Electric Vehicle page 2
All good so far. We've done the usual trundling about, local shops, around the village when the weather makes that advisable, popped over to Edinburgh, down to Biggar and similar. Journeys of 5 to 50 miles and just charging at home. Less commonly we've been to Dundee, Montrose and other destinations requiring a charge before returning. No problems there, although some of the mapping systems are a bit vague or in need of updating, so a bit of forethought is needed. It's not much different to having a small petrol tank in an automatic, you just need to fill up more often, but generally just park, plug in and when you've come back from whatever it's fully charged again.
Longer journeys require a slightly different protocol because recharging is generally done at motorway service stations. That is usually at 50kW charging units as opposed to the home and destination chargers of 7kW. A one hour charge would get 50kWh so, as we have a 40kWh battery, we usually stop for a coffee, a 'comfort break' and stretch our legs. 45 minutes would take us from empty to full, but we don't wait until the battery is flat anymore than a petrol driver would run the tank dry, so 35 minutes is usually enough.
Plug in cars, which may include Hybrids are only up to 2% in the UK (December 2018) so the charging network is only just beginning to grow, however our longest trip, to Hampshire, was simple enough in spite of a thunderstorm, a rush hour and a surprise extra 160 miles to get mum a chair. Weather protection can be a bit skimpy, but it should only take 30 seconds outside the car to plug in, and then you can go inside. Your phone app will let you know when you have enough charge and so in practice, when at home it'll be much faster than petrol unless you are in the race-car pits.
Obviously EVs are more expensive to buy, but cheaper to run. It is estimated the break-even point is about 5 years. Less if you do a high mileage. Waiting another year or two would have eliminated several challenges. The newer cars now have a range of more like 250 to 300 miles and there's a growing choice of supplier as legacy car makers get onto the band wagon, but these points weren't why we bought when we did. The type we needed was available, at last, and the range adequate. However the reasoning was actually two-fold. We needed a new car and it made sense to get one that wouldn't be soon banned from city centres and we wanted to pollute less. The overall saving of money is nice but not vital. Obviously having retired my mileage is considerably reduced, but I'm not going back to work just so that I can save money on the commute. In ten years the petrol car will be much reduced in value, unless somebody starts doing a serious amount of petrol to EV conversions, currently that is expensive, but I think off the shelf conversion kits will become more available and cheaper. There are a lot of car owners who like their car and would convert for the advantages if it was practicable. I wouldn't be too surprised if many mechanics re-trained to that line of work.
There will be a definite tipping point when petrol stations are going to be uneconomic and will start closing. Of course some will convert to EV charging stations, but until charging gets faster motorists will need something to do for 30 or 40 minutes while charging, so supermarkets, coffee shops, town centres and cinemas will probably have stolen a march on them. In the end anything with a car park attached will become a better draw than a garage forecourt. The internet has meant that many smaller high street shops are struggling, so filling stations are going to have to get their thinking caps on quickly as the competition for those remaining walking and driving customers hots up. Of course they will also have the legacy problem of contaminated ground, many underground petrol and diesel tanks have leaked, and putting accommodation on top will mean a smelly ground floor. Perhaps the answer is to raise the housing by one floor, then park and slow-charge underneath where the air can blow through. Might help with the climate induced flooding as your valuables would be either movable or 10 feet higher. Here's a nice example from Australia.
Theoretically the oil companies and fuel station owners would decontaminate the land before they leave.
Aye, that'll be right..