Electric Cars The Bullshit and the Truth

I am and always will be open to counter arguments, but trolls will just have their replies deleted and their IP banned. But if you think of a question and I haven’t answered it, then please get in touch. I will always do my best to source material that informs and is accurate.

It’ll be of little or no surprise that this is provided by the newspaper The Daily Fail, I mean Mail.

LOUISE ATKINSON says electric cars are shocking

Louise Atkinson picks the Renault Zoe because it is small, sporty-looking and claims to have a range of 160 miles on one charge (double the Nissan Leaf).

Paragraph 4:

With public charging points cropping up around the country, how hard could owning a purely electric car possibly be? As LOUISE ATKINSON found, very hard indeed . . .

There are a few places in the UK where the electrical infrastructure doesn’t exist, and therefore parts of the UK where it’s impossible to charge a car. That said, these same places are unlikely to have fuel pumps too.

According to Zap Map, there are nearly 20,000 connectors to charge your car with 11060 devices at 6662 locations, with 223 new charge points added in the last 30 days. 1 device can charge 1 or 2 cars at once.

How many charge points are there in the UK 2018

Charge points statistics updated weekly from Zap-Map and shows how many charge points in UK over time, by type, location and more.

How many locations are there to fuel your car? I honestly don’t know, but the number of charge points are increasing at a much faster rate than fuel stations. How do I know this? Common sense mostly, the future is electric with a huge eventual reduction in ICE cars (internal combustion engine). Because of this is makes sense to only add more charge points. Plus some oil companies are installing electric charging at fuel stations… they see the future and what will happen.

June 17, 2018: My car lease is up for renewal and the idea of an electric car excites me. The monthly lease payments are similar (£250) to my old Toyota Aygo, but fuel costs will be quartered — saving up to £2,000 each year.

I’ve marked the date because it’s important and we’ll come back to it later.
Yes the fuel savings can be that good, almost to the point of the car paying for itself in this one example. But the more miles you drive the more you can save.

JULY 16: My electric car is here! It is beautiful! Unfortunately, it’s like a Christmas present without batteries. It sits on our drive, but the battery (which is under the floor of the car and powers the motor under the bonnet) is nearly empty, so I can’t take it for a spin.
There’s a charging cable in the boot, which fits both public and special home charging units, but no three-pin plug adaptor for me to hook it up to the mains.
As I leap in, Jon is sceptical: ‘Do you know how to charge it?’ (No).
Fearing the battery will die any minute, I crawl to the supermarket (six miles away) to find our nearest public charging point. I plug in the cable, but nothing happens.

So you ordered the car a month ago? Hmm, we’ll come back to that later.
So instead of having the car delivered to a dealer, who would have charged the car for you, you opted to have the car delivered directly to your home. Is this because you’re too lazy to drive to a dealer? Did no one person ever ask how you intend to charge the car when you ordered the lease? Surely to God is would have been brought up at some point in conversation, or would have been mentioned somewhere in the paperwork or lease website. I suppose at some point this could have been overlooked or missed or never even considered by the dealer, or they assumed you knew what you were doing.
Yes sometimes the chargers don’t work, though I’ve only ever heard that they don’t and I’ve never experienced a failure myself. Zap-Map.com will tell you in advance if there’s a reported/detected fault.

I wiggle the cable, unplug it and replug it. Still nothing. Instructions on the charger inform me to download an app and input MY credit card details. Still nothing.
I draw quite a crowd. Electric cars are clearly a novelty here and everyone wants to know how I’m getting on. Not well.
I phone the charge point helpline. ‘What’s the name?’ they ask. I give them my name. ‘No, the name of the charging point.’
It turns out many have cheerful names, rather than serial numbers, and I am currently in dispute with ‘Fred-Geoff’. They run the checks and tell me, sadly, Fred-Geoff is out of order, but not to worry as ‘Laura-Clare’ is fighting fit and only . . . 25 miles away.By driving very slowly and free-wheeling down hills (which works like a dynamo to boost the battery), I make it to my gym car park and plug in. Stressful? Immensely.

So you’ve so far driven 30+ miles, obviously the battery wasn’t that flat then. Again a little knowledge goes a long way. Were you not aware of the charge point at your gym? I take it you don’t go that often then, or drive around the carpark with your eyes shut. If you did know it was there then did you not once think about how you’d charge the car so far from home?
I’ve never once drawn a crowd when charging my car, not once. Though I was approached by a guy once in Birch Services (M62 between Leeds and Manchester) who asked a couple of questions.

JULY 20: I love my electric car! It drives like a dream. I love the futuristic ‘tron’ noise it makes at low speeds (to warn unsuspecting pedestrians, as the engine is silent), the touchscreen controls, the massive pull (experts call it ‘torque’) when you overtake, the ‘eco’ mode option (which conserves energy by slowing acceleration and capping your speed at around 60mph).

But the charging situation is a nightmare. Without a plug at home, I am reliant on public points, but these — it turns out — are scarce and notoriously glitchy.
With an electric car, you have to meticulously plan every journey. There’s an app (Zap Map) of UK charging points, but you have to dig deep through user comments to see if your chosen point is public or private, which company owns it and how to pay.
There’s no joined-up thinking. Some public charging points require you to download an app and input credit card details, some ask you to apply for a payment card (which can take up to ten days).

I’ve never heard a “tron” like noise from mine, only the very quiet whirring noise from the electric motor, and yes to a pedestrian they’re very quiet. The only sign that a car is near is the road noise from the tyres.
With an electric car, you have to meticulously plan every journey
Utter BULLSHIT. No, I DO NOT HAVE TO PLAN MY JOURNEY to my local town, even Leeds and Bradford are close enough that I don’t even have to consider where to charge. You only have to plan ahead when you know you’re reaching or extending beyond the range of the batteries.
There’s no joined-up thinking. Some public charging points require you to download an app and input credit card details, some ask you to apply for a payment card (which can take up to ten days)
This sadly is true, though most charge-points you just use an app and have already created an account to use the service. This however will change, the government brought in legislation in 2018 that negates the use of special fobs. So in future you’ll just need a credit/debit card to charge, and maybe an app.

There is a mystifying variety of plug and socket types and no consistency in power delivery — so ‘superfast’ isn’t necessarily quicker than ‘supercharge’ or ‘rapid charge’ — and the time it takes to ‘fill’ your car depends on the power of the charger and of your battery, and whether the plug sockets fit.
Sometimes you have to pay (around £6 for a full charge), sometimes you don’t — and there’s never any guarantee any public charger will be working anyway.

If you’re in any doubt about the socket, just take a look at the input connector on your car and especially as it’s a new car – THE FUCKING USER MANUAL THAT BY LAW HAS TO COME WITH NEW CARS. Basically there are 3 socket types, CHAdeMO that can charge a 30KWH battery in less than an hour. The leaf has both CHAdeMO and IEC 62196 type 1. Domestic charging is 3.7KWH or 7KWH. Anything more requires a MASSIVE increase in voltage that domestic electrical supplies don’t have. Don’t worry about the numbers and letters, just look at the socket types and you’ll see one does not fit the other. Only really old EV’s have one domestic socket, and all new cars have at least 2 sockets, one for home charging and one for fast DC charging on the road.
Only Tesla have their own proprietary socket for 150KWH charging at their own stations.

Basically, you cannot confuse the sockets, they are different shapes and sized and one cannot be plugged into the other.

The Nissan leaf has 2 sockets, 50KW for High speed charging and 3.7kw-7kw for at home charging.

JULY 25: I ask my lease company, DriveElectric, for advice about installing a home charging point on the side of our house. It gives me a list of 50 companies to contact.
Charging points come in all sizes and colours and vary in cost from £150 to £850. I pick the cheapest and book an installation on August 9.

Wait whut? So you ordered the car nearly 6 weeks ago and not once did you ever think about how you can charge the car at home? No one asked you how you plan to charge it? You didn’t look at the Internet and ask the same question? You fucking waited nearly 6 weeks after ordering the car and 2 weeks after is was delivered before you stopped to think… hmm, can I charge an electric car at home? Surely the leasing company asked you this? Plus they SHOULD have told you about the government incentive to install a charger at home, I mean after all it’s FUCKING FREE! By all means buy/lease an EV and then bury your head in the sand, because you know, everyone else can do the thinking for you. And then you write an article for which you are paid, that goes on about how difficult it is to charge an EV! ARE YOU REALLY THAT STUPID?

In all honesty probably not that stupid, it is after all the usual retarded click-bait you get from a failing newspaper (or should that be toilet paper) called The Daily Mail.
The problem is that some people (only stupid people) will read it and take it as gospel.
Yes there are wrinkles that need to be ironed out, it’s the same with any new technology, legislation will loosen charging restrictions, charging connections will be reduced to 2 or 3 to make is simple (how do people now confuse diesel with petrol pumps… oh wait), more places will support charging, and if a wind turbine can be effective and erected along with some batteries, then even hard to reach places can have EV charging, like this place:

Electric cars are here to stay, the legislation will change and each new model will improve on previous models. This is not something that you can say about ICE cars.

About The Bionic Cyclist

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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