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Discussion Starter #1
Dear EV owners/enthusiasts
  • I am interested in switching to a pure electric car (or failing that, a PHEV or hybrid)
  • I work as a professional music producer for TV and ads.
  • I live in London in a block of flats and park on the street with no access to driveway/garage/home charging.
  • I often test my music mixes and make adjustments on my MacBook Pro in my car (Audi A3 petrol with Bose sound system upgrade). This can be 2-3 hours in one session before I take a break. Powering the MacBook Pro in the Audi is not a problem as I usually have enough laptop juice to last a few hours, but I do need to leave the engine running on idle on the whole time, e.g. sitting in a supermarket/shopping centre car park to power the sound system but also for air conditioning/heating. This whole setup is not ideal because (1) exhaust fumes/environment (2) engine noise (3) not good for engine (4) costly petrol
  • I’d like to ask you all if switching to a fully electric car could be a viable solution, bearing in mind I’m also unable to charge at home. Specifically my questions would be:
  1. Can you sit in your EV in park/idle mode and run the sound system for several hours without the car shutting down?
  2. If so, how many hours do you think?
  3. Can you do the same as above and have heating/AC on as well?
  4. If so, how many hours do you think?
  5. Could I do the above and charge the MacBook Pro as well, perhaps using an inverter?
  6. It is realistic/feasible to own an EV (or any pure electric for that matter) and only use public charging points?
  7. Does your EV/PHEV have a 3.5mm aux-in?
  8. Can you recommend any particular EV, or even a PHEV or hybrid for my needs?
So the most extreme situation would be:
  • Tesla/EV in park/idle
  • A/C or heating on
  • Sound system on
  • MacBook Pro charging
  • For about 3+ hours
Is this possible?
Please specify make/model if you’re referring to a particular car
Thanks!
 

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Yes, it's possible but not sure how many cars in general have a 3.5mm jack input anymore, not just EVs.

They're are plenty of EVs that you can drive for 3 hours so sitting in one in a carpark won't be a problem for the battery, I assume that's what you're concerned about?
And you shouldn't be sitting in a stationary car with the engine running in the city, get an EV.

Charging in London should be easy enough to do especially if you are sitting in the car for several hours regularly. Pull up to a charger to charge the car while you are working.
 

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The figures obviously vary between cars, but the draw of the laptop, sound system etc. Would be very.little in EV battery terms-at least a week or two.
The smallest EV battery has a capacity over 200x that of a laptop battery.
The biggest factor would be how much drain comes from the various systems in the car - running a ling time without driving isn't something that's a common requirement, so isn't likely to have been optimised much, and I would expect a lot of difference between makes and models.
Aircon would be the biggest draw, but even then you're most probably.talking days rather than hours of run-time
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, it's possible but not sure how many cars in general have a 3.5mm jack input anymore, not just EVs.

They're are plenty of EVs that you can drive for 3 hours so sitting in one in a carpark won't be a problem for the battery, I assume that's what you're concerned about?
And you shouldn't be sitting in a stationary car with the engine running in the city, get an EV.

Charging in London should be easy enough to do especially if you are sitting in the car for several hours regularly. Pull up to a charger to charge the car while you are working.
Do you think a PHEV could run for a few hours in the same way (and then I could drive off using petrol once I’ve drained the battery) or would the battery not last long enough in idle With all those things running? e.g. BMW i3 REX
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Charging the laptop via a (presumably mains) inverter would be inefficient- you can get laptop power adaptors with 12v input.
Yes actually I don’t need to use the car battery to charge the laptop at all. I also have some portable chargers that can power it now as well.
 

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Yes they can do all you ask and would run for days. The Tesla has the best sound system by far from the reviews I've read, I've seen it referred to as one of the best sound systems ever put in to a car by a manufacturer.
 
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Do you think a PHEV could run for a few hours in the same way (and then I could drive off using petrol once I’ve drained the battery) or would the battery not last long enough in idle With all those things running? e.g. BMW i3 REX
With the aircon/heat and all your stuff on on a really hot/cold day you might pull 2kW I'd think. PHEVs vary but I think most probably have something around 4kWh batteries as a minimum for older ones. Newer ones probably 2-3 times that.
But unlike EVs I think some PHEVs may need the engine running for heating or cooling, so check before committing.

The i3 rex would be fine - it's an EV with a small generator in the boot rather than a PHEV such as the Outlander.
 

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  1. Can you sit in your EV in park/idle mode and run the sound system for several hours without the car shutting down?
  2. If so, how many hours do you think?
  3. Can you do the same as above and have heating/AC on as well?
  4. If so, how many hours do you think?
  5. Could I do the above and charge the MacBook Pro as well, perhaps using an inverter?
  6. It is realistic/feasible to own an EV (or any pure electric for that matter) and only use public charging points?
  7. Does your EV/PHEV have a 3.5mm aux-in?
  8. Can you recommend any particular EV,
1) Yes, you could actually do this for days potentially.
2) The sound system would easily last days rather than hours. If you were adding heating or cooling then probably more like close to a full day with an average EV.
3)Oops I just answered that
4)I really got ahead of myself didn't I?
5)As has been said already, an inverter isn't the most efficient method but you can easily charge a laptop for a good few hours in addition to all the above things.
6)I have had an EV for years and never had a home charge point. Especially if you're in London this is incredibly easy. Take a look at a website called Zap Map to see just how many charging places there are around you! (Yellow markers are good for an overnight charge close to home. Blue markers are good to recharge in a few hours while parked somewhere for the day. And pink markers are your rapid chargers where you can quickly recharge in 20-40 minutes in most cases) - Especially if you're already sitting around supermarkets and shopping centres, many already have somewhere to plug in too so I really can't see you feeling inconvenienced with an EV unless you were to be taking regular road trips up to Scotland for example.
7)Yes. Quite a few do. Even your cheap used EVs like the Nissan LEAF and Renault Zoe have this. But I notice you mention Tesla a few times and I don't think any of their cars have this feature off the top of my head. So you'd have to look into other options like Bluetooth, or FM transmitters maybe to get your sound to a car like that.
8) You may as well go full EV and get all the benefits rather than a PHEV. How many miles do you drive? That's probably a more important question than how long you sit idle in car parks.

Potentially if you don't need tons of range, something as cheap as a used 30kWh LEAF with the Tekna trim level for the upgraded Bose audio system could be an option. The sound system is pretty good, the seats are comfortable (and heated) for hours of sitting in, and you'll have a decent range which most would find more than enough in London.
 

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This is a really interesting question (I’m an amateur tinkerer of sound recording / production / mixing and appreciate the benefit of listening to mixes through a good car system). A full EV will suit you well, you’ll need to have the car turned on in ready to drive mode (just leave it in P with the handbake on) as this will keep the 12V battery charged up that still powers things like the infotainment, AC, widows, seat heaters.

During lockdown i had some experience of working in my EV (to keep the 12V battery topped up as it was sitting idle for 3 months awaiting collection from the lease company). With AC on and listening to tunes I’d consume around 1% battery every half hour (about 300W, my Soul had a 30kWh battery) throw in laptop charging from a 12V outlet you may be looking at 1.5%. So depending how far from home you travel (having lived in London for 10 years, my guess is not far and not fast, which is ideal for any EV even with the smallest battery).

Making sure that you are comfortable for long periods of time is a consideration, an i3 for example would be ideal as you have a lot of space around the centre console area (a Leaf isn’t ideal for this as you reach across the area where the gear selector). I know cars aren’t ergonomically designed for sitting and working, but some are better suited than others.

We could probably help collectively narrow down your search to a couple of vehicles if you could let us know a couple of things, budget and distance covered in a day.

also I’d suggest downloading with the PlugShare or Zap Map app and having a look at the charging infrastructure in your local area so you can see if you have a fast / rapid charger you can get on when you’d need to juice up. An ideal scenario would be a supermarket with a fast (7kWh) post that you could charge from while mixing.
 

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Wouldn't a pair of headphones be a better solution?

I just can't picture a professional music producer working for hours at a 16" screen laptop, using a car stereo as monitor speakers. With the engine running and the HVAC blowing.
:whistle:
 

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Wouldn't a pair of headphones be a better solution?

I just can't picture a professional music producer working for hours at a 16" screen laptop, using a car stereo as monitor speakers. With the engine running and the HVAC blowing.
:whistle:
Makes sense to me. So much audio is produced to sound great on studio systems but hardly anyone listens to it on such equipment - even TV programmes where the general public couldn't understand what was being said half the time.

Producing it on, or at least running the final version through, a system your typical consumer might use is eminently sensible.
 

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Dear EV owners/enthusiasts
  • I am interested in switching to a pure electric car (or failing that, a PHEV or hybrid)
  • I work as a professional music producer for TV and ads.
  • I live in London in a block of flats and park on the street with no access to driveway/garage/home charging.
  • I often test my music mixes and make adjustments on my MacBook Pro in my car (Audi A3 petrol with Bose sound system upgrade). This can be 2-3 hours in one session before I take a break. Powering the MacBook Pro in the Audi is not a problem as I usually have enough laptop juice to last a few hours, but I do need to leave the engine running on idle on the whole time, e.g. sitting in a supermarket/shopping centre car park to power the sound system but also for air conditioning/heating. This whole setup is not ideal because (1) exhaust fumes/environment (2) engine noise (3) not good for engine (4) costly petrol
  • I’d like to ask you all if switching to a fully electric car could be a viable solution, bearing in mind I’m also unable to charge at home. Specifically my questions would be:
It could be a viable solution, and I think you've actually overlooked one thing that could kill two birds with one stone... I'll explain below.

  1. Can you sit in your EV in park/idle mode and run the sound system for several hours without the car shutting down?
  2. If so, how many hours do you think?
  3. Can you do the same as above and have heating/AC on as well?
  4. If so, how many hours do you think?
Yes.
Hundreds.
Yes.
Tens.

  1. Could I do the above and charge the MacBook Pro as well, perhaps using an inverter?
Apologies that the forum software automatically renumbered your list once broken up...
Yes, but as said above, more efficient to use a direct DC-DC power supply.

  1. It is realistic/feasible to own an EV (or any pure electric for that matter) and only use public charging points?
This is what you've actually overlooked. You're talking about going to a supermarket car park for 2-3 hours at a stretch to sit and work on your mixes etc. Well, lots of supermarkets have chargers in the carpark....

Basically, you can sit there, plugged into a charge point with the heating/AC on, powering your laptop/etc AND charging the car simultaneously! If you're on a 7kW charge point then maintaining cabin and the rest should take a max of 1kW, and you'll have 6kW going into the battery - probably 20-25 miles of range per hour.

  1. Does your EV/PHEV have a 3.5mm aux-in?
Our Leaf did. Our Tesla does not.

  1. Can you recommend any particular EV, or even a PHEV or hybrid for my needs?
Many PHEV require the use of the combustion engine to drive the climate system, provide heat, etc. A pure EV would be your best bet in my opinion.

So the most extreme situation would be:
  • Tesla/EV in park/idle
  • A/C or heating on
  • Sound system on
  • MacBook Pro charging
  • For about 3+ hours
Is this possible?
Please specify make/model if you’re referring to a particular car
Thanks!
100% yes it is, but as I said above, kill the charging stone at the same time! Go somewhere to charge and do your music at the same time.

Look at the Leaf, as they are numerous, well priced and have the Aux-in. Beware that the Tekna's Bose sound system is.... variable. Some comments here: Leaf 30kWh Advice Sought

I find the Kia Soul EV to be a rather sweet little thing, and it seems to have a decent music system (I've not listened to it myself though, so that's third-hand info!). The new Soul has a "Krell" system in it (badging in car music systems has gone crazy, when a home Krell setup would cost more than a Kia Soul!). Really depends on whether you're looking at used or new.

Teslas are lovely, but if you are reliant on an aux input then they are not for you. You can stream music off a USB stick, or you can stream off a device using bluetooth, but there's no aux. I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to use it as a set of bluetooth speakers off your macbook though...

Ultimately the choice of car comes down to your budget, requirements, etc. The principle of what you want is entirely possible.
 

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Responses in blue below

  1. Can you sit in your EV in park/idle mode and run the sound system for several hours without the car shutting down? YES
  2. If so, how many hours do you think? several
  3. Can you do the same as above and have heating/AC on as well? YES
  4. If so, how many hours do you think? several. e.g. even if you use 2-3kw per hour, that's like 12 hours in the smallest battery EVs around
    Also remember, many car parks have charging. You could be plugged in charging while doing your music thing.
  5. Could I do the above and charge the MacBook Pro as well, perhaps using an inverter? YES. e.g. our Kia Soul as 3 cig-lighter power ports and one is specifically rated at 180watts.
  6. It is realistic/feasible to own an EV (or any pure electric for that matter) and only use public charging points? YES, especially in London.
  7. Does your EV/PHEV have a 3.5mm aux-in? YES
  8. Can you recommend any particular EV, or even a PHEV or hybrid for my needs? With the rear seats flat down, then a Kia Soul or Nissan Leaf could work. What range do you need?
    Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV would probably give you great load capacity. Or, Nissan e-NV200 either the van or 7-seater.
So the most extreme situation would be:
  • Tesla/EV in park/idle
  • A/C or heating on
  • Sound system on
  • MacBook Pro charging
  • For about 3+ hours
Is this possible?
Please specify make/model if you’re referring to a particular car
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you to everyone who has replied so far.

Thought I'd give an update. I went to a few dealers today, here's what I found:

Note: "extreme bass test" means this track at 03:26 - 04:30

Tesla Model 3: Tested the sound system, very good indeed. Didn't get much time however, just 3 minutes or so. Something started to vibrate in the back when I did my extreme bass test however. Definitely need to try this out again when I have more time.

Honda E (+test drive): Really lovely little car, possibly too small for my needs, and relatively short range, especially for a brand new EV. The sound system was very nice, but no aux-in from what I could see. Struggled under the extreme bass test, even though it has a subwoofer (with separate sub controls which I really like). If this car had a better range of 200 miles or so, I'd really be tempted. Drives nicely. Very futuristic feel to this car. Love the mains/3-pin electricity socket for charging laptop etc.

Kia Soul EV (+test drive): Very impressed with the Harman Kardon sound system. It has a dedicated subwoofer in the rear boot area. Battery seems to last forever. Again, no sign of aux-in (the petrol/diesel Souls seem to have aux-in, but not EV versions? Can anyone confirm?). Lovely high driving position. Feels like more of a normal car interior-wise, preferred the interior feel of the Honda E. Performed well under the extreme bass test, but didn't seem to have any separate subwoofer control, like the Honda E has.

Volvo: Wanted to try XC40/XC60 PHEV. Showroom had 3 sales guy, no customers, and I was made to wait for ages, as they all chatted away in their office, cracking jokes, and they could see I was waiting. Not a good start. Then one guy came up, seemed upset that he had a customer to deal with. Asked him if it's possible to charge their PHEVs whilst running heating/AC without engine turning on. He said yes, but he really didn't seem to know what he was talking about. I asked to try it out and he said he couldn't help me as they didn't have any on-site chargers. My custom was clearly unwelcome so I moved on.

Peugeot e208/e2008: Similar experience to Volvo, but at least he let me try out the sound systems. The e208 sound system is terrible. The e2008 wasn't much better, but the sales guy said a "Focal" upgrade is available, although even that doesn't have a subwoofer. Seemed like he couldn't wait for me to leave the showroom so he could get back to watching porn on his computer or something.

Volkswagen: Wanted to take a look at the eGolf (and maybe a sneak peek at ID3) but customer service was poor. I lost patience, and heard the eGolf range is not good, so left pretty quick.

BMW: Wanted to try i3 but they were closed. Wanted to try Harman Kardon versions of both 94Ah and 120Ah. I think 94Ah has aux-in, but 120Ah doesn't, wanted to confirm. Was also interested to try PHEV 2-series to see if they could charge and run heating/AC without petrol engine running. Unfortunately they were closed.

Audi: Was going to look at A3 PHEV (again to see if it could charge and run heating/AC without petrol engine running). They were closed too.

So still a few cars to try out. Will update as I progress through them.

Finally, yes I do also use headphones, mostly for writing that for mixing, but when it comes to bass, sometimes bass really must be "felt" by the entire body in order to get an accurate representation of what it is doing, and how it will be experienced in, for example, a cinema theatre or home cinema system. I test all my final music mixes on headphones, iPhones, laptop speakers, studio monitors. However, for me, the final ultimate test is in a high quality car sound system. If it sounds good on that, then I'm basically happy. I also like the idea of driving somewhere new/interesting/inspiring and trying to produce music for a couple of hours there, rather than in my studio ALL the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Kona has an AUX in port (which looks like a 3.5mm jack though I haven't tried it). It's under the sprung cover in the centre console.
I don't know if a subwoofer is an option.
Yes you're right (see screenshot attachment)
I'll be trying out the Kona soon I think, though not my favourite looking EV though I must say
133723
 
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