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No new Petrol or Diesel Cars from 2030

#21
Is anyone here 'into' kit cars? They used to be all the rage with car enthusiasts some years ago. Is a kit electric car a viable project for an enthusiast nowadays? The 'off the shelf' ones are so very expensive.
I had friends a long way back who were into kit cars but were mostly brochure collectors not builders. I learned then that most kits rely on a "donor vehicle" which contributes running gear, suspension and instruments. I can't see that kit model working for electric.

It also relied on the fact that most cars had running gear that outlasted the bodywork by a long time, if you were after a donor Alfasud in the late seventies or early 1980s the scrap yards had loads with the bodywork disintegrating around the running gear... Engines could be refurbished without needing a diagnostic to reset a 100 and 1 codes wanting to limp you home...

However, the cycling fraternity have a lot of conversion going on, with addition of electric assist, so there could be some mileage in conversion of some chassis to electric, however, the hugely complicated and proprietary BSI & various ECUs models that the newest cars run on precludes this IMV.

The BMAA/LAA kit model for cars might work though - depends on how legislation and homologation close this door.

In the end, if every car was to become electric tomorrow, the global warming issue might be helped, but not if developing countries burn coal or lignite to charge electric cars, and the current levels of congestion will be same in the UK if every car on the road is a Tesla. Plus there'll be huge queues at charging points... but this is short term thing that will be fixed. Car use might change to be more local, with the railway doing more long distance, maybe that Beeching crap wasn't so good an idea...

Be interesting to see what happens if Tesla have backed the wrong horse and in 15 years we're hydrogen.

For very short journeys, I think we're heading into electric bikes, and the Chinese who only left the manual versions a couple of decades ago will be disappointed to be headed back there so soon...
 

Peter Twissell

Cross Country Pilot
#22
If you want any significant power from an EV, the battery voltage needs to be high. Typically in the 400V to 800V range.
With these high voltages comes the risk of electrocution, arc injuries and fire. To work with high voltage battery packs, I had to become qualified as a 'Hazardous Voltage Authorised Person'. That qualification allows me to check that a battery is disconnected and it is safe to work on other parts of the vehicle. I cannot work on the HV electrical parts.
I've seen some very questionable practises among amateur builders of cars and bikes. One can get away with a lot with a conventional powertrain, but an 800V battery doesn't give you any second chances.
Low voltage systems, typically 48V, present a lower risk of electric shock, but with lower voltage comes higher current, heavier inverters, motors and cables.
Unless your donor vehicle is a 1960s milk float, EV kit cars are not a practical proposition for the home builder.
 

BobH

Student Pilot
#23
The sad thing about all this is that when I was a Beaulieu the other week, there was an electric limousine there from the early 1900s, around 1903 or 4 I think, that took Lady somethingorother around her estate cruising at a sedate 20mph. That was nearly 120 years ago! With today's urban traffic speeds being around that figure it would make sense to build electric vehicles for urban use only, but then strap on a small ICE engine for longer distance journeys. Oh, but wait, haven't we got that already with self-charging hybrids? :)
 
#24
That's right BobH, the art is resolving the engineering challenges with the political (including economic) demands. They are often not particularly compatible, resulting in an outcome not optimal by either measure.

Which takes us back in a way to the 'Which is Better' question.
 

Vincent

Administrator
Staff member
#25
I have built 2 kit cars, and have a third in the garage that hasn't seen a spanner in a couple of years.

The first was an AK427 a cobra replica https://www.aksportscars.co.uk/ and a lotus 7 that I built from a book called Build Yourself a sports car for £250.00 and race it. The original donor was a ford escort in that book, but there have been others in a similar vain that use different donors. Typically these days, being a Mazda MX5 or similar.

My kit in the garage is a self build, based around the ariel atom, it got shelved when I got the cancer diagnosis, and haven't done anything with it in ages. The original donor for this machine was an MGF.

I did think about buying a written off nissan leaf to electrify it, but a lack of funds has seen paid to that.
 

Vincent

Administrator
Staff member
#26
I had friends a long way back who were into kit cars but were mostly brochure collectors not builders. I learned then that most kits rely on a "donor vehicle" which contributes running gear, suspension and instruments. I can't see that kit model working for electric.

In the end, if every car was to become electric tomorrow, the global warming issue might be helped, but not if developing countries burn coal or lignite to charge electric cars,
It is cheaper to generate electricity with renewables than to build coal fired power stations. Therefore developing countries will simply choose the cheapest option, renewables.

and the current levels of congestion will be same in the UK if every car on the road is a Tesla.
Not true. Once full self driving is realised, and it will be, it's just a matter of data. Then transport as a service will take many cars off of the road. Once you can get a robo taxi for 20p per mile, why would you bother owning an expensive car. It just makes owning a car pointless. At that point, it will be cheaper than getting the bus.

Plus there'll be huge queues at charging points...
I don't agree, most people will charge at home. They will leave for work every morning with a full battery, charging again at night. Only when you go on a long journey would you need to visit a rapid charger. My wife has a nissan leaf, and has had it for over a year. She has never visited a "rapid charger".

Be interesting to see what happens if Tesla have backed the wrong horse and in 15 years we're hydrogen.
If you listen to Elon on Hydrogen, he says the following, (and he is one of the smartest blokes on the planet IMHO) Hydrogen as a fuel source is DUMB. To get it from water is about 50% efficient, trying to "hold it" is incredibly difficult because it is so small, it leeches out of anything that you try to hold it in. If there is a leak, and it burns, it does so with an invisible flame. All in all, hydrogen is about as good as fossil fuels when you have factored everything in.
 

Mike Calvert

Moderator
Staff member
#27
If you listen to Elon on Hydrogen, he says the following, (and he is one of the smartest blokes on the planet IMHO) Hydrogen as a fuel source is DUMB. To get it from water is about 50% efficient, trying to "hold it" is incredibly difficult because it is so small, it leeches out of anything that you try to hold it in.
Hydrolox rockets managing it.....

Oh wait... that rocket science :ROFLMAO: You just need a positive pressure with safe gas to push keep the hydrogen away from the oxygen....
 
#28
It is cheaper to generate electricity with renewables than to build coal fired power stations. Therefore developing countries will simply choose the cheapest option, renewables.
That is true, but it has only just become the case, and China has only just stopped building coal fired power stations. And they are not going to close them all overnight... Pollution and global warming is, by definition, global... so the cheap batteries we buy from the far East are made in inefficient processes powered by coal fired power stations...

Not true. Once full self driving is realised, and it will be, it's just a matter of data. Then transport as a service will take many cars off of the road. Once you can get a robo taxi for 20p per mile, why would you bother owning an expensive car. It just makes owning a car pointless. At that point, it will be cheaper than getting the bus.
Unfortunately, congestion is not a case of car ownership. It's when too many cars want to use the same pieces of road. Data tells us that most people work weekdays. Data tells us there is a rush hour. Congestion is solved by working from home, cycling or using public transport. I work in London a lot of the time, and can't work from home. The congestion in Inner London, where I'd get charged with £24/day to access by car (£12.50 ULEZ, £11.50 congestion) is caused mostly by the ubiquitous Prius, as it does not pay either of these charges. The users of these cars are not the owners, they are all taxis, operating with with manual or AI driven apps. There's no ownership there, but still congestion...

At the point where a hired (self driving) taxi is cheaper than public transport, we grind to a halt, unless we use the Underground.

The congestion charge and the large number of electric vehicles to avoid the charges in London haven't improved congestion, it's worse at times as people avoid public transport in the current pandemic.

I don't agree, most people will charge at home. They will leave for work every morning with a full battery, charging again at night. Only when you go on a long journey would you need to visit a rapid charger. My wife has a nissan leaf, and has had it for over a year. She has never visited a "rapid charger".
She's fortunate that she doesn't have to make long journeys.

I'm freelance, and there is only one car journey to work and back where I'd get away without a charge. I have three early adopter friends, one binned his Leaf two years ago, and went to a hybrid, another has just sold his Leaf and gone to a cheap Euro 4 old petrol (such is avoiding ULEZ), both quit for range reasons, which gets worse as they age. The third has the latest and greatest, and is an excellent planner, and has done Canterbury to Newcastle without any hassle. Looked at the footy grounds where I work, not much charging. I would be mad not to wait for the charging to be in place.

If you listen to Elon on Hydrogen, he says the following, (and he is one of the smartest blokes on the planet IMHO) Hydrogen as a fuel source is DUMB. To get it from water is about 50% efficient, trying to "hold it" is incredibly difficult because it is so small, it leeches out of anything that you try to hold it in. If there is a leak, and it burns, it does so with an invisible flame. All in all, hydrogen is about as good as fossil fuels when you have factored everything in.
Elon is a smart guy, but he doesn't need to be smart to know to rubbish his competition. He has no incentive for hydrogen to work... on the contrary... Not sure how smart it it is to trash Tesla share prices by publicly having a toke or two, but we all make mistakes.

Hydrogen is incredibly light, very common, and burns to create water. When we burn petrol to generate electricity in a hybrid, we're dirty. Petrol is about 35% to 40% efficient...

For sure the problems will be solved, but maybe not how we think, in the meantime I salute the early adopters, but for the rest of us the big issue with any new car is outlay, so like the masses I'll be hanging onto what I've got until it croaks. 16 years on the current XJ900, and 21 years on the same model. Not sure how good an electric car will be secondhand, but if battery life problems are sorted, then it could work very well. I'm trying to work out how I'd rig a charger round here.
 

Peter Twissell

Cross Country Pilot
#29
The average UK domestic electricity consumption is 3700kwh / year.
An average electric car consumes 0.2 kwh / km. At average use of 12000km / year that is an annual consumption of 2400kwh / year.
If EVs are universally adopted, that represents approx. 65% increase in demand.
That's a lot of new infrastructure.
 

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