spirited drive later they get a pass.
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Carb? What year is it again? :D
     
  22. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Ah. The old Italian tuneup...
     
  23. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    My thoughts exactly!

    Same happens with some diesels though. No need to stick any redex in, just run it around at 3000 revs for ten mins to burn off the soot in the particulates filter.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jul 2019
  24. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    We get this with my other half’s mobile skip VW Touran, I have to give it a beasting up Haldon Hill every couple of months or it starts to get a bit wheezy.
     
  25. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Anyone hired an electric car?
     
  26. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    I was thinking about that only today. I have seen them for hire, and I know people who have (Leafs). I haven’t personally though. I suspect it will become an increasingly popular option for people who hire cars for travel around major cities.
     
  27. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It would be nice to see a hire place for small electric cars in places like Windermere. Why not travel by train to the Lakes then pick up an electric runaround for the weekend?

    Electric cars aren't great for "trunk" journeys on motorways - but why not do those journeys by train?
     
  28. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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  29. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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  30. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Oh. I didn’t go into the detail.

    Nevertheless, I agree it would be a good thing to do. Quite a money spinner too, for whoever bites the bullet. Particularly with the Tesla 3: 300 miles range, plenty of boot space, perfect lakes runabout.
     

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