The memory effect...

Discussion in 'General' started by Martin Williams, Feb 10, 2018.

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  1. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    ... or rather the reverse. Given that I am pretty absent minded a lot of the time and quite often forget to recharge my phone, I am pretty sure I'd occasionally forget to plug a car in with rather more catastrophic results probably. It is quite a significant reason why I am suspicious of buying one.

    How many owners admit to having forgotten to do this little task, or is it a characteristic of EV drivers that they never ever forget anything?

    The car has several processors in it and could, by sounding its horn or shouting at you, remind you I expect. It could also send a text, but in my case I might well have forgotten to charge my phone...
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  3. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    Some EVs have a timer setting that will not initiate charging until a certain time, or after a certain number of hours delay. So you can just plug it in right when you get home and still have it charge only during cheaper energy periods (if your utility offers that).

    I personally have a daily alarm set on my phone to remind me to plug in, but that may not help in your case! ;)
  4. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    Think of it this way - do you ever repeatedly forget to buy gas when you're on empty?

    In 3 years of EV ownership I've maybe done this a handful of times. It's really a non-issue for most people.

    For a first-gen EV, forgetting could be a big problem. Since you maybe had 75-80 miles of range.

    But with a plug-in hybrid it is never a problem, just an annoyance to use gas. And unless you have one helluva commute, a long range BEV isn't a problem either. (So long as you don't forget 4 or 5 days in a row! :p )

    In fact, I have recently started only charging my Bolt twice a week unless I have an unusually long trip to make. My wife charges her Volt the other days. (We only have 1 EVSE)
  5. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    "So you can just plug it in right when you get home..."

    Well, There's there's my problem in a nutshell! I'd probably remember just after going to bed. I would not relish having to get up and sort it, particularly if I had to drive round looking for a hitching post that worked.

    I see a hybrid as an ICE car anyway, hopefully one that makes better use of the fuel it carries, but I would probably abandon plugging it in entirely. I couldn't be bothered with fiddling about with cables to save a few pennies.
  6. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    JuiceBox wall charger has wifi and ability to set charge windows via an app. So you plug in right away and it starts at your preset time. Like a programmable thermostat. It even knows your next day's utility rates and shows it on a graph for you to plan around.

    Or get a Tesla battery pack ;)
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  8. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    For those whose mind isn’t quite what it used to be get a car that can use plugless.

    Wireless charging, man. Just park your car.
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  9. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    Wait, it sounds like you won't have any means to charge when you are home? You don't have even a 120V outlet that is within 15 feet of where the car is parked? If you don't have a means to charge at home or a place to charge at work, then a plug in hybrid definitely does not make sense for you. You would be better off with a traditional hybrid that mainly runs on gas and which has an electric motor to boost economy, which is what you are thinking about. A plug in hybrid is only effective if you can actually plug it in and run it on EV more often.
  10. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    Well I could charge my plug-in if I bought one. But I would remind you that more than half the people of Europe live in houses with no car parking facilities at all. In many large cities, finding a space on the road outside your home in which to park is not something you can depend upon.

    What percentage of Americans are in the same position is something I will leave to you to find out. To these folk, any sort of plug-in is a very unattractive proposition, bad memory or not.

    As you say, a hybrid seems a much more attractive proposition if saving fuel costs is your main concern, provided the extra complexity doesn't result in lower reliability. However, they are more expensive and I suspect most would opt for a conventional ICE. Indeed, the sales figures imply they are doing.

    From the fact that the amount of fuel sold seems largely unaffected by its price in the UK, one might also conclude that fuel costs are not a very important consideration in what sort of car to buy anyway. I would imagine this is even truer in America. Spending ten or twenty thousand dollars more on a car to save spending on fuel at 75 cents a litre makes very little financial sense.
  11. Kendalf

    Kendalf Active Member

    Certainly you choose the car that best fits your driving and parking situation. EVs work for some circumstances, not all.

    But the cost difference between EV and ICE vehicles is not as great as you describe, at least in areas that are actively incentivizing them. For example, my purchase price of the Honda Clarity PHEV will end up being a couple thousand dollars less than a comparably equipped Accord after federal, state, and local EV incentives, and that is not factoring the many thousands in gasoline savings over the lifetime of the vehicle.
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  13. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    Fuel costs don't impact buying decisions like this, your absolutely right. If they got obscene maybe, but just maybe and just for some. What it will impact is leisure driving or other discretionary spending. But undoing a person's life time of known variables with a car is more complex than fuel prices.
  14. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I have only ever seen this concern expressed by people who don't own a plug-in EV, never by anyone who actually does. Once you get into the habit of plugging the car in as soon as you get out of it at home, it becomes as second nature as closing the door when you get out of the car. Now, if you have a habit of walking off and leaving the car door open... then perhaps it's something which should concern you. ;)
  15. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I personally would never recommend anyone buy a plug-in EV (PEV) if they don't have any realistic way to charge up at home on a regular basis. Now, there may be people who can charge up at work, but unless they only use their PEV for commuting, that may leave them without any easy way to take a drive on weekends.

    What irritates me is the continued obsession over this point, as if things are never going to change; as if those who have no easy access to an EV charger right now, still won't even 10 or 15 years from now. It's as silly and myopic as claiming, back in the horse-and-buggy era, that motorcars could never become popular because hitching posts were everywhere but parking lots were practically nonexistent.

    Well, now it's the reverse; it's publicly accessible EV "hitching posts" that are rare! But that obviously will change as the EV revolution advances, and as demand for EV hitching posts increases.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  16. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    I'd hate to see hitching posts everywhere. So, I think, would most people in the UK. The pavements are already congested with far too much ugly street furniture, signposts, lamp posts, street cabinets, parking meters etc. etc.

    I don't think damaging the urban environment with a lot more very costly eyesores would be accepted by many planning committees in the UK, whilst there is an alternative. I imagine that it would be necessary to re-cable the street in many cases in order to accommodate the increased load which would be even more expensive too.

    My bet is that hydrogen will prove a lot more attractive at least in the UK and probably in Europe too, but I'm happy to watch with interest to see which technology prevails.

    A further point lies in considering how the transition to the new technology (whichever one proves more popular) lies in how the transition from ICEs is managed. In the case of electrical power, vehicle charging is going to have a big impact on the grid infrastructure. My rough calculation based on 30 million vehicles all doing 40 miles a day (or about 4kWh) implies a total extra daily demand of 120 GWh. The current daily consumption is about 700 GW, so this is a significant increase which has to be handled, with extra transmission lines, substations, street cabling etc.

    In the case of hydrogen, the changeover can - initially - be done by installing new plant at refineries designed to extract it from petrochemicals. As more renewable power is available this will progressively be replaced with electrolysis, but the changeover can be effected imperceptibly to the public. We will see more hydrogen tankers and filling stations as the number of oil-based fuel ones decreases, but that's about it.
  17. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    You have exactly the same attitude as those people who used to yell "GET A HORSE!" during a previous transportation tech revolution.

    But hey, maybe this whole motorcar thing is just a passing fad, and we'll all go back to horses and buggies soon. :rolleyes:
  18. Jennie

    Jennie Member

    Like you, Martin, I am pretty absent minded.

    When I drove an ICE car daily, I always intended to gas up on Sunday afternoon in preparation for the week. When Sunday afternoon came I either got busy, forgot or didn't want to leave the house. Instead, I often ended up having to stop either on the way to or from work, sometimes getting just enough for one round trip and either having to leave early or risk running late in rush hour traffic. Even knowing the pain of that inconvenience and the risk of having my bank card skimmed at the pump didn't force me to change my ways.

    I have had a Tesla for 8 months now and have certainly forgotten to plug it in promptly... but I'm getting better. Since my car has a decent range and myhouse has a good charging capability, as long as I remember to plug it in SOMETIME in 3 days, I will be fine. I will also say that I'd much rather have the situation of having to get out of bed to plug in my car than to run to the gas station.
  19. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    Well, I'm glad you have found a workable way of running it.

    I would certainly not get out of bed to run to a gas station. I would if I had a long journey the following day, and needed to charge the car overnight to manage it. The difference is that filling a tank is quick and takes little time. Charging a car overnight takes much longer.
  20. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    I think you have misunderstood my point or are being disingenuous.

    Why on earth should I enthuse about disfiguring the urban environment at vast expense when I can buy an electric car that doesn't require hitching posts at all?

    You seem to forget that hydrogen cars ARE electric vehicles. They simply have 'batteries' that are more suited to the majority of car owners lifestyles. I certainly don't object to their introduction. Indeed I welcome it.
  21. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    As to filling my ICE, it is equipped with an irritating little light that flashes when fuel runs low ("50 miles remaining" level) and I get an updating message on the display telling me how many miles I have before it runs out. I never make a dedicated journey to fill the tank, but simply call into a filling station and fill up when I see one as I'm doing my usual pootling about.

    Locally, I have a pretty good idea where the lowest priced ones are and might make a small diversion to take advantage, but otherwise, the next one that I come across is used. It takes two or three minutes. To me, this is minimum hassle. I'd like to do the same with an electric vehicle and with a hydrogen-powered one, I will probably be able to do so.
  22. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    This is yet another reason why the market is going to prefer plug-in EVs with a larger battery pack, rather than the smaller ones some keep advocating.
  23. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    The bigger the better, I'd say.

    It has the unfortunate effect of increasing the charging time and/or requiring charging at a higher power level, but battery car enthusiasts seem prepared to accept that. We'll have to wait and see whether the general public does too.
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