Ownership of a Battery Electric Vehicle

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    Topic
  • #222902
    MFillingham
    Participant

      It was suggested that I started a guide from those of us who own one of the many Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) on the scheme for those who were either considering for their next car or were looking into the future feeling the inevitability of the switch looming in the distance.

       

      For those who own a BEV, please feel free to add your experience but bear in mind this is intended to help, not preach.

      I fear this might be a long post, so I’ll probably break it down into several posts just to ease the reading.

      Ownership can be broken into 4 areas (which might expand over time) Terminology, Driving, Charging at home and Charging away from home.  I am not in a position to go into depth about the environmental impact of any vehicle, let alone the new technology, so I’m going to gracefully bow out of that area.

      Terminology.  There’s a lot of changes to keep in mind.  Starting with the various types of Electric Vehicles.

      There’s the Mild Hybrid and Full Hybrid – both running on petrol/diesel most of the time and adding power from a small battery through a motor either to add power or to provide a short range of running without burning fuel.

      Plug in Hybrid (PHEV) this is a half way solution between ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) and full BEV.  The battery is big enough to typically give between 15 and 50 miles of pure electric driving.  Then, should that run out, there’s a ICE ready to take over and keep driving.  This means that long trips don’t come with the thoughts about charging and taking breaks but local trips have all the benefits to the local air quality of electric driving.

      Regenerative Braking, Regen. When an ICE vehicle slows down, there’s physical resistance put through the braking system which slows the car.  This generates a certain amount of heat as wasted energy, it also requires a number of materials that will need replacing over time.  Whilst an EV will still have these,  there is a system in place that can slow a car using the same motor that drives it forward.  It uses that motor to run in reverse – using physical motion to create electrical energy.  This puts a little back into the battery and reduces the speed of the car without physical braking.  Some cars have one level and it’s either on or off, others have several different levels between a slight slowing over time to a rather aggressive and dramatic stop.

      One Pedal Driving – a continuation of Regenerative Braking is the ability to use only the accelerator.  Much like a go cart you press the pedal to go forward and release it to slow down.  This can be at a rate where the car will come to a complete stop in a reasonable distance or can reduce to a near stop in a controlled but still useful manner.  When driving around town this becomes a very useful manner of driving, especially for those of us with lower limb struggles who may find twisting the foot between the accelerator and brake to be a struggle at times.  Easing this movement down to either a point where you need to come to a complete stop or even just to hold the car once stopped is much better for the driver that the constant stop/go of heavy traffic.

      Measurements of power – the Kilowatt Hour (kWh) is the measure of storage, it’s how much the battery holds and is the release of 1 kilowatt over for an hour.  The Kilowatt, is a measure of power and is usually the power provided by the motor.  Even dealers get these mixed up, so don’t feel bad if you don’t get it.  Storage is simple, the more you have the further you can go (bearing in mind that more batteries equals more weight).

      If anyone has more they’d like to add, please feel free.

      My next post will be driving.

      I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
      I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

      Mark

    Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 104 total)
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      Replies
    • #222903
      Jojoe
      Participant

        I’d be interested to hear from people with experience of using hand controls with an EV. Mrs Joe uses hand controls and she wants to know how it feels through the hand control, specifically due to the car braking when you lift off the accelerator. With a hand control you push down to accelerate and pull up to brake. I think it may take a bit of getting used to.

        #222905
        MFillingham
        Participant

          Driving.

           

          The BEV is different from an ICE in several ways:

           

          Power delivery.  Whilst some EVs are stupidly quick most are still rather quick from the start.  That’s because an electric motor doesn’t have that power curve a petrol engine does, nor that of a diesel engine, it’s a straight line, full torque from the second you press the accelerator.  The only factor is the amount of power you choose to apply, so the end result is you can pull away with a lot less pressure on the accelerator.

           

          Silence, well, technically near silence.  The electric vehicle is very quiet. There’s this artificial noise that’s generated below a set speed, all up to 15 mph, some above.  That’s supposed to warn blind people that you’re there, if you trust that all people will hear you coming, you’ll be hitting the brakes in an emergency stop far too often.  This requires a change of mindset (yes I know some view this term somewhat negatively but read on, you’ll get it).  People will not look, they don’t regardless of what you’re driving, they’ll listen badly and will step out.  You need to recognise when this is likely to happen and be ready to stop.  The result?  I tend to drive much slower around pedestrians and have to concentrate much more.  You will find people walking in the road with no regard for you being behind them.  Some cars have a ‘soft horn’ the Ampera I had used a triple ‘beep’ as a gentle awareness of your presence, which is much better than just leaning on the full horn.

           

          Ideally, this slower driving is nothing new and we all drive at a pace suitable for the surroundings, realistically (and judging by the idiots I see charging through pedestrian heavy town centres at 30+), more care could be taken and, if your car isn’t making much noise, needs to be taken to avoid you being responsible for some idiot stepping off the pavement infront of you.

           

          To drive an EV is a smooth experience.  Because the power is instant, you tend to use less to pull away, then there’s no gear changes as the motor will run at tens of thousands of cycles per minute.  So, you’ll pull away and, like the best automatic you can imagine, you just keep going up to your desired speed.  Most modern cars will be fitted with a bunch of driver aides, including cruise control and lane assists.  These on a long distance really will take all the tension of driving away in an EV and with the reduced noise (unless you’ve a car susceptible to wind noise) it’ll be a more relaxing place.

           

          I’ve found the stereo needs to be less loud.  It doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when I’m listening to music at a higher volume but I can have it at a volume where I can have a conversation over it and still hear the music, something I’ve never been able to do in an ICE.

           

          Because so much of the driving is done through electronics, you don’t get the feeling of driving that you would from the likes of a BMW, just look at the reviews and they’re all saying that the steering feels disconnected slightly, the braking feels weird, etc.  It’s unfortunate but, unless you choose a particularly bad one or are a racer at heart you’ll get used to it, as you do any new car.

           

          You’re now driving a heavy car.  Unless you’ve been used to 2 tonne SUVs or luxury cars, you’re now driving something with more weight than ever before.  The result of lugging around the batteries is added weight.  Most designs now have batteries in the floor, so that weight is pretty low and helps the balance.  The suspension, however, needs to be a little stiffer to prevent the car wollowing around the corners, that usually means that slight bumps feel like speed bumps, slight damage to the road surface feels like a pot hole and, some cars may be quite a jolting ride.  Do test drive several cars before deciding what you want to take on for 3+ years, they’re not all bone shakingly stiff.  If the reviews say the car is quite sporty, it holds well in corners, it probably also doesn’t like poor roads.  Likewise those with smooth rides may need you to slow down more to go around corners.

           

          Personally, I’ve found the combination of one pedal driving, gear free acceleration and a relatively smooth ride makes up for the suspension and cornering and results in a very relaxing drive.  There aren’t many cars I can drive for hours and feel as relaxed when I get out, the more EVs I own, the more I find that the technology really helps.

          I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
          I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

          Mark

          #222906
          Glos Guy
          Participant

            A very well written and easy to understand summary. Many thanks. I’d really appreciate a bit more detail (but in layman’s terms) of the kWh thing, and what it means when it comes to charging and range. I’ve tried (and failed) to understand this from other threads but it’s a whole new language to those of us who have never had to get our heads around it. Even the descriptions of EVs in this respect make no sense to me whatsoever!

            #222908
            MFillingham
            Participant

              A very well written and easy to understand summary. Many thanks. I’d really appreciate a bit more detail (but in layman’s terms) of the kWh thing, and what it means when it comes to charging and range. I’ve tried (and failed) to understand this from other threads but it’s a whole new language to those of us who have never had to get our heads around it. Even the descriptions of EVs in this respect make no sense to me whatsoever!

               

              Ok, how was your physics at school?

              Imagine 1 killowatt hour to equal one gallon.  In your ICE, the more gallons you can fit into the tank, the further you go.  Likewise, the bigger the batteries, to a lesser extent the further your car can go.  Remember, more batteries = more weight and, unlike a petrol tank, you’re always carrying that around.

              I’ll come to charging later and will explain, hopefully, in enough detail then.  It’s all about the flow of electrons and the speed at which the battery will be charged.  Bigger the charging rate, the quicker the car charges.  But, the more power required, the more specialist the power supply has to be, the more it drains from the grid and the more the company gets billed, so the quickest chargers cost much more per unit than the slowest. It isn’t helped by the different terms used for different chargers by different people.

               

              I hope that helps.

               

              I’ll post more later. Life beckons.

              I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
              I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

              Mark

              #222909
              Fastbike1000
              Participant

                I was quite a skeptic about EV ownership but I decided to order one anyway and now I’ve driven just under 3k miles in my Nissan Ariya and to be honest I really love it. Yes it’s slightly different drive to my old BMW X1 at longer distances, battery range raising its ugly head, but now I don’t think about it so much especially with so many apps you can download to help find charging points, around town and day to day driving the Ariya is far more refined and relaxing. The mid range punch is exceptional.

                The range when I got the Aryia, end of January this year was 203 estimated miles from a claimed 224 miles from a full battery because of the cold and not used to my driving style now it’s more like over 235 estimated miles from a charge.

                Would I have another BEV, definitely.

                #222910
                Fastbike1000
                Participant

                  #222911
                  Oscarmax
                  Participant

                    We our the ideal candidates for an EV, we have solar power, a solar battery, have our own drive and EV charger, our running cost would be virtually zero, however we tow a caravan so have opted to order another PHEV.

                     

                    #222907
                    Harry Carson

                      Had a Corsa EV for 16 months. All 4 seasons. PodPoint charger at home.

                      Context: We live near St Ives Cornwall. The infrastructure for BEVs is poor. Exeter is 110 miles and yet, in winter ( without heating on, in Eco mode and keeping below 51mph) our 220 miles range car had 32 left.

                      The only reasonable service station with rapid charging is on Bodmin at Cornwall Services ( Gridserve). Every time…. every time we had to try three or four chargers and then call the very helpful people at Gridserve.

                      In the cold January night a two hour journey took almost 5 hours each time.

                      So perhaps the major issue for me is geographic. Also the advertised max range is a fictional figure.

                      MB agreed and I have ordered a full hybrid.

                      London to see family? No chance.

                      Bristol? Wouldn’t bother.

                      Personal experience and location issues.

                      But a great car as long as I don’t want to go more than 50 miles from home ( 100 round trip. More than this and the infrastructure is currently inadequate. )

                      Cheers.

                      #222913
                      MFillingham
                      Participant

                        Charging at home.

                         

                        Brace yourself.

                         

                        There are two main options fro charging at home, a box on the wall or a 3 pin plug.

                         

                        The slowest is the 3 pin plug option.  Running at 10-13 amps maximum draw the charger will take a long time.  From empty a 50 kWh battery is likely to take 15 hours or more.  The bigger the battery, the longer that becomes.  It also has some safety considerations.  You’ll be drawing the maximum power a domestic plug was designed to draw over a very long period of time.  That means that if there’s any weaknesses within the house’s electrics this might find them and bad things could happen.  Also, if the connection isn’t perfect then this level of power will cause the electricity to jump between the connectors – known as arcing – this is very bad and will generate a lot of heat very quickly.  I’ve seen plugs outdoors melt and plugs indoors cause fires.  If this is the only option to you, I would start by getting an electrician to install a dedicated cable from the main fuse board through to the wall nearest where the car will charge.  I’d then put a high power socket in a safe box (with a lock if possible and if accessible to the public) and charge from there.

                         

                        The quicker option is an  installed box.  This runs at a greater rate with a dedicated cable from your main fuse box.  This can charge a car overnight from empty to maximum charge.  I’ll not go into all the different brands and stuff, it’s a huge market and there’s limited differences. All should work on a timer basis and most will operate from an app on your phone.  They’ll also be smart boxes, so will connect through your wifi to the internet and onwards to the manufacturer and, potentially, your power supplier.  This will enable a process known as throttling, where the power fed to the car through the box is reduced or even stopped when demand for electricity is at it’s highest (dinner time, for example).  This is one of the government’s strategies to guarantee that the national grid doesn’t collapse under the increased demand.

                        Whatever option you have, you need to be off street.  You can not leave a cable across the pavement or a public access throughway.  If anybody trips over your cables, you’ll be liable for injuries.  You can, depending upon your council, have a gully cut into the pavement for a cable to run safely and you might be allowed to use a cable guard (rubber mat type thing) to enable the cable to be trip proof and allow wheel chairs/ pushchairs to pass without difficulty.

                        With a domestic electricity supply you might have a cheap rate of electricity, if you have a smart box, time your charging to make the most of this reduced cost power.

                         

                        Here’s where your ‘fuel’ needs to be treated differently.

                        With an ICE, you fill up and then use at will, until you hit a point where you go to a petrol station and fill up again.  With an EV, you don’t need to do that, most cheap rates are 4 hours, which won’t get you from empty to full. It will, most likely, put in more than you would use in your normal day.  So, you park at night, plug in and forget your car.  In the morning you unplug and you’ve more than enough for your normal day’s use.  If you live more than 100 miles away from where you work, this might need to be treated differently but as most people commute for 45 minutes or less and drive 30-40 miles at most to get to work, you’ll be fine.

                         

                        You will quickly get used to the concept of charging when you need, as governed by the amount of miles you do daily and whether you’re going on a long trip anytime soon.  It won’t be long before the idea of stopping off somewhere to refill the car feels wasteful.  Remember, most cars are only in use for 1-2 hours a day, for the other 22, they’re sat doing nothing.

                        I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                        I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                        Mark

                        #222914
                        MFillingham
                        Participant

                          Had a Corsa EV for 16 months. All 4 seasons. PodPoint charger at home. Context: We live near St Ives Cornwall. The infrastructure for BEVs is poor. Exeter is 110 miles and yet, in winter ( without heating on, in Eco mode and keeping below 51mph) our 220 miles range car had 32 left. The only reasonable service station with rapid charging is on Bodmin at Cornwall Services ( Gridserve). Every time…. every time we had to try three or four chargers and then call the very helpful people at Gridserve. In the cold January night a two hour journey took almost 5 hours each time. So perhaps the major issue for me is geographic. Also the advertised max range is a fictional figure. MB agreed and I have ordered a full hybrid. London to see family? No chance. Bristol? Wouldn’t bother. Personal experience and location issues. But a great car as long as I don’t want to go more than 50 miles from home ( 100 round trip. More than this and the infrastructure is currently inadequate. ) Cheers.

                           

                          I’m in Camborne.  I fully understand that trip to Exeter and it’s a bloody pain.  I’m surprised the Corsa didn’t get further but agree, the whole concept of advertising a range is broken.  There’s also a problem in very rural areas like Cornwall, Cumbria, East Anglia and others where the charging network is far from ideal.

                          The lovely people at Gridserve really are helpful, aren’t they, but their chargers do seem a little fragile.  We got to Exeter on a Saturday morning and of the line of chargers 50% weren’t working.  The helpline tried resetting many and they ended up sending an engineer who was on site for well over an hour.  I can’t imagine what a problem it’s going to be in the height of summer if everyone decides to charge in the same services.

                           

                          I’m targeting cars with a reliable 250 mile range, so I can be confident that in the middle of winter I can still get out of the county in one go.

                          I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                          I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                          Mark

                          #222915
                          Oscarmax
                          Participant

                            Charging at home. Brace yourself. There are two main options fro charging at home, a box on the wall or a 3 pin plug. The slowest is the 3 pin plug option. Running at 10-13 amps maximum draw the charger will take a long time. From empty a 50 kWh battery is likely to take 15 hours or more. The bigger the battery, the longer that becomes. It also has some safety considerations. You’ll be drawing the maximum power a domestic plug was designed to draw over a very long period of time. That means that if there’s any weaknesses within the house’s electrics this might find them and bad things could happen. Also, if the connection isn’t perfect then this level of power will cause the electricity to jump between the connectors – known as arcing – this is very bad and will generate a lot of heat very quickly. I’ve seen plugs outdoors melt and plugs indoors cause fires. If this is the only option to you, I would start by getting an electrician to install a dedicated cable from the main fuse board through to the wall nearest where the car will charge. I’d then put a high power socket in a safe box (with a lock if possible and if accessible to the public) and charge from there. The quicker option is an installed box. This runs at a greater rate with a dedicated cable from your main fuse box. This can charge a car overnight from empty to maximum charge. I’ll not go into all the different brands and stuff, it’s a huge market and there’s limited differences. All should work on a timer basis and most will operate from an app on your phone. They’ll also be smart boxes, so will connect through your wifi to the internet and onwards to the manufacturer and, potentially, your power supplier. This will enable a process known as throttling, where the power fed to the car through the box is reduced or even stopped when demand for electricity is at it’s highest (dinner time, for example). This is one of the government’s strategies to guarantee that the national grid doesn’t collapse under the increased demand. Whatever option you have, you need to be off street. You can not leave a cable across the pavement or a public access throughway. If anybody trips over your cables, you’ll be liable for injuries. You can, depending upon your council, have a gully cut into the pavement for a cable to run safely and you might be allowed to use a cable guard (rubber mat type thing) to enable the cable to be trip proof and allow wheel chairs/ pushchairs to pass without difficulty. With a domestic electricity supply you might have a cheap rate of electricity, if you have a smart box, time your charging to make the most of this reduced cost power. Here’s where your ‘fuel’ needs to be treated differently. With an ICE, you fill up and then use at will, until you hit a point where you go to a petrol station and fill up again. With an EV, you don’t need to do that, most cheap rates are 4 hours, which won’t get you from empty to full. It will, most likely, put in more than you would use in your normal day. So, you park at night, plug in and forget your car. In the morning you unplug and you’ve more than enough for your normal day’s use. If you live more than 100 miles away from where you work, this might need to be treated differently but as most people commute for 45 minutes or less and drive 30-40 miles at most to get to work, you’ll be fine. You will quickly get used to the concept of charging when you need, as governed by the amount of miles you do daily and whether you’re going on a long trip anytime soon. It won’t be long before the idea of stopping off somewhere to refill the car feels wasteful. Remember, most cars are only in use for 1-2 hours a day, for the other 22, they’re sat doing nothing.

                            I was under the understanding the 3 pin granny chargers we limited to 10 amps

                            #222916
                            MFillingham
                            Participant

                              Public charging.  Firstly, the chargers

                              There are 3 different types, I’ll use the common terms;

                              Destination chargers.  Usually AC (alternating current – the stuff used in a domestic supply) and either 7kw, 11kw or 22kw.  The maximum speed will be governed by your car, your cable and the charger.  To run at 22kw you need a three phase charging cable, and a 3 phase 22kw charger and your car needs to accept that rate as well.  Most charging cables supplied by the manufacturer will be a 7kw capable lead.  This is a single phase and will work with most chargers of this type.  It will charge your car fairly slowly, it’s the same speed as your box at home. However if you’re somewhere where you don’t want to return to the car quickly, like a shopping centre, attraction or even a cinema, then these are perfect.  You’ll get a good few miles in a few hours.

                               

                              Rapid chargers.  These have a cable built in and will charge at up to 150kw.  They’ll reduce charging time down to an hour or so (depending on your car).  Prices for these chargers are higher, they draw more power and that’s expensive.

                               

                              Ultra Rapids.  These can charge at (currently) up to 350kw.  That means that even the largest batteries will charge in less than an hour, if the car has been built to charge at that speed, which is a few.

                               

                              As with everything, advertised speeds are a maximum, dependant on ideal circumstances, can be restricted by your car, so don’t complain to me if your 350kw charger charges your car at 45kw.

                              Also, your car speaks with the charger and has a lot of protections built in.  You will get the fastest speeds at a low state of charge. Once you hit 80% capacity, the software will tell the charger to slow down, once you’re above 90% you’d be better off on a destination charger or just giving up.  I’ve seen the fastest cars reduced to 4kw at 98% and the whole queue behind them livid.  The ideal is to plan to arrive at a charger with around 10% battery remaining, that gives you a buffer should you need to go elsewhere and means you’ll get a lot of charge quickly.  Then plan to leave around 80-90%.  Anything after that you’d be better off and quicker unplugging and stopping again later, even with the detour to charge.

                               

                              Planning your journey.  With an EV, you need to plan ahead.  Know where you want to stop and how many chargers will be there plus where the nearest backup is.  There are some great apps that combine route planning with finding chargers, just in case the sat nav in the car isn’t helpful. The popular apps are : Zap Map and A Better Route Planner.  Both will enable you to plan your journey, with the range of your car in mind and your planned arrival and departure state of charge.  This means that when you leave for your long trip, you follow that just as you would your sat nav.  Most will stay updated with the chargers and could tell  you how many are unserviceable or in use as you’re arriving.  That means you might be able to detour before getting there.

                               

                              All in all, driving a long distance is different in an ICE than a BEV.  However, for most of us, those differences aren’t as obtrusive as you’d think.  Ask yourself a few questions about your last long trip, how many times did you stop, even for the toilet?  How long before you feel tired?  When do you need to rest?  Who else will be in the car, when do they need to stop?  How does all that fit in with your range?

                               

                              Personally, I can’t be in the car for more than 2 hours, by which time I need to walk around, my wife needs to walk around and one or both of us need to use the facilities.  That’ll be a good 20-30 minute stop for us (I walk slowly).  So charging then is ideal.

                              I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                              I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                              Mark

                              #222917
                              MFillingham
                              Participant

                                I was under the understanding the 3 pin granny chargers we limited to 10 amps

                                Most are, in fact I believe all new ones are but there are (were) some 13 amp ones available.

                                I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                                I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                                Mark

                                #222918
                                MFillingham
                                Participant

                                  Oh, Charging connectors.

                                   

                                  There’s two types.  For the Leaf drivers there’s ChaDeMo, it’s lower powered and has a specific connector type. It’ll be on most chargers but won’t fit unless you’ve a Leaf.

                                   

                                  For the rest of us there’s CCS.  It’s like the connector from your box but with an extra two pins below.  They carry the big power.  They are most common.

                                  I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                                  I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                                  Mark

                                  #222920
                                  Glos Guy
                                  Participant

                                    Really interesting so far and even I am managing to understand most of it ?

                                    Aside from the reliability issues with public charging points, I heard on the radio the other day that the absolute numbers of them is failing to keep up with the growth in EVs. This statistic might have related to a particular region, rather than the U.K. as a whole, but it was mentioned that the number of EVs per public charger had risen from 45 to 69, meaning that it’s becoming harder to charge ‘on the go’ rather than easier.

                                    #222921
                                    Glos Guy
                                    Participant

                                      I was a bit premature when I said that I was managing to understand everything – that was before I read the Public Charging section ?

                                      I’m sure that, like everything, you work it all out and it ends up becoming second nature, but I think that this is the area where those who have yet to make the move to a BEV are most daunted, especially those of an older generation and, of course, those who don’t have any ‘at home’ or ‘at work’ charging options.

                                      #222924
                                      joss
                                      Moderator

                                        Just joining this thread guys so that I will get posts to my busy in box. Keeping my eye on things if needed.

                                        Joss
                                        Current car: Peugeot 308 GT Premium 1.2 Pure tech Petrol.

                                        #222926
                                        kezo
                                        Participant

                                          I’d really appreciate a bit more detail (but in layman’s terms) of the kWh thing, and what it means when it comes to charging and range.

                                          Lets see if I can break it down in electrical terms easily.

                                          A kilowatt-hour commonly seen as kWh sustained in one hour. Your electricity company bills you per kWh. A kW is equal 1000 Watts,

                                          Lets take a couple of examples:

                                          A 1000W (1kW) hairdryer will take 1 hour of sustained use to consume 1kW of electricity or 1 kWh

                                          A 100W light bulb will take 10 hours of sustained use for it to consume 1kW of electricity or 1 kWh

                                          A 50W light bulb will take 2o hours of sustained use for it to consume 1kW of electricity or 1 kWh

                                          If you run say the 100w light bulb for 1 hour of sustained use, it would consume one tenth or 0.1 of a kW or 0.1 of a kWh, so the 100W light bulb will take 10 hours of sustained use to use 1kW of electricity or 1kWh.

                                          To find out how much an appliance costs to run for a period of time by: Multiply the device’s wattage by the number of hours you use it per day, and divide this number by 1000 to get the daily kilowatt-hour and multiply it by you price per kW.

                                          100w light bulb x  (number of hours) / 1000 x £/p per kW of electricity chargerd = cost to run for x hour/s £/p

                                          A battery in this case one in a EV follows basically the same rules, however because we have a constant supply of electricity at home it has no effect on the load (energy) we want from it. Where as a battery can only hold an amount of energy dependant on its size and is affected by external infulences such as your right foot (load) similar to an ICE you demand at anyone time, along with temperature changes – winter and summer (although are summers aren’t really hot enough to have any negative inpits etc….

                                          Charging an EV battery depends on the size of the battery in kWh, how much charge (energy) is in it and the charge rate of the device you are using to charge the battery with.

                                          Let’s say your charging a 75 kWh EV battery from a 7.4 kW wall box, it will take 10 hours to charge from a dead flat battery  (75/7.4=10.1 hours) A little bit of maths you can easily work out the time to charge the battery if it had 20% charge left in it and time to charge to 100% or 80% which is the norm depending on the power rating of charger used.

                                          Knowing a EV is measured in kWh. As with your house a kWh is a measure of energy used by an appliance or EV if it were kept running for one hour.  However a kW, is a measure of instantaneous power. Apliances in your home and electric motors in an EV all have a watt (W) or kilowatt (kW) rating. This is a measure of how much power they need to be continuously supplied with, in order to run.

                                          If you have for example an electric motor rated at 200 kW at peak power output – if you ran that motor for 30 minutes you would use 100 kWh of energy — 200 x 0.5 (of an hour) equals 100 kWh.

                                          So moving on to calculating range per:

                                          To calculate efficiency, you need to know the distance you went, and how much energy you used during that distance. Divide the distance you went by the energy used.

                                          So taking the same 75kWh battery and you charged to full before you drove 100 miles, and you now have 55 kWh left – you divide 100 by 20, and your efficiency is 5 miles per kWh.

                                          Similar to how we calculate mpg frm a full tank and calculate when we fill up after we have used x amount of a tank of petrol or diesel. EV users often only charge to 80% so that is treated as full and the same calculation can be done.

                                          You can also calculate how many miles you should get from a full charge by knowing the range the manufacturer said you should get and thevehicles battery capacity. by dividing the range by battery capacity kWh:

                                          339 miles (quoted by manufacturer) / 75 (kWh battery) = 4.52 miles per kWh:

                                          However with external influences its rarely accurate!

                                          Hope it helps and hasnt confused you even more lol.

                                           

                                           

                                           

                                           

                                           

                                           

                                           

                                          #222927
                                          MFillingham
                                          Participant

                                            Thanks @Kezo.

                                            I was a bit premature when I said that I was managing to understand everything – that was before I read the Public Charging section ? I’m sure that, like everything, you work it all out and it ends up becoming second nature, but I think that this is the area where those who have yet to make the move to a BEV are most daunted, especially those of an older generation and, of course, those who don’t have any ‘at home’ or ‘at work’ charging options.

                                             

                                            Ok, I’ll be a bit more specific.  The BMW iX1 has a 64.8kWh battery and can charge at both 11kW (Destination) and 130kW (rapid).

                                            2 scenarios for you.  Firstly you’re at home and there’s an on street destination charger just down the road, you can leave it there over night if you need.  That charger will be a 7kW charger and will charge the car in a little over 9 hours from empty to full.  In reality, because we never let the battery get to 0 miles, it’ll be less than that.

                                            Secondly, you’re going on a long trip, you’ve 400 miles to travel but am in no rush to get there.  You’ve chosen the motorways to get where you’re going and stop at a service station just before half way with 5% of your battery remaining.  You drive up to a big machine and plug in, flash your credit card to the machine and it’s off.  The maximum speed your car will allow is 130kW, so it’s going to rapidly get up to that speed seeing as you’ve got a charger capable of 150kW charging.  You go into the services, get a coffee, have a comfort break and get back to the car 30 minutes later, the charger now tells you your battery is at 82% of it’s full charge.  It’s still going but you can see the speed on the charger is slowing down slightly, it’s now under 100kW. You’ve enough to get where you plan to stop next, so you disconnect and put everything away.  You drive another 150 miles to another service station.  Here you arrive at 5% again, plug in and off it all goes.  Seeing as the coffee from the last stop is weighing on your mind (and bladder) it’s off for a comfort break and you can have a wonder around those services for a short while.  30 minutes later, you’re good to go again.

                                            I hope that puts a more realistic picture of charging?

                                             

                                            For a more realistic picture of what range a car provides try the EV Database  https://ev-database.org/uk/  They provide realistic values for just about every EV going.  You get 6 different numbers –

                                            1 – Town/City driving in the cold

                                            2 Motorway driving, at a steady 70mph, cold

                                            3 – Combined driving cold.  The combined driving is taken in the same way as a combined mph reading we’re all used to.

                                            4 – Town/City mild (think average summer day)

                                            5 – Motorway mild

                                            6 – Combined Mild

                                             

                                            To give you a safe comparison BMW quote a WLTP lie of 267 miles for the iX1, EV-Database gives:

                                            1 – 220 miles

                                            2 – 165 Miles

                                            3 – 190 Miles

                                            4 – 335 miles

                                            5 – 210 miles

                                            6 – 260 miles

                                            That means that in the summer driving mainly around town with some A road driving you’ll get that 267 or near enough to matter.  It also means in the winter, that’ll drop to 190 miles, less if you go heavy on the Aircon.  These numbers, as with just about every quoted figure depends dramatically on how you drive.  Drive it like you’ve got a month to live and you’ll be lucky to get 150 miles in summer.  Drive it like you’re paying for the charging in blood and you could well see 300 miles but be very bored.

                                            From experience and from comments from other EV drivers, the reality of EV-Database is that for some cars, it’s mean, for others slightly generous but, it’s always a lot more accurate and gives you a hugely better idea of what to expect from your car of choice.

                                            I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                                            I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                                            Mark

                                            #222929
                                            Glos Guy
                                            Participant

                                              Many thanks @kezo and @MFillingham I think I’m slowly getting there and I really appreciate you trying to explain it all.

                                              I think I now understand that you divide the kWh figure by the kWh charger speed to work out how long it will take to charge. Do public chargers have universal charge cables that fit all cars (in the same way the petrol or diesel pumps do), or do you have to have cables of your own for the different types of charger? There was a really heavy and bulky charging cable in the iX1 I had the other day. Would that be the sort of thing you have to have with you in order to charge at 130kwh?

                                              I still don’t understand why EVs quote two different figures (e.g. VW ID5 128kw & 77kwh, Audi Q4 150kw & 82kwh and Mustang 198kw & 70kwh). What does the first kw figure mean? I presume it’s not battery capacity, because that’s the kWh figure, and it’s maybe not power either as BEVs still quote a bhp figure?

                                              #222934
                                              MFillingham
                                              Participant

                                                Many thanks @kezo and @MFillingham I think I’m slowly getting there and I really appreciate you trying to explain it all. I think I now understand that you divide the kWh figure by the kWh charger speed to work out how long it will take to charge. Do public chargers have universal charge cables that fit all cars (in the same way the petrol or diesel pumps do), or do you have to have cables of your own for the different types of charger? There was a really heavy and bulky charging cable in the iX1 I had the other day. Would that be the sort of thing you have to have with you in order to charge at 130kwh? I still don’t understand why EVs quote two different figures (e.g. VW ID5 128kw & 77kwh, Audi Q4 150kw & 82kwh and Mustang 198kw & 70kwh). What does the first kw figure mean? I presume it’s not battery capacity, because that’s the kWh figure, and it’s maybe not power either as BEVs still quote a bhp figure?

                                                 

                                                The 198 kw is the motor’s power, the 70kWh is the battery capacity.  So the more powerful the motor, the quicker the car and the quicker the battery empties.

                                                As for cables, there’s 3 cables associated with BEVs, there’s a portable but quite heavy power cable that connects a destination charger and the car, it’s also good for most home chargers.  There’s a 3 pin plug connected to a box and then a thicker cable to one that connects with the car.  Finally there’s a really heavy cable attached to a rapid or ultra rapid charger.  These have thick power cables and cooling tubes to keep the cable manageable and safe.

                                                There are 2 types of connector on rapid chargers, a ChaDeMo connector that came from Japan and is mainly found on the Leaf.  There’s the much more common CCS connector which looks like the one in the BMW but with 2 extra pins below the circle.  These take the high power direct current feed into the car to charge it most quickly.

                                                In reality there’s one cable I keep in the car, the portable destination one, and a 3 pin charger that stays at home unless I’m going somewhere I know I can safely charge from someone’s house.  When I go to a rapid, there’s 2 connectors, picking one up and looking at the connector confirms whether it’s the right one.

                                                As you say, once you’ve charged a few times, it’s easier than a petrol pump.

                                                I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                                                I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                                                Mark

                                                #222938
                                                MFillingham
                                                Participant

                                                  Right, after all that technical stuff, here’s my version of living with an EV.  I’ve had 2, so I’m no expert but have some experience and the joys of Autistic dedication to research.

                                                   

                                                  My week is mostly driving people to places not to far away.  My daughter to school, my wife to work, my mother to her appointments.  A lot of these are trips of less than a mile each way. Which is the first advantage of an EV.  An internal combustion engine takes a while to get the lubricants up to temperature and running efficiently.  During this time the engine is running inefficiently and if done too regularly will shorten the life of the engine.  A motor has significantly fewer moving parts and can run from ice cold as efficiently as warm.  These short trips in a modern car would cause a lot of problems with things like the particle filters clogging up, oils not warming and friction causing problems within the engine.  Over a prolonged period, this would result in some very expensive repairs.

                                                   

                                                  I charge usually overnight at the weekend, unless I’ve a longer trip and I want to guarantee a full charge that will usually last me for 4 -6 days.  This charge happens while I’m watching tv and then sleeping.  In the morning it’s school run, a cautious drive to school, being aware of the children who aren’t looking at what’s coming or walk down the middle of the road without a care.  The best bit of driving like this is that the car is in eco with maximum regenerative braking so it’s press to go and lift to stop without using the brake unless holding at stop, usually at junctions.  This run I’m more than happy to acknowledge that I’m not emitting all the fumes of so many other cars I’ll see on the run.  It’s not a wealthy area, so there’s quite a few rather agricultural landrover type 4x4s that are getting on for pensionable age.  You can imagine the plumes of smoke they leave behind.

                                                   

                                                  I’m running all week to school, the Mrs’ work or various doctors, medical and care appointments.  All around town unless it’s a hospital appointment at the only local hospital some 14 miles away.  This is a week of milling around local short trips.  This is a pretty unremarkable life for the car but it’s comfortable, smooth and real easy to drive.

                                                   

                                                  When we go away here’s were life becomes more complex.  The car doesn’t have a huge range on a run, it’ll manage 120 ish miles at a steady 65mph.  So, we took a trip to the next nearest zoo for my daughter’s birthday, that’s around 165 mile round trip, so there’s a charge required.  Plan where to stop, what to do whilst stopped and it’s as easy as that.  Charge overnight, whilst doing all the usual things.  Drive a nice, relaxed drive to the planned stop at a Lidl and charge and wonder across to the McDonalds across the way and once we’ve eaten, go to the zoo just down the road.  We do what we need to and drive home, no need to stop and recharge once we get home, knackered.

                                                   

                                                  We’ve done Cornwall to Southampton and back, including driving around visiting friends and shopping centres, totaling some 540 miles for a total cost of £24.65 (pre pandemic) and the last trip up to Havant for a rugby match cost less than £50 including home charges.  If we pick the wrong chargers then prices can be a little wild, there’s a charger in North Cornwall reportedly costing £1.50 per kW, which means it’s cheaper to drive a large petrol engined SUV there.

                                                   

                                                  I’ve never been in a position where I’m close to running out of charge and needing to go somewhere, if I’m down to the 1/4 mark then it’s time to plug in overnight.  It’s as easy as that.  No worrying about whether we have money to go to a petrol station and put in the minimum value (or the amount we need to drive around up to the next payday).  It still costs less than £15 for a full charge at home on a PAYG meter and horrendous electricity charges.  If I could go to the many EV designed tariffs then that cost could easily come down to below £10 and, if we have a home charger, then lower still.  I get the freedom to drive 2 households to all the necessary appointments, work and school without the worries of finding cash for fuel, we just put an extra £50 per month into the meter and probably don’t use that all on the car.

                                                  It’s pretty obvious just by looking at the amount I’ve typed out today that I think a lot of driving an EV, my next car will definitely be electric and I can’t see any reason why the several after that won’t be as well.

                                                   

                                                  I’m more than happy that some people have already engaged with this thread.  I hope that prospective EV drivers find information that’s useful and that current EV drivers can join in with their experiences.  I am concerned that there are some who will want to jump on this with all the usual anti-EV junk, all I can say is that if you have a genuine concern, please ask questions, if you’re just going to regurgitate a Daily Express article about how poor they are, please save your effort.

                                                   

                                                  Also note, I am perfectly aware than EVs aren’t perfect for everyone yet.  Some tow heavy caravans, some live out of their car for work 4 nights a week, some need the ability to travel a long distance in an emergency and need the reassurance that they aren’t going to have to charge.  If you live in a property where you can’t charge at home, there are challenges that your location could prove insurmountable and the costs will increase if the only charging is on a public unit.  I’m not the only who’ll preach that everyone needs an electric car in their life and they’re dinosaurs if they can’t or won’t accept that.  Whatever we drive and for whatever reason we chose that vehicle, it’s our business and that’s good enough for me.  Please, post with a similar thought.

                                                  I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                                                  I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                                                  Mark

                                                  #222932
                                                  Ad1

                                                    As someone who is due to change car soon and is keen on an EV this information is very welcome and helpful. Thank you.

                                                    #222951
                                                    Marc
                                                    Participant

                                                      Interesting read here.

                                                      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rowan-atkinson-duped-electric-vehicles-b2351023.html

                                                       

                                                      Daughters motability car Vauxhall Grandland 1.5 diesel automatic Ultimate.
                                                      My car SEAT Ibiza SE Tec 1.2 petrol TSI 2017.

                                                      #222955
                                                      MFillingham
                                                      Participant

                                                        Interesting read here. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rowan-atkinson-duped-electric-vehicles-b2351023.html

                                                         

                                                        Oh dear, here we go.  The news article was based on the finding of a report that looked at the build of the Polestar 2, a car that, if it was as bad as the report claimed, wouldn’t have been built with that ‘catastrophic’ environmental impact.  The original report concluded that the manufacturing process was significantly worse than ICE, which isn’t unknown and then overstated the miles required for the balance to be made.  The report was released through a PR company whose director was a former nurse and the wife of the political relations team at Aston Martin.  With a proven bias and released through a media well known for an anti-EV standpoint, this report was analysed and debunked years ago.

                                                        https://insideevs.com/news/458458/legacy-automakers-backed-study-against-evs-debunked/amp/

                                                        The analysis shows that by the time the Volvo XC40 hit 140,000km (87k miles) it produced a total of 60 tonnes of CO2 it also concludes that, if driven here in the UK, the car would total half that, at 30 tonnes, by 200,000km (120k miles).  By my calculations that’s an additional 20t of CO2 in 120,000 miles of UK driving which is 29,000 miles worth of XC40 driving.

                                                        I'm Autistic, if I say something you find offensive, please let me know, I can guarantee it was unintentional.
                                                        I'll try to give my honest opinion but am always open to learning.

                                                        Mark

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