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By Chris Cock

Probus Club Costa del Sol

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Electric Vehicles & their Future

I’m going to talk about electric cars and where we are today and where we see the future. I will concentrate on cars and their benefits, although all forms of transport are seeing a seismic change.
	I have gathered information from the internet but this is a very fast moving subject and information just 5 years ago can be way out of date.  But one thing is very clear, there is an ‘avalanche effect’ happening in the motor industry towards electric vehicles that is universally accepted.
	I’ll begin with the state of play.
	There are three types of electric cars:-
Hybrid electric
Plug-in electric
Fully Electric
Hybrid Electric abbreviated HEV
	This type consists of an electric motor which provides the propulsion which is powered by an electric generator.  This is in turn is powered  from a Petrol engine and or battery.  The battery is charged from the Petrol engine or by regenerative energy from engine or wheel braking. The whole system is controlled automatically but does allow you to decide to power the electric motor directly from the Petrol engine.  This would be in Power mode.  The automatic mode is Eco or economy mode which would be the normal mode where the electrical energy to the motor is firstly from the battery  and then the Petrol engine steps in to boast power on hard acceleration.  The petrol engine always charges the batteries when their charge depletes to a certain level and is therefore constantly turning on and off automatically.  Most Hybrids have small batteries that mean they are regularly being charged-up from regenerative energy or the petrol engine. You can select battery only mode but this would only take you a very short distance as the batteries would quickly deplete.
	The Hybrid vehicle is therefore always powered by an Electric motor and the properties of an electric motor is that it has high torque ( power) at low speed and therefore it does not need gears.  Thus there is no gear box with resultant  efficiency and vehicle cost savings.  It is like driving a Super Automatic with very quiet smooth low speed acceleration.  You have a control lever to select forward or reverse drive.  There is, of course, no clutch.
	The Hybrid vehicle therefore has no range limitations other than normal fuel tank size and the need to refuel at a Petrol Station. A Hybrid vehicle will be heavily reliant on the petrol engine as the battery capacity ( Lithium-Iron) is quite small giving a battery range of just a few kilometres. Therefore economy is about the same as a good diesel engine, overall but outstrips the diesel on short around town trips and is far more environmentally acceptable in town. ( low emissions and particulates).
Plug-in Hybrid PHEV
	This is the same as the normal Hybrid configuration except there is provision for mains electricity charging of the batteries and battery size is much greater.  Thus the range is only limited by the petrol engine.  Electric only use, means the range would be limited to short local town and urban driving typically  10-20 km.
	The plug-in Hybrid can be re-charged at home or at a public charge point.  In the UK there are many charging points being installed in on-street parking bays and car parks as well as an increasing number of motorway service stations.  This is starting to happen in Spain. ( Fuengirola  Plaza de la Constitution car park) has a charging point installed. However the plug-in Hybrid would normally use the combustion engine charging for long distance driving, operating like the normal Hybrid in a charge sustaining mode.  
Battery Electric Vehicle BEV
This type of vehicle is All Electric.  There is no combustion engine and therefore it is much simpler to manufacture but requires considerably larger batteries ( still many lithium- Iron).
Therefore this vehicle is low emission, the goal of World wide governments in meeting their Co2 targets.
What are the Pros and Cons
	Hybrid Electric cars are the first step to the ‘ All Electric Vehicle’ goal. They have the advantage that any lack of infrastructure for re-charging of Electric Vehicles does not prevent their introduction and they are well established through-out Europe.  Due to subsidies the costs are similar to petrol/Diesel engine cars. Running costs are far better than petrol and about the same as diesel although better around town.
	Plug-in Hybrid cars are more expensive to buy due to the higher battery capacity costs.  The economy is also doubtful due to the high cost of public charging.  Electricity costs from home charging is considerably cheaper ( especially using low cost night tariffs where available).  Thus the owner benefits are variable but they can be run entirely on low emission electric in cities where combustion engine vehicles are likely to be banned in the near future.  And they will encourage the installation of charging infrastructure.  An essential step to All Electric Vehicles.
	Battery Electric Vehicles they have one main advantage and that is they are truly low emission.  Practically zero Co2 and other pollutions at the point of use and able to use renewable  and other clean environment energy sources for generation of electricity at the Power Plant.  The big challenge is battery performance and cost.
With advances in battery technology, increasing re-charge ability and storage capacities as well as longevity and the economy of scale, battery costs have plummeted in the last 15 years.  
What of the Future?
	The one certainty is that the world market for Electric vehicles is on an ever increasing cycle not least because nations all over the world are stating the demise of combustion engine vehicles  under their Co2 commitments.
 The UK have set a target of 2035, after which no new vehicles will be allowed to be sold with combustion engines and even Hybrids will be excluded. 
 The draft law does not set specific end dates for non-renewable power generation. However it does propose to push Europe’s second-largest car manufacturing industry to abandon diesel and petrol in favour of electricity in the next two decades – joining only a handful of other EU countries.
It aims to eliminate direct CO2 emissions from cars and light-duty trucks by 2050. The registration and sale of vehicles that emit carbon would be banned from 2040, and municipalities of more than 50,000 people would be required to create low-emission zones by 2023.
07/08/2018 · Ban on diesel in city by 2025. Ban on all internal combustion vehicles by 2030. Paris pledged to ban diesel engines by 2025, and phase out all combustion-engine cars by 2030.
	It is arguable that at present the cost of Electric cars maybe higher than combustion engine vehicles even with subsidies.  And battery replacement is a high cost  ( small Hybrid €1400 to All Electric around €8-12,000 depending on range) Although you can expect a life of 10 years or more.
	Battery costs are expected to reduce by 35% in the next 5 years, mainly due to economy of scale and gradually Petrol and Diesel will be increasingly more expensive as measures come, in preparation of the all out ban.
Are there other alternatives?
	Not that are viable in the foreseeable future and that is why Governments are investing huge sums on electric infrastructure.
Electric Cars Range testing– Quoted by a UK Motoring Magazine
Driving at 60-65mph on the motorway might maximise your range, but sometimes you want to feel that you’re making progress. The e-Golf can certainly cope with driving at more usual motorways speeds – but if you do opt to drive at a ‘normal’ motorway speed, the range does fall pretty quickly (you’ll be going at below four miles per kilowatt/hour) and you can expect to get somewhere in the region of 80 miles before the warning light comes on, telling you that comfort functions are restricted.
The e-Golf uses a different charger than the Leaf: instead of the Nissan’s CHAdeMO charger, the e-Golf has a Type 2 charger that uses AC power. In most regular fast 7kW chargers (which aren’t that fast) that means it takes about five hours for a full charge. There are also 43kW rapid chargers on the motorway, but the e-Golf can’t take advantage of those and still only charge at 7kW. This is something that you’ll only discover in the small print, which could catch you out if you turn up at one of Ecotricity’s Electric Highway chargers at a motorway service station. Instead of an 80% charge in 45 minutes, you’ll receive less than 20%.
In order to get an 80% charge in 45 minutes or so, the e-Golf needs a 50kW DC CCS (Combined Charging System) rapid charger. Ecotricity offers these, as do other public charging suppliers such as Polar, Instavolt and Charge Your Car.
For day-to-day off-street charging on the Source London network, those with a membership (which costs £4 a month) will pay 29.1p per kWh, with a full charge for the e-Golf costing in the region of £10 and taking around five hours.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Official range 279 miles Test range 250 miles Charge time (fast charger) 80% in 45 mins Test cost 7.5p per mile
We’ve also driven the new Hyundai Kona electric a couple of times, with one longer run undertaken as part of a challenge that the carmaker set motoring journalists. Set with the task of reaching a choice of various checkpoints around the country, at which we could earn additional points, before heading back after 14 hours to our original starting point and earning more points for the amount of range we had left, the Kona performed incredibly well.
Hyundai says that the official range is 279 miles and the early hours of our drive, without being overly careful about our range, we were on course to get close to that. Speeding up on motorways reduced the range at a faster rate (between 4.3 and 4.6 kW/h), but it was still an impressive range that should eliminate range anxiety among owners: 250 miles should be attainable reasonably easily and many journeys that are impossible in a Leaf or e-Golf without stopping to recharge will be possible.
On the Kona drive we charged twice (Ecotricity and Charge Your Car), taking on a total of 72.8kWh, which cost £20.11. The Kona variant we drove has a 64kWh battery, which is larger than the Leaf’s 40kWh and the e-Golf’s 35.8kWh – and which accounts for its greater range. But as a larger battery, it will take longer to charge and cost more: but it will get you further. When a new generation of 150kW chargers starts taking root in the next few years – at BP filling stations, for example – charging times will start to come down considerably (but costs might not: they will be expensive to build, so the driver will have to pay more for the quicker service).
It’s also worth noting that for those electric vehicle owners with off-street parking, who can install a charging unit in their garage or drive at home, the cost of charging can work out to be considerably cheaper. Other journalists testing the e-Golf at the same time as us, who have home chargers are spending anywhere between a quarter and a half of the cost of public chargers: one quoted 7.2p per kWh at night or 15.7 per kWh during the day. It's an inexact science – there will be variations in electricity tariffs, for example – but it does demonstrate that running an EV off a domestic supply will work out a lot cheaper than having to rely on public infrastructure.
However, EV drivers charge, the costs are considerably lower than filling up with petrol or diesel. And when all EVs have Kona-like ranges, and there’s no anxiety required, drivers are going to find their motoring lives not only cleaner, but also considerably cheaper.    
Electric car range: cars with the longest range
Electric cars have two distinct official ways of measuring how far they will go on a single charge.
The new test that is now used to determine a car’s range is called WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Testing Procedure). It’s more representative than the old test, called NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) which is still quoted by some car makers, like Tesla.
Below, we state whether the car’s quoted range is NEDC or WLTP. We also quote each car’s real-world range. This figure is drawn from our own experience, reviews by our sister publication AutoExpress and other reputable sources.
Note: Fast charging requires a lot of power. For a modest 40 kw hr battery capacity a twenty minute recharge would require a 120 kw supply.  The average home has a supply capacity of  15 kws and the infra structure allows a mere average load of less than 4kws per household.  E.g. Transformers and cabling in the street. Home charging therefore will always need to be a long process; overnight etc.

 Hyundai Kona Electric