Electric Bikes (and cars)

Talk about anything bike related.
Post Reply
Occams Razor
NWAA Supporter
NWAA Supporter
Reactions:
Posts: 310
Joined: 30 Mar 2015, 13:09
Location: Mordor
Electric Bikes (and cars)

Post by Occams Razor » 24 Jan 2018, 13:33

Just been in a long boring meeting and, as you do my mind switched off and I started musing about the impending end of the ICE and conversion to electricity.
I'm forseeing a few problems, some of which may have been already foreseen and a solution may be in place.

1. We have the capacity to service domestic and industrial supply at the moment, the change to electric vehicles will happen over a relatively short period, where will the extra supply capacity come from? I'm aware of plans for increased capacity but nothing that will cope with the extra demand I'd anticipate.

2. The change is ostensibly for environmental reasons, out of all the impact assessments I've seen, nothing clearly seems to say we'll be any better off. Power supply is one thing but the effective scrapping of most of the current road vehicles and remanufacture of a whole world's worth of new ones is surely going to outweigh most, if not all of the benefits to the environment.

3. Are we jumping the gun with the time frame, battery technology is obviously improving at a great rate but it's nowhere near what it needs to be to run a car or bike as we do now.

4. Are we facing an ecological disaster in the future? How are the batteries from the next generation ov vehicles going to be recycled or disposed of?

Sad to say but it makes sense for driverless tech to be implemented at the same time so will motorbikes be redundant? Is the idea of a drive or ride just for pleasure going to be a thing of the past?

User avatar
Clarkey
VIP
Reactions:
Posts: 662
Joined: 30 Mar 2015, 16:14
Re: Electric Bikes (and cars)

Post by Clarkey » 24 Jan 2018, 16:43

I'll start off by saying that I clearly don't have all the answers, and to be fair the entire solution hasn't been developed yet, but it's something I've looked in to over time and am quite interested in...

I'll also say this is a long post as I'm bored on the train and have my keyboard with me... It's good to discuss this stuff as the change is certainly coming, and a lot of your questions are posed by most people so lets try and address them, but again i don't have all the answers and don't work in the industry so my knowledge may not be up to date (or i may have just misunderstood what I've read)...
Occams Razor wrote:Just been in a long boring meeting and, as you do my mind switched off and I started musing about the impending end of the ICE and conversion to electricity.
I'm forseeing a few problems, some of which may have been already foreseen and a solution may be in place.

1. We have the capacity to service domestic and industrial supply at the moment, the change to electric vehicles will happen over a relatively short period, where will the extra supply capacity come from? I'm aware of plans for increased capacity but nothing that will cope with the extra demand I'd anticipate.
This is a fair point and one which is being looked at and heavily invested in. I think the time of the day that most people charge will be a key element of this to ensure limited peaks in demand, and there will be incentives to charge at certain times to avoid strain on the grid. There is a trial going on in the midlands/down south where owners of ev's have a special charger fitted that only allows the vehicle to charge at certain times, and the trial is trying to ensure the vehicles have the right levels of charge at the right times.

Interestingly they're also looking at V2G, (Vehicle 2 Grid), where all electric vehicles connected plugged in can not only draw from the grid, but also feed back at times of peak demand. This should help level peak demand, and also ensure that green energy can be relied upon a little more by using the network of EV's as grid storage to a degree
Occams Razor wrote:2. The change is ostensibly for environmental reasons, out of all the impact assessments I've seen, nothing clearly seems to say we'll be any better off. Power supply is one thing but the effective scrapping of most of the current road vehicles and remanufacture of a whole world's worth of new ones is surely going to outweigh most, if not all of the benefits to the environment.
I think there has been a lot of news which has exaggerated points both for and against EVs, as there is a lot of money involved either way. I'd like to say fairly confidently however that there is no plan to scrap all vehicles to replace with EV just like that, in the same way that all vehicles aren't scrapped everytime there are new emission regulations - things will happen over time, and people will buy an EV when they would have ordinarily bought another ICE cars. It won't be quite that simple of course as there will be incentives which push them forward, but just saying we'll have to scrap perfectly working ice cars to replace with EV's isn't the reality, or at least not one i've seen anywhere

Also, the EV industry as a whole has made it quite clear that if we replace each ICE car with an EV on a one to one basis then although it has solved some things, it hasn't solved the problem. Cars sit unused for over 90% of their lives - either sat outside whilst you're at home, or in the car park whilst your at work etc - it's almost stupid that we all have our own, but it's what we've got accustomed to. I think some people will want their own, but once autonomy comes in you could just order one on your phone, the network of cars would send an available one, and when it's dropped you off it could go to it's next job... as it's autonomous there is no driver cost (i accept there's the labour issue - but that's the case in many industries), and as it's EV the per milage cost for fuel is much less too, so it shouldn't be compared to the cost of a taxi, and may end up cheaper for a lot of journeys, and you don't have to worry about parking etc. again - there will be use cases against this, but it will suit a lot of people a lot of the time, and I think is a brilliant idea... it'll also open up independance for the elderly and disabled who are unable to drive, and potentially for young adults too
Occams Razor wrote: 3. Are we jumping the gun with the time frame, battery technology is obviously improving at a great rate but it's nowhere near what it needs to be to run a car or bike as we do now.
In short no, I don't think so. We've got mobile phones to thank for that - battery technology has been invested in very heavily since mobile phones and portable computing have been in demand, and without that the EV revolution wouldn't have started, or at least not gained the traction is has. It has still got a long way to go before you can pick up a car for a few grand that will take you from Edinburgh to London in a reasonable time without having to stop more than would be reasonable for charge, but at the same time that isn't the use case of 99.9% of journeys. Most journeys are short - for me personally I might drive to town which is 10 miles away, or work which is less... even a few of those trips are well within the spec of most fairly reasonably priced* cars - we don't need to charge when we're out and about as a range of 100 miles is more than enough, and we can just charge at home at night at a relatively low cost. There are however charging stations on most motorway services at a reasonable cost (equivalent to ICE fuel costs on a per mile basis) which can give 80% charge to current generation vehicles in under 30 minutes - which is time you need for a pee and grab a coffee... not a problem. There are also plenty of public charging units either avilable or under development - for example shell are planning to have one in each of their fuel stations... it needs development, but i think they're doing ok.
*I say reasonably priced as if you compare a Nissan Leaf to a Ford Focus they are more expensive to buy, but when you take into account the lower fuel costs (3p a mile compared to 12 - 13?), lower servicing and tax costs, the overall cost is more comparable than you might think... but as above the second hand market for cheaper cars is not there yet for sure as it's still in relative infancy, but it'll come as they're adopted more
Occams Razor wrote:4. Are we facing an ecological disaster in the future? How are the batteries from the next generation ov vehicles going to be recycled or disposed of?
When fuel is burnt it's gone. When a battery has been depleted below useful capacity (i.e. it'll only take 70% of it's original charge or whatever the owner decides is no longer useful) it can either be repurposed as home storage (again, could use locally generated green electricity, or be used as a disbursed grid storage system) as it'll still store a decent amount of energy even once it's beyond what is useful in a car... and than once they're no longer good for that they can be recycled and made into new batteries. I'm sure there won't be a situation where there's zero waste, and of course the original materials need careful consideration of how they're mined and processed etc, but it's a step in the right direction compared to using a finate fuel source which we KNOW is ecologically damaging and as is being proven is only going to get more expensive as the 'easier' reserves dry up and the costs of extracting the remaining (which is still finite) gets higher
Occams Razor wrote:Sad to say but it makes sense for driverless tech to be implemented at the same time so will motorbikes be redundant? Is the idea of a drive or ride just for pleasure going to be a thing of the past?
I agree that driverless tech makes sense - especially as they can control the speed of the electric motor so instantly compared to an ICE engine. your second point is interesting... I'm not sure if there will be a place for bikes on the road in the very distant future, but surely that was always going to be the case because eventually we'll all be flying around anyway?? I have seen a lot of comments on twitter that autonomous vehicles will not be any good and will kill bike riders and that is frustrating. it has to be said that autonomous vehicles won't be entirely infallible... sometimes accidents occur when a situation arises through third party changes which couldn't be predicted and physical limits prevent avoidance, but we have all seen the standard of driving and they will overall be an improvement on 'humans' driving. of course that will be nil comfort to whoever it is who gets hit, but if they reduce accidents by 10%... 50%... 90%? A computer can monitor every sensor it has available to it hundreds of times a second without distraction... we can't...

One thing I do think is that once autonomous vehicles come about i don't neccessarily think it will be a legislative change that stops people driving, I think it'll be a cost. If you can have an autonomous vehicle which uses a system which crashes once every 2000000 miles (for example), vs a Human driver who statistically is likely to crash more often than that, the insurance costs will be prohibitively expensive. To that end, I have a feeling that any kid born around now on won't drive, as when they get to 17 it will be cheaper to get them an autonomous car than pay for their first year of insurance... it's already in the thousands, and by that time it'll be higher and there will be cheaper autonomous cars, and I've gotta admit if you're a parent who knew the autonomous car would be cheaper and safer, what would you get?

It's a good topic for discussion, like i say I've read into it tonnes and am very interested in what happens. It won't all be positive, but on the whole I'm convinced it will be, and as I said above EV's are energy agnostic so you can buy one and plug into the grid and pay whatever it costs, or produce your own power at home (solar panels etc have all drastically reduced in price over the past 10 years) and potentially run it cheaper

Live Forever or Die Trying


Occams Razor
NWAA Supporter
NWAA Supporter
Reactions:
Posts: 310
Joined: 30 Mar 2015, 13:09
Location: Mordor
Re: Electric Bikes (and cars)

Post by Occams Razor » 25 Jan 2018, 10:13

I was hoping you'd reply, my knowledge of this is quite superficial so thanks for the comprehensive reply.

My point re. the transition to electric vehicles wasn't very well made, I realise that there'll be a transitional period but I think there'll be an unprecedented rise in vehicle manufacturing for a relatively short period, my concern is, are the environmental costs of manufacturing millions of new vehicles going to benefit us in the long run. I still think this is a sticking plaster solution to diminishing resources and an overpopulated planet.

Off to watch my Utopia DVD's now.

User avatar
Clarkey
VIP
Reactions:
Posts: 662
Joined: 30 Mar 2015, 16:14
Re: Electric Bikes (and cars)

Post by Clarkey » 25 Jan 2018, 10:23

Occams Razor wrote:I was hoping you'd reply, my knowledge of this is quite superficial so thanks for the comprehensive reply.

My point re. the transition to electric vehicles wasn't very well made, I realise that there'll be a transitional period but I think there'll be an unprecedented rise in vehicle manufacturing for a relatively short period, my concern is, are the environmental costs of manufacturing millions of new vehicles going to benefit us in the long run. I still think this is a sticking plaster solution to diminishing resources and an overpopulated planet.

Off to watch my Utopia DVD's now.
No worries at all. I can't answer other than to say that even with incentives people won't be able to afford more cars generally than they did before, so I can only see the EV market replacing what would have been ICE sales, until some wider car share / autonomous taxi service comes in then it might slow down?

Live Forever or Die Trying


User avatar
Clarkey
VIP
Reactions:
Posts: 662
Joined: 30 Mar 2015, 16:14
Re: Electric Bikes (and cars)

Post by Clarkey » 25 Jan 2018, 18:54

Just to make sure you see this...

https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url=ht ... are_type=t

Live Forever or Die Trying



Post Reply