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Once 'green' plug-in hybrid cars suddenly look like dinosaurs in Europe

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By Nick Carey and Kate Abnett

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"It's crazy to do this by 2025 because effectively you kill demand today," 

"For most people, a battery electric car is not yet practical," 

So, for “most” people, the need something else… So there’s demand then. And you have 5 years to develop better batteries.

Also, “most people” seems like fiction, I’d love to see stats on who needs to travel more than 300 miles each way every day to go to work. I think for “most” people, a work commute is an hour or less, so about 50 miles at most. For most people, an EV is perfect.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The geography of The Netherlands is more BEV-friendly than most of the rest of Europe, so it is not a good example for typical use.

PHEV firmware can be programmed to default to electric. They can even be programmed to require at least as much electric use as ICE over any fixed period or be speed capped/refuse to work.

Making the charging free for the first few years would be a huge cost saving for most drivers and provide a better incentive to switch to a BEV (where possible) or a PHEV, than any threats.

We will still be using petrol for classic vehicles and coal for steam trains as they are an important part of our heritage. In places like the Australian outback, ICE capability may need to be retained. It is unwise to have any absolute bans.

The focus needs to be much more upon the roll out of a viable, globally standardised charging infrastructure. Many folk won't trust the technology until this has happened.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Also, “most people” seems like fiction, I’d love to see stats on who needs to travel more than 300 miles each way every day to go to work. I think for “most” people, a work commute is an hour or less, so about 50 miles at most. For most people, an EV is perfect.

I have a Prius works great in Kanto my wife's mother has a Leaf also great in Kanto.

But when we went to visit my wife's grandmother in Niigata that was where we found out the Prius was barely able to power through the snow, Hills forget it, and before someone says I don't know how to drive in winter conditions I was born, raised and started driving in a country that is the definition of winter.

The Leaf was worse, at least once the engine kicked in the Prius could handle straight roads with snow, the Leaf could barely pull out of a snow covered parking spot.

Kei cars were zooming past the Leaf constantly and again my mother, in law was born in Niigata so knows how to drive in winter conditions up there.

If you live in the city or very urban areas hybrid and electric are fine, try living in Much of Canada, Hokkaido, northern Honshu, the French Alps, Pyrenees, etc...

EV loose about 20% of their energy in the cold, the regenerative braking doesn't function properly in cold or snow, charging is far slower in the cold of winter, meaning it will take far longer to change, hold less power.

Yes I understand the need to find alternatives to gasoline engines but we are not yet there and the only people that think we are live in big cities and think the rest of the world can do like them.

My parents live 15 k from the nearest small town a 2 lane road steep hills often covered in ice in the winter, love to see someone get a Leaf up those Hills and I know the results of my uncle's Tesla driving those roads, it wasn't pretty, safe to say he never tried it again.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I'm OK with a modern day hybrid vehicle (THS II for example) for my current driving needs. I might consider an EV for driving to work or running short errands about town, etc., if I could afford to own more than one vehicle (one for commuting and one for long distance driving and/or weekend sports driving) . So, I guess that as a car enthusiast having only one EV is not the "right" choice. Besides, I relish the sounds, smells, vibration and sensation that only an ICE can provide, no matter how fast EV's might be these days. I'll take the "driving" experience over the "green" one any day.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Turns out "green" is not so green after all.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"For most people, a battery electric car is not yet practical,"

Yes its a fantasy dreamed up by people who live in dreamland.

*Zero emission vehicles ? What ?

The rubber for the tires is produced using ?

The wiring in the vehicle is covered in plastic made using what?

Mining the damn rare earth is produced using what ?

Generating the electricity is produced using what ?

Disposing of the batteries is done how?

Recycling the rare earth is done how?

They are less efficient than those petrol driven vehicles over their whole life span, but the green movement has sold and taught the opposite.

*Even riding a horse will not be zero emissions FFS, the horse passes gas .

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Hear is the best example of the problems and inefficiency of Today's electric cars.

In cold climates like Hokkaido and Canada people that do not have a home charging system or do not leave the cars plugged in at all times find that if the car is left out in the cold for a week without changing the batteries have lost so much charge that the vehicle will not start.

To add to the problem once the power level has dropped below a certain level the systems cut out, meaning even if you have a charging station at home you cannot charge the car.

The car needs to be brought to a dealer the systems reset and the dealer needs to charge the vehicle.

At this point the battery capacity can no longer be fully charged ever again, each time this happens the car looses battery capacity.

So leaving an electric car sitting around in the cold means losing money and energy.

Many consumer complaints are now underway in Canada over this problem because the dealers charge for towing and resenting the systems.

If the car doesn't work in the cold they shouldn't be selling them in those places.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Let people decide what to buy, enough dictatorship...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I've driven a hybrid Alphard in the snow in Nagano for about eight years. I live up a steep slope with a section in complete shade that gets very icy. Like most cars sold as 4wd in Japan, it is only pseudo 4wd with the engine connected to the front and only small motors on the rear axle, but it is perfectly fine in the snow. My kids ski, and we've been to all the local ski resorts in this car, including Shiga Kogen that involves a 1000 meter vertical gain up a notorious road. For winter driving in Japan, good tyres are more important than 4wd. It sounds like electrics can have big problems in winter, they don't get free heat from a combustion engine, but hybrids with decent tyres and preferably 4wd are fine, no different to any other car.

People use cars in lots of different ways, and it should be no surprise that all electric works best for some, PHEV for others, regular hybrid for others, and hydrogen or conventional eco box for others again. It's a bit silly to suggest only one kind of eco car is best for all. For electrics, the big issue is and continues to be the charging infrastructure, especially for the millions of people who do not live in a house with offroad parking. My own hopes about the future of cars are with self-driving, because rather than caring about engines, motors, and fuel, what self-driving does is challenge the whole role of cars in society. Cars that drive around independently do not need to be owned, do not need to sit on parking spaces by your house, the office, or the shops, and can go off by themselves when they need filling up.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

kohakuebisu I see, and those same shared cars you mention would be great for spreading an infectious virus wouldnt they , having to sit in some one elses filth and muck does not sound enjoyable , the idea of car sharing doesnt work for some of us.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Bjorn Tomention

... having to sit in some one elses filth and muck does not sound enjoyable , the idea of car sharing doesnt work for some of us.

Filth and muck? What sort of cars have you been in... farm tractors? I've seen scruffy car interiors, but filth and muck? Are we exaggerating a wee bit?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In cold climates like Hokkaido and Canada people that do not have a home charging system or do not leave the cars plugged in at all times find that if the car is left out in the cold for a week without changing the batteries have lost so much charge that the vehicle will not start.

To add to the problem once the power level has dropped below a certain level the systems cut out, meaning even if you have a charging station at home you cannot charge the car.

The car needs to be brought to a dealer the systems reset and the dealer needs to charge the vehicle.

Normal electrical systems are not effected in such a manner. The companies making these vehicles are responsible and should make them so that these issues of "resetting" or "will not operate under a certain charge". A system where when the battery level gets to 10% or 5%, it goes into emergency economy setting and the only things that work are the motor, half lighting and indicator, break lights and hazard lights work in order to get the most distance out of the battery and to allow it to continue operation and to charge on complete empty.

I believe all EV's should have solar panels in the roof and bonnet to allow some trickle charging during daylight and if you run out of power it will give a few km's a day in charge. Free power for the life of the vehicle is to much to expect from most builders it seems, but not all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO3kr_-bL18

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thunderbird2 have you not tried the car sharing yourself then?

You havent lived until you see how some others live.

Seen those people at the lights picking their nose then wiping it on the steering wheel ?

Ever wonder what else has been going on inside those cars, honestly some people are disgusting.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Demise of gas stations in Europe?

Not yet - trucks/lorries still require diesel

PHEV is a no brainer, yet it seems people with short-distance urban journeys are making decisions - in a polity defined by seasons hot and COLD.

And, is Holland typical of other markets let alone inside Europe.

As well, what are policies now for pushing people to the alternative of public transport networks?

Finally, discord in comments over germs in shared vehicles - geez, when will some people ever see wood from trees?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Bjorn Tomention

You make a lot of good points in your first post. The overall environmental impact of any car is not so easy to measure. A small gasoline-powered car that is only driven for say 5000 km per year versus a fully electric car with a large battery that is driven for the same distance - the former may be greener.

Even riding a horse will not be zero emissions FFS, the horse passes gas .

But assuming the horse's food is natural, is it not carbon neutral?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Even riding a horse will not be zero emissions FFS, the horse passes gas .

The driver and passengers all pass gas, do you have a solution for that?

Some things are meant to be, burning fossil fuels need not be one of them. The world is waking to the imminent danger and will work through ways to reduce or limit greenhouse gas producing ways of life. It wont be perfect and some mistakes may be made but all in all the trend has to go down if we are to survive and keeping the status quo of burning all these fossil fuels is not an option. Change must and will happen, and dragging your feet will not help solve the issues.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Chevrolet quit making their PHEV, the Volt, in February 2019. Still, their EV, the Bolt, is very highly rated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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