Overview of automobile electrification - must watch

Discussion in 'General' started by Domenick, Apr 12, 2018.

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  1. Found this great video from Bloomberg New Energy Finance talking about electrification of transport -- where we're headed and what some risks might be. I found it to be very helpful for lending proper perspective.

    Unfortunately, the video doesn't embed and it doesn't seem to be on YouTube, so here is the link. Feel free to discuss what he gets wrong (or right).

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  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    It looks like an introductory course, EV-101 for Business majors.

    Bob Wilson
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  4. I mean, it really lays out the trends and compares past predictions to current realities. We humans sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture and, for me, at least, this really helps pull it all together. I'm actually looking forward to watching it again.
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    A retired engineer, the technical content did not surprise me. As for the projections, here is a sales chart from November 2013:
    Use the right-hand, Y-axis and you see peak Prius sales crash from ~16,000 down to ~9,000 per month. When I look at projections, I use September to November 2013 to see if their model includes this crash.

    So far, no model has been presented that explains the 'Prius crash' yet I keep looking.

    Bob Wilson
  6. Looks like everything had a sales decline at that moment in time. Maybe the Prius' fall was steeper because....actually, no idea why. Not because of new styling, too late for unintended acceleration brouhaha...I gots nuthin'.
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  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    It still has me 'head scratching'. It is not coupled to a dramatic gas decline or other economic signals. It is as if suddenly fuel efficiency was replaced by SUV mania.

    With our BMW i3-REx, I can appreciate the value to sitting high and exceptionally open access. The Pacifica minivan is attractive compared to the boxy, fuel burning SUVs. But these are the only hints of what may be going on.

    Bob Wilson
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  9. Actually, looking at what the price of gas was doing around that time, it's quite possible to tie it into that. Perhaps it fell more steeply than the others because more had been buying it for economic reasons, ie. the price of gas and their confidence in the economic outlook.

    Here's a quote form this CNN Money article:
    gas quote.jpg
    Seems like the economy people were finally gaining some confidence back in the economy and the price of gas was going lower. Should probably look at sales of some crossovers -- Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, etc -- in this time period to see if they rise as these fuel efficient options go down.
  10. 101101

    101101 Well-Known Member

    311 fall out.
  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I agree the price of gas has an effect as well as consumer confidence. Just the absolute gas price effect does not appear to be linear. It suggests the slope of gas prices has a bigger effect than the absolute value.

    As for consumer confidence, it is difficult to measure.

    Bob Wilson
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  13. 101101

    101101 Well-Known Member

    This is BS article very biased except in the conclusion. Notice not Tesla Roadster at 620 miles. If it is the price of gas what accounts for the UKs
    less subsidized rate of $8.50 a gallon. Plot those against UK rates. This is more petrol welfare industry isn't helpless shill talk.
    First we get that Model 3 costs more to run than gas cars (when its about 1/7 or maybe a lot less) and then get from Car and Driver that high end Model 3 only goes 200 miles. Then we start getting this total shill argument and retrospective on everything that supposedly can derail electrics but the worst of all is the cost of gas matters. It doesn't. Too many people want petrol gone. Every one that can think does. It doesn't hurt when it goes up but the level of subsidy goes to the point of free petrol (meaning you are being forced to buy all of it not just most of it with your taxes) when it becomes even close in price. Their is the issue of pollution wars and other costs.
  14. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    I'm not sure the price of fuel is much of a factor. Battery cars are very expensive, and you are certainly not going to recover the cost by home charging or even free electricity. I don't believe they are bought with a view to saving money! I imagine the purchasers are wealthy enough to be pretty well indifferent to the cost of fuel.
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    It is requirements derived from goals and objectives which vary by individual. So let me share my lifetime goal:

    Minimize the operational cost, the $/mile, of our vehicles.​

    Nothing can be done about vehicle depreciation and one accident tosses out what might have been. But a car is a snapshot in time and when it goes to the used market, it competes with new cars that are technologically much improved. But even with a body dent, an efficient car will still return 'cost avoidance' that continues over the vehicle lifetime.

    In our family, we typically have a decade of ownership and typically drive 18-20,000 miles per year. To put this in perspective, the gas savings of our first two Prius returned a month of car payments each year that continued long after the car was paid off.

    Now I am unemployed, retired, as is my wife. This means controlling expenses. If others want to pay more per mile, I am OK as there are 600 hp cars that others buy. Just let’s start from a common set of engineering based facts and data against our individual requirements.

    Bob Wilson
  16. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    Everyone should be free to choose a technology that suits them. I am pleased you are happy with your choice and wish you well of it.

    We too are retired and have pensions good enough for us not to have to worry about money. We have two cars - one diesel and one petrol - which probably we would be wise to change, but I personally loathe buying cars and negotiating a price, so put it off as long as I can. We also have a narrowboat (diesel) which I would quite like to go electric with. The diesel is noisy and I would much prefer a silent electric drive. Unfortunately, the canal towpaths are not equipped with charging points, although we have a 3kW supply at the marina where it is kept.

    I'm not concerned about the cost per mile, and don't find the technological bells and whistles in modern cars anything but yet more complex gimmickry to maintain, but I would like cars that do not pollute the environment. Batteries are a backward step in my opinion. I want a car I can get into and drive off at MY convenience not the car's. I don't want to fiddle about with cables and making sure its charged etc. At the moment I look at the fuel gauge and if it's getting low I make a mental note to call into a filling station. If there is no queue and I am passing, I might call in, unless I am in a hurry. Two minutes or so, and I don't have to even think about it again for a week or two. Very little hassle. Hydrogen would suit me much better.
  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    If you should decide to try a plug-in hybrid, I would recommend the second model year of the BMW i3-REx. The first model year, 2014 in the USA, had infantile problems that I've had to deal with. An end-of-lease, second model year, BMW i3-REx will have passed through the initial depreciation and should be quite affordable. House wiring to the car can be a challenge.

    In my case, the 100 A service line on the sunny side of the 40 year old house had suffered the ravages of time and needed to be replaced. To future proof our house, I upgraded to a 200 A service (~48 kW.) I also bought an automated, 16 kW, natural gas fueled, generator with a transfer switch that isolates the house from the grid during a power outage. At the same time, I had a 240 VAC, 50 A circuit run to the driveway side of the house.

    Living in a tornado region, we had over four days without house power in April 2011 and I never wanted my wife to be without electricity. We have at least one power outage per year and back then I used a 1 kW, 12V-to-120VAC inverter in our first Prius to 'camp out at home.' Given the winter to summer temperature range, -10 to 40 C, it is important to keep the house heater and air conditioners running.

    As for the BMW i3-REx, when it was our only plug-in, faster charging, 30-31 A at 240 VAC, was important. This insured it would be fully charged in 5 hours, overnight, or for a late night pub crawl. Now with two plug-in hybrids, we are using 12 A at 120 VAC to charge either car which means charging speed at home is not so important. The Prius Prime has a maximum charge rate of 16 A.

    Living in Huntsville Alabama, access to a fuel cell vehicle is extremely unlikely. California is running a state-wide, fuel cell experiment yet only leases them, a bad omen. The first General Motors, EV-1 was also by lease only and then GM crushed them. So far, the California fuel cell experiment appears to confirm the operating and capital costs. An expensive job but someone has to do it.

    Bob Wilson
  18. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    Thanks for the information. I can't see myself ever buying a plug-in. I really can't be doing with the hassle and would prefer to fill up at a pump/dispenser at infrequent intervals.

    A hybrid that gives me better mileage might be of more interest, but even then I wonder if the extra complexity will just mean higher servicing bills and possibly lower reliability. I have a lot more interesting things going on in my life to want to worry about cars. I have never been a motoring enthusiast, and see them as being of no more interest than a refrigerator or any other domestic appliance. A car that would sort itself out 100% and make NO demands on my time would be an improvement, but I suspect that is centuries away!
  19. Heybiff

    Heybiff New Member

    I bought mine expressly to save money. My 17yr old performance car was getting on avg 12-13mpg premium, and about 270mi to the tank. I rarely took it on road trips, and would get a rental. Now with my used EV, I "gas" up at home or on the go, about half the time for free. For the year so far I don't think I'm even halfway to the coast of a tank of gas. The used EV market is a VERY different cost/value proposition as a good chunk of the depreciation is already done. EV's at least non-Tesla in the US loose a LOT of value quickly.

    I also live in a city, and have gone 4-5 days without plugging in, commuting daily. Admittedly a short 10minute commute and a lunch run thrown in. Even with the limited milage on my compliance EV, I know I can make it to the next big city in either direction on a charge. That was good enough for me. Honestly, lately the thing that kept me from doing more road trips on weekends was having to fill up, "...is that ride worth a tank of gas?" Now, its '...is that ride worth a 2hr stop to eat/read/nap? (at a fraction of the cost)" YMMV.

    "Battery cars are very expensive, and you are certainly not going to recover the cost by home charging or even free electricity. I don't believe they are bought with a view to saving money! I imagine the purchasers are wealthy enough to be pretty well indifferent to the cost of fuel."

    Oh yeah, this is on a teacher's salary.
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  20. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Having owned a 2003 Prius (122k miles) and 2010 Prius (73k miles,) I soon realized the engine is 'derated' to improve efficiency.

    The Atkinson cycle keeps the intake valves open during part of the compression stroke so some of the fuel-air charge is pushed back into the manifold. This gives an 8-to-1 compression stroke just before ignition. Then it has a 13-to-1 power stroke delivering half the power of the same engine running a regular Otto cycle. Less stress and strain, the engine has an easy, long life. The battery-motor system provides the extra torque and power to let the Prius run like a regular car. Together, much quieter with less 'Klang und Wut.'

    We also saw a series of improved, NiMH batteries over time. Salvaged from crashed cars, these improved battery modules became available to retrofit in the older models that needed a replacement traction battery. Toyota learned valuable lessons that were applied to the next models.

    Using our smaller USA gallons, I typically got 52 MPG with both. The slightly larger 2010 did it about 5 mph faster than the 2003. As for our Prius Pime, my vanity license plate reads:

    199 MPG

    Bob Wilson
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  21. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    Well, a second hand car certainly changes the cost balance. Clearly you have taken advantage of the high depreciation of these things, found it financially beneficial in your circumstances and done the sensible thing, Heybiff. Well done.

    My lifestyle rather different. For me, the saving in cost doesn't make up for the hassle. I'd prefer to fill up when I need to and its convenient and hang the cost.

    Bob seems to have found his car is very reliable. I took a taxi the other week and was treated to a litany of complaint from the driver about the unreliability of his wife's Prius and how much it was costing. It probably reflects Bob's superior knowledge about the way to treat it properly. My heart sinks when my wife remarks her car is 'making a funny noise' - as often as not it is a death rattle and far from funny. When our present cars need to be changed I will look at a hybrid. Who knows, by then improved supercapacitors may have replaced the batteries. It almost certainly won't ever be plugged though.
  22. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I studied mechanical engineering in college so I tend to have reasonable luck with our vehicles. Sad to say, my wife doesn't always understand.

    Many years ago we had the worst possible GM car, a Chevette (properly spelled with "Shi" instead of "Che".) Pot-metal body, 30k mile clutch, and excessive noise which turned out to be a 'feature.' My wife is lead-footed so when she would speed, it would wake me from trying to cat nap and we could discuss speeding. She hated the car and I wasn't a fan as we were coming up on the 3d clutch repair. Then she had the accident.

    Following a pickup truck with an I-beam, rear fender, the pickup driver spied a cop car and decided not to run the red light. She was following and expected to run the light too except the pickup brakes were better. The pickup pitched front down, rear up, and she ran into the bumper that decapitated the radiator and crumpled the hood. No injuries, she got out and did her 'happy dance' that the hated car was dead.

    I got to the accident site, wandered around looking at the damage and my beaming wife still singing, "It's dead!"

    Then I said, "Oh I don't know. Fifty dollars in parts and we can get it running again." She was not amused.

    Bob Wilson
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  23. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    A cruel man! But you have more courage than I have! You might have got a starting handle across your head!

    I am just surprised that women can hear a machine screaming its heart out as it tears itself apart and carry on using it. Last year I came home to hear the most dreadful mechanical sound. It was the washing machine's main bearing in which I suspect a ball bearing had shattered. It had been running for an hour, making the noise from switch on, but my wifes only reaction was to shut the door to muffle the noise! "Why didn't you switch it off?" I asked her?

    "I wanted to get the washing done!" was the response!

    Normally the kindest and most loving person, she has no empathy whatever with machines. Perhaps she has it right I suppose.
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