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Subject Topic: Tesla 3 towing?
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Message posted by Francais on 20/8/2016 at 10:44am
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Yep bessie, your right about the politics, the dept I work is quite small, even though the main firm is huge, but each dept is under a different regime.

So our dept is just 15 staff, and we all get the same car apart from the boss, so it's a VW Golf Hatch BlueMotion in silver, we get no say whatever not even the colour choice, even though an estate model would be better for the job we do, and if you ask about towbar your just get viewed as a trouble causer it's all very 1970's really, but the fact is the job is as low down the food chain as you can get in the company, I should really make an effort to get a better job, but at 56 that's easier said than done, and having been doing the job for over 11 years, it does kind of suit me, I guess it's what they call being stuck in a rut!

Message posted by Francais on 24/8/2016 at 9:57pm
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Popped into the Tesla Showroom in Stockport today, got to sit in the Model "S" very nice car it has to be said, the "X" as you would expect was also on show.

It was good to see the cars up close, along with the cut away model, with the drive train and battery exposed, all interesting stuff.

The sales person was most helpful, but what did suprise me was when I asked for a brochure to take back to our fleet manager, only to be told that Tesla operate a paperless show room, and was advised to use the website.

Call me old fashioned, but that was a first for me, a car show room with no brochures, I guess it's the way in this modern age!

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Message posted by bessie500 on 25/8/2016 at 7:42am
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Francais I was told that by Volkswagen last year.

I looked at the teslas at carfest in July I thought they were something else, to hear that they are doing a cheaper car aimed at the cc market is just music to my ears.

It will only be a matter of time before the bulk of cars are electric.

Bessie

Message posted by Colin21 on 25/8/2016 at 8:24am
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This really is an interesting topic. I have always been keen on the idea of electric cars, as it seems a logical progression. Electricity is good at producing motion, but rubbish at producing heat. Liquid fuel (petrol/diesel) is good at producing heat but not so efficient at producing motion, so how come some people use electricity to heat their homes and liquid fuel to power their vehicles??

The fly in the ointment has always been batteries. They can only store so much electricity and they take quite a while to charge properly. They also need replacing from time to time, and are very expensive.

I think you are absolutely right Bessie, the bulk of cars will one day be electric, but will they be battery powered? If they are I feel we will have to change our car usage considerably. I accept that I may be proved wrong, and I hope I am, but I just can't see a battery-powered tow-car ever being a viable option.

I see the future for battery-powered cars as being a kind of car-pool vehicle for use in town, where you can hire one by the hour as you already can in some countries, I believe. I really can't see them becoming viable for general purposes by owner-drivers like ICE cars are today. As a second car for commuting / shopping etc, possibly, but not for long distance driving and/or towing a caravan.

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Message posted by Francais on 25/8/2016 at 10:50am
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Well Tesla are aiming at producing 500,000 E.V.'s per year, by 2018, if that's not going to be a game changer I don't know what is.

The Model 3 with over 215 miles range and fast Turbo Charging in 30 minutes, slowing with type approval for towing, will pretty mean game over for ICE cars.

Having looked at the Model "S" cut away display, the amount of components used is a fraction of that used in an ICE car, which Is good news for the used car market.

Message posted by Extremebiker0 on 29/12/2016 at 8:48pm
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Pretty late to this thread but as an electric car owner having done 28k miles in mine over 2 years, I found this thread fascinating. There are a couple of points I'd like to make.

First about electricity being bad at generating heat... This is addressed by not using a 'bar heater' to produce the heat. This would be inefficient as you would get 1 btu of heat for every btu of electricity. Instead the leaf (2nd generation onwards) and others use a heat pump, similar to how a fridge works, except in reverse. It takes heat from outside the car and puts it into the car, and this way you get much more than one btu of heat in the car for every btu of battery energy used. It works so well that it makes only a small difference to range to have the heater running.

Secondly is the battery degredation, either from charging or aging or whatever. Most people today don't own an EV so to them batteries are new, but there are people out there who have been using battery cars for years; for example this Nissan Leaf taxi which hit 100k miles over 2 years ago, and is still going strong now. In fact the batteries last a lot longer than an internal combustion engine by the looks of things. And there are no fuel filters oil filters tappits cylinder heads gearboxes or even clutches to replace so the reliability is much higher.

Last is price; the Leaf is so cheap to run that it will cover the little bit extra it cost up front many times over. Cheap to run in terms of tax, fuel, maintenance. Mine cost 15,750 brand new.

I for one am looking forward to the day I can tow my caravan with an electric car. The only tow rated EV at the moment is the model X which is way out of my price range, but they will come down very soon.

Message posted by Colin21 on 30/12/2016 at 3:29pm
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Yes it is a fascinating thread. I too look forward to a time when electric cars are the norm, and electric tow-cars are a viable proposition, but I fear we are a good way off that yet.

My knowledge of batteries and charging comes not from cars, but from working on industrial battery-charging systems, although I have to admit that was many years ago now.

I often wonder just how much battery technology has improved, and how much is hype. In London they have hybrid buses which can run on battery power, but as I understand it, their batteries are rubbish, and they spend most of their time running on diesel. If decent batteries are available, why are they not using them? The biggest problem with battery powered vehicles, as I see it, is range and recharge times. An oil-fuelled car can do 400 miles, refuel in minutes, then do another 400 miles ad. infinitum. Most of the battery driven cars can only do half or less of that mileage, and take hours rather than minutes to re-charge. Until electric cars can compete with oil-powered ones on that score, they are no serious threat to the oil industry, more's the pity.

What has changed about batteries that they can now withstand repeated rapid charging? It used to be ok once, on very rare occasions, but more than that killed them very quickly. Also, even the current rapid-charging systems cannot compete with a petrol station's 3 minute refuelling, which is good for 400 miles.

Interesting stuff about the heat-pump principle. I have often wondered how electric cars got round the problem of providing passenger comfort.

Battery powered vehicles are nothing new, however. I can remember battery-powered delivery vehicles, milk-floats etc back in the 1950s and 60s, but they have all but disappeared. Largely I suspect because they were painfully slow (unlike today's electric cars), had a range of less than 50 miles, and took 10 hours or more to recharge. We have come a long way since then, but battery-powered delivery vehicles have never made a come-back, and I often wonder why. They would seem perfect for city-use.

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Message posted by Opensauce on 30/12/2016 at 3:34pm
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I think for us country dwelling retired folks we will be able to drive diesel cars for the rest of our driving lives so for me while electric car technology is interesting I doubt it will affect my remaining lifetime.

Message posted by Extremebiker0 on 30/12/2016 at 3:43pm
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Hi Colin

I think the battery degredation issue is addressed in a few ways. First the Leaf has a 23kwh pack but only allows you to use 20kwh of capacity. The 3kwh of capacity spare is reserved by the battery management software to protect the battery. How exactly it does this I don't know but that is what it's there for; I think in principle it's because most of the damage done by cycling is at very low and very high state-of-charge and the 3kwh buffer avoids this.

Another way is that the batteries are packaged for longer life, protected from the elements and in some cases like Tesla's and ENV200's they have active heating and cooling to keep the batteries at a good temperature. Contrast this to mobile phone batteries for example where they will cycle from cold to warm many times a day, and are probably damaged a bit as a result. This helps more than you might think; the only cases where Leafs (which don't have active temperature control for the batteries) degraded fast was in hot parts of the USA, so temperature plays a big role.

I agree with you on 400 miles being a good range, after which a break of half hour to charge might not seem like a bad idea anyway. If we ever get to that stage they will become big I'm sure.

Maybe I'll revisit the thread in a year to see how things have moved on! :-)

Message posted by Skoda Bob on 30/12/2016 at 7:34pm
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There is talk of mass producing hydrogen vehicles, refueling takes the same as filling with fuel, and has the same 400 mile milage range

Message posted by Colin21 on 30/12/2016 at 8:33pm
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Extremebiker0, I would probably take a break well before 400 miles. However, there would need to be a nearby charging point available, which is another problem. There would need to be whole banks of them, as if they take half an hour or more to charge, that is a lot longer than it takes to fill a car with petrol. Just think how many cars pass through a petrol station in half an hour.

I must admit I tend to think, like Skoda Bob, that hydrogen is a more practical solution. We either need thousands of charging points (one on every parking bay at services) or vehicles that can be refuelled (recharged) in less than 5 minutes.

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Message posted by Jim1977 on 30/12/2016 at 8:34pm
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fully charged - the weekly youtube show by Robert Llewlyn is very interesting for EV and renewable news. He has recently done a show about the Toyota Mirai and hydrogen network.
I heard that Shell will be rolling out EV charging at their petrol stations in 2017
Obviously it can't tow, but I think a second hand Leaf represents the best value EV right now. 8000ish for a 24kwh battery owned Accenta with dealer warranty and then peanuts to run. Little depreciation left to do as the car is worth 4000 scrap for the batteries etc. My dad bought one a few months ago and loves it. Being retired he trickle charges it each day from his solar panels for virtually no cost rather than fast charging it an night from the mains. He only normally needs to trickle top it up from 60-70 to 90% for his daily needs. It is much quicker than our Prius.
I think there is lithium-air tech coming to batteries at some point, and there was something about super capacitors on the news the other day too which can charge an EV battery in seconds.
The Prius can now tow, as can the RAV 4, C-HR, NX, RX, IS, Outlander etc so there are lots of tow rated hybrids to choose from now

Message posted by Extremebiker0 on 30/12/2016 at 8:40pm
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The thing about petrol stations is that you need to visit one to fill up a petrol car. You're not really allowed to store bulk petroleum products at home and dispense them into your vehicle.

With an EV you do 95% of your charging at home. Only on the odd long journey do you charge anywhere else. So you need 95% fewer charging points than petrol stations.

Message posted by Colin21 on 30/12/2016 at 8:47pm
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All this is a bit hypothetical for me, as I couldn't even afford the batteries, but it is an interesting topic. I like the look of the leaf, and a friend of mine has one, but way too expensive for me to buy, especially as I would need a second vehicle as a tow-car.

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Message posted by Jim1977 on 30/12/2016 at 8:51pm
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I love the idea of the preheating function on EV's. Defrosting the windows and heating the cabin (while plugged in to not affect range) before you set off. Standing there in the cold with a scraper feels so old fashioned, just like ICE cars do!

Message posted by Colin21 on 30/12/2016 at 9:04pm
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Excellent idea Jim1977, except that not everyone can park their car on their own property. Some people end up parking overnight in the street, often some way from their home. Others live in flats, maybe several floors up. It would seem that EVs are not for them. I can't afford to buy one, but I am one who could charge it at home if I could afford it. Others may be able to afford one, but not be able to charge it. That is just one of the other advantages of ICE cars. They are not dependent on where you live, or work.

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