Following our successful online lockdown meeting on electric cars John Willis has produced a power point containing all the information you'll need on choosing whether to go electric. Click the icon to download.
Some interesting points came up in the Q&A session and John has provided some additional comments to add to the replies he gave during the discussion:
Do rapid chargers reduce battery life?
In looking into this issue, it became apparent that there is a risk of reducing the battery life from rapid charging, which is more significant in some EVs - apparently due largely to temperature control of the battery. This is illustrated by the different approach to rapid charging by Tesla and Nissan. Tesla see rapid charging as an essential part of achieving high market penetration by EVs, whereas Nissan apparently have pitched the design of their Leaf EV at users who will only use rapid chargers infrequently (in fact their warranty includes a limitation on the use of rapid chargers). The notable distinction between these two manufacturers is that Tesla use a liquid cooling system for the battery compared to a passive air cooling system used by Nissan.
For more on this subject, see this article from the GEOTAB website: ‘What can 6,000 electric vehicles tell us about EV battery health’ https://www.geotab.com/blog/ev-battery-health/
It’s interesting to note that this article is generally reassuring about EV battery deterioration, with the conclusion that “If the observed degradation rates are maintained, the vast majority of batteries will outlast the usable life of the vehicle”.
A question was asked about whether Ford offer EVs. Ford have had a Focus EV available since 2013 but it has not made much impact on the motoring world. They have been slow to offer dedicated EV models, but this is changing. Ford have recently announced the ‘Mustang Mach-E’ model that has very impressive credentials, with 300+ mile range as well as high performance. Prices start at just over £40,000 with deliveries expected in late 2021. Ford have also announced a number of other new EV or plug-in hybrid models, including Fiesta, Focus, etc.
Camper Van EVs
Another interesting question that I couldn’t answer in any detail was about the availability of EV camper vans / mini-buses. A few checks on the internet indicates there are already some good choices, with other more futuristic options due in the next year or two (eg VW ID Buzz – a futuristic reworking of the old Combi van concept). There are EV versions of the Mercedes Sprinter, Nissan E-NV200, Fiat Ducato plus the LDV EV80 (based on Chinese major components). To get a feel for the choices, this You Tube video (‘7 Best EV Campers’) is helpful: https://youtu.be/3VdMTYGLZ6Q