Renault/Nissan back pedalling on electric cars
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default Renault/Nissan back pedalling on electric cars

    Renault/Nissan sold their 100,000 th electric car in July this year but today Ghosn went into regenerative braking mode when he said last week that they had no chance of meeting their corporate target of 1.5 million by the end of 2016. He now thinks that they will take 4-5 years more. He blames it on the slow introduction of charging infrastructure.

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    My view is that the rapidly rising costs of petroleum products expected 5 years ago as resource exhaustion was in sight has not happened and that has removed or delayed the need for the changeover.
    The US has found a new energy source in fracking, slower global economic growth has supressed the demand growth and the lack of real cost effective alternative electric sourcing have all slowed things up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    Renault/Nissan sold their 100,000 th electric car in July this year but today Ghosn went into regenerative braking mode when he said last week that they had no chance of meeting their corporate target of 1.5 million by the end of 2016. He now thinks that they will take 4-5 years more. He blames it on the slow introduction of charging infrastructure.

    My view is that the rapidly rising costs of petroleum products expected 5 years ago as resource exhaustion was in sight has not happened and that has removed or delayed the need for the changeover.
    The US has found a new energy source in fracking, slower global economic growth has supressed the demand growth and the lack of real cost effective alternative electric sourcing have all slowed things up.
    I would think that you are correct with the latter, but have a different view of the reasons, I like the concept of electric cars, particularly for environmental reasons in city driving, less likely to contribute to smog conditions in cities that are land locked or windless at times, and quiet, but more of a novelty and the take up by the private sector is limited, yes the lack of public charging infrastructure is clumsy and problematic when doing long trips, and there is some backlash at the push to mandate people purchase them. Some of the reasoning advanced for demanding that governments force owners to buy them have come under intense examination and moves to reject the clean and green because of the environmental impacts of manufacture and fabrication along with manufacture of batteries, their servicing and relatively short battery life, and the need to dispose of quite large battery packs.

    While I feel that these issues are over stated in some cases, if the public are not keen to take the step, there will not be the necessary take up of the vehicles to create the volume needed to convince the motoring public to change over, and without that volume they are expensive to manufacture and market.

    Two things could make a difference is a more concerted official take up of the vehicles by Government and Semi Government and Corporate businesses and flow on real savings in cost for private buyers either by direct subsidies until volume sales were achieved.

    The other thing is the stodgy image that in many government fleets makes these vehicles quite unpopular to drive by the young and restless, who leave them to the stodgy oldies or devoted greenies driving from A to B twice a day. (free taxpayer funded personal transport in many cases)

    A marketing disaster, so hardly surprising that the manufacturers are back pedalling.

    Ken.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    you might care to read
    Battery Capacity Loss - MyNissanLeaf
    which is an exhaustive analysis of battery life of the Nissan Leaf, the most popular electric car. It is not apparent that battery life is a significant problem in user experience. The technology continues to improve and NEC who make the batteries are introducing a new electrolyte that nearly doubles the life. Nissan has gone to great lengths to keep its customers informed of car manangement techniques to avoid battery life reducing conditions. The market is still in "early adopter" territory and they are more tolerant than the mass followers.

    In France the stimulus to install charging points has come not from Renault but from the Bluecar rental scheme and is concentrated on the major cities. Little is being done about longer journey issues, the cars are not aimed for that market but are for the city dwellers who do not exceed an average 65kms per day.
    see the map of Paris at
    https://www.autolib.eu/stations/
    to see how their network is expanding.
    I haven't encountered any reaction here in France against the subsidy on electric cars. The government has cut back the bonus and increased the malus on the pollution control scheme for budgetary reasons but left the zero pollution electric cars as they were. It is continuing to stimulate interest by purchasing fleets of electric cars for public services.

    Petrol and diesel are actually cheaper at the pump than they were a year ago, petroleum prices have fallen and consumption is down because of the economic pressures on the French. The incentive to change has been delayed.
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    Pretty well what I was saying Gerry, be interesting to see how they perform here in the summer. Thanks for the links, interesting. I don't know if we have those protections, if you are the one that suffers a stuffed battery.

    Currently, Nissan only records battery capacity loss reports and assign a "case number" to each report; there is no other official action.

    For current owners affected by significant battery capacity loss, you can file a complaint under your states Lemon Law, if available. On September 24, 2012 a class action lawsuit, Humberto Daniel Klee, et al. v. Nissan North America, Inc., et al., Case No. 12-cv-08238, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Western Division that was been filed on behalf of Arizona and California Leaf owners. The lawsuit alleges that Nissan "failed to disclose its own recommendations that owners avoid charging the battery beyond 80% in order to mitigate battery damage and failed to disclose that Nissan’s estimated 100 mile range was based on a full charge battery, which is contrary to Nissan’s own recommendation for battery charging." It further alleges that Nissan "failed to disclose and/or intentionally omitted to reveal a design defect in the Leaf’s battery system that causes the Leaf to suffer “widespread, severe and premature loss of driving range, battery capacity and battery life." You can also read the actual court filing here: Media:Nissan_lawsuit.pdf
    Regards

    Ken

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    I think that this is all a non-event in Australia. The average commuting distances are much longer, the pressures to reduce city pollution much weaker, electricity depends on fossil fuels and the government interest in the change is not perceptible.
    Tesla have good data on the fear of a flat battery. Their owners start by charging at every opportunity and after a few weeks settle down to confidence in the dashboard computer and charge according to need.
    Tesla Owners Say Goodbye to Range Anxiety - DailyFinance
    Charging Habits (frequency,120v vs. 240v, etc.) and Impact on Battery Degradation [Archive] - Tesla Motors Club - Enthusiasts & Owners Forum
    I am finding that this irrational paranoia is extending to my drives around here with tourists in my hybrid (after three years its battery is as new). Filling stations in rural areas are closing down and petrol sales now are concentrated in supermarkets. Once I head into the countryside I am now watching the fuel gauge, the itinerary and the fuel stations that might still be open, listed on the GPS. I don't like carrying a can of fuel in a car in which the boot is integral with the passenger compartment. If the car was all electric at worst I could stop at a good restaurant for lunch and charge it on their mains supply.
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    Well I went out and bought a Mitsubishi iMiev.
    I live in the country but the 100km range is enough for 99% of my driving.
    The petrol car has been out only when I need to tow....I've done almost 2000km on the Mitsubishi in the few weeks since I got it.

    I know they're not for everybody....but there is Bugger all incentive here for anyone to get one.
    I got it because I've wanted an EV since I was a kid....I read every book the library had, prowled the websites, and when the dealers finally got them I Test drove the demos.
    When a demo came up at a price I could afford I jumped as quick as I could.
    No regrets, I'm loving it!
    Pugs Rule!

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    Default EV battery life and range experience

    Ditto on the battery range/life discussion. Having converted several cars to lithium powered elec drive, and driving a lithium powered EV myself for 10 months as a daily drive: the batteries have had no appreciable decrease in capacity in the first conversion (over 5yrs now) and my fossil car only comes out once a week or so to give it a run or tow a trailer. The number of trips needed that were outside the range I can count on the fingers of one hand. (Range in my case is only 80km). Also looks like the stated 'guaranteed' life of a min of ten years is looking a good minimum. (I say guaranteed in parenthesis as they are made in China )

    NB: the vehicle lithium batteries are also over 90% recyclable - so not a lot of wastage either.

    Cheers
    Bryce
    P.S. Does that mean I am going to have to wait longer for my Renault Zoe?
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

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    EVs are suitable for most people's "daily drive" to work, the station or dropping the kids off. The problem is exactly what Pugnut says - there is no incentive to own one in Australia. Most people (including me) can't see the sense in paying $40k or more to drive a small hatch that won't do everything I need it to as I can't afford two cars. I guess it is like a lot of electronics - as the price comes down the uptake increases. Look at mobile phones - the first ones came with a transmitter/battery box - now everyone seems to have one in their pocket.

    Before the flaming begins - I have driven an iMEV and realise how small they are. I haven't driven a Nissan Leaf (which look far more attractive as an ownership prospect).
    Save the earth, it's the only planet with chocolate.

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    I don't see any call for flaming. This is all down to simple market forces. No different from the push to buy Australian, if the price isn't favourable, it won't happen. Since every regional market experiences slightly different economic parameters, the uptake wil vary. I too like the move to electric because it concentrates the clean/green at one end of the chain (the user) and the problem of finding the best way to achieve whole-of-process clean/green at the other (governement driven power generation options). I don't sweat the issue - it will happen when the price is right (fossil fuels are more expensive than electric) for any number of reasons.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Spot on!
    At least in France we are spared the noise in the system caused by US lawyers, ambulance chasers and class actions. Caveat emptor still very much applies in consumer law and if you buy new technology you are expected to be intelligent enough to have researched it, be aware of its advantages and limitations and treat it accordingly.
    Last edited by gerry freed; 14th November 2013 at 03:31 AM.
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    Icon10 The day might come and without pigs flying!!

    The day I am waiting for is one where I can buy a drop in electric unit/set of motors that will convert the Trusty Fuego to do the point A to Point B running. When the whole electric market and battery technology has reached that stage, who knows where the market will go, the technology and curious innovation will spark other successes, and talking points.

    What would be even better is if converting to electric cost you less to run your car and register it, i.e. reduced annual cost per Kilometer travelled, reduced insurance, low tarrif access for re-charging. If the drop in unit was priced near $10,000, and batteries $250 to $1000 I'd suggest this would foster a whole new recycling business for small compacts.

    O.K. O.K. I know that is probably a pipe dream, but wouldn't it be nice!!

    Regards

    Ken. I'd like to see that!!

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    You COULD convert a Fuego to DC elec drive for about 20k in materials. For that you get blistering take-off with the DC motor, about 70km range with lithium batteries, super cheap per km costs, cheap (overnight) tariff and $100 off your rego here in Vic. (Re discount: With a little pushing - rego discount applies to hybrids only, but it seems that a lot of EV's are being registered as hybrids as pure EV confuses them at Vicroads. Had to fight to register mine as an all electric car - cost me the $100, but I like to be registered properly!).

    Cheers
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    Icon11 Porsche Magazine article, coment of EU emmission laws etc.

    Here is a slightly different slant on the Electric car market and the forces that shape and shake..

    UK’s ‘911 and Porsche World’ magazine, December 2013 issue no.237 page 10, written by David Sutherland.

    “The development of electric cars may slacken now that the German government has torpedoed proposed EU emissions laws. But are these overweight battery cars a good idea anyway?

    Most people without a specialist knowledge of the motor industry probably think electric cars are the answer to the pollution problem. The industry’s recent offerings, not least Porsche’s Panamera S E-Hybrid, have been superbly engineered and pretty reasonable to drive, and while sales have not been growing at a fast rate, they did seem to be becoming a logical part of the automotive landscape.

    That was until Angela Merkel, now arguably Europe’s most influential politician, exposed the wooly and insubstantial basis of their existence. As reported in these pages, in late October the German Chancellor, in fighting her car industry’s corner, vetoed a stringent EU emissions target previously agreed for 2020 that most German car makers had no hope of meeting, due to their cars being bigger engined and more powerful than most.

    Prior to this, Porsche, and particularly BMW and Mercedes Benz had put a lot of resources into electric cars. Their story was they were being green, but their main motivation was that zero emissions cars help keep their average CO2 emissions down. It was even said that Mercedes only persisted with Smart, believed to be a big loss maker, for the low emissions it generated.

    But with the planned 95g/km cap now history, the industry has just lost its incentive to build electric cars. So maybe these cars – which with their battery packs and complex engineering are still of questionable efficiency when seen in the greater energy context – will revert to the side show they were previously.

    In the longer term electric cars will almost certainly play an important role. But meanwhile the removal of a distorting legislative force allows car makers like Porsche to get cleaner and more efficient without having to whistle to the Brussels tune.”
    Sounds a bit like market realities are creeping into the equation and the politicians are responding, by walking away and hand waving!!

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Sounds like the right thing to put in a Porsche magazine during the week when their competitor BMW announces the launch of its new electric car. Straight knocking copy against the world's first mass produced carbon fibre car - for weight reduction.

    see
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...8464290&type=1
    Why not order yours now at

    http://www.bmw.co.uk/en_GB/new-vehic...-a-glance.html

    VW are also in the streets of Paris checking out the charging points for their new electric.
    Last edited by gerry freed; 18th November 2013 at 02:49 AM.
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    Well to wheel vs mine to wheel a coal fired electric powered car is still a lot more efficient.
    Change electricity source and it only gets better.

    Electric cars will be squashed down time and time again, but that is not a legitimate reason for it.
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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    How would battery powered cars even work in heavy city traffic when it's hot... The batteries won't like the heat ... the occupants will die of heat stroke if there is no A/C ... So you'll have the A/C system hamming away flattening the batteries. Infact I could see it would be very easy to completely flatten the batteries while stationary in traffic due too the fans and A/C electric compressor running flat out. As for pollution, all your doing is moving to the somewhere else (ie: the power stations).

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    Icon14 Clean coal powered generating capacity will help..

    Quote Originally Posted by Pugnut403 View Post
    Well to wheel vs mine to wheel a coal fired electric powered car is still a lot more efficient.
    Change electricity source and it only gets better.

    Electric cars will be squashed down time and time again, but that is not a legitimate reason for it.
    I agree that mains charging and reasonable range will eventually win through for the electric cars, clean easy and efficient and here in Victoria it looks like we will solve the big problem of 24/7 year round power by technology to convert Brown Coal to an effective Diesel style electricity generation using DICE technology, this will solve the what happens when the wind don't blow and the sun don't shine problems in maintaining "Renewable Energy" supplies!!

    Cheap, so they say!! and ideally suited to the present Governments adaptation role. making things work that didn't!!


    2013Newsletter06.3

    The Direct Injection Carbon Engine (DICE) represents a major step towards a baseload energy technology that has low capital cost, high efficiency, low greenhouse gas emissions and provides quick stop/start/ramp times.

    DICE can be used with any carbon-based fuel source, including both renewable and fossil fuels, and can provide back up for intermittent energy sources, such as solar and wind, or provide peaking power to complement fixed-load power stations. DICE also has the potential to provide a synergistic fit with carbon capture technologies. Victorian brown coal has proven to be an ideal fuel source for DICE.

    The DICE technology involves producing a low ash coal water slurry (a micronised refined carbon or MRC).This is injected into specially adapted large diesel engines where it burns in a manner similar to heavy fuel oil, at a significantly higher thermal efficiency than existing power stations. DICE has the potential to become an alternative power generation technology to produce low cost, low CO2 electricity from Victoria’s world-class coal reserves. This article summarises RD&D undertaken with Brown Coal Innovation Australia over the last three years towards a DICE demonstration in Victoria.
    The good part of this is that we have more than 500 years of coal reserves, which puts us in a better situation than some, who are now turning back to Nuclear power generation to overcome the same baseload problem, that made things so difficult in some European countries who were dicing (pun) their old Nuclear reactors, but could not fulfil peak power generation on cold winter days or even in high winds as the wind generation failed.

    I'll be interested in how quickly this can be bought online, and our present baseload power generation arrangements can continue to function while the technology is put in place, sounds like a brilliant solution to be fast tracked by the Green "No Fracking" protesters if they are genuinely concerned as they say!!

    Incentives to the motor industry and attractive pricing, may work wonders with the market.


    Ken

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    How would battery powered cars even work in heavy city traffic when it's hot... The batteries won't like the heat ... the occupants will die of heat stroke if there is no A/C ... So you'll have the A/C system hamming away flattening the batteries. Infact I could see it would be very easy to completely flatten the batteries while stationary in traffic due too the fans and A/C electric compressor running flat out. As for pollution, all your doing is moving to the somewhere else (ie: the power stations).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Lithium batteries improve capacity at higher temperatures see
    http://www.nrel.gov/vehiclesandfuels...vs17paper2.pdf

    Oddly enough, the car manufacturers have thought of this and have smart computer software to manage the electrical consumption. You will be warned when there is excess depletion of reserves or the aircon is shut down on some models. My hybrid takes the air con into account when it shut down the engine for stops in the traffic.
    I haven't yet died of heat stroke in the H van but nearly managed it in the GS. There is life without air con.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    As for pollution, all your doing is moving to the somewhere else (ie: the power stations).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    dare i say that in france, with 75% nuclear power (at the moment...), and in elsewhere in europe which has some nuclear, some wind, some solar and increasing gas power, the above is not entirely true.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    dare i say that in france, with 75% nuclear power (at the moment...), and in elsewhere in europe which has some nuclear, some wind, some solar and increasing gas power, the above is not entirely true.
    and in France nearly all the rest is hydroelectric. France is arguably in the best position to embrace electric cars - low pollution electrical energy and high urban congestion.
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    1000+ Posts Pugnut403's Avatar
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    "moving the pollution".....
    Well yes, but also drastically reducing it.

    A big generator running at high load is much more efficient than a small motor going up and down the revs for a start.

    Electric motors are more efficient than ICE.
    Direct drive is more efficient than a transmission.

    I have run the numbers and approximately 60% of the energy that enters an electric car ends up actually moving the car down the road.
    In a petrol car it is around 10%

    Then remember refining petrol uses a LOT of electricity....a petrol car is actually accounting for as much electricity as the electric car is.

    Then there is the factor of the pollution actually is being moved.
    Instead of being drip fed to everybody in the traffic, every pedestrian, every kid playing in the yard...it is moved out of town.
    Also it's pretty hard to put exhaust scrubbers on cars...but doable on a big power station.

    All things together it is impossible to argue that electric cars don't reduce both energy usage and pollution.
    Anyone who doesn't like them is entitled to that opinion, but facts are facts.
    Pugs Rule!

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    Pugnut403

    I'd agree with that and most of that can be achieved by mandated government or semi government purchase, the crucial point is the private consumer living in an urban congested space, pulling his or her hard earned saving out of the pocket/bank or whatever and making a market choice to buy, and that will always be helped by generous discounts, government backed incentive schemes.

    In Victoria we have green dominated councils choking traffic off with walking speed restrictions, bike paths, super tramstops and the "Greens" wanting to stop building of roadways, now we suddenly have our two major parties wanting to build roads and tunnels with slightly different excuses, perhaps they can see in their crystal balls that personal road use and goods traffic will be needing new roads and pollution seems to have fallen off the agenda.

    With electric cars solidly in the mix, plenty of jobs and money to spend, new roads will be needed - and I wont have to get the old treadly out and shame the Lycra crew for years to come.

    Yes I smell some changes and I'd be happy to see electric cars in the urban environment and things like ring roads to facilitate exit from the Big smoke for that long drive into the country in my diesel or petrol, hybrid comfortmobile. (well until the technology can supply the reliability over distance that Australians need) and of course air conditioning to cool the Australian summers....without stuffing the electric battery..

    Ken

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    I'm waiting for the big silver swept winged electric aeroplane to take 500 people at a time across the Pacific without stopping for a recharge every 110 km........
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post

    for that long drive into the country in my diesel or petrol, hybrid comfortmobile. (well until the technology can supply the reliability over distance that Australians need) and of course air conditioning to cool the Australian summers....without stuffing the electric battery..

    Ken
    Yes the hybrid technology is mature and able to offer everything on on your list at around 30% off running costs. compared to a petrol car.

    In fact I drove a hybrid Camry last weekend which would come close being the ultimate hybrid appliance. The electric steering and software is much improved over earlier models.

    But the hybrid is still inferior drive the 2.5l petrol equivalent done on a A-B test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I'm waiting for the big silver swept winged electric aeroplane to take 500 people at a time across the Pacific without stopping for a recharge every 110 km........
    they can use biofuels

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