Perhaps Battery Powered Motorhomes.....

GeoffL

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Messages
395
Indeed. The point being that we cannot continue with our profligate ways and have to find a better way to manage our planet sustainably. Using fossil fuels is not and never will be sustainable within the likely lifespan of the human race. That's an absolute fact.
No it isn't; it's argument by assertion and hence logically fallacious...
...to start with, you don't know how long is the lifespan of the human race, and no-one knows how much fossil fuel exists in reserves not yet identified. That said, there is most certainly sufficient fossil fuel for us to invest in an alternative capable of reliably meeting mankind's needs (e.g. nuclear) and to allow development of a portable, recyclable energy source with energy density and replenishment times to rival petroleum (e.g. metal/air).
Burning Fossil fuels is having a negative impact on our environment, that's an absolute fact.
This depends on what you consider 'our environment'. IMO, our environment is a lot better with fossil fuels than it was before them. Notwithstanding that, it takes a greater quantity of fossil fuel to manufacture and power a BEV than it does to manufacture and power an equivalent modern ICEV and hence, even if your premise is correct, we'd be a lot better off without the current swath of EVs.
Burning fossil fuels is having a negative impact on our health, that's an absolute fact.
Really? Have you actually considered the negative impact on our health if we did not burn fossil fuels? (I suspect not). Fossil fuels are what currently makes survival possible for most of the soon to be eight billion people on this planet as, without the energy it provides, urban dwelling would be difficult to impossible -- and that is an absolute fact!
Over consumption is having a disastrous impact on our planet, that's an absolute fact.
At last, something on which we can agree. However, much of that over consumption is due to 'planned obsolescence' -- the thing that drives us to replace what should be perfectly good items with new; either because the manufacturer has built in something to make the item predictably fail or because (like with EVs) we are forced by authorities to replace them. In the current theatre, BEVs are part of this problem IMO, not part of the solution.
EVs may be part of the solution, certainly better than the alternatives currently available, but will need more development before they can make a big difference. Fortunately that's happening, 12 years ago a Nissan Leaf had less than 100 miles range and those early vehicles are now due a replacement battery. Now they have over 250 miles range and a battery life that will, in Nissan's words, outlive the vehicle. So what in another 10 years?
As above, BEVs are part of the problem and are certainly not better than the alternatives. In whole of life terms, Euro-6 ICEVs pollute less and require the burning of less fossil fuel than equivalent BEVs.
There are technologies that might actually be a better alternative and in the end (i.e. several decades to centuries down the road) almost all transportation will probably be electrically powered. However, I suspect that lithium-based batteries are unlikely to be what will provide the power.
In another ten years, most of the lithium powered EVs of today will be on the scrap heap. Contrast this with the diesel car I'm driving today, which is 18 years old, and my diesel powered motorhome, which is 20 years old. Both are examples of lower consumption than current EVs. About half the cars parked in my street right now are over ten years old (yep, I noted the ages their registrations denote), and a sizeable number of those under ten would be expected to last significantly over that. It seems ironic that both VW and Nissan admit their electric vehicles have such a short life span and yet see this as a good thing because it permits their batteries to outlast them!
Climate change deniers and fossil fuel lovers will eventually go the way of the dinosaur 😏😉.
... Hmmm "climate change deniers"; "fossil fuel lovers" -- such emotive, alarmist slogans -- indicative of quasi-religious ideology rather than reasoned argument IMO. (just saying...)
 

johnjjl

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Messages
13
No it isn't; it's argument by assertion and hence logically fallacious...
...to start with, you don't know how long is the lifespan of the human race, and no-one knows how much fossil fuel exists in reserves not yet identified. That said, there is most certainly sufficient fossil fuel for us to invest in an alternative capable of reliably meeting mankind's needs (e.g. nuclear) and to allow development of a portable, recyclable energy source with energy density and replenishment times to rival petroleum (e.g. metal/air).

This depends on what you consider 'our environment'. IMO, our environment is a lot better with fossil fuels than it was before them. Notwithstanding that, it takes a greater quantity of fossil fuel to manufacture and power a BEV than it does to manufacture and power an equivalent modern ICEV and hence, even if your premise is correct, we'd be a lot better off without the current swath of EVs.

Really? Have you actually considered the negative impact on our health if we did not burn fossil fuels? (I suspect not). Fossil fuels are what currently makes survival possible for most of the soon to be eight billion people on this planet as, without the energy it provides, urban dwelling would be difficult to impossible -- and that is an absolute fact!

At last, something on which we can agree. However, much of that over consumption is due to 'planned obsolescence' -- the thing that drives us to replace what should be perfectly good items with new; either because the manufacturer has built in something to make the item predictably fail or because (like with EVs) we are forced by authorities to replace them. In the current theatre, BEVs are part of this problem IMO, not part of the solution.

As above, BEVs are part of the problem and are certainly not better than the alternatives. In whole of life terms, Euro-6 ICEVs pollute less and require the burning of less fossil fuel than equivalent BEVs.
There are technologies that might actually be a better alternative and in the end (i.e. several decades to centuries down the road) almost all transportation will probably be electrically powered. However, I suspect that lithium-based batteries are unlikely to be what will provide the power.
In another ten years, most of the lithium powered EVs of today will be on the scrap heap. Contrast this with the diesel car I'm driving today, which is 18 years old, and my diesel powered motorhome, which is 20 years old. Both are examples of lower consumption than current EVs. About half the cars parked in my street right now are over ten years old (yep, I noted the ages their registrations denote), and a sizeable number of those under ten would be expected to last significantly over that. It seems ironic that both VW and Nissan admit their electric vehicles have such a short life span and yet see this as a good thing because it permits their batteries to outlast them!

... Hmmm "climate change deniers"; "fossil fuel lovers" -- such emotive, alarmist slogans -- indicative of quasi-religious ideology rather than reasoned argument IMO. (just saying...)
Everyone overlooks the real problem, that is overpopulation
 

SquirrellCook

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Messages
426
Put one person in a building designed to hold one hundred and it's cold. Add the other ninety nine and it soon warms up. You don't need a degree to work this out. Every heat source on the planet adds to it's temperature. Just don't waste resources, what ever they are.
 

GeoffL

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Messages
395
FWIW, we often hear 'environmentalists' harping on about 'sustainability', how ICEVs are not sustainable, and how EVs are the panacea to all ills. Unfortunately, that's nowhere near to being true and it turns out that lithium-based EVs are less sustainable than ICEVs. This is because there just aren't enough reserves of the required raw materials to replace the fleet of ICEVs with their BEV equivalents. According to an article in Forbes:

There are 7.2 million battery EVs or about 1% of the total vehicle fleet today. To get an idea of the scale of mining for raw materials involved in replacing the world’s gasoline and diesel-fueled cars with EVs, we can take the example of the UK as provided by Michael Kelly, the Emeritus Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge. According to Professor Kelly, if we replace all of the UK vehicle fleet with EVs, assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation batteries, we would need the following materials: about twice the annual global production of cobalt; three quarters of the world’s production lithium carbonate; nearly the entire world production of neodymium; and more than half the world’s production of copper in 2018.
And this is just for the UK. Professor Kelly estimates that if we want the whole world to be transported by electric vehicles, the vast increases in the supply of the raw materials listed above would go far beyond known reserves. The environmental and social impact of vastly-expanded mining for these materials — some of which are highly toxic when mined, transported and processed – in countries afflicted by corruption and poor human rights records can only be imagined. The clean and green image of EVs stands in stark contrast to the realities of manufacturing batteries.
 

Pudsey Bear

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1,653
I would favour truck that used Hydrogen engines, but I just watched this video.

 

in h

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Messages
762
I don't think that anyone is proposing hydrogen powered engines.

The implementations I've read about have all been hydrogen-powered fuel cells, probably allied to small lithium ion batteries to cover surge power needs. So they'd be self-charging hybrids.

At present, hydrogen is too expensive as a road fuel, but when it is made from excess renewable electricity (which will probably have a negative cost) the price should be competitive.

The issue is power density. Battery storage simply isn't fuel dense enough for commercial vehicles.
Here are the (approximate) comparable figures:

Hydrogen is around 35,000 Wh/Kg (but the tanks are pretty heavy)
LPG is around 13,800 Wh/Kg
Diesel is around 12,600 Wh/Kg

All these are primary fuels, and converting this stored energy to usable energy is probably no better than 50% efficient, so you can halve those figures for real-world usable power output

Batteries store power after this conversion, so you don't need to halve the output to allow for conversion loss, but they still lag far, far behind in power density.

A Li-Ion battery is about 200 Wh/Kg
A lead-acid battery is about 40 Wh/Kg
 

johnjjl

Full Member

Messages
13
FWIW, we often hear 'environmentalists' harping on about 'sustainability', how ICEVs are not sustainable, and how EVs are the panacea to all ills. Unfortunately, that's nowhere near to being true and it turns out that lithium-based EVs are less sustainable than ICEVs. This is because there just aren't enough reserves of the required raw materials to replace the fleet of ICEVs with their BEV equivalents. According to an article in Forbes:

There are 7.2 million battery EVs or about 1% of the total vehicle fleet today. To get an idea of the scale of mining for raw materials involved in replacing the world’s gasoline and diesel-fueled cars with EVs, we can take the example of the UK as provided by Michael Kelly, the Emeritus Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge. According to Professor Kelly, if we replace all of the UK vehicle fleet with EVs, assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation batteries, we would need the following materials: about twice the annual global production of cobalt; three quarters of the world’s production lithium carbonate; nearly the entire world production of neodymium; and more than half the world’s production of copper in 2018.
And this is just for the UK. Professor Kelly estimates that if we want the whole world to be transported by electric vehicles, the vast increases in the supply of the raw materials listed above would go far beyond known reserves. The environmental and social impact of vastly-expanded mining for these materials — some of which are highly toxic when mined, transported and processed – in countries afflicted by corruption and poor human rights records can only be imagined. The clean and green image of EVs stands in stark contrast to the realities of manufacturing batteries.
not to mention the disposal costs.
 

GeoffL

Full Member

Messages
395
I don't think that anyone is proposing hydrogen powered engines.

The implementations I've read about have all been hydrogen-powered fuel cells, probably allied to small lithium ion batteries to cover surge power needs. So they'd be self-charging hybrids.

At present, hydrogen is too expensive as a road fuel, but when it is made from excess renewable electricity (which will probably have a negative cost) the price should be competitive.

The issue is power density. Battery storage simply isn't fuel dense enough for commercial vehicles.
Here are the (approximate) comparable figures:

Hydrogen is around 35,000 Wh/Kg (but the tanks are pretty heavy)
LPG is around 13,800 Wh/Kg
Diesel is around 12,600 Wh/Kg

All these are primary fuels, and converting this stored energy to usable energy is probably no better than 50% efficient, so you can halve those figures for real-world usable power output

Batteries store power after this conversion, so you don't need to halve the output to allow for conversion loss, but they still lag far, far behind in power density.

A Li-Ion battery is about 200 Wh/Kg
A lead-acid battery is about 40 Wh/Kg
Those figures pretty much concur with what I have. However, there is a battery technology (aluminium/air) that comes close to diesel. Recent developments have achieved energy densities of between 5 to 8 kWh/kg with a theoretical maximum of 12 kWh/kg -- and that's at point of use without the losses from the inefficiencies of burning the stuff. If a network of anode exchange stations are established, these batteries could replace petroleum; and the alumina waste is relatively easily recycled (more so than lithium-based batteries). Also, 'recharging' by replacing the anodes instead of plugging in to an electrical outlet means that there won't be a massive increase in demand on the network at large that would result in every man and his dog plugging their BEVs in every night -- when the wind blows less and the sun don't shine!
 
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davef

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Messages
25
There is a theory that fossil fuels are not actually fossil as oil has been found at depths which pre-date plant and animal life. It may be that it is continuously being created. A renewable fuel....
A Japanese research team compared the first satellite photos covering the Earth's surface to current photos and found an area the size of North America had greened in that time - the deserts had diminished. They put the reason down to the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 is just plant food, not a pollutant. Without the increase in it there would by now be mass starvation with the increasing world population.
I assume governments are banning petrol and diesel vehicles to drastically reduce the number of people who can use private transport. It certainly is not " to save the Earth ".
 

in h

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Messages
762
Those figures pretty much concur with what I have. However, there is a battery technology (aluminium/air) that comes close to diesel. Recent developments have achieved energy densities of between 5 to 8 kWh/kg with a theoretical maximum of 12 kWh/kg -- and that's at point of use without the losses from the inefficiencies of burning the stuff. If a network of anode exchange stations are established, these batteries could replace petroleum; and the alumina waste is relatively easily recycled (more so than lithium-based batteries). Also, 'recharging' by replacing the anodes instead of plugging in to an electrical outlet means that there won't be a massive increase in demand on the network at large that would result in every man and his dog plugging their BEVs in every night -- when the wind blows less and the sun don't shine!
The problem with aluminium air batteries are that they are primary batteries, not rechargeable. Yes, there could be a network of exchange stations, but it will never be cheap, and are they never going to be "green"

The point of both rechargeable batteries and of hydrogen fuel is that they can use up excess renewable power.

To achieve anything like continuity of supply, renewable resources will need to be several times as big as average demand, which means there will be long periods of excess production, where power isn't just cheap: it will be free or have a negative cost.

Charging batteries and generating hydrogen are ways to use this excess power (which generators will probably be paying people to take away).
 

GeoffL

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Messages
395
The problem with aluminium air batteries are that they are primary batteries, not rechargeable. Yes, there could be a network of exchange stations, but it will never be cheap, and are they never going to be "green"
There are pros and cons to both Al/Air non-rechargeable and Li-based rechargeable batteries. Li-based batteries are most certainly not 'green' and the lack of essential mineral reserves means that Li-based BEVs cannot replace the ICEV fleet (take a look at my post #44). Li-based battery disposal is already an issue (see my post #30) and will only get worse as more BEVs are created. OTOH, Al/Air batteries are fully recyclable since it is waste alumina that is processed during recycling, and that's the way we currently get Al metal anyway.

Edited to add: you claim that 'it will never be cheap', but this depends on your expectations. I suspect that the financial sector and exchequer will collude to ensure that Al/air won't be cheaper than diesel; but it could be. If you look from 8:20 in the video I linked in my first post to this thread (relinked here for convenience) the figures quoted for Al/Air turn out in GBP to equate to 7.9 p/km without any rebate for the waste alumina and 5.04 p/km with that rebate. At 50 mpg and diesel costing £1.30/litre, diesel works out at 7.4 p/km (with current, hideous taxation).
The point of both rechargeable batteries and of hydrogen fuel is that they can use up excess renewable power.

To achieve anything like continuity of supply, renewable resources will need to be several times as big as average demand, which means there will be long periods of excess production, where power isn't just cheap: it will be free or have a negative cost.

Charging batteries and generating hydrogen are ways to use this excess power (which generators will probably be paying people to take away).
Charging batteries, generating hydrogen and smelting alumina are all ways of using excess power. Note that excess power will almost certainly exist during the daylight hours -- when a large proportion of the BEV fleet is on the road and unavailable for charging and that the peak demand will occur during the night when all those BEVs go on charge and when the production capacity from wind and solar is at its minimum. Thus rechargeable batteries are a poor fit for the conditions you describe.

However, BEVs can be used as 'home batteries' (they're trialling this in SA currently) and used to 'prop up' the grid at times of peak demand. Unfortunately, this requires that power distribution companies have the ability to not only prevent your car from being charged, but also to drain what energy it does have: i.e. you could plug in a partially charged BEV at night and expect it to be fully charged in the morning only to find it almost fully discharged, with potentially disastrous consequences! In contrast, both hydrogen and aluminium production can make use of excess power at the time it is actually being generated and so make a lot more sense than lithium-based rechargeables.

 
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GeoffL

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Messages
395
Warning: copious amount of maths and figures! ...

Intrigued by @in h 's comment that Al/Air would never be cheap, and after running the figures for Al/Air vs diesel, I wondered how this compares with lithium-based BEVs. For that, I've chosen a Tesla Model S (it was the first BEV for which I could get both a real-world range and battery capacity). For Al/Air, I'm using the figures given in the video I linked in my previous post. I'm also assuming that the 'raw' costs of both types of battery are reflected in the price of the vehicles.

Some research suggests that the 'raw' cost of a BEV battery pack is about £122 / kWh and so the 95 kWh pack of the Model S has a 'raw' value of £11,590. As noted previously, the cost of electricity for the Model S is 2.98p/km and so for 100,000 miles (160,000 km), this works out at £4,768 giving a total 'fuel' cost for 100,000 miles of £16,358.

I couldn't get a reliable figure for the 'raw' price of an Al/Air battery and so I made an assumption that the battery (without anodes) would cost the value in aluminium of it's non-anode weight. At US$ 2.00 / kg the 96kg of battery that isn't anode would cost under £140. To that, add the cost per km at both rebated and non-rebated prices of 5.04 p/km and 7.9 p/km respectively for 100,000 miles (160,000 km) to give totals of £8,064 and £12,651. This means that the 'fuel cost' at the 100,000 mile point is £8,294 less for Al/Air with waste alumina rebate and £3,707 less without. Further, the Al/Air vehicle doesn't become more expensive until the 150,000 mile point without the waste alumina rebate and the 360,000 mile point with the rebate.

Of course, the above is just an exercise and doesn't take account of the various fingers in the pie that will undoubtedly skew both purchase and running costs...
 

Full Member

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Messages
4,382
This BBC article on recycling electric vehicle batteries is interesting:

BBC News - Electric cars: What will happen to all the dead batteries?

My feeling is that by the time there are significant numbers of EV batteries needing to be recycled, there will be profitable businesses eager to oblige.

Colin 🙂🙂🙂
 

GeoffL

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Messages
395
This BBC article on recycling electric vehicle batteries is interesting:

BBC News - Electric cars: What will happen to all the dead batteries?

My feeling is that by the time there are significant numbers of EV batteries needing to be recycled, there will be profitable businesses eager to oblige.

Colin 🙂🙂🙂
Once again, the BBC seems incorrect. The problem isn't "in ten years time", the problem is right now. One firm in Germany that specialises in recycling said that they expected to see a lot of EV batteries in 8 to 10 years time but they're already overstretched with the (unexpected) number of EV batteries going their way. There is (was?) an expectation that EV batteries would have a second life in a not-so-demanding (in energy density terms) applications, such as home batteries. However, that doesn't seem to be happening, at least on a large enough scale.
https://notrickszone.com/2021/04/17...disaster-discarded-even-sooner-than-expected/
 

Full Member

Full Member

Messages
4,382
Once again, the BBC seems incorrect. The problem isn't "in ten years time", the problem is right now. One firm in Germany that specialises in recycling said that they expected to see a lot of EV batteries in 8 to 10 years time but they're already overstretched with the (unexpected) number of EV batteries going their way. There is (was?) an expectation that EV batteries would have a second life in a not-so-demanding (in energy density terms) applications, such as home batteries. However, that doesn't seem to be happening, at least on a large enough scale.
https://notrickszone.com/2021/04/17...disaster-discarded-even-sooner-than-expected/

Thanks for your input, Geoff.
Volume manufacture of EVs hasn't started yet and won't for perhaps 5 years. Assuming that the batteries will then last something like 10 years means that businesses have some time to get volume battery recycling facilities up and running. I'm not a pessimist in this matter and still feel that humankind will cope. Frankly we don't have an option and in any case the societal pressures and the profit motive will be very significant drivers.
As indeed it has been - and will be - handling our plastic waste problem.
Things aren't perfect.
Things won't be perfect.
But change in the way that we move people and products around the planet is necessary. I've been around technological research and development and attitudinal change all my life and have great faith in humankind's ability to develop appropriate technologies, adapt behaviour and cope with change.
A very recent example of this is, of course, the Covid 19 pandemic.

Colin 🙂🙂🙂
 
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GeoffL

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Messages
395
Thanks for your input, Geoff.
Volume manufacture of EVs hasn't started yet and won't for perhaps 5 years. Assuming that the batteries will then last something like 10 years means that businesses have some time to get volume battery recycling facilities up and running. I'm not a pessimist in this matter and still feel that humankind will cope. Frankly we don't have an option and in any case the societal pressures and the profit motive will be very significant drivers.
As indeed it has been - and will be - handling our plastic waste problem.
Things aren't perfect.
Things won't be perfect.
But change in the way that we move people and products around the planet is necessary. I've been around technological research and development and attitudinal change all my life and have great faith in humankind's ability to develop appropriate technologies, adapt behaviour and cope with change.
A very recent example of this is, of course, the Covid 19 pandemic.

Colin 🙂🙂🙂
Actually, we (humanity) have several options better than lithium-based BEVs. We have sufficient fossil fuels to continue using them for decades -- so there is no need to rush into something that (in whole life terms) is worse than the "issue" it's trying to solve. We have the time to develop and implement much better alternatives than lithium-based BEVs, for which (as I noted upthread in post #44) there are insufficient mineral reserves in the World to replace the World's entire fleet of ICEVs with Li-BEVs and hence can never be a complete 'solution'.
 

GeoffL

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Messages
395
FWIW, I've been racking my brain to try and figure out why there is such a push for Li-based EVs. They pollute more and have lower overall efficiency than the equivalent modern ICEVs and, for many, are so much less convenient. In a few years there will be millions of EVs with batteries that have reached the end of their (EV) life to potentially create a disposal problem. But what if that's exactly what 'they' want: i.e. several million battery packs that are ready for their "second life" in applications less demanding with regard to energy density.

Consider the push toward wind and solar power. Wind turbines and PV arrays have one massive issue -- they are intrinsically intermittent because the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine. So there is a need to 'overproduce' electricity during the 'good times' and store the excess for when wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine -- and there will be lots and lots of lovely batteries that will be obtainable for 'scrap value' that the public were obliged to buy at full price since only EVs were available (and us getting lumbered with sub-optimal vehicles is just collateral damage :mad: )...

... Call me cynical, but that's the only way Li-based BEVs make sense to me...
 

HurricaneSmith

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Messages
766
I think it's simpler.

People are being invited into a newish technology, long before the public fully understand the issues caused by that change.

My wife has always wanted to drive a pony and trap. If the "greens" and others gain their way, I'll buy her one, as the output is great for the garden.. I'll also invest in woad and henna.

🤣
 

Whitetornado

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Messages
9
.......are more realistic and closer than hitherto assumed?
This BBC summary of an interesting theoretical study by Björn Nykvist and Olle Olsson and published in 'Joule' is well worth a read:

BBC News - Climate change: Electric trucks 'can compete with diesel ones'

If you would like to read the article in 'Joule' it can be found here but there's a charge to access the full paper:

The Feasibility of Heavy Battery Powered Electric Trucks


Colin 🙂🙂🙂
I would say that they are inevitable and imminent, given the amount of BEV vans coming onto the market. In a few years 2nd hand vans will be available, which is when the BEV home conversion becomes a reality.
 

Bailey62

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Messages
4
Hypothesis. If you drove your Tesla to say, Heathrow, left it on a car park with no charging facilities at 10% charge left, for a month, what would be the state of the batteries on your return?
A couple of comments, first the “electric thief” does take some power when the car not in use. This varies dependant on temperature and tends to be around a mile a day. Secondly I hear the battery life arguments but am not technical, I can only speak from experience. While I said EV’s tend to leave home with a full tank perhaps I should have said they always leave with sufficient for the day or a full tank. I don’t drive to maximum range every day like most liquid fuel drivers. My first Tesla I kept for 3 years did just over 30000 miles both local and long distance and when I sold the car the battery range was no different to when I bought it. It’s trade in value was at least as good as the previous 11 cars (all Jaguars)
 
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