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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just had a quick thought enter my head, may be worth discussing, or not. We've all suggested that batteries will get much better, solid state, pie-in-the-sky, vapourware etc that are going to come along and make EVs as easy as ICEs, if not better by a good margin, yet they all seem to be still shall we say, some way in the future, and seem to be staying that way.

So where could the current crop of EVs improve their abilities to keep momentum going in the EV world ? (no pun intended)
 

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There's many ways to solve a problem, and the problem is wider than the battery, it includes the charging infrastructure.

I think the current technology, with some further manufacturing efficiencies and cost reductions is already good enough, if accompanied by a huge expansion of charging infrastructure.

If charging facilities are everywhere then existing battery technology is fine, certainly for most cars, the new technology leaps are required if we expect EVs to provide ICE like ranges and rely on very rapid charging at relatively few charging stations.
 

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Just had a quick thought enter my head, may be worth discussing, or not. We've all suggested that batteries will get much better, solid state, pie-in-the-sky, vapourware etc that are going to come along and make EVs as easy as ICEs, if not better by a good margin, yet they all seem to be still shall we say, some way in the future, and seem to be staying that way.

So where could the current crop of EVs improve their abilities to keep momentum going in the EV world ? (no pun intended)
What are you talking about?

EVs are much easier to use than an ICE.

(Which reminds me I need to fill up the Land Rover again!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'd suggest that you've neatly skirted around one problem, which for me is the biggy, which is the speed with which current batteries charge - we don't want to stop every hour for a half hour charging. A big stop for lunch yes, but I don't want to stop for a half hour pee (4 times on a 300 mile journey!). Most people on here would say don't worry about it, but it would be nice to not have to, and without battery improvements, that's not going to happen - and I suspect that most humans wouldn't be patient enough either !
 

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I'd suggest that you've neatly skirted around one problem, which for me is the biggy, which is the speed with which current batteries charge - we don't want to stop every hour for a half hour charging. A big stop for lunch yes, but I don't want to stop for a half hour pee (4 times on a 300 mile journey!). Most people on here would say don't worry about it, but it would be nice to not have to, and without battery improvements, that's not going to happen - and I suspect that most humans wouldn't be patient enough either !
how about stopping for 15 mins every two hours? Half the time half as often? that seems about where we’re at with several vehicles already.

Combine with readily available multiple rapid chargers at all MSAs (like the newly opened Rugby services) and major trunk routes and I think that’s probably enough for a while as long as capacity keeps up with sales

edit: just played with a better route planner going from Plymouth to Aberdeen so a pretty long old trip. Estimates 1hr 42 minutes charging and 10 hrs of driving. Roughly a 15 minute stop every couple of hours and that’s in a tesla SR+ so a LR or eniro might be even faster with fewer stops?
 

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we don't want to stop every hour for a half hour charging
how about stopping for 15 mins every two hours?
Exactly this. In 20 minutes I can (and have) charged my 3SR+ from 5% to 70%. 65% is about 150 miles during summer (and after supercharging there's plenty of warmth in the system so you tend to get good efficiency), so 2 more hours of driving for 20 minutes charge. Given that you can do 3 hours from a full charge, that means you need to stop for 20 minutes in a 5 hour journey, or 40 minutes in a 7 hour journey. Is that so terribly onerous?
 

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I'd suggest that you've neatly skirted around one problem, which for me is the biggy, which is the speed with which current batteries charge - we don't want to stop every hour for a half hour charging. A big stop for lunch yes, but I don't want to stop for a half hour pee (4 times on a 300 mile journey!). Most people on here would say don't worry about it, but it would be nice to not have to, and without battery improvements, that's not going to happen - and I suspect that most humans wouldn't be patient enough either !
I agree that a 300 mile journey is a royal PITA, It took me 12h there / 14h back to Newcastle from the south coast. It was grim. But that was an exceptional experience, and I do it very infrequently. For pretty much every single other trip I ever make, my 6 y/o 24Kw Leaf works brilliantly and I arrive home with charge left. And I can't be alone in this.

What you have to speculate on is are people going to continue to work the way they do now? Travel the way we do now? Will we have people driving all over the UK selling stuff? It feels like the constant need to arbitrarily commute and travel will wane as time goes on.

There will always be the need, and there will always be professions that require it, but for the most part you have to imagine the next reshaping of the worlds economies is going to be technologically driven, and it will be forced to be to mitigate a turbulent world (in all aspects).
 

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By the end of this year we will have Korean cars on the road that have 800v systems that can charge 10-80% in 18 minutes. They will be 40k plus of course but that is 'now' technology, not vapourware, that will be commonplace on new cars within 1-2 years. Even if technology doesn't move on significantly from there, by the middle part of the decade these cars will be on the 2nd hand market at <20k and available to most people.

Combine that with the rapid roll out of the infrastructure, including the promised Gridserve led improvements to the motorway network and I am not sure why that won't suit 99% of people. Adding over 200 miles of range in the time it takes to go inside the building and take a leak is all most people will ever need.
 

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I'd suggest that you've neatly skirted around one problem, which for me is the biggy, which is the speed with which current batteries charge - we don't want to stop every hour for a half hour charging. A big stop for lunch yes, but I don't want to stop for a half hour pee (4 times on a 300 mile journey!). Most people on here would say don't worry about it, but it would be nice to not have to, and without battery improvements, that's not going to happen - and I suspect that most humans wouldn't be patient enough either !
The Ioniq 5 will charge from 10% to 80% in 18mins. This is likely to be standard on most vehicles in a few years.
 

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Coming back to the original question (battery alternatives). Two such alternatives might be aluminium air batteries or super capacitors. Neither is viable at the moment (alu air batteries are not easily rechargeable, super caps lose their energy too quickly). But both, if they do become viable, would answer the question regarding lack of off-street charging. Alu air because of its range (currently in excess of 1200 miles) and super caps because of the blindingly fast recharging. Whilst not yet viable both have been tested in trials (in Israel and China)
 

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I'd suggest that you've neatly skirted around one problem, which for me is the biggy, which is the speed with which current batteries charge - we don't want to stop every hour for a half hour charging. A big stop for lunch yes, but I don't want to stop for a half hour pee (4 times on a 300 mile journey!). Most people on here would say don't worry about it, but it would be nice to not have to, and without battery improvements, that's not going to happen - and I suspect that most humans wouldn't be patient enough either !
Sorry, but I’ve done far longer journeys in an EV than you would ever dream of.

In most cases the car was charged and ready to go before I’d had the time to take a pee and buy a coffee.

Who’s stopping four times on a 300 mile journey in an EV? Even my Zoe would only need one short stop.
 

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Will we have people driving all over the UK selling stuff?
One of my colleagues does (did) quite a lot of UK travel for technical sales support. Even in an ICE car he had a tendency to stop every couple of hours for 30 minutes and catch up on emails anyway.... I don't think that the model desperately needs to change!
 

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Coming back to the original question (battery alternatives). Two such alternatives might be aluminium air batteries or super capacitors. Neither is viable at the moment (alu air batteries are not easily rechargeable, super caps lose their energy too quickly). But both, if they do become viable, would answer the question regarding lack of off-street charging. Alu air because of its range (currently in excess of 1200 miles) and super caps because of the blindingly fast recharging. Whilst not yet viable both have been tested in trials (in Israel and China)
Capacitors is an interesting once from a technological point of view. Would there be mileage in some kind of hybrid system, where both traditional battery & capacitor storage could be merged. Say 20 kwh of battery and then depending on arrangement, 10kw of relatively fast discharge capacitor banks to quickly absorb and regen-and initial peak charge, to be burnt again first (before drawing from second bank or cells). Then a second bank of far higher grade capacitors with the as yet mythical high resistance dielectric with fairly low discharge rates.

Feels like there could be some interesting packaging/arragement prospects in splitting the pack up into separate, interconnected, components.
 

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I do find it a bit strange that Tesla's can charge ultra fast, and yet other manufactureres dont get anywhere near their charge rates, yet with the same basic batteries ?
Sure they do.... My 3SR+ has a peak charge rate of 170kW, but the charge session I quoted (20 mins from 5% to 70%) was on a 120kW charger.

Many cars can match this kind of rate, for example the Audi e-tron (maintains 150kW to >80%), porsche taycan (peak 270kW), VW MEB cars (125kW peak), etc.

The issue, however, is that efficiency comes into play - the e-tron is awful for this. It's a matter of thinking about "miles per hour of charging" - a kia e-niro with 75kW charging can match the mileage charging rate of the 150kW e-tron because it's roughly twice as efficient (approx 2.5mi/kWh for etron, 5mi/kWh e-niro. Very much an approximation to show the point!). The Tesla model 3 is a decently efficient car, matched with high charging speed AND high availability of high-speed charging (ie all other high-speed networks + supercharger network).

But the point is that that's all achievable right now with current technology.

Exactly where do you feel that we need to get to? 10 minutes stop in a 5 hour journey? 5 minutes stop? No stop in a 10 hour journey?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Sure they do.... My 3SR+ has a peak charge rate of 170kW, but the charge session I quoted (20 mins from 5% to 70%) was on a 120kW charger.

Many cars can match this kind of rate, for example the Audi e-tron (maintains 150kW to >80%), porsche taycan (peak 270kW), VW MEB cars (125kW peak), etc.

The issue, however, is that efficiency comes into play - the e-tron is awful for this. It's a matter of thinking about "miles per hour of charging" - a kia e-niro with 75kW charging can match the mileage charging rate of the 150kW e-tron because it's roughly twice as efficient (approx 2.5mi/kWh for etron, 5mi/kWh e-niro. Very much an approximation to show the point!). The Tesla model 3 is a decently efficient car, matched with high charging speed AND high availability of high-speed charging (ie all other high-speed networks + supercharger network).

But the point is that that's all achievable right now with current technology.

Exactly where do you feel that we need to get to? 10 minutes stop in a 5 hour journey? 5 minutes stop? No stop in a 10 hour journey?
The thing is, its not peak charging rate that's usefull, it's sustained high charge rate, and I thought that's where Tesla seemed to be in a league of their own ?

but to add my individual desire - if we did a 300 mile journey say, in a non-range reduced car we'd maybe stop 4 times - 3 pee breaks and a meal break. So in an ICE that's say an hour (please don't get into arguing that bit!) - ideally, in a range limited EV (so the current range of mid priced EVs) the pee breaks would be unuseable as charging stops, so only the 30 minute stop could be used to get a charge - and that probably isn't enough. I'm not saying that we couldn't adapt our way of travel to suit a current EV, but in the context of this topic, battery improvements could enable ICE equivalent journey times. In a Tesla, 10 minutes is enough to probably get the next 50 miles worth of electrons charged, but I didn't think other cars would be able to ?
 
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