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Phil Perry

Electric Cars - the discussion continues.

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Whilst in NZ recently I had the opportunity to drive an electric vehicle. It was an early Nissan Leaf and belonged to an employee of my son who kindly lent it to us.

 

20181014_120741.thumb.jpg.783c9c194435100c1f09e41e3c43627f.jpg

 

Interestingly the owner of this car is heavily into motorsport as is my son.

 

This car is an early Leaf and was a Japanese domestic import, I believe it was a little over 20k. The economics certainly stack up. Whilst we were there petrol was selling for about $2.40 a litre so I am thinking an equivalent petrol car would do about 7km per 100k, therefore, you would be looking at around $17 per 100km compared to around $3 enough charge to do 100km.

 

In terms of maintenance according to the service records it has not had any repairs other than new tyres. The brakes are original (from 2013) it has regen braking which greatly extends their life.

 

Approximately 80% of NZs electricity comes from renewables mainly hydro, geothermal and increasingly wind and solar.

 

My son is looking at getting a Tesla (he has more money than god). I suspect that within the next few years it will make economic sense here in Australia.

As this is an early model the range is not great although the new ones are much more impressive. Although this is an older EV it was a pleasure to drive.

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Approximately 80% of NZs electricity comes from renewables mainly hydro, geothermal and increasingly wind and solar.

 

The Kiwis are certainly miles ahead of us. With a larger economy, land area and population we can't do things as smart as them. Makes me wonder if the politicians here are greater fools or just the population at large.

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The Kiwis are certainly miles ahead of us. With a larger economy, land area and population we can't do things as smart as them. Makes me wonder if the politicians here are greater fools or just the population at large.

 

My son moved his business to NZ 4 years ago and he loves it. Every time we visit he tries to convince us to move over there, which I must admit is an attractive idea. My son was recently collaborating with someone in Australia via Skype and he said he really enjoyed working this way except when was, as he put it "Turnbulled" (the Aussie end of the connection being slower and less reliable)

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Just reading about the Hyundai Kona EV due for introduction into Australia in 2019 which reportedly has a driving range of 470km.

 

Kona EV

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Just reading about the Hyundai Kona EV due for introduction into Australia in 2019 which reportedly has a driving range of 470km.

 

Kona EV

 

Our underfunded CSIRO is keeping Oz in the game:

CSIRO tech accelerates hydrogen vehicle future - CSIRO

Hyper for hydrogen: our world first for carbon-free fuel - CSIROscope

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Am watching the 4:00 o'clock news on 7. A new rapid recharging centre was opened in Euroa Vic today which can recharge your car in 15 minutes, powered by a bank of solar panels.

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I am not sure the economics yet stack up (as with many emerging technology, the early days has a higher cost. A top of the range Kona electric has a RRP OTR of £36295 (there is no ego to pay on electronic vehicles so it includes delivery preparation). The top of the range Kona petrol has a RRP OTR of £25,445, a $10.8k-ish difference. While the electric version attracts no road tax (rego minus the third party insurance - road tax for the Kona top of the range will be about £300/year), the insurance category for the electric is at the top of the scale while the top of the line petrol is mid-scale, which will reduce the difference in road tax by at least £150 (usually quite a bit more). Hyundai's warranty is at least 3 years, so, let's assume £500/year servicing (often they throw in the first three years free, anyway).

 

Let's assume one loves driving it and they do, say, 15k miles per year (10k - 12k is the norm). I couldn't find the consumption figures for the 1.6 DCT version (petrol), so let's assume, on average, 35mpg (should be better... but it is a SUV after all). 15k miles divide by 35mpg gives me c. 429 gallons or c. 1948 litres. I pay something lit £1.24/litre but for arguments sake, lets add 10p on so I get £2,600 per year on fuel. On average, I am going to get four years of ownership before the economics turn sour. Apart from over-estimating cost and underestimating economy, I haven't included depreciation, which at the moment favour petrol cars if I look at residual values of existing electric cars, nor the difference in financing costs, both of which seem to favour the petrol variant - again due to economies of scale and current demand, which will change s electric cars get a better market share and government deadlines for prohibiting the sale of fossil-fuelled cars approaches).

 

Most (not all) people hold onto their new cars for 3 years; 4 max due to the favourable PCP/leasing agreements they can get here. So, once you are ready to hand back that slightly worn car for another, you are either slightly ahead, or about at equal (economic) weight. Then when I pull into a service station to fill up, the actual filling time is around 1 or 2 minutes; against the 75 minutes quoted by Hyundai for their bigger electric motor (Red's 4pm news star is interesting, but in both case they only give you 80% charge whereas my 1 - 2 mins gives me 100% charge and greater range).

 

Now, if I want to hold the car longer, I have to factor in replacing cells or batteries (speaking to a Nissan dealer on the new leaf last weekend as we are looking at getting one - one no longer has to replace a whole battery, but individual cells) into the maintenance cost. And apart from that, the electric car still needs a service, just not as much that goes on - this hasn't been factored in.

 

The economics, at this point, don't quite stack up as much, but they are getting there...

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Jeez, they put the news on at 4 o'clock??

 

Marty, in the big smoke, there is a 1 hour news on 7 and 9 at 4 o'clock, and again at 6 o'clock. Channel 10's one hour news is at 5 o'clock, and Channel 2's half hour bulletin at 7 o'clock. SBS 1 hour world news at 6:30. No excuse to miss the news.Then there's Sky News on Foxtel, with headline news just about every hour,

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The economics, at this point, don't quite stack up as much, but they are getting there..

 

I am not sure whether EVs need to fully stack up economically before being viable. Internal combustion cars are not all equally viable. you can buy a new reliable car for $20k or $150k the overall cost of the $150K car may be more per km than the $20Km but some people are willing to spend more than the absolute minimum. My son who at last count owns 5 cars has a 12-year-old BMW which he bought 2 years ago for $15k the new price I believe was $150k. I would assume that it would not stack up in a purely economic sense. I am not saying that everyone should rush out and buy one. They are still not quite viable for me, however, I expect they will be soon.

 

In terms of charging, people for whom EVs make sense don't call in at the charger on their way to work rather, they charge it overnight or in the case of the Leaf I drove, free at work.

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Quote "Our underfunded CSIRO is keeping Oz in the game: (Hydrogen).

I was having a look at the English car maker. Morgan,

They have built a Hydrogen fuel-cell car, don't think it made it to production, just concept.

spacesailor

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Quote "Our underfunded CSIRO is keeping Oz in the game: (Hydrogen).

I was having a look at the English car maker. Morgan,

They have built a Hydrogen fuel-cell car, don't think it made it to production, just concept.

spacesailor

 

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Marty, in the big smoke, there is a 1 hour news on 7 and 9 at 4 o'clock, and again at 6 o'clock. Channel 10's one hour news is at 5 o'clock, and Channel 2's half hour bulletin at 7 o'clock. SBS 1 hour world news at 6:30. No excuse to miss the news.Then there's Sky News on Foxtel, with headline news just about every hour,

 

It's probably the same down here - I wouldn't know, I never watch the news. Generally check the websites when I feel the need to see what's going on in the world, and listen to Radio National.

I think the last time I took any notice of TV news, the earliest was 6pm. Hence my surprise.

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Start with an electric bike space. They are cheap and when you use the electric boost, it is like going downhill all the time. It it only the price which stops us having a second car as electric. They are just overpriced. The same was true for bikes, they were about $2600 but now they are below $1000.

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The only thing more risky on the road than a motorcycle is a pushbike. Also the scooters are more risky, though popular (Smaller wheels and no grip on anything . Nev

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I was offered Ebikes (plural) at $100 each around 2009, Just didn't have a way of getting them from the Queensland port back to Sydney.

So they must have been Cheap from China at that time.

spacesailor

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They DO make stuff ridiculously cheap.. The importers just mark it up to equal other prices. 10x landed cost would be normal. Nev

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I am not sure whether EVs need to fully stack up economically before being viable. Internal combustion cars are not all equally viable. you can buy a new reliable car for $20k or $150k the overall cost of the $150K car may be more per km than the $20Km but some people are willing to spend more than the absolute minimum. My son who at last count owns 5 cars has a 12-year-old BMW which he bought 2 years ago for $15k the new price I believe was $150k. I would assume that it would not stack up in a purely economic sense. I am not saying that everyone should rush out and buy one. They are still not quite viable for me, however, I expect they will be soon.

 

In terms of charging, people for whom EVs make sense don't call in at the charger on their way to work rather, they charge it overnight or in the case of the Leaf I drove, free at work.

 

Agree with the above, but my point was the economics of the Kona petrol against the Kona ev don't stack up (i.e like for like car, different fuel/drive train), rather than say a Kona petrol against a Tesla...

 

And, while I agree on the way to work one wouldn't drop in to top the tank, but from say the state that originates dodgy phone calls to Sydney - may be a different story.

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The servicing aspect eventually will be miniscule compared to the conventional engine/ transmission. The HEATER won't work too well though will it? Nev

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Agree with the above, but my point was the economics of the Kona petrol against the Kona ev don't stack up (i.e like for like car, different fuel/drive train), rather than say a Kona petrol against a Tesla...

 

And, while I agree on the way to work one wouldn't drop in to top the tank, but from say the state that originates dodgy phone calls to Sydney - may be a different story.

 

Jerry, I am not questioning your decision, in fact much respect for being open-minded enough to consider the options.

I live in Geelong and work near Melbourne around about 65km each way. A new Leaf would be great. Charge overnight. Would be great in Melbourne's rush hour traffic crawl. However, I would agree that it does not yet stack up if cost is the main selection criterion. When I moved here I bought a car specifically on economic grounds, I bought a 10-year-old Focus for 7.5k. I believe this is more economically rational than buying a new car or a 4wd etc. although many people choose a vehicle not solely based on economics

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He's basically saying it doesn't make any difference to the range. That's extremely unlikely in reality. I run two heat pumps replacing the filament water heaters I had and they reduce the usage by about 75%. There has to still be a significant power use. You never get anything for nothing in these situations. Most refrigerators are heat pumps The reverse cycle is an added feature but the principle is the same. You get the actual heat from the ambient air but there are losses always Nev

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He's basically saying it doesn't make any difference to the range. That's extremely unlikely in reality. I run two heat pumps replacing the filament water heaters I had and they reduce the usage by about 75%. There has to still be a significant power use. You never get anything for nothing in these situations. Most refrigerators are heat pumps The reverse cycle is an added feature but the principle is the same. You get the actual heat from the ambient air but there are losses always Nev

 

Yes it is unfortunate that he says more than once that it "uses no power" however he does modify that to "virtually no power" I don't think he is lying, he is drawing his conclusions from the meter that provides information about the state of charge of the batteries and the predicted range based on current discharge. Presumably, this has some level of accuracy.

 

The leaf I drove around Wellington for a day was toasty warm when we got in as the owner had pre-warmed it for us. Normally it would only have been pre-warmed on a weekday when he would normally drive to work. He changed the programming (which he controls from his smartphone) to make this Sunday like his weekdays. Fifteen minutes before we got there the heater turned on, this did not impact on the range because as usual the vehicle was plugged in. We drove the vehicle for the whole day and at no time felt cold. The 2013 Leaf (not sure about later models) can heat the cabin air or use a modern and efficient method of heating the seats and even the steering wheel. In fact, When I was driving I requested the stearing wheel heat be turned off. At no time were we cold. I am assuming that the heating system is not a complete disaster since Norway (famously cold) has one of the largest percentages of EVs on the road, presumably, they do not have laughably small vehicle range and are not freezing to death.

 

What I find irritating is the people who swallow false information. Last weekend I was at a "friends" house. We had the same old arguments. He stated that electric cars are not and would never be viable. He stated (as he has on many occasions) that the batteries need to be replaced after 3 years. as usual, I proved that this was ignorant bollocks but I know we will have the same conversation next time we get together.

 

When I was toasty warm in this Nissan Leaf the range was reduced by about 10%-13% as the vehicle is charged overnight and very much a city car, the heater power draw is irrelevant.

 

I have shared this thread with the owner of this vehicle and they are happy to answer any questions.

 

For me, an EV is not yet economically viable but I look forward to the time when it is almost viable. I love innovative technology and I was an early adopter of computers mobile phones etc.

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FH

"The HEATER won't work too well though will it "

My Delica has Ceramic heater's, yes plural, full air-con front and back, to keep the High-class skiers warm going up and down mt Fuji,

as that was the design in marrying two vehicles together.

I don't know why the remote operated windows was included, but it makes a great showoff car.

spacesailor

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