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Hey! We are students at the Glasgow School of Art currently doing a project about the future of electric vehicles and their charging stations.

We were wondering what wishes and fears people had about the future of electric vehicles and their charging points?
 

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For me the biggest single improvement would be for all charging points to be usable by all customers without any need for prior arrangement (subscriptions, vendor-specific RFID cards, vendor-specific apps, top-up credit etc). Charging should become as universal and straightforward and unpremeditated as pulling up at a filling station and buying liquid fuel using a debit or credit card.

Steve
 

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What Steve says, but also it would be nice if early on a single charging socket/standard was implemented. If it ends up like phone charging leads (and even USB) then we truly learn nothing and I fear our species is doomed.
 

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Charge points should have to be maintained not installed then abandoned for years on the grounds that apparently no one is really responsible for them (I'm looking at you CYC).
 

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Consider how you fill up with petrol:
- any station will do (Shell, BP, any supermarket etc)
- no waiting or queuing
- plug in (OK takes 30 minutes, so need coffee)
- pumps are always in working order
- pay by any card
- drive away

That is what we need to have. No membership schemes, no apps, no smart cards. Charge, pay and go.
 

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You seek views on our 'wishes and fears' for the future.

Personally I have no fears. My car was bought in the full knowledge of both its own limitations, and that of charging away from home. Living within those limitations is no problem at all and no cause for fear. However, any EV owner who regularly tries to stretch their cars limitations will encounter irritation and frustration from time to time. But they do that with their eyes wide open. They learn to plan carefully and have plan B ready. Still no fear involved. The fear that you mention is what people who don't fully understand EVs will talk about. They use the fear of range anxiety as a reason not to look closer. In fact there is little to be afraid about if the car is bought to meet a specific travel pattern.

As to 'wishes for the future' that's a different thing. There is no mystery about what EV owners desire. The issues are a combination of car range, EV car prices, charge speed, charger availability, cost of charging, and access to the chargers.

Range is becoming less of an issue as almost daily new developments are announced. Pricing is still a problem and will remain an obstacle until battery costs are lowered. Speed of charging seems to be high on the agenda and again improvements have been mooted. Similarly there are almost weekly new initiatives over the installation of Rapid chargers being announced. Pricing of those units is still in a state of flux but as in any market, once true competition is seen this will settle down. A major item on EV owners wish list is over the ludicrous way that we are asked to access and pay for electrons. I can buy a pair of socks from a street market trader using a touch card issued by any bank but have to jump through many hoops to get a car charger to work. The mishmash of apps/cards/subscriptions etc simply has to change. We need to be able to arrive at a Rapid charger - plug in - load the fuel - pay - leave. The technology used to buy petrol 24/7 is robust and must be available for EV charging.

In short, most of our wish list is already in course of being introduced. But for some strange reason the one that causes us most irritation hasn't yet been addressed.
 

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Madam Legurtz
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Wishes for the Future: Range improvements through battery tech developments. That coupled with charging capability to equal that of filling the tank of an ICE (also from empty). Get that 30 minutes down to 3 minutes. Improve the charging infrastructure. Shell are experimenting with Rapid Charge points at a small number of their existing stations. Their charges for energy are quite high, and will go higher in the New Year, so they may not do so well in their trial.

Fears: The Oil companies causing a suppression of the technology, although I do think that they've had their day doing that and global EV inertia will win out. No other particular fears really.
 

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That coupled with charging capability to equal that of filling the tank of an ICE (also from empty). Get that 30 minutes down to 3 minutes.
So, errr.. 400 miles in winter, so, say, 200kWh in 3 minutes, that'll be a 12MW charger then.

Even if we run at 800V, like the Porsche system, that's 15kA.

... I think they meant 'realistic' wishes? Maybe?

If not, then I want a warp portal mounted to a self-driving car, so the car drives to where I want to go, then I just step through the warp portal from my bedroom.

;)
 

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Madam Legurtz
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So, errr.. 400 miles in winter, so, say, 200kWh in 3 minutes, that'll be a 12MW charger then.
;)
Not too many years back today's Li-Ion tech would have been declared impossible. Li-Po is even more fun, if not a bit explosive when things go wrong (ask me how I know :rolleyes: ).

But taking physics into account, yes, MW chargers are probably unrealistic. However, I'm thinking of where Electricity storage could go. One avenue might very well be Redox batteries. If the energy density can be made equivalent or better than today's Li-Ion then that 3 minute re-fill might just be very do'able. The spent fluids could be regenerated locally at the fuel station, made ready for the next consumer. And perhaps for the first time ever, a vehicle fuel that doesn't go Bang if you get it wrong.
 

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Realistically if your car does 400+ miles to a charge is it unrealistic to assume you would be OK with stopping for 30mins to charge it? What kind of madman would want to drive for more than 400 miles (~6 hours) without some rest?
 

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I'm not crazy, the attack has begun.
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One avenue might very well be Redox batteries.
This is snake-oil.

Handling highly corrosive fluids like petrol? Yeah, sure.... Accidentally mix them together and release the whole contained energy in an instant, heh!....

What makes you think it would not go bang?! One fluid that readily oxidises and the other readily reduces, and you mix them and nothing is going to happen? :lol:

Battery swapping could still be a viable solution, it's been about the cost of the packs so far, but if that hurdle disappears and people no longer concern themselves about ownership of a battery, then that might do it.

It is not an engineering possibility to make a system where you can safely swap electrolyte. Again, just dreaming. Bring me my warp portal, please.
 

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Madam Legurtz
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This is snake-oil.
Not so says Redflow at Home - ZCell "
  • Intrinsically fire retardant electrolyte - not at risk of thermal runaway
"

Also take a look at 7:34 of this

And thats the other nice thing about Physics and Chemistry - the previously unthinkable becomes commodity in time as the kinks are ironed out. The Internet itself being one such thing.

So fast forward a few more years, ZCell tech is scaled down, energy density upped, rather than recycle the chemistry within the cell it is swapped out at an appropriate station and Robert is your father's brother. Impossible? I've lived sufficiently long to have witnessed the "impossible" come to be!
 

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The speed with which you can charge your car whilst it is not in use (like overnight) needs only to exceed your average requirements whilst in use (say daily), once the battery capacity of your vehicle exceeds your average requirements over a given period, (maybe a week).
That period is going to be different for different people, so we need a variety of different vehicles
 

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Not so says Redflow at Home - ZCell "
  • Intrinsically fire retardant electrolyte - not at risk of thermal runaway
"

Also take a look at 7:34 of this
These have nothing to do with redox flow batteries. Sorry to say, you are not quite understanding the tech there.

In a ZnBr system you precipitate out metallic zinc to 'charge' the system, and you are left with a highly oxidising bromide species that can dissolve metal (clearly, it has to redissolve the zinc for the battery to work in both directions).

Discharge of the battery is redissolving the zinc back to zinc bromide. You can then take that out as 'waste', for sure, but then you have to refit metallic zinc and some bromide-containing complex into the car that can't be pumped by anything as common as a metal because it'll react with it.

I don't really want to be pumping metal-dissolving bromine oxidisers, thanks all the same.

The interview is somewhat disingenuous, IMHO, and also has nothing to do with redox flow batteries, which is usually understood to be two fluids passing either side of a membrane that will selectively pass positive ions. This is simply the situation of a salt flowing over a conductive plate and being electrolysed.

The oxidation of a metal is not an unknown way to generate a primary battery, and you can create an aluminium-air battery that has a huge potential, both literally [electrically] and also as a REx system. You cannot replate aluminium from the hydroxide but you can remove the 'eaten' plates and refresh them physically with new ones. It is just then a case of reducing the aluminium oxide/hydroxides and making new plates to fit. Potentially, that could provide you with your 200kWh mechanically rechargeable (3 minute) system.
 

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Pretty soon we will be at a point with EVs where a 200 miles range will be enough for a huge % of the population to meet almost all of their normal daily needs. All the indications are that different companies are working to provide more Rapids and that they will be both faster and easier to access.

We are led to believe that people only buy cars that are capable of taking them to work daily a few miles away, tow a horse box at weekends, that they can jump into at a moments notice and drive to Geneva non stop, and also carry a three piece suite to the tip in a huge boot.

This is a fallacy. But is still used as an argument to somehow 'prove' that EVs are rubbish.

Of course some do deliberately buy a massive 4 x 4 when the furthest off road it ever goes is when illegally parking on the grass verge on a dangerous corner when on the school run. They happily pay a huge penalty in fuel costs and various taxes so that once a year they can load it up and drive to Torquay.

Perhaps some people in here are right. Perhaps a step change is required in how we own and drive cars.
 

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Madam Legurtz
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These have nothing to do with redox flow batteries. Sorry to say, you are not quite understanding the tech there..
I threw out two "Flow Cell" technologies as an example of what might be accomplished to change our reliance on Lithium technology, as good as that has served us to date. There is always something else in the pipe, and as with all of history ... need has pretty much defined the technologies we end up with today. I feel we have to remain open minded to the unlimited possibilities while at the same time setting down our "wishes".

I'm not 100% sure where 400 miles / 200kWh came into the conversation ... all I wished on a star for was that same 3 minute re-fill that I get with my fossil burner. My Diesel *spit* Hyundai i20 claims 500 miles on a tank, that rapidly vaporises to somewhere around 400 miles ... but as others have suggested, I wouldn't attempt that in one sitting. The stupidest distance I ever made was Oulton Park to Gravesnd (Kent) in one hit, on a Honda Fireblade motorcycle, just over 300 miles. It left me walking like John Wayne for the better part of a week :LOL: I'd not recommend it to anyone else!
 

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If you step back and think about ICE ownership for a second or so you may realise that having the ability to potentially drive 500 miles at a moments notice is possible but is highly improbable.

Most of its life that ICE can manage perfectly well with a 20 litre fuel tank to cover the weeks normal duties.

Just like the new generation of EVs.

And that ICE can go well beyond its notional 20 litre tank range by stopping every three hours for a coffee/bio/re-fuel pit stop.

Just like the new generation of EVs.

The only difference is the availability and reliability of refuelling facilities. Get that sorted out and it becomes no contest over which propulsion method will win.
 

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Madam Legurtz
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The only difference is the availability and reliability of refuelling facilities. Get that sorted out and it becomes no contest over which propulsion method will win.
A lot of the fuel stops these days have facilities to purchase food and drink, and some even have an area to sit at to consume the stuff. A 30 minute break each 80-100 miles doesn't seem like a deal breaker to me! Who knows? It might even improve road safety on the long-haul routes.

"Availability and reliability" are, however, absolutely key. So thats another wish to add to the OP's list.
 

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If you step back and think about ICE ownership for a second or so you may realise that having the ability to potentially drive 500 miles at a moments notice is possible but is highly improbable.

Most of its life that ICE can manage perfectly well with a 20 litre fuel tank to cover the weeks normal duties.

Just like the new generation of EVs.

And that ICE can go well beyond its notional 20 litre tank range by stopping every three hours for a coffee/bio/re-fuel pit stop.

Just like the new generation of EVs.

The only difference is the availability and reliability of refuelling facilities. Get that sorted out and it becomes no contest over which propulsion method will win.
I've noticed that a few new ICE vehicles (the Disco Sport comes to mind) have very small fuel tanks and struggle to manage even a 200 mile range. But of course they can fuel up in a couple of minutes almost anywhere and that's what really counts. EV charging en-route still requires some planning and can be potentially a frustrating experience.

The other enemy of EVs is increased weight over an equivalent ICE vehicle. They can be 100s of kg heavier, especially if they have a 200+ mile range like Teslas.

No real fears here, but wishes in order of priority:-

More extensive public charging network
Lighter batteries
Faster charging
More range

I don't think we are too far away from what is needed to convert a large number of ICE drivers today.
 
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