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Electric Vehicles - Impact on electrical network. Survey of vehicle uptake.
JonJon
3 Posts
Question
Dear IET forum,
I am carrying out research into the impacts of the projected surge of electric vehicle uptake on the local network infrastructure. The results will be used as part of my Technical report for Ceng. Please could you spare 2 minutes completing the survey in the link below? Its very short I assure you and completely anonymous. My aim is to understand a sample of peoples views on them personally taking up ownership of electric vehicles and if the pandemic may have changed their future car ownership behaviours. 
When complete i can post the results here and if you are interested make a comment and i can send you the finished technical report.
Much appreciated, thank you in advance.!
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CC7GJSB
 
15 Replies
Lee Morris
15 Posts
Hi JonJon,

I am part of a national network of EV Owners groups (i also help run the owners groups for Shropshire and Staffordshire), so if there is any assistance that I or the network can provide, please let me know and we can sort something out over PM. If you wish, i can also share the survey with them, however, i thought this many not be a good idea as i don't know if a bunch of EV owners would skew your results, so i thought i'd ask first

Lee
Helios
135 Posts
mmm well in impact terms I think the thinking has changed , in part because everyone was thinking the EV would somthing you plugged in and charged overnight , so all the various roadside charging and supermarket chargers were the first to appear , and then range scares changed the thinking to placing them at distances to take this worry away. The energy grid people (and myself a couple of years ago) thought we could only do night time charging and cross our fingers in peak load periods , that main distribution transformers didnt start glowing. 
EVs are still pretty rare but the running costs are attractive , and some people are wary of the battery replacment problem , as it devalues the actual non battery bit so much. 
The battery technology has come along , but no where near the recyclability that is needed , and if thinking about the enviromental problems that the spent batteries coould create , the first car maker that truly cracks the battery problem will see its rivals off , so its abit of race at the moment , high rate chargers damage batteries , as does charging discharging cycles , a charging regieme that makes battery last 3 times longer sooner or later will be a factor , at the moment everyone is thinking it will be 20 min charging , at mostly the supermarket , or seaside parking, and this is perhaps for EV users who dont have a drive to park on , as street charging can (although some loverly designs have been done to charge from lamposts or kerbside) . But and this is big but from a national infrastructure point of view the EV has big problems , AC has to be rectified to DC and unlike the efficiency of modern transformers , rectifiers at the moment have around a 4% energy loss , and that will add up. DC power from a renewbale could make DC charging stations , so a renewable can supply directly , but this AC to DC problem will start to focus on the equipment converstion efficiency in the EV charger , at the moment EV chargers are being rated on useability and easof payment and use , which is fine at this early stage , but the national grid must be thinking somewhere if 23 million people put there car on charge at 6pm on a friday in winter what could happen ??
The EV is new way of thinking and companies are finding solutions , infrastructure if specified wrong or poorly will place a big bill down the line , the batteries are improving , but not from the recycling perspective and its obvious to me that in changing to EVs it has to deliver true green technology over fossil fuel technology , or someone going to do a calculation that a 1 litre petrol engine really is better than 45kwh EV , other problem stats are for high speed running , where car aerodynamics are needed to make the battery go further , at the moment winter/cold weather running is thought to require 15% more electricty than summer temperature running , and high speed 70/80mph really does make range issues a problem as your battery can sudenly (particluary if has lost charge holding efficiency from new ) be less predicatable. 
If we have good batteries that recharge in less than 10 minutes , the whole pattern could change , but my guess is people will charge at home where they have a drive , and people that dont have a drive will charge at the supermarket or resturant or car park or work carpark , so i wouldnt rush on the street charging idea just yet . The right battery comes along and it could all change .    
JonJon
3 Posts
Hi Lee,
Thank you for reaching out. I appreciate the offer of passing on the survey to your EV owners club, however as you have suggested I think it would skew the results. I will certainly be in touch as i don't have any links into EV owners and some real world feedback would be invaluable. I may even create another survey for EV owners and send it to you.
Thanks again.
JonJon
JonJon
3 Posts
Helios,
Thank you very much for your reply and you have made some excellent points. Certainly given me some food for thought and some aspects i had not yet considered. 
Much appreciated.
JonJon
Lee Morris
15 Posts
Hi Helios - This is why i love working in this field - it's so exciting and changing all the time!
Lee Morris
15 Posts
No worries JonJon - anything we can do to help, just let me know. The EV community is quite a friendly tight nit thing (unfortunately there's a lack of meets at the moment, but there's still a lot of virtual activity.
Andy C
22 Posts
The final question could have done with allowing multiple selection. I think for many people range of EVs is an issue as well as availability of charging points and charging at home (for most of us who rely on on-street parking this is not possible).

Andy
CliveS
98 Posts
Agreed Andy,
The problem can be solved if we encourage hybrid electric cars which have a small battery just sufficient to travel 30 kilometre inside city centres thus eliminating pollution of our air.
On the motorways use the diesel/petrol engine to drive and charge up the batteries.  The CO2 will be immediately absorbed by the trees and green vegetation in nearby fields, so not polluting the air we breath.
The smaller the car the better of course; ideal is 30 kW brushless permanent magnet motor with small 15kWh Li ion battery.
This will save the national grid from the problem of having to rebuild and reinforce both transmission lines and new power stations which if oil/gas is running out will probably have to be nuclear or coal fired with carbon capture re-cycling.     CliveS
Simon Barker
839 Posts
CliveS:
Agreed Andy,
The problem can be solved if we encourage hybrid electric cars which have a small battery just sufficient to travel 30 kilometre inside city centres thus eliminating pollution of our air.
On the motorways use the diesel/petrol engine to drive and charge up the batteries.  The CO2 will be immediately absorbed by the trees and green vegetation in nearby fields, so not polluting the air we breath.
The smaller the car the better of course; ideal is 30 kW brushless permanent magnet motor with small 15kWh Li ion battery.
This will save the national grid from the problem of having to rebuild and reinforce both transmission lines and new power stations which if oil/gas is running out will probably have to be nuclear or coal fired with carbon capture re-cycling.     CliveS

That doesn't work for the people who live in the city.  After a few shopping trips, and taking the kids to school, the battery will be flat and the car will be forced back to running on petrol or diesel.

That's why plug-in hybrids were invented.  It doesn't take long to re-charge a modest size battery from the mains.  That way short city trips can be entirely on electric, and the engine only has to start up on long journeys.

Lee Morris
15 Posts
The national grid is very adamant that we have the capacity to run EV's, and with the ability to schedule charging using time-of-use tariffs, combined with some V2G (especially from large fleets) the use of renewables can increase. Our reliance on Coal has already dropped massively, and will continue to do so despite the increase in demands.
CliveS
98 Posts
Thanks Simon
Yes, hybrids are fine and light weigh SUV's with small battery for inside city use are OK.  But Chelsea tanks running round cities belching out fumes are out as far as I am concerned.
JoeB
26 Posts
Simon Barker:

That doesn't work for the people who live in the city.  After a few shopping trips, and taking the kids to school, the battery will be flat and the car will be forced back to running on petrol or diesel.

That's why plug-in hybrids were invented.  It doesn't take long to re-charge a modest size battery from the mains.  That way short city trips can be entirely on electric, and the engine only has to start up on long journeys.

That's exactly how we use our hybrid VW Passat GTE, short trips to the shops, school runs, dog walks, playgrounds etc, all on 100% electric.
If going longer distances I switch to Hybrid mode and let the car decide how best to use Electric/petrol. If we (remember to) plug it in after each journey it rarely goes flat, but with only about 20miles usable electric range when it does go flat it takes about 3hours to charge.
Electricity costs 14.4p per kWh during the day and just 5p for four hours overnight so it works out cheaper than doing the same types of driving in the VW Golf 1.4Tsi we traded for the Passat GTE and it has the same petrol engine. 







 

kfh
143 Posts
While I can see the benefit at the moment of the low cost of EVs I cannot see that continuing when Internal Combustion vehicles are phased out. The tax an IC vehicles currently generates over £30 Billion in taxes, its loss is going to have to be recovered from somewhere.
CliveS
98 Posts
kfh, I am sure you are correct.  To encourage solar and wind energy, huge grants were given for a few years which then disappeared so we need to take the advantage whilst we can.  
Re the Passat the electric side is exactly correct as new model has a 31 kWh battery but the car is much to heavy 1.75 tons because it has a 6 speed gearbox and several luxury sporty add-ons. 
Better if VW go for a micro-electric vehicle with no gearbox just a 1 litre engine that charges the battery on long motorway trips only.  
Lee Morris
15 Posts
CliveS:
kfh, I am sure you are correct.  To encourage solar and wind energy, huge grants were given for a few years which then disappeared so we need to take the advantage whilst we can.  
Re the Passat the electric side is exactly correct as new model has a 31 kWh battery but the car is much to heavy 1.75 tons because it has a 6 speed gearbox and several luxury sporty add-ons. 
Better if VW go for a micro-electric vehicle with no gearbox just a 1 litre engine that charges the battery on long motorway trips only.  


amen to that!

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