If you’re one of the many people waking up to EV ownership and finding that the current vehicles on the market aren’t just cutting the mustard for you, or are two expensive or too slow then converting your vehicle from a petrol engine to an electric motor is a great option.
Sadly though, taking your existing car off the road for the few weeks or even months that it takes to convert to electricity isn’t a practical solution – especially if your vehicle has marketable retail value as a gas-powered vehicle or you want to keep it as a ‘long distance runner’ for the days when you just simply can’t get your EV to drive that 400 mile round trip to see granny in a day.
You’re then left with a situation where you desperately want to convert a car (like so many other EV hopefuls) to get that EV grin, but you realize that the best way to move forward is to source a donor vehicle – one which could happily give up it’s engine for the cause of electric vehicle goodness.
Today I received a complementary copy of an electric vehicle magazine. Sadly it’s not much of a magazine and I spent a few minutes scanning through it. But one thing caught my eye – and it’s not the first time I’ve seen it. A picture of a reader-converted car, with a sign advising the following:…
London is often viewed as the EV charging capital of the world. Thanks to the Congestion Charging zone and it’s exemptions for electric and other green vehicles, not to mention the success of the small G-Wiz and similar small electric vehicles London appears, at least on the face of it, to be a brilliant place to be if you want to own an EV.
Not only that, but there’s now over 100 public electric vehicle charging points spread throughout the greater London area. In order to use one, you have to satisfy a series of criteria to ensure that you’re a) an electric vehicle owner and b) that you agree to abide by the fair usage policies the charging points have.
But wait. What’s this? London Boroughs (think of them as small council district within the greater London area) may appear to provide charging points to electric and PHEV vehicle drivers but they’re rather picky about who can use their points.
Welcome folks, to the new charging standard for EVs and PHEVs in the European Union. It’s based on a design by Mennekes, and will support a range of charging options for EVs at anything from a standard 13A, 240V supply through to a mighty 400V three-phase, 63A supply.
Best of all, it seems like the Mennekes system is designed with interoperability in mind and may even offer some retro-fitting for suitable vehicles.
With Elektromotive set to roll out a series of upgrades to it’s charging points in the UK to allow for a ‘pay as you go’ charging system (as well as a new version of their Elecktrobay charging station supporting the new standard) there really isn’t a better time to look into going electric.
More details of the new charge standard after the jump
According to The Register, the Mitsubishi iMiev will be available in the UK from November. Perfect timing then for those EV enthusiasts with £20,000 to burn and a space on their Christmas list. Sadly, only fifty of the cars will be available at the end of the year. I suspect this will mean that they…
It’s a common problem with all EVs on the market today. Like their petrol-powered counterparts, sales teams just can’t help themselves when it comes to providing optimistic range figures for their vehicles. It’s common practice, but as Darryl eloquently argues, it could jeopardize the very heart of the EV industry before it’s fully got off the ground.
The public don’t like being made to feel that they are being lied to. And while, on a purely technical level, no car company is lying when it claims a car can do 56 mpg on it’s urban cycle, or that the range of that funky new EV is a salivating 200 miles. But at the same time the auto industry doesn’t like to tell you the full story.
Project Better Place have just released a video of a Nissan Crossover SUV EV at a Yokohama facility, switching out a discharged high-power EV battery pack for a fully-charged replacement. The EV then drives off on it’s merry way. It takes less than two minutes to complete. It’s an impressive video.
But is the future of electric vehicles dependent on fast battery switching, or is it an unnecessary complexity?
Let’s look at the things which we’d need to satisfy in order for a high-power battery switch out station to become a reality.
Worse still, van der Veer made his comments at a Shell sponsored Eco-rally in Germany, where the primary goal is to travel as far as possible on as little fuel as possible. Many eco rallies even have electric vehicle entrants. The CEO of Shell claims instead that biofuels are the way to go. (At least he’s no-longer advocating hydrogen eh?)
Van der Veer claims that electric vehicles have old technology, which have barely moved on since the days of the milk-float. He also claimed that the support infrastructure needed to run electric vehicles would be extremely costly to set up. Perhaps the Dutch don’t use electricity to run their homes, but last time I checked every home (with a few exceptions) has access to electricity. In fact, electricity is more widely disseminated than petrol, so you could argue that the infrastructure is LESS.
It appears that there is in fact a fully electric Ev’ie out on the streets of London. (Shame the DVLA still think it’s petrol, but still, it IS electric. Or certainly, it is now.
It seems that my little worried post about the car being nothing but hype wasn’t truly accurate. While the photos I complained about last week are quite clearly photoshopped and don’t quite match up with what ECC PLC were saying, it’s probably more a case of them having not got a vehicle to use for publicity when the shots were taken than it being a complete out-and-out fake.
So I was wrong. I apologize. How do I know? It appears that WhatCar? have been given the first test drive of the converted C1 Ev’ie prototype. Now that’s more like the behavior you’d expect from a car company with big names on the board of directors.
They even have a Youtube Video of it, which proves that the car exists and is driveable. Although there did appear to be some issues with the prototype while WhatCar? were driving it.
If you’re wondering about the title of this post It’s quite simple. I’m fed up dealing with all the excuses that car companies make when trying to sell EVs. It’s not going to make them popular. Plus it gives the Jeremy Clarksons of the world ammunition in their mission to hate anything without a V8 and a huge exhaust. And who can blame them. When so many in the EV world make silly claims about their cars or silly excuses about how they perform.
I’ve been thinking about this post for quite some time, ever since I went for a test-drive for an EV in London and found that the company offering the test drive were about as professional as buying a car from a dodgy guy in a pub car-park. Why? It was poor organisation, delivery and knowledge. Oh, and a car which was nearly empty. Not good publicity. (They’ve since improved greatly).