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When are you going fully electric?

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Ricochet J, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. satchef1

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009

    Posts: 3,400

    An energy-dense, emission-free liquid fuel would be preferable, yes. But there is no such solution on the horizon, bar hydrogen, which is a perpetual state of being "a few years away" from market.

    I doubt you'll find many people absolutely set on BEVs. It's more of a case of begrudging acceptance due to a lack of alternatives.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  2. Jonnycoupe

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 11,377

    Location: N.Warks

    Bio fuel from algae has more likelyhood of success than hydrogen and would be cleaner. Hydrogen electrolysis from water is in the order of 4 times the energy use than just using to charge an EV. Hard when you want to grow fuel rather than food aswell.
     
  3. Journey

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 4,867

    Location: West Midlands

    Well my next door neighbour, self confessed Porsche lover has just told me to my shock that he put a deposit down on the Taycan a while back. Not something I expected considering he pretty much said he'd never buy an EV, and loves making a racket with his 718 S, and I'm pretty sure he spends more time sat in it that he does with his wife. :p

    He's a bit of an idiot about technology, and didn't realise that you could get home battery storage solutions if you have a solar install. So it looks like he is off to investigate that now, no doubt I'll be getting a run down of it soon. :)
     
  4. Duke

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jun 29, 2003

    Posts: 33,037

    Location: Wiltshire

    Hydrogen trains are in use now in Germany and being ordered for use here so it is happening in other modes of transport :)
     
  5. Lakeland

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 1, 2005

    Posts: 4,940

    The issue with hydrogen fuel is that it’s quite volatile, so it’s hard to store and hard to transport. In its current form it would be very difficult to supply enough fuel for cars but I can see why it works for things like trains.

    What a lot of people don’t know is that hydrogen fuel cells have been talked about for years, way more than you’d think.
     
  6. smilertoo

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 4, 2005

    Posts: 2,964

    Fuel cell cars currently use cannisters like portable gas fires use, you refill them under pressure in a few mins.
     
  7. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,394

    Location: Canada

    Still a lot less time than electricity. Hydrogen has been in developed for around 20-30 years. Electric has been in development for over a century, in fact it preceded the first ICE, only now is it becoming a practical solution for the average user. Development time isn’t really relevant to the discussion.
     
  8. satchef1

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009

    Posts: 3,400

    The current method for long-term storage and transportation of Hydrogen is to chill it to -250°C in a pressurised container. Hydrogen is then kept this way (as a liquid), in a large storage tank, at the fuel station. The liquid is routinely released in to a vaporiser tower where it warms (turning back in to a gas), is pressurised to 700 Bar, and then pushed in to a smaller gas storage tank at the pump.

    The whole process is fairly costly, and requires very expensive equipment, but too much Hydrogen is lost if stored as a gas long-term.

    There's also a significant problem with throughput. While it only takes 3-5 minutes to fill up a car, the number of cars that can be served per hour by one pump is very limited. The storage tank needs to repressurize regularly to maintain a pressure at, or near, 700 Bar. Current stations have a limit of around 180kg of Hydrogen per day, which is about 36 cars worth.

    With each "station" i.e. a single liquid storage tank, vapourizer tower, gas tank and pump, costing around £1.5m, the capital cost of installing the infrastructure for HFCVs remains eye-wateringly high.

    Then there's the fuel, which is currently no cheaper per-mile than petrol, despite being tax and duty free.

    And power, which should be a fairly significant drawback, to to the crowd in this forum at least. HFCVs are very sluggish to drive as it takes time to convert Hydrogen gas to electricity. Responsiveness is only improved through the use of a battery, or supercapacitors, to store electricity. Even then, the £60k Toyota Mirai can takes 10s to hit 60MPH, despite using a small battery.

    Many of these drawbacks aren't a major problem for busses and trains. They don't refuel often, and can practically do so at central locations, sharing a small number of pumps. Cost of fuel doesn't matter a huge amount as it is in-line with what they were using before (while it remains tax free, which it will until/unless it succeeds as an alternative fuel). But scale up to mass market car use, and there's some very obvious bottlenecks (without touching on large-scale hydrogen production, which is a whole other set of problems).
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  9. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,056

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Unless of course we start to run out of fossil fuels before the hydrogen tech gets there. That may become a slight issue timingwise ;)
     
  10. Terminal_Boy

    Soldato

    Joined: Apr 13, 2013

    Posts: 5,598

    Location: La France

    Unlikely as it’s only the low oil prices stopping new oil fields being developed.

    China’s got at least 200 years worth of coal I read somewhere the other day as well.
     
  11. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,056

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Lol, you going coal powered on your next car then? ;)

    I guess I should have put economically viable in my previous statement though.
     
  12. Firestar_3x

    Caporegime

    Joined: Mar 11, 2005

    Posts: 28,914

    Location: Leafy Cheshire

    Yep, loads of projects have been shelved over the past few years, if the oil price recovers and demand still remains they will go ahead.
     
  13. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 27,775

    battery storage is extremely expensive and not worth it unless you have lots of spare electricity. the batteries also degrade with time so it's a constant expense.

    they will be viable in around 10 years time when more people have invested in them and the proper r & d has been done
     
  14. Journey

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 4,867

    Location: West Midlands

    I guess the 10 year warranty you get with a Powerwall 2, guaranteeing that it will retain a minimum of 80% of it's original capacity of 13.5kWh with unlimited cycles during those 10 years is what you consider to be a constant expense? As for spare electricity, I'd say he has plenty of that given his 28 panel solar array with around a peak generating capacity of ~9kWh.
     
  15. Psycho Sonny

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 21, 2006

    Posts: 27,775

    argh tesla - those cost an absolute fortune.

    i don't see how they are worth it in the slightest. i'm talking about the cheaper solutions offered.

    there is no point spending £10K on a battery to save £20 a month for 10 years then shell out another £10K or face that £20 saving dropping to £10 and then degrade rapidly with age.
     
  16. Lakeland

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 1, 2005

    Posts: 4,940

    As far as I remember it’s been researched and developed since the 1800’s.

    Who decides what’s relevant to the discussion? What a strange comment.
     
  17. Firestar_3x

    Caporegime

    Joined: Mar 11, 2005

    Posts: 28,914

    Location: Leafy Cheshire

    For the storage capacity offered i thought the price was market leading per kWh?
     
  18. Journey

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 4,867

    Location: West Midlands

    I see you didn't do the mathematics behind it or know the actual cost of the product.

    Lets be inefficient, and assume a terrible input from the Pv system, and also that the cost of electricity remains constant for the next 10 years at 15pp kWh.

    6 hours per day, at a maximum of 3.5kWh, that is 21kWh of electricity being generated, getting it pushed back to the grid using current Feed-in-tarrif price of 3.79pp kWh is about 80p per day, or £290 per year.
    Now if you plug your car every night, and you've not stored any of that free energy you'll be paying 8-15p per kWh, so lets say you put in 20 kWh of electricity in to your car, that is £1.60 - £3.00 per day, but 13 kWh of that could have been supplied by the battery storage system, that is about £1.04 - £1.95 per day, or £379 - £711 per year. Obviously there will be times when you don't need to charge, but the spare charge can then be consumed by the house for normal electricity use, or fed back into the grid which you are then getting paid for, all the while the PV is still charging providing more charge to ensure it stays topped up.

    The cost of adding a Powerwall 2 is £5400 + £500, and then the installation charge which is £1100 (quoted late last year), so £8000 over all cost, or about £13,500 if you take two of the for a total of 27 kWh storage. Worst case scenario is that you only ever use the electricity at night for charging at off-peak rate and you recoup £3790, more likely is that the value of the saved electricity will be at the high end, which is a £7111 return, still short of your initial investment of £8k, but that doesn't include any extra charge pushed back to the grid which you are paid for at the feed in rate, as I stated earlier. These are all based on low PV generation, electricity costs never inflating (not happening) and if it were to go up just 2% per year for 10 years, that would be 18.3pp kWh, making your 13kWh of stored electricity worth £2.38 per day, or £868 per year, and again that's assuming you never feed back in with excess from the battery or PV when not being fully utilised.

    The obvious benefit is that you have been generating clean electricity for yourself for the past decade, and that your Powerwall isn't going to just drop dead on day one of year 11. I've not taken any battery loss into account as when not using the stored power at night, the home can be drawing from it as well as the PV system pushing more energy than it could store in the 6 hours previously mentioned, the average home with a family of 4 in a 3 bed house uses ~9 kWh of electricity per day, so 13+9 = 22kWh, and PV will be generating 21kWh of that.

    So yes, I agree with you completely not worth it to save £20 a month, but certainly worth it to have a completely uninterruptible power supply, that generates and stores clean electricity for use in your own home, or to charge your own car and not be reliant on electricity supplied by the grid, or indeed feed back to the grid when not in use. I was brought up to believe that it is better to give than take and if everyone did their bit things could be a lot better for the entire country.

    On another note, I bet you didn't know that you can actually send electricity back to the grid from your electric car? So you can happily charge your car on the cheap overnight, and if it's not in use that day you can configure it to feed back in to the grid, thus making a profit on the free or cheap electric you charged with even when you are not driving anywhere.
     
  19. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,394

    Location: Canada

    For cars it's only been in development for a few decades. If we want to start talking about it in other applications then it's worth considering the electric battery and electric motor has been around since the middle of the 18th century, so still a century ahead of Hydrogen.

    You can discuss development time all you want, I just don't think it's relevant. History is littered with "inventions"/technology that has languished for decades/centuries and suddenly got a new lease of life with a new discovery, new material or new process to help it work. Invention and development is not a linear process so time is not really a useful way of measuring worth/future usefulness.
     
  20. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,394

    Location: Canada

    Those limitations to tank/station size are associated with economics, not the technology. Same with the cost of both stations and fuel in general. The $1.5M, 180kg stations are pilot stations, built in small volume for a small number of cars to use. That's a very different situation to potential future costs and station size if development and rollout continues. Lets not confuse that

    Hydrogen, with the current thinking, is integral to the battery. The hydrogen is not meant to turn the wheels directly, but recharge the battery that drives the electric motors. Out of interest do you know the Mirai's acceleration is limited by hydrogen conversion or is it more to do with the power of the motors. Lets not forget that 10s isn't exactly uncommon in ICE vehicles, nor is a similar acceleration uncommon in a BEV. Tesla are not the norm in the acceleration stakes remember, and <6s acceleration is unlikely to be the norm when BEV's become mainstream.

    That said, I don't think hydrogen is the future for most vehicles and have similar opinions to you regarding use. It doesn't have many real practical benefits over a large battery (when prices drop) for the average vehicle. I do however think it may have benefits for some vehicles however, especially larger vehicles as you say and vehicles that require extreme range and/or more portable fueling (such as proper 4x4's, exploration (minerals for example), military and disaster response vehicles). Direct fuel cost is also less of an issue, as other costs will be folded in (such as extra drivers, stopping times, cost of opportunity and practicality).

    Only if we insist on using one future fuel. Even today we don't do that, so in future it's unlikely batteries will power every vehicle.

    And as for economically viable, it's pretty much a given now. Unconventionals have basically removed the issue of running out of fuel, and they're really not that expensive in the grand scheme of things. Tax and environmental issues will overwhelm hydrocarbons way before we get close to running out of economic (<$100 a barrel) oil.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019