Electric Vehicles - pros and cons, but mainly battery life

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Gordon Gekko

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The Prime Time feature was interesting. EVs seem to make a lot of sense for people who just drive locally. However, if you want flexibility, they look a very poor option. The range changes wildly depending on factors like using the air-con. There aren’t enough charging points. The app showing availability of charging points gives incorrect information (e.g. slot free and it isn’t or vice versa). You can arrive and find cars charging with no owners there. I wouldn’t touch one I have to say. Not until the appropriate infrastructure is there and the charging time issue is resolved.
 

Zenith63

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The Prime Time feature was interesting. EVs seem to make a lot of sense for people who just drive locally. However, if you want flexibility, they look a very poor option. The range changes wildly depending on factors like using the air-con. There aren’t enough charging points. The app showing availability of charging points gives incorrect information (e.g. slot free and it isn’t or vice versa). You can arrive and find cars charging with no owners there. I wouldn’t touch one I have to say. Not until the appropriate infrastructure is there and the charging time issue is resolved.
Just to add some balance here.

The range does vary depending on the weather and using A/C or heating. You can lose 20-30% in the depths of winter. However this doesn't happen overnight; as the weather gets colder it slowly starts to decrease, it's not like "Surprise! -20% range". Also on the longer range EVs of today (Hyundai Kona etc.) where you have 400km of range or more, this will only be noticeable for those doing long journeys frequently - and to be honest if this is your usecase buy a Tesla or hold off on EVs for now.

95%+ of charging is done at home, so the number of chargers is only a problem on longer journeys and particularly if you do a lot of these (see note above). Ionity have opened a 6 bay charger a few weeks ago, another three have planning permission and Easygo opened a 4 bay today. The ESB also have a LOT of chargers to begin rolling out this year, mostly 4/6 bay depending on the location. This is not a big issue for most people today, and will become a non-issue by the end of the year.

I've found the ESB eCars app quite reliable. You get the odd case when a charger loses network connection so the data is incorrect. This is a total non-issue.

Yes you can arrive and find abandoned cars charging, but it's very rare on the motorway stops, which really are the only ones you should need if you are home charging.

The time it takes to charge an EV really isn't a big deal in any of the modern EVs. They all do 350-400km range, so even if doing Belfast to Cork you might need to stop for 15-20 minutes - anybody not stopping for this amount of time on a journey like that is not doing life right anyway :).

EVs are superior to petrol/diesel cars in virtually every way. They are definitely not for you if you're a sales guy doing 500km a day, or you live in an apartment (yet), but 90% of the population could switch and save themselves some money, have a much nicer driving experience and cut urban pollution to nearly nothing.
 

Gordon Gekko

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EVs seem to lend themselves to people ranting about how great they are.

When I’m running low on fuel, it takes me 3 minutes to fill the tank at any one of the thousands of petrol stations in Ireland.

Until EVs can do similar, I’d have zero interest in one. The savings on fuel don’t even seem that attractive; the charging points won’t stay free forever and €4 a night or thereabouts at home isn’t that good either; for the type of person who could manage with one of these, I suspect that €28 a week would be enough for petrol or diesel.

Sorry, but I just don’t think we’re ready for a revolution; slow evolution maybe, but there’s plenty of life in the combustion engine yet.
 

Gordon Gekko

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Agreed. Prime Time was pretty damning. It took David 3.5 hours to get to Kerry whereas it took Miriam 6.5 hours. What’s the point in having a vehicle that makes you curse any requirement to travel more than a few hundred kilometres? “Uh oh...we just got invited to a wedding in Kerry/West Cork/Donegal/Mayo!” “Sorry Boss, I don’t have a car that can do that trip!”
 

Zenith63

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EVs seem to lend themselves to people ranting about how impractical they are with either no experience whatsoever or so little as to be irrelevant. But don’t let some actual experience with the topic put you off from chuntering away to yourselves there chaps :)
 

newtothis

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When I’m running low on fuel, it takes me 3 minutes to fill the tank at any one of the thousands of petrol stations in Ireland.
Yes, but if you start each and every day with a full "tank" of fuel, you wouldn't have to go looking for something as old fashioned as a petrol station. People have no problem with habitually plugging their phones in to charge daily; it's hardly a hard habit to get into.

€4 a night or thereabouts at home isn’t that good either; for the type of person who could manage with one of these, I suspect that €28 a week would be enough for petrol or diesel.
You can suspect all you like; the actual figures show a very significant saving. Don't let the facts get in the way of a suspicion, though....

Given the site it's on, it's probably an exageration, but even accepting that to give some idea, try: EV cost calculator
 
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lledlledlled

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EVs seem to lend themselves to people ranting about how great they are.

When I’m running low on fuel, it takes me 3 minutes to fill the tank at any one of the thousands of petrol stations in Ireland.

Until EVs can do similar, I’d have zero interest in one. The savings on fuel don’t even seem that attractive; the charging points won’t stay free forever and €4 a night or thereabouts at home isn’t that good either; for the type of person who could manage with one of these, I suspect that €28 a week would be enough for petrol or diesel.

Sorry, but I just don’t think we’re ready for a revolution; slow evolution maybe, but there’s plenty of life in the combustion engine yet.
You're entirely entitled to have zero interest in an EV. But that doesn't mean they aren't a great choice for a huge number of people.
Lots of people have zero interest in driving ANY type of car. Each to their own.
 

Zenith63

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The savings on fuel don’t even seem that attractive; the charging points won’t stay free forever and €4 a night or thereabouts at home isn’t that good either; for the type of person who could manage with one of these, I suspect that €28 a week would be enough for petrol or diesel.
€28 per week of petrol in an typical car that can do 7L/100km would get you 265km at €1.50 a litre. Your typical EV uses 15kWh/100km, so on a standard rate electricity meter 265km would cost you €6.55 a week or €0.93 per night. If you go for a night meter you get that down to €0.51 per night.

You're off by over 650%.
 

Gordon Gekko

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Wow. So I can save the price of a few cups of coffee if I’m willing to swap my car for something that takes hours to refuel and for which the appropriate infrastructure is lacking. Where do I sign?

We’re talking about something that is great in theory but flawed in practice.

The solution would appear to be a plug in hybrid.
 

Gordon Gekko

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So none of the obvious issues actually exist?

The product is flawed, end of story.

The fact that you have driven an EV is completely irrelevant; you’re not denying the existence of the issues; you’re merely arguing that “it’s not that bad”.
 

Zenith63

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So none of the obvious issues actually exist?

The product is flawed, end of story.

The fact that you have driven an EV is completely irrelevant; you’re not denying the existence of the issues; you’re merely arguing that “it’s not that bad”.
I and other users have highlighted the actual issues multiple times in this thread, I'm not sure what else I can do to highlight them at this point, particularly without making it appear that I'm "ranting".

Just to be clear though, both our family cars are electric and we're in the process of getting our fourth in work for people who live all over the country. So I'd say I've done a little more than having "driven an EV".

But look I think we should just leave this here as you're unlikely to persuade me to your point of view given my exposure to the facts, and I'm not having much luck persuading you to consider them.
 

lledlledlled

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So none of the obvious issues actually exist?

The product is flawed, end of story.

The fact that you have driven an EV is completely irrelevant; you’re not denying the existence of the issues; you’re merely arguing that “it’s not that bad”.
Have you ever taken one for a test drive even. You have some valid points, but your arguing against someone with significant EV experience based on zero experience of your own.
Try a Nero or Kona for the craic.
 

Gordon Gekko

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Have you ever taken one for a test drive even. You have some valid points, but your arguing against someone with significant EV experience based on zero experience of your own.
Try a Nero or Kona for the craic.
Yes, I have. I’ve driven a Tesla and I’ve been a passenger in that new Audi (E-Tron?). Both were very nice.

You seem to be missing the point though; it doesn’t matter that they’re nice to drive or quick. The lack of infrastructure, problems with range, and the time it takes to refuel them are fundamental problems.

The three minutes that it takes to refuel a car pretty much anywhere and the ability to go anywhere in Ireland on a whim are significant advantages that the combustion engine retains.
 

lledlledlled

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Yes, I have. I’ve driven a Tesla and I’ve been a passenger in that new Audi (E-Tron?). Both were very nice.

You seem to be missing the point though; it doesn’t matter that they’re nice to drive or quick. The lack of infrastructure, problems with range, and the time it takes to refuel them are fundamental problems.

The three minutes that it takes to refuel a car pretty much anywhere and the ability to go anywhere in Ireland on a whim are significant advantages that the combustion engine retains.
No, I get your point, and it's 100% valid for lots of drivers. But for a growing number of others, EVs are a great option.

Personally, I have free EV charging in work. An increasing number of employers are providing this. If I find charging an issue, I'll install one at home for and charge overnight. I'd find this more convenient than driving to a petrol station to refuel. I don't live near one of these super fast 3min petrol stations you speak of.
 

newtothis

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You seem to be missing the point though; it doesn’t matter that they’re nice to drive or quick. The lack of infrastructure, problems with range, and the time it takes to refuel them are fundamental problems.


No, they're not fundamental problems; they are issues that may or may not be relevant. If you have home overnight charging or workplace charging, refuelling time is not an issue nor is range for the vast majority of journeys. How many days of the year would you drive more than 300 kms? For the occasional long journey, fast chargers can be used, which take about the same time as a coffee break to recharge.

Do they suit everyone at the moment? Absolutely not, but the current state of technology is not fundamentally flawed.

Also, it must be great to discount the ability to cut your fuel costs by 80%+ as just a few cups of coffee. Most people would see that as a real benefit.
 

galway_blow_in

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Yes, I have. I’ve driven a Tesla and I’ve been a passenger in that new Audi (E-Tron?). Both were very nice.

You seem to be missing the point though; it doesn’t matter that they’re nice to drive or quick. The lack of infrastructure, problems with range, and the time it takes to refuel them are fundamental problems.

The three minutes that it takes to refuel a car pretty much anywhere and the ability to go anywhere in Ireland on a whim are significant advantages that the combustion engine retains.
Yes but the combustion engine is a threat to the environment
 

losttheplot

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I'm not sure if Prime Time chose a Renault Zoe to deliberately highlight the charging infra-structure or just to make good TV. If Miriam had drove a Kona or eNiro (460km range) she could have completed the journey non-stop, this probably wouldn't have been good TV though if they arrived at the same time.

I've had a Kona for two months now. These are some of the misconceptions I've heard:
- you won't be able to charge your phone - phone charging isn't an issue
- I drive a lot so it wouldn't be for me.. - most people tend to overestimate how much they drive, if you have Google timeline it can give you a fair indication of you're driving habits. I've had one person tell me they drive sooooooo much and then brag about the low mileage on their car. Most peoples conception of EVs is the early Nissan Leaf with a 120km range. The Kona and eNiro have made EVs viable with 400km+ ranges.
- I don't live near a charger - most of your charging should be done at home. With a home charger installed a Kona would take 10hrs to complete a charge. This is from totally empty. If you plug in at the end of every day it would take less.
- What if there's a power cut - well, petrol pumps use electricity too.

The main problem with charging infrastructure at the moment is that it's free. If you read the EV Facebook pages, owners can't wait for charges to come in. Fast chargers are intended for people making long journeys. At present they're being hogged by local freeloaders and plugin hybrids. All just availing of them because they are free.

EVs aren't suitable in the following situations:
-You tow trailers or caravans. They are not designed for this.
-You genuinely cover large distances daily (300km+)
-You can't install a home charger. This is a problem for apartments and terraced houses. Early adapters could rely on public chargers as they had them to themselves, but this is no longer the case.
You're the forgetful type who regularly forget to keep their phone charged.

If you're going for an EV, you have to choose one that suits you're driving habits. Living in Dublin and having access to a home charger, an EV with 100 - 200 km range would suit. Not having access to a home charger, then a 300 - 400km range and charge once a week.
If you cover more distance, then the long range EVs (Kona, eNIro, Tesla and next generation Leaf).

As for the environmental impact, they're only as clean as the electricity that goes into them. You will save on fuel and servicing. No more oil changes, no fuel injectors, spark plugs, EGR valves, DPFs or fuel pumps. With regenerative breaking, you won't go through break pads too quickly either.

I couldn't see myself going back to petrol / diesel again.
 
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