Is the EV really carbon neutral?

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upload_2022-4-5_22-4-41.png We hope scenes like this are rare, and clearly even petrol and diesel cars can also go on fire.

But we as electric users have no control of how electric power is made.

New research analysing car fires in the United States has found that electric cars are dramatically less likely to catch fire than other vehicles, while hybrid vehicles are surprisingly much more likely, even compared to ICE vehicles.
Having watched American films I know American cars burst into flames at the slightest bang, the Ford Pinto was well known for it.

However production stopped in 1980, so one would hope today cars are better made, however air getting into a battery can result in fire, and an accident can very easy cause the battery to be damaged.

The battery is well protected, but this means the car is heavier, so I can do the 16 mile to local town and back with a 12 Ah 48 volt battery on my e-bike, so a car designed to carry 5 and at least twice as fast, looking at least 10 times that. So 360 watt/hour is reasonable.

So taking the Renault Kango long wheel base electric van as an example, 110 mile range, and 22 kWh pack, so 22/110 = 200 watt/hour so seems they are doing very well, in real world around 80 - 90 miles range so 275/watt hour per mile, which all in all is not bad.

For a van having a 80 mile range does seem a little limiting, and at 3.5 kW charging clearly the originals until 2018 needed over night charging, newer models do have 7 kW charging but not DC option, so may be very good as a second van, but one would need a second form of transport for the longer trips.

I picket the Kango as wanted a utility vehicle not a sports car, and I used a kango van converted into an disable vehicle (Gowing) petrol for some years, not good mile per gallon around 40 - 50, could not find a second hand one as diesel as most started life as a issue from Government who would not pay the extra for diesel version.

Why Renault not a clue, as not what I would call reliable.

Data obtained by Air Quality News through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request revealed that in 2019 the London Fire Brigade dealt with just 54 electric vehicle fires compared to 1,898 petrol and diesel fires.

Similarly, so far in 2020, the fire services have dealt with 1,021 petrol and diesel fires and just 27 electric vehicle fires.

During an electric vehicle fire, over 100 organic chemicals are generated, including some incredibly toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide – both of which are fatal to humans.

For the fire brigade, the real problem when it comes to an EV fire is with trying to put it out.

The services have two main options, let the fire burn out or extinguish it.

The obvious choice seems to be to extinguish the fire, however many EV manufacturers actually advise for a controlled burn. This is where the fire services allow the vehicle to burn out while they focus on protecting the surrounding area.

Once the fire has been successfully put out, the problem for the fire brigade is not over.

Electric vehicle fires are known to reignite hours, days or even weeks after the initial event, and they can do so many times.

Not only does this pose a safety issue, but it also poses a legal issue: recovery firms are increasingly concerned about dealing with electric vehicles.

It seems there is a big question as to how safe EV's are. Plus the infrastructure required, both at home and away.

It is all well and good saying you can charge at 22 kW so a 22 kW/h pack would be recharged in an hour, less with a DC charging point, but at 3.5 kW it takes over 6 hours, and we have seen people fined for leaving there vehicle on charge in a supermarket over the 90 minutes allowed.

As to recycling rechargeable lithium-ion batteries there is not as yet even the ability to do phone batteries. I have just binned my smart watch when the battery forced the back off the watch, and warped the watch, lucky not too expensive.

The first lithium-ion battery was invented in the 1990s and it was used to power a car in the early 2000s.
So only been using them for 22 years, and the Renault Kango came out 2011, and so there are very few vehicles more than 10 years old.

OK 1982 the Bedford CF electric came out, it was the first mass-produced electrically powered vehicle based on a fossil fuel vehicle platform. It was built in partnership between Bedford, Lucas, Chloride Group and the UK government on a 5-year grant scheme. But by 1987 the scheme was wound down, so just 5 years we had electric vans.

It seems daft now to make a van so big with a 40 kW motor, 45 amp input to charger and 30 amp out to a 216 volt battery. Range 120 miles so actually better than Renault Kango.

However this vehicle had 36 x 6 volt lead acid batteries that did not burst into flames. Has there really been an advance?
 
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If we all switched to EV's, it's predicted that the UK's carbon emissions will reduce by 12%. I think EV's reduce petrol and diesel emissions by 17% to 20%. Not much to be honest compared to the hassle that EV's bring.
 
Is the EV really carbon neutral?
No. Did anyone ever claim they were?

But we as electric users have no control of how electric power is made.
Not true, you can install solar panels on your home or business.
Some energy suppliers do not buy electricity from gas generation, so what you pay them supports other forms of generation.

American films I know American cars burst into flames at the slightest bang,
Films are not real life. Cars generally do not burst into flames after collisions, driving off a mountain or anything else.

I can do the 16 mile to local town and back with a 12 Ah 48 volt battery on my e-bike
That is exactly what you and others should be doing.
Using any car for short local journeys is something which must end.
Fewer cars and using them less is part of the solution, not just replacing existing cars with other types.

For a van having a 80 mile range does seem a little limiting
Depends entirely on the use of that van.
For someone who drives 50 miles a day, or drives 50 miles to a different place which has charging facilities it's not limiting at all.

a second form of transport for the longer trips
It's called renting a car, van or whatever else for the weekend or whenever it's needed.
Owning a massive car just to tow a caravan twice a year is not valid.
Neither is owning a 7 seater car just because someone might need to carry a larger number of passengers once a month.

we have seen people fined for leaving there vehicle on charge in a supermarket over the 90 minutes allowed.
If people are unable to observe local parking regulations, they can expect to be fined.
Whether their vehicle is electric or not changes nothing.
The point of supermarket car park charging is that you charge your vehicle while using the supermarket. Not that you park there for hours until your car is fully charged.
The same applies to any other car park.
It is not necessary or desirable to fully charge an EV battery every time it's parked at a charging facility.

As to recycling rechargeable lithium-ion batteries there is not as yet even the ability to do phone batteries.
https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=phone+battery+recycling
 
If we all switched to EV's, it's predicted that the UK's carbon emissions will reduce by 12%
Transport creates about 25% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions, so that figure may be correct depending on exactly what it refers to.

I think EV's reduce petrol and diesel emissions by 17% to 20%.
EVs do not use any petrol or diesel.

the hassle that EV's bring.
What hassle is that?
 
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What hassle is that?
Watching that today, there are four common charging rates, around 2.2 kW designed to use a 13 amp socket, 3.5 kW designed for 16 amp socket, many of the early cars could not charge any faster, then the 7 kW or 32 amp more common today, and the 22 kW three phase many cars can only draw 7 kW even when charge point is 22 kW in fact some limited to 3.5 kW even with a 7 kW or 22 kW charge point, and the very fast DC charging points.

Poor guy today had tried charging at supermarket with a 7 kW charge point and failed, and came to where I work to charge it using the 22 kW charge point, however the charge point can deliver 22 kW but the car could only take 7 kW, so he was in for a long wait.

He had seen
And you can get up to an 80% charge in just 30 minutes**.
**You can obtain 15-80% of the vehicle charge in 30 minutes from a 100kW rapid charging station. The vehicle will rapid charge at a rate of up to 100kW, depending on the power of the rapid charging station used and will take longer to charge at a lower power. Rapid charging stations are available across the UK at various locations and their power rating varies, typically from 50kW and sometimes up to 350kW. For further information on public charging stations across the UK, please visit here.
seems he missed that bit, a 50 kWH lithium-ion battery at 22 kW has to take 2 hours 20 minutes to charge, and at 7 kW nearly 7 hours to change, at 2.2 kW nearly 23 hours, it is simple maths, but is seems people missed doing maths at school.

The public is demanding more range, 110 miles was rather low for the first Renault Kango, but it is not the 110 mile limit it is the amount the manufacturers have over stated the range. With a petrol car the manufacturer may say 60 MPH, and we all know that is never going to happen, in real life looking at 50 MPH, so yes we expect a car with 110 mile range to maybe only have a 90 mile range. This
review of the Renault Kango is rather an eye opener. It seems 80 - 90 mile range, if you don't use the cab heater with heater on 25% drop in range. So drops to 65 mile range in winter.

We have got use to having a heater in a car, early vehicles had a resistive heater, latter ones have heat pumps, (15% drop in range) only plus is it can be set to pre-warm car so at least starting warm.

As the sales increases so the number of people using the charge points is increasing, the two charge points at work we rarely saw used when first installed, but now being used far more, and with vehicles not using the 22 kW offered, they are sitting there at the charge point for longer so others can't use the point.

Queuing up at petrol or diesel pumps may add 10 minutes to refuelling time, at the electric charge points looking at hours.

At 33 kW the Kango now changes at 7 kW, but still takes 6 hours.
 
The problems you are describing are due to driver behaviour, and lack of information about how to actually use electric vehicles.
The whole idea of someone driving to an AC charge location just to charge their car, and then waiting around until it's charged is 100% wrong.

EVs are not 'drive till empty and then go to a special filling up place'.
They are charged wherever parked. Such as drive to a supermarket to do shopping, and it's plugged in for the half an hour / hour or however long it takes to do the shopping.
That may only add 10 or 20 miles of range - so what. Unlikely someone drove further than that to get to the supermarket.

Same applies to any other place that people were going to anyway. If they are parked for a longer time, more range is added. Less time, less range added.
All that's required is enough range to get to the next place the vehicle will be taken to.

More charging locations are definitely needed, eventually most parking places will have them. They should all be AC charging at whatever rate happens to be provided, anything from 2kW to 22kW.

DC rapid charging is only of use in locations where it's necessary to add a substantial amount of range in a short time. Motorway services being the main example of that.

review of the Renault Kango is rather an eye opener.
The Kangoo is a pile of junk. Much better vehicles are available.
 
The way EV charging seems to be going is 7KW single phase AC for home/destination charging and then rapid DC for charging on the go. 22KW 3 phase AC charging seems to have become a bit of a niche option which only a small proportion of vehicles support.

Your workplace seems to be experiencing the downsides of early adoption.
 
EVs do not use any petrol or diesel.
A diesel/petrol car creates x amount of carbon, from manufacturing to running and maintaining it, to it's disposal. To manufacture an EV, to running and maintaining it, to to it's disposal, the overall carbon footprint is only 17% to 30% less than the diesel/petrol version.

The hassle of an EV is charging when you can't charge at home and not being able to tow 3.5 tonnes. Oh, and the price.
 
That is exactly what you and others should be doing.
Using any car for short local journeys is something which must end.
Fewer cars and using them less is part of the solution, not just replacing existing cars with other types.

That is exactly right! There are far too many people making completely unnecessary use of their cars, bad for the planet and bad for health. People should be thinking can they walk it, or even use public transport, instead of driving. If they made the supermarket isles wider and allowed it, then I'm sure many would drive through with their cars to save their legs. Some people are incredibly lazy, they will take extreme measures to minimise the distance they need to walk, no matter how much they inconvenience other people. Cars parked blocking footpaths, because they are too lazy to park properly where there is room, but that would involve them walking a few extra yards.

I keep my car in it's garage and behind closed drive gates, getting it out on the road, plus the parking when I get there is a good disincentive to avoiding it's use and to make me walk or use public transport.
 
If people are unable to observe local parking regulations, they can expect to be fined.
Whether their vehicle is electric or not changes nothing.
The point of supermarket car park charging is that you charge your vehicle while using the supermarket. Not that you park there for hours until your car is fully charged.
The same applies to any other car park.
It is not necessary or desirable to fully charge an EV battery every time it's parked at a charging facility.

For 6 months, don't charge from home and you can't park on your drive. Let everyone know how you get on.

Not true, you can install solar panels on your home or business.
Some energy suppliers do not buy electricity from gas generation, so what you pay them supports other forms of generation.

I shall pop down to the end of the garden and pick some notes off the money tree. In the current economic times, solar panels will not to on many family's budgets.

Neighbour had a solar panel survey done on his house, over the lifetime of the panels, it'll actually cost him due to orientation of house etc..

Depends entirely on the use of that van.
For someone who drives 50 miles a day, or drives 50 miles to a different place which has charging facilities it's not limiting at all.

I often drive over 90 miles a day and on many occasion, towing 3.5t. I have to park on the opposite of the road and the nearest charge point is a supermarket 4 miles away. Diesel for me.
 
I'm a huge fan of Diesel.

But if you bought a new one today, how would you get on in the future?

Tax and Diesel prices would be astronomical.
 
If I want to go to doctors, bike or walk, if I want to go to local town now Colvid is over bus or train, even as far as Shrewsbury I have used bus. When I want to go to Cornwell however to use bus or train takes too long, looking at days not hours, so for the longer trips there is no real option but use my car.

The car is also used to transport things, be it a bike or a Ikea unit, today do tend to get more delivered, but waste also a problem, nearest skip site 8 miles away, not walking 8 miles with wheel barrow, general shopping OK if all from one shop, but if you want to shop around, it means using a car to get the stuff home, I may walk down the cut tow path between shops, but 8 mile with all the shopping the bus and train does not work, and although the train will take my bike, charged as a dog, the bus will not, and want a secure place to leave bike, so train OK, but only because I volunteer there and can put bike in one of the buildings, no place at bus stop to store bike, it is coming, I noted Mold bus station had bike stores, but not Mid Wales yet.

So as it stands electric car is useless for me, and when I do move, likely will not be able to afford new, so looking at the older systems, it seemed so good to have an electric car always fully charged at bottom of garden, but want to reduce number of cars, so want one which can do all, and electric as yet will not do that. I want to be able as with last holiday to set out at 2 am and drive down to Cornwell without filling up enroute. Stopping off for toilets in a motorway services maybe, but looking at ½ hour not 10 hours to recharge.
 
Interesting radio programme on R4 today. Called "Sliced Bread".
The programme goes about examining if the latest ad-hyped products and trends really are 'the best thing since sliced bread

In today's prog, they look at actual cost of owning and running a small (Vauxhall Corsa) car.
Petrol versus the EV version.
They go into all aspects including cost of ownership, running, carbon load (including manufacturing carbon issues) and how many miles you would need to drive to reach break even to justify the extra cost of an EV .
This also changes if you actually need to buy a new vehicle because your old one has died, or if you think a new one is a good idea because you get a new number plate.

It's an interesting listen. Find it on BBC Sounds, and here on the WonderWeb
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00162yr
 
A big big question with EVs is how much are you paying for the electricity. Even discounting the fact that some chargers are free to use, prices paid for EV charging can vary from about 5p/KWh for people who locked into a good EV-specific electricty deal to as high as 69p/kWh at some public rapid chargers.

Yes petrol prices vary but nowhere near as much as EV charging prices do.
 
So 80,000 miles or 11 years for a replacement car money wise.
Or 37,000 miles carbon foot print wise.
Thank you @Taylortwocities clearly not some thing I should be doing, at 70 I am unlikely to travel 37,000 miles by road in the rest of my life.

The double carbon foot print for the new car does not help of course, and it compared to petrol not diesel, through the life of the motor vehicle many things have changed, they do now last longer, but are also much heavier, a Mini was 580–686 kg, compared with 1760 kg for an electric Mini, this will mean more tyre wear and road wear, if we could make cars lighter this would clearly reduce running costs.

It seems there have been experiments using steam, basic idea is the waste heat from an internal combustion engine generates steam, which is then used. Seems the grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell holds the speed record for a steam car on 26 August 2009 at 148.308 mph not as fast as the JCB Max by a long way, (350 mph with diesel engines) but there are other options as well as electric and the big push for electric is in many ways stopping the research into other methods.

I personally feel all our railways should be electric, and we should have an integrated transport system so there is no need for a car for long runs, which is the reverse to as it is at the moment, I can catch a bus or train for an 8 mile run, but for a 80 mile run we run out of time to do within a day.

First bus out to Welshpool arriving in Welshpool 10:27 and last return from Welshpool 14:55 this rather limits how far one can go on public transport in a day. Now when I lived in North Wales first bus to Chester arrived around 8 am and last back left around 10 pm so public transport was usable. I know I have gone to London and back in the day using public transport, but not possible in mid Wales can't even get to Local hospital and back in a day.

So for me the car has to do any trip over 10 miles. But in the main only do 50 miles max, to North Wales. But has to be able to do the 250 mile run, so most electric cars are non starters.
 

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