Are electric vehicles the future? The HONEST EV bike review

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,316
17,932
Much of what he found applies to e-cars too. Ideal for urban conditions and traffic heavy areas, and above all very relaxing to drive, far more so than i.c. vehicles.

It's difficult to describe why and a short test drive doesn't reveal it. But live with an e-vehicle and the degree of relaxation is astonishing, making them far safer in use due to being so calm and relaxed, however difficult the traffic and roads circumstances.
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ebiker99

Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2019
124
31
Much of what he found applies to e-cars too. Ideal for urban conditions and traffic heavy areas, and above all very relaxing to drive, far more so than i.c. vehicles.

It's difficult to describe why and a short test drive doesn't reveal it. But live with an e-vehicle and the degree of relaxation is astonishing, making them far safer in use due to being so calm and relaxed, however difficult the traffic and roads circumstances.
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But presumably not so good for long journeys? I personally wouldn't want to rely on having to recharge a car part way though a journey and I'd want to be sure that it could be recharged at the destination if necessary.
I'm driving around 350 miles tomorrow and the only thing I need to think about is filling up the tank at my local petrol station when I set out.
I'd be VERY interested in hearing about your experiences using your car for longer journeys.
 

E-Wheels

Pedelecer
Aug 16, 2016
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92
Sunset Coast, Western Australia
But presumably not so good for long journeys? I personally wouldn't want to rely on having to recharge a car part way though a journey and I'd want to be sure that it could be recharged at the destination if necessary.
I'm driving around 350 miles tomorrow and the only thing I need to think about is filling up the tank at my local petrol station when I set out.
I'd be VERY interested in hearing about your experiences using your car for longer journeys.
Why don’t they design electric cars with standardised removable exchange batteries
That way you could just pull into the service station change out your battery for one that is already fully charged and be on your way
Longer distances would be achievable
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,316
17,932
But presumably not so good for long journeys? I personally wouldn't want to rely on having to recharge a car part way though a journey and I'd want to be sure that it could be recharged at the destination if necessary.
I'm driving around 350 miles tomorrow and the only thing I need to think about is filling up the tank at my local petrol station when I set out.
I'd be VERY interested in hearing about your experiences using your car for longer journeys.
I've already written up about that in the forum some while ago, but no, in my view definitely not for those who do long journeys, other than perhaps someone who wants to do just one or two longer journeys in a year that demand only one rapid charge en route. Some feel differently. John who used to run Cyclezee before retiring is an e-car fan in Milton Keynes. He does long runs north in his Renault Zoe with more than one rapid charge en route and is happy with that, but that's not for me.

My 2018 Nissan Leaf was good for the claimed 160+ range when I did a run of 162 miles with some charge left, but that's summer range. When it's cold in the winter that drops to 120 miles on a run.

Those are fine for me, since I live in the extreme South London fringe and only need to drive in the counties south of London and London itself, so any journey I do is covered there and back on a single charge. Driving any further and I'd end up in the sea. In a year with the car I've never used a public charger and am not signed up to any public charge network.

Over half the drivers on the road are in not too different circumstances, never doing long journeys, so there's no impediment for large sales of e-cars, especially since e-car ranges are increasing all the time, well over 200 miles becoming more common next year. In July this year a Plus version of mine will be released with 220 mile range.

But for most of the other half of drivers who do a number of longer runs, I'd say forget e-cars and I get annoyed by those who buy one and then criticise them for the range being too short. That's their fault for buying the wrong car, not the car's fault.

Personally I only see the public charging network as being good for a very occasional long run. There's not only the inconvenience of the 30 to 50 minute wait for the rapid charge, there's also the fact that rapid charges shorten battery life, so using them frequently could prove costly. Also motorway running at higher speeds like 70 mph considerably shortens range.

So that's the range and en route charging downsides.

The upside for those who only need to charge at home and who charge on night rate electricity, is 200 mpg equivalent running cost, extremely low service costs and very high reliability. Plus of course the quality of the relaxed driving experience.

For those who do a lot of town running as well as a few long journeys, a plug-in hybrid can be the answer. The downsides are high purchase and servicing costs due to buying two drive systems and the electric drive is nothing like as powerful as a proper e-car, only good for moderate town speeds with around 25 miles range.

The plug-in hybrid upsides are pollution free electric drive for shopping, running the kids to school etc, so environmentally responsible, and very low cost urban driving on electric. Plus the ability to do very long runs on petrol.
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,316
17,932
Why don’t they design electric cars with standardised removable exchange batteries
That way you could just pull into the service station change out your battery for one that is already fully charged and be on your way
Longer distances would be achievable
Been done and failed. A scheme was set up in Israel using cars designed by e-car experts Renault but within a few years it folded.

The problems are the very high capital costs of the exchange installations and their large size, the management of battery deterioration, plus various lesser difficulties such as large increases in the cars weight and bulk and the very high voltage battery in a far less safe position. Ultimately it can't compete with the ever increasing ranges of normal e-cars and improvements in high speed charging networks.
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ebiker99

Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2019
124
31
I've already written up about that in the forum some while ago, but no, in my view definitely not for those who do long journeys, other than perhaps someone who wants to do just one or two longer journeys in a year that demand only one rapid charge en route. Some feel differently. John who used to run Cyclezee before retiring is an e-car fan in Milton Keynes. He does long runs north in his Renault Zoe with more than one rapid charge en route and is happy with that, but that's not for me.

My 2018 Nissan Leaf was good for the claimed 160+ range when I did a run of 162 miles with some charge left, but that's summer range. When it's cold in the winter that drops to 120 miles on a run.

Those are fine for me, since I live in the extreme South London fringe and only need to drive in the counties south of London and London itself, so any journey I do is covered there and back on a single charge. Driving any further and I'd end up in the sea. In a year with the car I've never used a public charger and am not signed up to any public charge network.

Over half the drivers on the road are in not too different circumstances, never doing long journeys, so there's no impediment for large sales of e-cars, especially since e-car ranges are increasing all the time, well over 200 miles becoming more common next year. In July this year a Plus version of mine will be released with 220 mile range.

But for most of the other half of drivers who do a number of longer runs, I'd say forget e-cars and I get annoyed by those who buy one and then criticise them for the range being too short. That's their fault for buying the wrong car, not the car's fault.

Personally I only see the public charging network as being good for a very occasional long run. There's not only the inconvenience of the 30 to 50 minute wait for the rapid charge, there's also the fact that rapid charges shorten battery life, so using them frequently could prove costly. Also motorway running at higher speeds like 70 mph considerably shortens range.

So that's the range and en route charging downsides.

The upside for those who only need to charge at home and who charge on night rate electricity, is 200 mpg equivalent running cost, extremely low service costs and very high reliability. Plus of course the quality of the relaxed driving experience.

For those who do a lot of town running as well as a few long journeys, a plug-in hybrid can be the answer. The downsides are high purchase and servicing costs due to buying two drive systems and the electric drive is nothing like as powerful as a proper e-car, only good for moderate town speeds with around 25 miles range.

The plug-in hybrid upsides are pollution free electric drive for shopping, running the kids to school etc, so environmentally responsible, and very low cost urban driving on electric. Plus the ability to do very long runs on petrol.
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Thanks for taking the time to share those thoughts with us Flecc, very interesting.
 
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Wicky

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 12, 2014
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Colchester, Essex
www.jhepburn.co.uk
Interesting insight of what's available - still very costly for what it is despite its performance. Even with his thoughts about using it to commute into city to avoid congestion charges / benefit no road tax - I wonder what the insurance costs would be, and how long it would last parked up before it got carted off in the back of a van. It seems to me to be an expensive £18,000 weekend plaything - I wonder if something that plodded along at max of 70 rather than 120 would be a better commuter bike from the outset. More Superdream / CX500 or heck with the wants of a few folk asking here a leccy version of C90 for the masses.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
42,316
17,932
Interesting insight of what's available - still very costly for what it is despite its performance. Even with his thoughts about using it to commute into city to avoid congestion charges / benefit no road tax - I wonder what the insurance costs would be, and how long it would last parked up before it got carted off in the back of a van. It seems to me to be an expensive £18,000 weekend plaything - I wonder if something that plodded along at max of 70 rather than 120 would be a better commuter bike from the outset. More Superdream / CX500 or heck with the wants of a few folk asking here a leccy version of C90 for the masses.
I agree, much better to aim for a smaller design more suited to city only use. E-motorbikes will be very range limited for ages due to not being able to carry much battery weight.

Still end up pricey though. The Vectrix e-scooter over a decade ago was excellent, but its £7000 was too much for the market, even the £6000 after it as reduced, so they went broke then. I see they are back now and priced at £8250, time will tell.

Vectrix
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