September 5, 2018 at 9:19 pm #60038
Electric cars are the future of motoring, and they’ll soon be impossible for consumers to ignore, says Steve Fowler…
This is when the electric car starts to get really serious. This week Mercedes has revealed its first, bespoke, all-electric car to the world and later this month, Audi does the same. Rest assured, it’s not stopping there.
It all comes hot on the heels of Jaguar getting its I-Pace to customers before its rivals – and winning our Car of the Year prize in the process – and Hyundai launching an affordable all-electric small SUV with a real-world range of 300 miles.
Of course, cars like the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and Tesla Models S and X have been with us for a while, but it’s going to take more mainstream and premium brands to come to the party to make wary buyers really sit up and take notice.
The biggest barrier to EV ownership remains range – unfairly so, these days. The perception of ‘under 100 miles’ will soon change as closer to 300 miles becomes the new norm, while interest will increase as more and more appealing (if not particular attractive) cars like the EQC are launched.
Mercedes is going at it with real gusto – EQ is set to become a Mercedes brand in the same way AMG and Maybach are. EQ stands for ‘electric intelligence’ (yes, that’s what I thought, too). It also stands for a range of electrified models that’ll line up against rivals from every other maker in the coming years.
In spite of all that, every time I sing the praises of electric cars, my inbox chimes with messages from people who say they’ll never provide the fun we get from internal combustion-engined cars!
To those people I say simply: go and try one. We had a similar situation 20 years ago with diesel. Once we’d experienced it – and seen the benefits – we were hooked. That’s the same with an EV; it’s hard not to be impressed and excited once you’ve had a go.
September 5, 2018 at 9:44 pm #60044
I agree when will motability give choice of an electric car choice. ??
Electric motorcycles are awsum ,of course not for motability people but impressive, they all need a safety noise generated as where i live neighbours have these cars, but they creep up on you , can’t hear them approaching.September 6, 2018 at 8:40 am #60063
Sorry, but until the recharging infrastructure becomes universal and charging time is the same as putting in petrol & diesel, then it’s stil a no for me. There still isn’t many electric cars that have good boots for a wheelchair and range is still limited.
They are still too expensive and are a niche market for buyers.September 6, 2018 at 8:50 am #60064
Quote “We had a similar situation 20 years ago with diesel. Once we’d experienced it – and seen the benefits – we were hooked “
Conned then and probably going to be conned again in 20 years.September 6, 2018 at 9:00 am #60065
I wonder if adoption by the building industry would help? Every new house has a EV charging point, would certainly help a lot and most would leave cars charging overnight.September 6, 2018 at 2:35 pm #60088
Craig there are thousands of charging points out there already but if you have a home charger you wil rarely need to use them. It is estimated that 60% of British people could have use of a home charger. With regard to charging times if you are not using a home charger it is likely to take about 40 minutes to get a full charge from a rapid charger but this changing fast. Range anxiety is a factor for most but the majority, if not all, of the EV’s coming out now have over 200 miles of real world range.
I had a look at the Nissan leaf and got the wheelchair in with no problem.
Chris I don’t think we were conned with diesel, opinions change. I similarly don’t think we are being conned by EV’s but I could be wrong.
Matt I agree with you, home chargers should be installed in all new builds, two preferably.
I also think all suitable new builds should have solar panels fitted.September 6, 2018 at 2:57 pm #60091
I live in the north of Scotland and there’s one charging point where I stay. I also stay in a area where I share car park spaces, so no chance of getting a charging home kit. I expect others are in the same position.
I also have my wheelchair upwards in boot. No chance that will happen with the Leaf.
I get your an electric car fanboy, don’t expect others can switch to electric cars easily. They can’t.September 6, 2018 at 3:09 pm #60094
Craig I understand that evs will not suit everyone at this present time but I don’t think there is any way of stopping the rise of the ev.
It is unfortunate that at present you do not have access to a charger near to your home but your local council should be looking at this. The location where you park at present is that marked as a disabled space? If so there could be a charger located at your space, and the others nearby, if you were looking to get an ev in the future.
I am an ev fan but don’t have one at present, hopefully, very soon, there will be evs on the scheme and then we can get some pros and cons on here to give people an idea if an ev would work for them.September 6, 2018 at 3:56 pm #60104
The way I see it is Gordon Brown encourage everyone to switch to diesel to reduce CO2 and reduced taxes to encourage us to buy diesel and now local councils wants to charge for bringing those diesels into to town.
That’s a con in my book.September 6, 2018 at 4:32 pm #60112
Chris if they encouraged us to buy diesel cars with the knowledge that they would be banned in the future then I would agree with you, but I don’t think that’s the case.September 6, 2018 at 4:35 pm #60115
Have you seen these YouTube vids from a German in Australia who has intensely tested the My18 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
There are loads of his videos on there and think he returns a very honest opinion of that particular PHEV and well worth a look with good and not so good points of view and some laughs too.
I was interested in this car but think I will sit on the fence for another 3 years until next order time to see if PHEV’s improve just a little bit more but that said a lot of the niggle this guy has would not apply to Motability customers as they don’t have to worry about selling the car.
Just one of many randomly picked.September 6, 2018 at 4:58 pm #60121
One thing I would say, is the Government will have to replace the money they get from diesel and petrol once they are gone. You can beg that they will tax electric cars once this happens.September 6, 2018 at 7:28 pm #60135
We should cut to it and have model 3’s on the scheme 🙂September 6, 2018 at 8:05 pm #60138
Anyone see the tonight programme this evening – consensus there was that the charging infrastructure needs to progress rapidly.
The couple with the ev, went to charge their car and could only do so on their 4th attempt as the chargers at the first 3 locations were unavailable, leaving them over 2 hours late on their journey.
The lad with the ev was not impressed that it took 6 hours to charge the volvo for a 25 mile range.
More details here –September 6, 2018 at 8:12 pm #60140
Craig no doubt about tha,t the lost money needs to come from somewhere.
Your video is funny, I don’t class hybrids as my idea of an EV, until they can do at least 50 miles to a single charge I think they sometimes can be as pollutant as a petrol car.September 6, 2018 at 8:22 pm #60142
Trev I wouldn’t believe everything that’s on TV, just by chance the program, needing a story line, can’t charge the electric car at a number of chargers and for various reasons, then, with only five miles to go, they found a charger that works, THE END.
I’m sure I’ve seen that film lol.September 6, 2018 at 8:39 pm #60144
This what we are hearing about month after month, all the main car makers going electric and here is ford with an ev with a range of 300 miles.
Ford has released a teaser image for its all-electric, Mustang-inspired performance SUV, due to start testing in 2019
This is our first look at Ford’s all-electric, Mustang-inspired performance SUV. Known as the Mach 1 it will launch in 2020.
It will be built on a new, dedicated EV platform and have a range of 300 miles. The design and packaging of the model has mostly been finalised and prototypes are expected to hit the road next year for development testing. The hazy teaser shot shows the model’s Mustang-inspired rear lamps.
Ford’s original plan was to launch a practical all-electric SUV in 2020 but, to stand out in the market and create something unique, the brand has changed tack and decided to launch it as a performance model. Ford’s aim is to ‘infuse’ the SUV with the image, performance and style of the Mustang.
No performance details on the Mach 1 have been issued so far. We do know it will use lithium-ion battery technology however, with production taking place at one of Ford’s facilities in Mexico rather than the US, bosses said.
The decision to develop a performance SUV first was partly down to a new division within Ford called Team Edison – a group of around 200 people established three months ago tasked with creating and developing Ford’s autonomous and electric vehicles.
Ford recently doubled its investment in electric vehicles to $11 billion (roughly £8 billion). Darren Palmer, Team Edison’s global product development director, expects this outlay to bring 16 fully electric vehicles into a global portfolio of 40 electrified vehicles by 2022.September 6, 2018 at 8:51 pm #60145
As can be seen from the info below EV`s are no longer a niche market and in my opinion the rise of evs each year will be off the charts.
Electric car registrations took a record market share in August, making up 4.2% of total UK car sales and smashing the previous record of 2.9% set last December.
Just under 4,000 plug-in vehicles were registered last month, made up of more than 3,300 PHEVs and over 650 pure-EVs. That’s compared to an overall figure of a little over 94,000 vehicles sold, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) figures.
August’s total plug-in car registrations are up 135% compared to last year’s figure, though PHEVs continue to dominate the electric car market in the UK. After August’s figures, PHEVs make up 69% of the plug-in market mix.
Plug-in car grant eligible models performed better than in recent months, with 90% of electric vehicles registered coming with the OLEV grant. The previous three months have seen that figure in the 80s – though most plug-in models ineligible for funding are disqualified because of cost, rather than emissions or electric driving range.
Pure-electric registrations were up more than a third compared to last August, and PHEV sales increased by more than 170%.
Alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs)- including conventional hybrids with EVs- saw market share rise from 5.2% in August 2017, to 8% this year. That’s against a backdrop of diesel sales continuing to drop sharply, now making up less than 30% of new cars sold in the UK in August 2018. Petrol has benefitted alongside AFVs, now at 62% of new registrations.
August is traditionally a month where new car registrations suffer since, like February, it comes just before a new registration plate. Many buyers opt to hold off for a few weeks to make sure their new car has the latest number plate.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “It’s great to see such strong growth, particularly in the important electric vehicle market. However, given August is always a small month in new car registrations ahead of the important plate-change month of September, it would be wrong to view the market as booming.
“Indeed, this past month has seen some significant variances as regulatory changes have disrupted some supplies. In the long term, however, the new emissions certification test will give consumers renewed confidence in the performance of all vehicles, helping them choose the latest, cleanest technology that best suits their driving needs, whether that be petrol, diesel, hybrid or plug-in.”September 7, 2018 at 10:51 pm #60257
This BMW i3 Goes 435 Miles Per Charge whaaaaaaaaattttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!
The all-new 100kWh, denser and safer battery proves to be a big range provider.
For the BMW i3, the jury is somewhat still out. The futuristic, all-electric city slicker is one of those cars whose value you cannot fully grasp. When it was released, the BMW i3 produced kind of an underwhelming feeling. But, at the same time, it was one of the most highly-coveted pieces of EVs money can buy. Just like with its bigger sibling – the BMW i8 – some boxes were clearly not ticked. While the all-electric configuration and performance were touted as the biggest drawbacks of what is actually a solid all-around car, for the i3, the range was the biggest drawback.
When released, the small electric car from the Bavarian car maker featured a somewhat tiny 33kWh battery which provides 114 miles of driving range, according to the EPA. Good for the town, bad for pretty much everything else. Naturally, BMW tried to combat that with the REx version which employed a petrol powerplant that provided more juice for the batteries. However, range clearly was too low.
Hence, in order to prove what this modular platform can do, a German energy storage company Lion Smart just revealed their own battery pack for the i3. While still in development, this “Light Battery” pack concept uses a modular design meant to reduce costs and improve safety. For the BMW i3, however, that means the German company crammed a high-density 100kWh battery pack into the BMW i3. In turn, that results in a range of about 435 miles (700 kilometers).
While it’s still unclear whether that’s based on the NEDC or WLTP cycle, or the company’s own internal testing, this is an impressive uptake over the OEM range provided by this vehicle. To make matters even more compelling, that’s the same range that BMW expects from their own iNext EV, slated for a 2022 debut. In reality, it seems that BMW – alongside other German car makers – produced impressive modular technology for their new cars. However, they lack in the battery departments.
You can learn all about the BMW i3 they’ve used and the Lion Light battery technology in the video below. Some impressive engineering & design ideas are implemented to make this battery pack, allowing it to be completely flexible in terms of capacity, voltage and physical dimensions.September 7, 2018 at 11:00 pm #60260
Ford Mondeo Hybrid road test
Ford’s Mondeo Hybrid has been available since 2014, yet it has remained unchallenged in its sector with no direct rival.
At launch it offered fleet customers one big advantage: low benefit-in-kind (BIK) taxation, but new emissions testing – under WLTP – has seen the CO2 emissions for the Mondeo Hybrid jump from 92g/km to 108g/km. This means company car drivers will pay £1,150 per year (20% taxpayer), £200 more than before.
The Hybrid is only available as a saloon and has the same list price (£26,000) as the 2.0TDCI 180 ST Line hatch, which is more practical and sportier.
With a battery pack mounted in the boot, the Mondeo Hybrid only has 383 litres of boot space compared to 500 litres for the regular Mondeo saloon (550 hatch).
The Mondeo Hybrid uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine, combined with an electric motor. Total system output is 187PS, giving the car a 0-60mph time of 9.2 seconds.
Average fuel consumption is claimed at 58.9mpg and the car has a limited zero-emission range. Our experience proved 48mpg was a more realistic expectation, although it has been proven that 123mpg is achieveable.
One of the Mondeo’s best attributes is it motorway manners, and people are likely to choose it for that exact reason. However, at a constant 70mph the hybrid part of the engine is not really doing much. It only provides an advantage at lower speeds.
So higher mileage drivers may be better placed in a diesel.
That said, we were impressed that during a more vigorous dash to an airport it still clocked more than 40mpg.
Driveability is affected in both positive and negative ways by the hybrid engine. The silence upon start-up and lack of diesel clatter on the move gives a more prestige feel to the Mondeo’s already upmarket interior.
The downside is that it uses a CVT transmission, which means the engine puts on a theatrical symphony of cylinders every time you want to speed up.
It can be frustrating, simply trying to get up a hill will leave passers-by thinking you are re-enacting a scene from Fast and Furious.
To get any benefit from the Mondeo Hybrid you have to drive it efficiently. This is aided by the trip computer, which encourages regeneration by giving a braking score – crucial to keep the battery charged.
The problem is that this is tiresome and requires a lot of effort from the driver. A diesel could manage much better efficiency with no effort at all.
Ford has managed to fill a niche with the Mondeo Hybrid. It is luxurious, smooth and cheap to run considering its performance. From a fleet perspective, the diesel version makes the most sense as an all-rounder, although businesses with a specific green agenda may find the hybrid has greater appeal.September 10, 2018 at 11:53 pm #60408
Interesting that the market for pure electric cars has declined by 0.6% ytd. The growth has come in hybrids. Is that the way we should be going? They still use fossil based fuel emitting all the noxious chemicals.September 11, 2018 at 1:15 am #60409
No Littledave your right we should be moving to pure electric more quickly but the problem just now is affordable choice and, obviously, range anxiety. As i said previously a hybrid that can do fifty miles, real world, on a single charge would make a massive difference but most of them do half of that at most.
During the coming year there is likely to be a number of affordable pure electric vehicles coming onto the market, most of which will do well in excess of 200 miles on a single charge but just now there are just too few to make an impact on the market.
I do believe that choice is the key to ev success, in America the Tesla Model 3 will be the third model from Tesla and is the best selling car on the market. It’s aimed at being more affordable, with an entry price of about £35,000 before any government grant. So it is not beyond comprehension that this could be available on the scheme as it is an automatic.
I think ev`s have come a massive distance in a short period of time but there is no doubt there are still hurdles to overcome, but I do believe in a few years time we will be talking routinely about which ev we will be choosing from the scheme.September 11, 2018 at 8:10 am #60413
We are going hybrid ( outlander hybrid) for our next car and are hoping that the combination of topping up the battery at home will result in much greater fuel efficiency than we get from our current diesel – we thought we would give it a go on the basis that its cleaner than currently – we spend a lot of time doing runs locally so should be able to top up at home thus increasing its electric only range and the factvyou can get the subsidised charging point before they stop the grantsSeptember 11, 2018 at 8:53 am #60415
Gary in your situation it should work a treat and I would expect you will save a lot of money. Let us know how you get on it would be great to get info from someone with first hand experience 👍September 11, 2018 at 9:06 pm #60447
UK EV battery firm Hyperbat launched
Hyperbat is a joint venture between Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart
Hyperbat, a new vehicle battery manufacturer, has been set up by Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group as part of a joint venture that looks to power the next generation of electric vehicles.
A new factory will be built at Coventry, due to open in early 2019, with around 90 jobs to be created by investment in the multi-million pound facility.
The first customer has been confirmed as Aston Martin, which will take delivery of Hyperbat components for the forthcoming Rapide E when production starts next year, announced today at the luxury manufacturer’s new St Athan site.
Williams Advance Engineering – part of the Williams group that also runs the F1 team of the same name – has become one of the country’s foremost battery and electric vehicle specialists. Williams components power all of the cars on the Formula E grid, and has worked with likes of new manufacturer Vanda Electrics on its Dendrobium electric hypercar, and Jaguar on numerous projects before.
Unipart is a well recognised name in the automotive industry covering manufacturing, logistics, and supply. The company will convert a 100-year-old building, which used to produce vehicle exhausts, to manufacture EV batteries.September 11, 2018 at 9:09 pm #60448
Aston Martin’s St Athan factory to be EV base
11 Sep, 2018 12:01am Jonathan Burn
Electrification of future Aston Martin models to be based at St Athan factory alongside DBX SUV and Rapide E production
Aston Martin’s new manufacturing site in St Athan, Wales will become the firm’s centre for electrification, the company has confirmed.
Aston Martin has announced that along with the production version of the DBX SUV concept and the Rapide E, the reborn Lagonda brand (comprising zero-emissions vehicles only) will be based at the ex-Ministry of Defence site, which is being converted into a car factory employing around 750 staff.
The British brand is investing an additional £50m in St Athan to make it its designated centre for electrification. The move suits the production DBX (likely to be called Varekai) almost as much as the Rapide E, because Aston’s debut SUV is likely to feature a hybrid petrol-electric powertrain.
Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and Group CEO, said: “I’m delighted that St Athan will be our ‘Home of electrification’. The Rapide E will spearhead development of Aston Martin’s low- and zero-emission vehicle strategy. This is a demonstration of how electrification features prominently in our business plan moving forward.”
More than 150 staff are already employed at St Athan, although production of the DBX and Rapide E isn’t expected to start until the second half of next year.