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Seriously (no really) interesting stuff about electric cars


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#1 OFFLINE   Breadvan72

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 02:42 PM

I wondered if this should be in the main AS room or in the other room where we talk about non car shiz, but it is definitely about cars.  It is not about shite, but as we are all interested in cars, albeit mostly cars from the past, and even though this is about the (possible) future, it may be of interest to some of us.  We ain't PH, and quite a few of us actually give a vague shit about the Planet, despite (and maybe even because of) our love of old smokers.  I get the impression that quite a few of us, petrolheads though we be, can spot the difference between science supported by, er, scientists, and cynical, tobacco industry style spin supported by, er, petrochemical companies.

 

I love the internal combustion engine, but but it is a dirty and wasteful bugger, and long overdue for being binned in favour of something cleaner and more efficient. Having said that, lecky just moves the carbon capers to somewhere else, and gives some economies of scale, but doesn't eliminate the fossil fuel blah.

 

Anyway, have a look at this.  Admins, if U HATEZ this, bin it to the non car room, or altogether, and I will go back to setting fire to piles of old tyres for fun.

 

 

http://waitbutwhy.co...-your-life.html

 

 


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#2 OFFLINE   AngusToledo

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 02:59 PM

Damn, that's wordy. A ten minute peruse covers my main question though - what about recycling of the used batteries? The main issue remains though - how clean is the electricity generated to power the cars? Until renewable energy really takes over, it's all kind of irrelevant.
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#3 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 03:25 PM

We've had a few good discussions around EVs recently, I get annoyed by the 'zero emission' crap spewed out by govt and people who believe anything they're told, if they can find someone else who believes it too. Especially when they're powered by coal and nuclear.

 

It's not always easy to judge them side by side with conventionally powered cars, but it does appear that they use about a third less energy once you've factored in the inefficiences in making the stuff and moving it around the grid, using chargers and so on. Robert Llewellyn suggests that about 10% of the energy value of petrol is used to make the stuff.

 

The only clever bit for me is that instead of the end user paying for most of the inefficiencies of turning energy into motion, it's the supplier. For every £10 of petrol you buy, about £1 goes into making your car move. Which is why I use waste veg.

 

So long as an Octavia estate can pull a heavyish trailer, travel fast for extended periods when needed, carry a family and luggage over 500 miles without stopping yet still return 60mpg+ on a commute then EVs can't come close to this, yet they still cost 10x the price (second hand) then I'll not be buying.

 

I hate unnecessary mass in my cars, so lumping around a set of batteries weighing a quarter to a third of a tonne is daft. Especially when they're almost empty. The only good thing about them in this world of upright inline engines is they're easy to mount where mass needs to be. But they're fashionable and will probably become increasingly so - just watch as people become won over by their cleanness*. Tell them to watch coal being mined, transported or burned - or treat the child victims of radiation leaks,

 

I'd prefer to be regarded as a nutter and drive around in a hydraulic hybrid, powered by a small boxer engine, making nice noises and smelling of hot metal, but being more efficient (like for like) than any EV.


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#4 OFFLINE   Breadvan72

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 04:28 PM

I am by no means saying that lecky cars are the way ahead.  We need, however, to tell the traditional Otto Cycle and diesel engines to GTFO, lovely though they be (the pezzers, not the dizzers - they are all shit).  I am no fan of nukes, or of coal fired power stations.  We sometimes seem to be fooked whichever way we turn, but at least we have started to think about ways of turning wheels that don't involve lots of dead daisies all squished up.


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#5 OFFLINE   Breadvan72

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 04:30 PM

PS:

 

 

10501810_10152914882455658_7787467755868326017_n.jpg


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#6 OFFLINE   inconsistant

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 12:11 PM

Robert Llewellyn suggests that about 10% of the energy value of petrol is used to make the stuff.

 

The only clever bit for me is that instead of the end user paying for most of the inefficiencies of turning energy into motion, it's the supplier. For every £10 of petrol you buy, about £1 goes into making your car move. 

 

Interesting... could you elaborate please. Or is the rest just taxes?

 

A couple of things I know that might be relevant (apologies for over simplification to make a point)...

 

1: £550 billion in subsidies are given annually for global fossil fuel production (2013, IEA)

 

That's just under £80 for every person alive. Or, since in 2012 there were 1.1 billion vehicles in use globally, that makes every vehicle £500 a year cheaper to run.

If this was removed it would certainly level the playing field a bit in terms of making alternative energy more competitive, and would make the true cost of fossil fuels a bit more transparent.

 

2: 8% of oil production is used in plastics manufacture.

 

I think the link between oil and plastics is probably something like the connection between nuclear energy production and nuclear weapons, in that one is a useful byproduct of the other, but is also probably a major justification for continued/increased/protected production of the industry upon which it's dependent.


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924: Likely to dislove a bit slower than anything elas on my chod for a gran list

 

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#7 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 12:46 PM

You buy petrol. One-third or so of its cost is the fuel, the rest is tax. You burn it in an engine which can use about a third of the energy to make it go, on a good day. Taking into account cold starts and other fuel-wasting it's more like a quarter. So out of every gallon of petrol you buy, between 1/3*1/3 = 1/9 or 1/3*1/4 = 1/12 of your money is used to move the car. (0.333*0.333 = 0.111, 0.25*0.333 = 0.083). The rest goes in tax and ICE losses. Its galling that you pay tax at such a massive rate on the 70% or so of the fuel which is wasted

 

Otoh, when you buy electricity (taxed at 5% and gets cheaper the more you use), something has already been burned to make it. Coal, gas and nuclear power make up the bulk of the UK's grid electricity. The likes of Ferrybridge burn fuel at just over 40% efficiency, the grid soaks up 8 to 10%. Most of the waste is heat. When you plug in your EV and pay for the amount of power used, you only pay for what you can use, unlike with petrol. The only losses which you pay for are in charging the batteries and using the motor.

 

Hope that makes some sense, inconsistant.

 

 

I think the common misconception that EVs are so clean is partly due to the massively lower running costs - if a 'full tank' of leccy costs a fraction of a tank of petrol, then many deduce that obviously it's using less fuel.


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#8 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 01:44 PM

I think the myth about environmental friendliness is perpetuated pretty hard by the manufacturers too. The LEAF wears zero emission badges for instance, which only apply to the car itself, not necessarily the energy it uses to move. 

 

Mind you, now I'm back in the XM, I'm starting to get mightily fed up with the smell of diesel, and braking feels like an utter, utter waste of energy. All that momentum pointlessly converted into heat. I miss regen.


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#9 OFFLINE   LC Torana

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 02:06 PM

PS:
 
 
attachicon.gif10501810_10152914882455658_7787467755868326017_n.jpg

ALL HAIL TO THE GREAT ONE
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#10 OFFLINE   cort1977

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 03:11 PM

Manufacturing anything is not 'environmentally friendly' but if you're building a car then the next place to look for environmental improvements is in the emissions.

 

The electricity grid is getting cleaner and cleaner due to the 'dash to gas' so the so-called long tailpipe theory, that electric cars are dirtier overall, is getting less true every year.   Buried in BV's link is a whole section on equivalent mpg considering greenhouse gases.   Even in the most coal dependent US states the overall MPG of an electric car is still better than a petrol car; in Europe this advantage is much greater.

 

For a lot of shiters, range, towing and primarily cost are all big reasons not to get an electric car.   But most people are not like us (obviously).   If all you do is drive to work 20 miles each way or to Lakeside on the weekend then electric cars meet your needs already except for the most important one, something to make the neighbours jealous.   I would argue that some cars like the i3 are coming close to that status already.   Once they can be leased at the 250/month or whatever small Aldis go for then there is no reason to buy a oil-fueled car and a major shift will begin.

 

Of course this change will be fought tooth and nail by the motor industry and the energy companies by the spreading of disinformation such as the long tailpipe theory.

 

Full disclosure - I work for an American oil company...


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#11 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 04:12 PM

I agree with loads of what you say,  cort1977, but the idea that 'long tailpipe theory' is disinformation I don't agree with - I've read the long BV link. Not in the UK, at any rate. Possibly in the States, but there the starting point is different, with many 'gas' cars burning two or three times the amount of fuel as those in Europe. What are the three best selling American 'cars'? All monster pickups. So compare them with a Leaf and the result is pretty obvious, carbon-wise. The waitbutwhy article is typically American, suggesting the future is rosy and all will be ok once we're powered along by EVs. All you need do is consume more... so long as its renewable energy which has made it.

 

usa best.PNG

 

'Renewable' energy in the UK/EU includes biomass, loads of which is farmed intensively, using loads of energy input and at a large cost to the biosphere. Solar, fluvial and wind inputs are growing, but are still pitifully low. We're seriously under-investing in them. The Germans and Danes will no doubt soon be selling us not just excess renewable energy in real time, but also gas which has been synthesised from the excess they can't export.

 

I suspect many vehicles will use small, lightweight gas engines (burning this renewable gas) as an onboard generator of electrical energy with a small battery pack to act as a buffer and for propulsion inside cities. Or possibly using hydraulic motors and compressed gas storage for greater efficiency on heavy stop-start cycle vehicles.

 

The efficiencies of EVs comes from loadsa torque at 0 revs, no energy (apart from aircon, wipers, heater etc) consumed when stopped in traffic and the addition of regen braking. Which helps far less than most would believe especially with EVs, unless you wear out pads every 1000 miles in a normal car. Lumping around heavy batteries is their Achilles Heel. Shame we locked Nikola Tesla up for supposed madness, rather than daring to admit his genius and ability to tap into cosmic energy - which would have put the emerging oil industry out of business. http://www.nuenergy....-energy-system/



#12 OFFLINE   Breadvan72

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 09:44 PM

ALL HAIL TO THE GREAT ONE

 

 

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#13 OFFLINE   cort1977

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 02:36 AM

OK so I will admit that I was wrong to say that the long tailpipe is disinformation and i was wrong to say that the advantage was greater in Europe, in fact it is the opposite.   It is correct to say that the way the electricity is produced has a major bearing on the emissions.  

 

This source http://shrinkthatfoo....email suggeststhat at present in the UK an electric car is equivalent to a car that can achieve 52mpg   (5.3 L/100 km).   Which is not that amazing really for a decent diesel.   In other countries with lots of renewables an electric car can get up to 200mpg equivalent.

 

My statement about the reduction in coal generation improving things is true but it is not nearly as big as i thought until a lot more electricity generation shifts from fossil fuels.

 

So quite depressing really.


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#14 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 12:29 PM

There are so many ways people use to describe how much energy an EV uses, depending on whichever side they're on or trying to promote. I've heard utterly ludicrous statements of supposed fact from otherwise switched-on people, once they've gone electric.

 

There should be two figures for every car, one in mpg and the other in miles per kWh, with the note on electric vehicle figures which reflects the true figure, taking into account a country's electricity generation. It wouldn't necessarily be accurate, since how do you take account of the carbon footprint of cleaning up after a nuclear disaster or decommissioning nuke power stations, but it would be much less misleading.

 

One very simple thing is conveniently overlooked, that to accelerate two similar cars at a similar rate to a certain speed is going to take a similar amount of energy.

 

Dollywobbler bands about figures like 5 miles per kWh in his e-Golf test, with the inference this is somehow very good but with no explanation of how good it actually is. Not many will convert this to a little over 200mpg, fewer still will realise this is a figure which has conveniently ignored the inefficiences of producing the electrical energy by burning stuff in big power stations. On that basis, a diesel Golf could give over 180mpg. But in the non-bullshit world and speaking in energy terms, his e-Golf did more like the equivalent of 70-odd mpg.

 

I think numbers are being used to confuse people into thinking EVs are cleaner than they really are. But isn't that the tendency in society in general, to want to brush reality under the carpet and imagine things are way better than they actually are?


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#15 OFFLINE   lisbon_road

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 12:44 PM

The link with mpg figures for different countries is interesting.  But I thought part of the issue is that the electric cars are charged at night, when there is a big surplus of electricity so (arguably) the marginal cost of making it in energy terms is very small.

 

Not that I am entirely convinced, with weight issues and so on.  Where we live, I do see them everyday now though.  They're certainly here.


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#16 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 12:47 PM

The problems with videos is that you just don't have time to explain everything to the nth degree. )that and the fact that I never script them). 5 miles per kwh is pretty good going, especially given the terrain. I don't really care how it compares to petrol. Most people could probably work out what they pay per kwh for electricity (not always easy given how energy companies like to generally bamboozle with their schemes) so that's why I mentioned it.

 

Here is my e-Golf review if anyone's interested.


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#17 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:00 PM

The link with mpg figures for different countries is interesting.  But I thought part of the issue is that the electric cars are charged at night, when there is a big surplus of electricity so (arguably) the marginal cost of making it in energy terms is very small.

 

Not that I am entirely convinced, with weight issues and so on.  Where we live, I do see them everyday now though.  They're certainly here.

 

 

With clunking inefficient and dirty electricity generation as we've had up to now, you can't just switch things on and off quickly (nuclear or coal) and so there is a surplus at night. But we're moving towards a grid which has a much greater percentage of renewable energy - the only way any EV is going to make sense. Until tidal and other fluvial power makes up a good proportion of our grid supply, renewable energy will be less available at night, on average.

 

So one possible result of lots of EVs demanding power from the grid at night is more nuclear power stations - not something I'd want. They're anything but carbon neutral (as the powerful nuclear lobby would try and convince you) and ridiculously expensive, .

 

For urban commuting EVs will make loads of sense, provided they're light-ish and not ridiculously powerful. But lots of people will need something which isn't grid powered, one reason why Germany is developing gas synthesised from renewable energy. It may only be 50% efficient, but if the energy's clean and limitless then that doesn't matter. The gas can be pumped into the existing gas grid and used in petrol engines and for cooking in and heating the home.



#18 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 01:08 PM

The problems with videos is that you just don't have time to explain everything to the nth degree. )that and the fact that I never script them). 5 miles per kwh is pretty good going, especially given the terrain. I don't really care how it compares to petrol. Most people could probably work out what they pay per kwh for electricity (not always easy given how energy companies like to generally bamboozle with their schemes) so that's why I mentioned it.

 

But isn't one reason people are shifting to EVs the belief that they're greener and cleaner? Although I suspect a lot of it is image, appearing to be eco-friendly. I'd got the impression that the environment genuinely mattered to you, DW - I thought you would care if something which markets itself as zero emission isn't anything of the sort, and not so much better than the more efficient ICEVs' carbon footprints.

 

If only from a journalistic pov, trying to cut through marketing bullshit and informing the public how it really is is a good thing, isn't it? Perhaps modern journalism is more about not upsetting the manufacturer and reinforcing consumer trends...

 

I'm guessing the bottom dollar is that it would be slightly controversial to dare suggest EVs aren't as clean as they would like to pretend, and that since their 'fuel' is virtually tax-free (and the producer has borne the inefficiences of burning fossil fuels to make it in the first place), an EV could do the energy equivalent of 20mpg and still work out many times cheaper per mile, on fuel. Liked the vid, though! Perhaps I'll have one in 20 years with fucked batteries and a range of 20 miles.



#19 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 02:13 PM

Certainly true that the environment is one reason people change - these are the sorts of people who probably already have solar panels, or are signed up to 100% green energy providers. But the impression I really get is that a lot of EV buyers are just proper geeks, who love the sheer simplicity of the basic principle of an electric motor. Plus the free fuel and tax are quite an incentive! Some people are saving thousands in fuel and tax every year. There is a slight danger that EVs are just the new Apple - designer must haves that don't quite deliver, but it doesn't matter because the concept has so much appeal.

 

The environment is certainly not my main motivation. I just love the power delivery and novelty. Looking forward to the day that EVs do become Autoshite. 


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#20 OFFLINE   cort1977

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 03:29 PM

Enfield Electric?


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#21 OFFLINE   dollywobbler

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 03:49 PM

Nah. They're just shit. Unless you're Jonny Smith off the telly.

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#22 OFFLINE   red5

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 03:56 PM

I like the idea. The technology is improving. However, fred-in-a-shed will die in a horribly mess working on one and then they'll be banned/authorised agents/etc etc.


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#23 OFFLINE   AngusToledo

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 04:14 PM

 
Here is my e-Golf review if anyone's interested.
https://www.youtube....h?v=nchyIu-gFQo

Interesting video. I quite like the car for a 'modern', and an EV would make masses of sense for my use as a daily beater. I also like the fact that the car doesn't look 'special'.£27+k though? I see the Leaf is about £1k less, and the VW Up! comes in at a touch under £20k. I like the idea of holding fire for the next 7 years or so, and theoretically buying an EV with real cash monies (rather than ticking myself up to the eyeballs, which is a personal hate of mine) after the massive depreciation has kicked in. I guess the batteries could well be borked by that point though, and I can only imagine how many thousands replacements would cost. So for now, I'm going to stick with my snotty old diesel Audi inEstate.
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It stands for "i" am "i"ncredible, "i"mportant, and it means everyone
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Unless it has headlamp washers because that means it's an SRi
and he's more important than my GLi.
Then I pull over and nod to let him know he's more important than me."

#24 OFFLINE   New POD

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 07:18 PM

We just need more wind turbines, more wave turbines, more solar collection, and more Nuclear Power stations.



#25 OFFLINE   Timewaster

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 08:04 PM

We just need more wind turbines, more wave turbines, more solar collection, and more Nuclear Power stations.


The east of England now has so many solar farms that on a bright sunny summer day the electricity network is actually feeding electricity back into the grid.

This is great news. Except you can't harvest and eat electricity.
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#26 OFFLINE   garethj

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 08:56 PM

I'm guessing the bottom dollar is that it would be slightly controversial to dare suggest EVs aren't as clean as they would like to pretend

I don't think so, Clarkson has been saying that for ages.

 

An interesting discussion which appeals to my inner geek, and certainly there are more engineering jobs being advertised in this industry so hopefully Britain will be a place where this stuff gets development.

 

This is quite an interesting site in a very geeky way, he's even styled his car based on a Vic20's graphics.  A link in there shows one way to overcome the issue with recharging and takes its lead from this idea

tamiya_56701_003.jpg

 

https://youtu.be/5b0T5NUHyxs


The Porsche 928 is terrifying, yet oddly alluring. It's like spending the night with that Jo Frost Supernanny woman


#27 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 02:44 PM

The east of England now has so many solar farms that on a bright sunny summer day the electricity network is actually feeding electricity back into the grid.

This is great news. Except you can't harvest and eat electricity.

 

 

What, they're in fields, with nothing underneath? That's daft, large factory/supermarket/hangar roofs should all be covered in them, supermarket carparks could be roofed over with 'em too.

 

Or were you meaning we can't do much with a surplus? That's why so much is being invested in energy storage solutions. I like the idea of synthetic gas made from excess leccy. Space heating, power your infernal combustion engine more cleanly than with petrol, generators to make electrcity for the grid when there are shortfalls, all pumped into the Nation Gas Grid. We just need a few more gas stores, like they have on the continent. I think we're in the process of building underground gas stores.

 

Underground%20Storage%20in%20Europe%20Ma

 

The Californians have started trialling trains on inclines with heavy loads as a gravitational potential energy store - when there's surplus power in the grid, the train is powered uphill. When energy is needed, it goes down and makes electricity in the process. Easy and cheap to build, slightly more efficient than pumped water storage.

 



#28 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 03:07 PM

I like the Twizy. Inexpensive, fun and perfect as a second car to use locally. Shame you have to rent the batteries at an exorbitant rate. The only way round that is going to Norway to buy one.


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#29 OFFLINE   Tayne

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 05:48 PM

I like the Twizy. Inexpensive, fun and perfect as a second car to use locally. Shame you have to rent the batteries at an exorbitant rate. The only way round that is going to Norway to buy one.

 

It'd be a hell of a collection thread!


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#30 OFFLINE   Timewaster

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 06:01 PM

Ford delivery boy, yep there are fields and fields of them here in Cambridgeshire.
I was told that the farmers were offered yields of £1k per acre for solar as posed to the 2 or 3 hundred for the effort of growing and harvesting crops.
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