Jump to content
Pebble

Electric Cars - Advise?

Recommended Posts

Does anyone happen to know to what extent one will be able to upgrade their battery without buying a new vehicle overall?

I've certainly heard that electric cars have less wear and tear than conventional but that it's all about the battery.  So are there prospects for these vehicles lasting a really long time just so long as there's a solution for the battery itself?  

I have a Leaf I've had for about two years and am wondering if this could the be last car I buy for a very long time.

At least so far I've seen virtually no change in the battery capacity, but I've only put about 10,000 miles on it in the two years.  

I have also noticed that the battery goes down way quicker if one is running heat or AC, and I feel fortunate to be in Southern California where I don't need either of those all that often.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Triskele said:

Does anyone happen to know to what extent one will be able to upgrade their battery without buying a new vehicle overall?

I've certainly heard that electric cars have less wear and tear than conventional but that it's all about the battery.  So are there prospects for these vehicles lasting a really long time just so long as there's a solution for the battery itself?  

I have a Leaf I've had for about two years and am wondering if this could the be last car I buy for a very long time.

At least so far I've seen virtually no change in the battery capacity, but I've only put about 10,000 miles on it in the two years.  

I have also noticed that the battery goes down way quicker if one is running heat or AC, and I feel fortunate to be in Southern California where I don't need either of those all that often.  

It was my dream when I bought the Leaf that after seven-eight years, I"d be able to buy an after market chassis for the original battery and turn it into a custom "powerwall" and buy an upgraded more powerful battery for the LEAF.

This isn't happening for a couple reasons.

one, while there's incredible value in the battery, there's only 130,000 of them in the US (about a half million globally) that's a relatively small customer base. very few (10 percent?) would want to keep a car long enough to replace a battery or upgrade the battery)

second, the car manufacturers want to sell you a new car not an upgraded battery, so Nissan won't make upgraded batteries available to old model cars, even if it's the exact same mounting format/physical size, you can only buy a battery akin to what you had before. This is to deter you from simply replacing the battery and keeping the car: planned obsolescence. 

third, each car manufacturer uses their own battery design and battery pack design more significantly battery pack _assembly_ process, so it's not really possible for Tesla to decide to make an aftermarket Nissan LEAF battery pack, for example, (and it competes with people buying a tesla), because the battery pack assembly process would be a unique snowflake, and for a market of 13,000 LeAF owners. Not to mention that the LEAF batteries are liquid sachets, Teslas are classic cylinder batteries (taller than a AA and slightly larger diameter), others are prisms. 

So to replace a LEAF battery with 2170 Tesla style cells, you'd probably have to hand assemble the battery modules in the battery pack, which would include hand soldering the terminals of all the batteries, hundreds of hours of labor. and add a cooling system, (which cylinder batteries need), and reprogram the car so that it understands it has a better battery, etc etc etc. 

so, it's tricky, unprofitable and unlikely to happen on any mass market scale in the next decade.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lokisnow said:

second, the car manufacturers want to sell you a new car not an upgraded battery, so Nissan won't make upgraded batteries available to old model cars, even if it's the exact same mounting format/physical size

Which is why we need to overthrow capitalism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, lokisnow said:

It was my dream when I bought the Leaf that after seven-eight years, I"d be able to buy an after market chassis for the original battery and turn it into a custom "powerwall" and buy an upgraded more powerful battery for the LEAF.

This isn't happening for a couple reasons.

one, while there's incredible value in the battery, there's only 130,000 of them in the US (about a half million globally) that's a relatively small customer base. very few (10 percent?) would want to keep a car long enough to replace a battery or upgrade the battery)

second, the car manufacturers want to sell you a new car not an upgraded battery, so Nissan won't make upgraded batteries available to old model cars, even if it's the exact same mounting format/physical size, you can only buy a battery akin to what you had before. This is to deter you from simply replacing the battery and keeping the car: planned obsolescence. 

third, each car manufacturer uses their own battery design and battery pack design more significantly battery pack _assembly_ process, so it's not really possible for Tesla to decide to make an aftermarket Nissan LEAF battery pack, for example, (and it competes with people buying a tesla), because the battery pack assembly process would be a unique snowflake, and for a market of 13,000 LeAF owners. Not to mention that the LEAF batteries are liquid sachets, Teslas are classic cylinder batteries (taller than a AA and slightly larger diameter), others are prisms. 

So to replace a LEAF battery with 2170 Tesla style cells, you'd probably have to hand assemble the battery modules in the battery pack, which would include hand soldering the terminals of all the batteries, hundreds of hours of labor. and add a cooling system, (which cylinder batteries need), and reprogram the car so that it understands it has a better battery, etc etc etc. 

so, it's tricky, unprofitable and unlikely to happen on any mass market scale in the next decade.

 

 

Replacing the battery with some third party product is about as realistic as replacing the internal combustion engine of (say) a Ford car with one from GM. Even if somebody offered it it would take some effort to make the car street legal again after such a big modification. How many cars are scrapped because the engine failed anyway? Isn't it wear and tear on the car's body and suspension that causes you to ditch them? That won't change. Leasing might become more common though. That way you'd get the latest and greatest every couple of years and always have a good battery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well a twelve year old electric car with a naturally depleted range is the perfect car for parents to hand to an irresponsible teenager they don't trust. Limit them to sixty miles, hah! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that feedback @lokisnow

I guess that I'd hoped that the EV sellers would, while they might love to sell you a new vehicle, also figure there'd be some folks who are no way going to buy a whole new vehicle at ten years but might be tempted to buy a new and expensive battery.  

Check this out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Triskele said:

I guess that I'd hoped that the EV sellers would, while they might love to sell you a new vehicle, also figure there'd be some folks who are no way going to buy a whole new vehicle at ten years but might be tempted to buy a new and expensive battery.  

Check this out.

The Nissan replacement program is a bit of a special case: they screwed up badly in that their battery packs were noticeably worse in just a year or two (that 30kWh graph is down to 85% after 2 years) so they had to fix it somehow.

Replacement after a decade is very unlikely simply because the technology is changing so quickly. Again, even 3 years from now, chances are the batteries being produced will be different in both capacity and interface. The number of people with old batteries who want a replacement is far too small to produce compatible ones (which definitely won't be used for anything else because the interface will be obsolete).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love it.  At least so far.  the noisiest thing about it is the Indicators.  And it drive feels so nice.

My trip to work used 18% of my battery - I was in ecco mode not using any of the heating features this time cos I want to see what how much spare battery power I have.  When I left for work it said I had 82 miles before I run out,  25 miles latter I'm at work and it says I got 71 miles left.   I tried to set the cruise control but I must have been doing something wrong will need to read the book for that, and I got lots of other bits to play with / learn but so far I really like it.

My 7kw charging pod is being installed on Tuesday morning.  I guess I should now get some solar panels, especially as I do shift work so the cars is often at home during the day.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Pebble said:

I love it.  At least so far.  the noisiest thing about it is the Indicators.  And it drive feels so nice.

My trip to work used 18% of my battery - I was in ecco mode not using any of the heating features this time cos I want to see what how much spare battery power I have.  When I left for work it said I had 82 miles before I run out,  25 miles latter I'm at work and it says I got 71 miles left.   I tried to set the cruise control but I must have been doing something wrong will need to read the book for that, and I got lots of other bits to play with / learn but so far I really like it.

My 7kw charging pod is being installed on Tuesday morning.  I guess I should now get some solar panels, especially as I do shift work so the cars is often at home during the day.

 

powering your transit with electrons from the sun is the best!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I was really considering a Tesla Model X last year I don't do that many miles so I wasn't too worried about the range and I could charge it in the garage, the thing that put me off is it was just a bit too quirky and surprisingly not as practical as I needed for loading baby stuff into, the sooner mainstream car makers get on board with more practical models the better, I ended up going for a Range Rover again, although it will be my last one, it has had issues which shouldn't be happening on a new car in that price bracket, my next car will be electric for sure.

 

Pebble, the Leaf looks like quite a good bet imo,I hope you enjoy it :).

Edited by Bittersweet Distractor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Bittersweet Distractor said:

I was really considering a Tesla Model X last year I don't do that many miles so I wasn't too worried about the range and I could charge it in the garage, the thing that put me off is it was just a bit too quirky and surprisingly not as practical as I needed for loading baby stuff into, the sooner mainstream car makers get on board with more practical models the better, I ended up going for a Range Rover again, although it will be my last one, it has had issues which shouldn't be happening on a new car in that price bracket, my next car will be electric for sure.

 

Pebble, the Leaf looks like quite a good bet imo,I hope you enjoy it :).

Look up the rivian suv and truck launching next year, especially if you like range Rover

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

Look up the rivian suv and truck launching next year, especially if you like range Rover

That looks pretty nice!, I don't know if they will be launching it in the UK though?.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had my 7kwh charging pod installed yesterday.  It charged my car up to 80% (when I have it set to stop charging) from 25% within 2 hours.  This is much faster than I was expecting and very much faster than from a normal plug socket.  this also makes the car far more usable if I need to go out after work.

 

I'm still loving my leaf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading a review of the new AWD Prius, and at the end of the review I was taken by surprise when the reviewer said it likely didn't matter now that there was a hybrid Corolla out. I might very well take a look at the Corolla now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I really like the Chevrolet Volt or Opel Ampera, they have a small gasoline engine, the power reserve of the battery is 50 miles.

 

Edited by Ronalddjon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The volt has been discontinued globally, the only remaining ones in inventory will be sold and then the car is extinct.

But the Prius Prime and the Honda Clarity are pretty damn close to the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Triskele said:

Nifty column puts a really positive spin on EV's

That was very thought provoking. Maybe I do need to see if a plug-in hybrid is possible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Triskele said:

Nifty column puts a really positive spin on EV's

Indeed, the inflection point that is important is when the growth in the electric market more than covers the growth in the overall car market. Last year that was true, they're saying it's just a cyclic downtown in ICE car buying, and they're projecting a reversion to the mean for this year, with the inflection point being past the point of no return in 2020 or 2021, but if 2018 is not just a cyclic blip, it could be the beginning of a much faster decline of ICE than they're projecting. I don't think 2019 ICE car sales have given much indication that they're recovering from the 2018 global decline. 

If all the growth in car sales is going to be in non ICE cars, then manufacturers will race that direction, which is what they started doing seriously about eighteen months ago, with major rollouts of big manufacturers starting this fall and trickling out for the next eighteen months after that. 

Shoot, even the massive market of the tiny-penis-big-truck genre of vehicles is adding electric motors and hybrid technology to their trucks to improve performance and erection size, so "big" changes are coming even for the weakly endowed that have fought the technology. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is a really comprehensive, fascinating, informative primer on how electric car batteries work, where they come from, tradeoffs etc. big time nerd alert, but if you want to kill two hours...

https://youtu.be/18MYRkx_Vr4

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×