Author Topic: Electric Car Experiences  (Read 13756 times)

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Offline boffin

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Electric Car Experiences
« on: August 02, 2018, 08:07:10 pm »
I'm starting this off as a new topic for those interested in discussions around the viability of owning and operating electric vehicles. 

Experiences such as range, charging solutions, real-world economics, idiosyncrasies of your vehcile and more

For myself, I drive a new VW eGolf, and it's been great so far (other than a flat tire). Economy is amazing, about 14kWh/100k out of the battery, call it 16kWh when you consider charging efficiency.

Anyone else want to add their experiences with their electric (or PHEV) ?



 
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Offline Fred27

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2018, 08:39:18 pm »
I've had a Zero FXS electric motorbike for the last year. I absolutely love it. It's not a motorway mile cruncher or suited to touring, but it's great fun and ideal for commuting.
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2018, 12:23:48 am »
4 years ago I purchased a Chevy Volt. I never thought I'd purchase a compact American car but after reading so many positive reviews....

I understood the technical advantages of moving a vehicle with an electric motor vs an ICE and I knew I would be saving money on gasoline but what I did not appreciate was just how nice it is not having to go to the gasoline station once a week.   My current lifetime average is 208 mpg.  I rarely need to use any gasoline - only for the occasional long car trip.  I only put gas in it about twice a year.

The experience has been so positive, we just bought my wife a PHEV minivan - the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV.

I also own a Toyota 4WD Tundra pick up truck I use for hauling garbage, recycling and construction materials.  It also serves as our emergency vehicle during heavy snow falls when the roads have not yet been plowed.  As soon as there is a good 4WD EV truck available, I'll be replacing the Tundra...
 

Offline saike

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2018, 05:12:24 am »
I bought a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV a few months ago and so far it has been brilliant, 1200 miles without putting any petrol in it yet.
It is definitely a short trip shopping car with a proposed electric range of 32 miles and I am quite surprised that I am actually  getting an easy (summer time) 28 miles range.

Charging while away from home is a non starter, there is either a 4 hour charge time to do another 28 miles, or a fast charge (30 mins) to get another 24 miles which is more expensive than putting a gallon of petrol in the car.

The thing that surprises me most about all this (with the recent kerfuffle about exhaust emissions in mind) is that anybody actually believes the performance figures quoted by the car manufacturers, which are purely aimed at selling the car to the public and not giving them any real idea of the performance they can expect from the car.
 

Offline boffin

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2018, 05:56:33 pm »
The thing that surprises me most about all this (with the recent kerfuffle about exhaust emissions in mind) is that anybody actually believes the performance figures quoted by the car manufacturers, which are purely aimed at selling the car to the public and not giving them any real idea of the performance they can expect from the car.

I actually think right now that some companies (I'm looking at your VW) are completely paranoid about exactly that.  For example my eGolf is quoted 200km/charge, but I routinely get about 225-240

As for actual mileage, I'm seeing about 14kWh/100km, even with charging losses of what appear to be around 10% the numbers are quite stunning
15½ kWh @ C$0.085/kWh = C$1.32/100km whereas the ICE version of the same car uses about 8l of gasoline @$1.46/l, or $11.68

As for AC/heater usage, using the AC seems to add 1-2kW to the draw, not a huge draw, and certainly not enough to scare me about it.

For 90% of the people out there, a BEV is a viable alternative. There's always going to be people who need regular long drives etc, but I probably do 200+km drives in a day about 2/year, and it either takes a little planning, or to simply rent a car when I do need non-EV range. 
 

Offline sokoloff

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2018, 09:03:15 pm »
Have had a Nissan LEAF as my daily driver for ~44 months now. Overall, it's been great.

Unfortunately, the battery range is a little snug to get me home or work to the airport and back with perfect comfort/reliability. It's pretty reliably able to do it, and was perfectly reliable and then some when the battery was new.

We also have an ICE car, so any long range trips that aren't done by air are done by that car. As the guy who turns the wrenches on all our stuff, I much prefer the electric. :)
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2018, 09:03:48 pm »
and it either takes a little planning, or to simply rent a car when I do need non-EV range.
You keep saying that but I doubt you ever tried it. I've been down that road a couple of years ago thinking we could do with one car and rent a car if necessary. Well that turned out to be a huge miscalculation. The financial break even point for owning a (second hand) car was less than a year. Note that when renting a car you are also paying for depreciation with a big profit on top.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2018, 09:39:19 pm »
and it either takes a little planning, or to simply rent a car when I do need non-EV range.
You keep saying that but I doubt you ever tried it. I've been down that road a couple of years ago thinking we could do with one car and rent a car if necessary. Well that turned out to be a huge miscalculation. The financial break even point for owning a (second hand) car was less than a year. Note that when renting a car you are also paying for depreciation with a big profit on top.
How many days a year of renting do you expect you would have to pay for?
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2018, 09:48:10 pm »
Rental cars are cheap in the US. $30-40 a day, $200-300 for a week with unlimited miles. Auto insurance alone in most parts of the US will cost you $1000 a year per vehicle for liability coverage alone.

I’ve known non-EV owners who use rental cars for any long trips just because they don’t trust their cheap commuter vehicle.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2018, 04:33:17 pm »
Rental cars are cheap in the US. $30-40 a day, $200-300 for a week with unlimited miles. Auto insurance alone in most parts of the US will cost you $1000 a year per vehicle for liability coverage alone.
My car insurance costs way less but due to not claiming anything for many years got me a hefty discount.

Those low rental prices usually are for very small cars. If you want a decent car the price nearly doubles and then there is the extra insurance. But as I wrote before I already tried to 'optimise' cars. My previous car was a sedan. My thinking was: I don't need a station wagon every day and I'll sort things out when I need to transport something large. Well that turned out to be a really bad idea. Fortunately my wife had a relatively large hatch-back so I could use that to transport larger items but it still didn't do the job well. I recall buying a couple of windows but those where too large for the lid to close so I had to drive around to find a shopping mall first to but a piece of rope to tie it shut. Same for a dish-washer and many other items. Buying a car which can't do the 1% you need every now and then just sucks. Nowadays I'm back to the station wagon. I hope this underlines my point when I'm saying that buying a car which can only do 99% (or less) of the use cases is going to be a nuisance because it doesn't deliver when you need it the most.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2018, 04:41:42 pm »
No, it's a nuisance for *you*. For many other people it's not a big deal at all. You've been harping on the same ridiculous things post after post after post, and frankly I don't understand your obsession with it. Why can't you just do your thing and let other people do what works for them? You have an almost religious belief regarding this topic, no fact would ever sway your mind, so what is the point? 
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2018, 05:44:17 pm »
No, it's a nuisance for *you*. For many other people it's not a big deal at all. You've been harping on the same ridiculous things post after post after post, and frankly I don't understand your obsession with it. Why can't you just do your thing and let other people do what works for them?
Perhaps you should try to *understand* what I write. I'm just writing down what I've learned during the past decades. There is no need to repeat my mistakes if you care to take notice. But then again: you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 05:45:51 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2018, 06:13:34 pm »
Rental cars are cheap in the US. $30-40 a day, $200-300 for a week with unlimited miles. Auto insurance alone in most parts of the US will cost you $1000 a year per vehicle for liability coverage alone.

I’ve known non-EV owners who use rental cars for any long trips just because they don’t trust their cheap commuter vehicle.

Just to give you a feeling how it is different in EU, here in Croatia to rent Skoda Octavia (what you in USA would consider smaller sedan) is 80ish € a day. On my car (Toyota RAV4) I pay 350 € insurance a year. My Toyota would be more than 100€ a day rented.

I lived in USA for few years. Many people in USA cannot understand how different USA is than the rest of the world, especially how market is different. Some stuff here is 5x more expensive than in USA, some is 5x less expensive. It's different.

So generalizations that something that works for you in USA ( and I you believe it does ) will work here too is not right. It might work even better, it might not work at all.

Market, infrastructure etc is different.  And then there are differences across EU. Poor countries VS rich ones, cultural diffs: French likes this, Germans that, Italian somethin else...

Many things don't work like they do in USA. Electric cars, solar tech... Different economic environment...
 
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Offline mtdoc

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2018, 07:00:22 pm »
I lived in USA for few years. Many people in USA cannot understand how different USA is than the rest of the world, especially how market is different. Some stuff here is 5x more expensive than in USA, some is 5x less expensive. It's different.

So generalizations that something that works for you in USA ( and I you believe it does ) will work here too is not right. It might work even better, it might not work at all.

Fair enough but I was not generalizing - in fact I specifically noted that I was referring to the US in repsone to a poster who was extrpolating his experience to others.  And FWIW, I’ve travelled extensively through Europe, including one 8 month work/travel trip, so i am well aware of the differences between the US/Canada and Europe as well as the variations among European countries.
 
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Offline boffin

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2018, 10:18:52 pm »
I expect one of the places you'll see an explosion of BEV in the next few years are short-distance (city) delivery vehicles.  When I was a kid (in the UK), milk was delivered by an electric vehicle; that was the 70s. Surely it would be even more efficient today.

How many km/day does the avg FedEx/UPS/Mail truck drive?
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2018, 10:23:32 pm »
I expect one of the places you'll see an explosion of BEV in the next few years are short-distance (city) delivery vehicles.  When I was a kid (in the UK), milk was delivered by an electric vehicle; that was the 70s. Surely it would be even more efficient today.

How many km/day does the avg FedEx/UPS/Mail truck drive?
In some places those parcel delivery companies are already heavy users of electric delivery vans. They seem to be leading the use of these vehicles. I guess they have more stop start action than most other delivery van activity, and gett the greatest benefit from regen.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 09:09:50 am by coppice »
 

Offline saike

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2018, 08:23:07 am »
I went to a used equipment dealer here in the UK a couple of years ago and they had just purchased 15 fairly large electric delivery vehicles which had come to the end of a lease agreement. They cleaned them up and resold them for 3 times more than they had paid for them. A  large (high 5 or low 6 figure sum) profit for having enough courage to buy them and hope there was a resale market.
 

Offline jordanp123

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2018, 09:55:18 pm »
Got a Tesla Model 3 a few weeks back. Always wanted a electric car and the opportunity presented its self so I grabbed it. So far its been great, I need to upgrade my charging circuit at home (240V-20 Amp-Charges at 16A ), but insofar so good.
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2018, 10:34:28 pm »
Quote
Got a Tesla Model 3 a few weeks back.
The best car available today in the price/range.
We are eager to get it in Europe, as the size and range is especially well suited for our roads.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2018, 08:04:06 pm »

Anyone else want to add their experiences with their electric (or PHEV) ?
Well, since you included PHEV (which I guess is similar to a PZEV) I have a Honda Civic Hybrid.  It has a different engine than regular Civics, with variable intake valve timing and the ability to cut off several cylinders.  So, it has no throttle, but reduces engine output by allowing less fuel/air charge into the cylinders.  This takes several seconds to do, so would be unnerving without the hybrid motor/generator.  With the hybrid system, any time you move the gas pedal, it immediately uses the hybrid motor/battery to supply or extract the required energy until the valve timing is adjusted.

Rather complex stuff, but it seems to work really well, and reliably.  They also have a chain-drive continuously variable transmission, with a wet-pack clutch similar to what is on a motorcycle.

Anyway, it all works quite well, and when ** I ALONE ** drive it, I can get over 50 MPG using US gasohol.  When my family drives it, they can get the mileage down into the 40's right away.  (ugh)  The only problem I've had with it is the battery pack blew at 68,000 miles, and is getting ready to do it again.  Whoever thought you could put 120 Ni-MH D-cells in series with no cell balancing and hit it will 100 A charge and discharge cycles for years should have been fired (and maybe put in the nut house).  It is totally amazing that the battery can take that abuse for several years before slowly going bad.

So, I like it, and may get another hybrid.  I'm wondering if the Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid) might be my next car.

Jon
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2018, 08:29:27 pm »
Interesting system, but yeah. Why do they use nimh in 2018 in the first place ? Why no lithium tech ?
 

Online bd139

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2018, 08:30:20 pm »
I know four people who have bought Tesla model S and X in the last year and disappeared. I don’t think this is a conspiracy or anything. They’re just sitting in them all day with a big smile on :)
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2018, 09:35:19 pm »
So, it has no throttle, but reduces engine output by allowing less fuel/air charge into the cylinders.
Isn't that exactly how a throttle normally works?
 

Online james_s

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2018, 10:07:26 pm »
So, it has no throttle, but reduces engine output by allowing less fuel/air charge into the cylinders.
Isn't that exactly how a throttle normally works?

Effectively, yes. The throttle (on a conventional gasoline engine) controls the amount of air that can enter the intake manifold. This in turn determines the amount of fuel injected into the air immediately prior to entering the cylinder.

Diesel engines on the other hand have no throttle, the power output is controlled by adjusting the amount of fuel injected directly into the combustion chamber.
 

Offline Kevman

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Re: Electric Car Experiences
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2018, 01:26:48 pm »
I bought a Chevy Bolt 14 months ago, and love it. Its really is fun to drive, quiet, reliable and has enough range for anything but long trips. What's not to like?

The Bolt has an EPA listing of 238 miles, but can approach 260 miles in ideal weather where I live. However, in the Winter, it can dip as low as 150 miles.

So, If you live in a colder climate, make sure you have plenty of excess range. And a 240v charger- a 120v will barely charge the car at all in the cold. Rich Rebuilds has said that his Model S has LOST range in the winter while plugged in to 120v!

32A EVSE is not necessary unless you average over 100 miles a day driving, though. Pretty much any 240v will be plenty.

ESVEs have really been coming down in price and I expect that to continue. I paid $250 for my 16A charger a year ago but the same charger is $175 now. There just isn't much to them.

 


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