The future of vehicle fuels (LPG, CNG, LNG, Electric,?) ...

Truxx

LE
There's been some further mention of electric propulsion on the Brexit thread, as exemplified by the above, covering subsea, sea surface, land and air(*).

After cogitating for a few further seconds about the timescales for HGV-level vehicles, I idly googled and found this:



By no means capable of trucking for all day but, under current legislation for a single-crewed vehicle, an HGV need only meet the extant driver-hours regulations, which currently stand at a break or breaks totalling at least 45 minutes after no more than 4 hours 30 minutes driving. Assuming an average of 40 mph under average UK road conditions (ie, road works, smart-motorway prime-time speed restrictions, normal traffic and being optimistic), then this equates to about 180 miles, which doesn't sound too outlandish for extrapolating from current vehicle technology, even adding another 40 miles for contingency.

If the recharge time can be brought down to 30 mins, or battery-exchange be reasonably priced, then the electric pipedream might start pushing out some serious non-smoke soonish than rather much later.

If the Tesla Semi comes near meeting its claimed performance figures ...




And then there's this (#):




---------------------------

Notes:

(*) I could mention space, as well, but even I think we've got some way to go before any kind of electric launch capability becomes a reasonable proposition, with the possible exception of electric-aircraft to act as first stage, a la White Knight.



Once up in orbit, that's a different matter ...


(#) Brings back memories of my old Triang pantograph set:

When we have to stop cow-towing to Euro regs I really want a Thor truck:
 
Blame the EU

They mandate speed limiters set at 56MPH.

Even though the UK speed limit is 60MPH

As for holding car drivers up, tough. You want your stuff delivering to shops and hospitals or not? Why should car drivers have any sort of priority for road use?

Plus a 5 axle 44tonner is paying neck end of £1800 a year road tax.

Plus you would be shocked at just how many LGV drivers are on minimum wage.
It's not the general holding up I was complaining about, I understand that - I'm even patient with caravans, tractors and horses (grandparent rights - they were there long before the autovehicles were! :smile: ).

It's the scenario I described in my message, neck and neck snail racing, the drugs don't get any delivered any quicker by that particular lorry but the car carrying urgently needed blood or organs is delayed when minutes count, not to mention the increase in pollution when the cars (and smaller cargo vehicles) all put their feet down to get back up to speed.

Plus a 44-tonner is about 16 m long, a Merc E-Class estate is about 5 m, giving 3 Mercs per LGV. With E-Class road tax running at ~£450, that LGV isn't paying much more than it's equivalent in cars (about another E-Class). However, it is putting considerably more weight on the road. E-Class kerb weight is about 2.2 tonnes, add in a few pax and some luggage to bring it 2.7 tonnes, so your LGV is putting about 6 times its equivalent length in Mercs in weight onto the tarmac. I reckon you buggers should be charged at least another £1800 for all the damage you're causing! Now, if you were driving electric hover-vehicles that evened out the ground pressure ... ;-)

I will, of course, condescend to completely ignoring any attempts to equate the road tax to an equivalent number of Toyota Yarises. :-D

I probably wouldn't be shocked at an LGV (*) driver's wages.

--------------------------------------

Note:

(*) LGV - another instance of EU harmonization - I still think "HGV".
 
When we have to stop cow-towing to Euro regs I really want a Thor truck:
xos trucks now - somebody sued them over the name, apparently.



They're doing armoured vehicles as well:



A Thor armoured car would certainly catch my attention. Put a 30 mm cannon on it and would Improve my trips around the city no end.
 
Hybrid-electric cars are only suited to very specific use cases where you make mostly very short trips with lots of time for recharging in between. Aside from that, they suffer from the disadvantage of having to carry about both an internal combustion engine and a (small) battery and electric motor all the time as well as the cost of having both.

From the numbers that I've read, the majority of hybrid electric vehicles sold are in Japan. Of the remainder, the majority of those are in the US. Where they have sold well their main selling point has been the ability of the owners to claim the tax. subsidy, and regulatory advantages (or a large part thereof) of purely electric vehicles, while still essentially being internal combustion engine cars.

Unless there is some major technological advance in that area, I won't be surprised to see them disappear from the market altogether in the next five years or so.
I personally still a future in PHEVs as a transition to a fully electrified future. I mean a Chevy Volt has around 55 miles pure EV range and it actually had an engine starter to automatically start up if the car's engine hasn't started up in a while.

Plus it will also go to around 500 miles on gas.

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 20.03.59.png
 

Truxx

LE
It's not the general holding up I was complaining about, I understand that - I'm even patient with caravans, tractors and horses (grandparent rights - they were there long before the autovehicles were! :smile: ).

It's the scenario I described in my message, neck and neck snail racing, the drugs don't get any delivered any quicker by that particular lorry but the car carrying urgently needed blood or organs is delayed when minutes count, not to mention the increase in pollution when the cars (and smaller cargo vehicles) all put their feet down to get back up to speed.

Plus a 44-tonner is about 16 m long, a Merc E-Class estate is about 5 m, giving 3 Mercs per LGV. With E-Class road tax running at ~£450, that LGV isn't paying much more than it's equivalent in cars (about another E-Class). However, it is putting considerably more weight on the road. E-Class kerb weight is about 2.2 tonnes, add in a few pax and some luggage to bring it 2.7 tonnes, so your LGV is putting about 6 times its equivalent length in Mercs in weight onto the tarmac. I reckon you buggers should be charged at least another £1800 for all the damage you're causing! Now, if you were driving electric hover-vehicles that evened out the ground pressure ... ;-)

I will, of course, condescend to completely ignoring any attempts to equate the road tax to an equivalent number of Toyota Yarises. :-D

I probably wouldn't be shocked at an LGV (*) driver's wages.

--------------------------------------

Note:

(*) LGV - another instance of EU harmonization - I still think "HGV".
HGV? I am still " lorry"

Actually I am a bit of a zealot on the lorry front. The very best way forward is a massive reduction in truck miles, but you have to set this against the massive demand, much of it for shite. No longer do we toddle down to the high street for our shite, we go online for it and if enough of us order shite then someone jumps in a truck at the amazon warehouse and starts trucking.

The shite is then crossloaded into fleets of vans just to get our shite delivered. We still have our cars of course, just so we can go to the shops, see shite and then come back home and order it online.

Some manufacturers ship their shite backwards and forwards across europe before screwing the bits of shite together to make us some shite that we use then chuck away after a couple of years.

In all of this the Clever People have identified that quite a lot of shite gets pumped into the atmosphere. So they have legislated and regulated to reduce the relative amount of atmospheric shite rather than bearing down on the actual total vehicular use.

What, for instance, in Gods Holy Name is my local coop shop doing stocking apples from fecking Chile?? Chile for Christs sake. In England. In autumn. Half way across the fecking world.

I have said it before, we should be getting 30mpg out of 44 ton trucks. We are not. But they are clean.

Interesting the answer (currently) for trucks and vans could have been Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). DHL run a demonstrator and I have seen agricultural vehicles with the same set up.

Forklifs have run on propane for years and I can run a small gas compressor from my solar panels to compress enough gas for a 500 mile journey a day.

Trouble is we won't be able to get at the gas till we come up with some alternative to fracking.

My son is a nuclear engineer. He did a back of a napkin calculation on the generation requirement were all vehicles to be electric and their useage remained as it is now, ( remember that the current renewables surge is only just matching the closure of oal fired stations)

Somewhere between 12 and 20 new nuclear power stations.

Likelihood of that?

Nil.

Electricity will be useful in places. But it is not the answer.
 
This plane was mentioned earlier in this thread. It's an electric float plane in Vancouver being tested by short-haul airline Harbour Air. The first flight test has just successfully taken place.
All systems go: 1st all-electric seaplane takes flight in B.C.



It is expected to take two years to get it certified for commercial use.

There is a video of the test flight in the above news story (I cannot embed it directly here).

The plane is surprisingly noisy for something electric, although supposedly not as noisy as the regular engine.
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
I've heard of the swappable battery pack idea for electric cars. Simply pull a plug, drop the battery out onto a movable platform, pull it out and replace with a freshly charged one. All very simple.

However, for this to be a properly viable alternative to long rows of power charging points at service stations, supermarkets or whatever, there needs to be:

  • A massive network of the battery change/charge stations.
  • Each station needs to be pretty large, protected from the elements and with the power infrastructure that will allow it to charge enough battery packs, charge them until they are used and swap them over.
  • (And here's the sticky one) All electric vehicle manufacturers will need to agree a standard size, shape, plug location and power storage to make this in any way a viable option.
  • Oh, and someone needs to figure out what to do with all the nasties that will need to be disposed of when a battery pack reaches the end of it's natural life.
 
They did but I think there were a lot of pressures not least the ulez, which would hurt a lot given the size of the Met's fleet, which meant there was an element of having no choice. They are uncomfortable on blue light runs because you can't come off the drive without them braking automatically. It makes for a sea-sickness inducing ride. They are quite unpopular because they look crap and aren't practical. You have a combined officer weight limit..! They can be handy for non response work but I would take any petrol or diesel car any day.
 
I've heard of the swappable battery pack idea for electric cars. Simply pull a plug, drop the battery out onto a movable platform, pull it out and replace with a freshly charged one. All very simple.
That worked well for this Israeli company with huge funding...

 
I must admit I lost interest in F1 so I am not up to date with all the engine jiggery pokery used in F1 at the moment. However, I have watch the Formula E thing a couple of times just to see how they are going to lead F1 into electric engines in the future - cos where F1 leads the public will follow. The limitation with Formula E is the 40+ second pitstop where the driver has to change car as it would take too long to change batteries. A recent interview with Ross Brawn was illuminating, in the next couple of years there wil be teams from Porsche, Mercedes, and Toyota competing in Formula E. This means that the big boys will start spending some money of R&D and we can expect some technology bounds, if not leaps, in the tech surrounding electric vehicles.
 
I've heard of the swappable battery pack idea for electric cars. Simply pull a plug, drop the battery out onto a movable platform, pull it out and replace with a freshly charged one. All very simple.

However, for this to be a properly viable alternative to long rows of power charging points at service stations, supermarkets or whatever, there needs to be:

  • A massive network of the battery change/charge stations.
  • Each station needs to be pretty large, protected from the elements and with the power infrastructure that will allow it to charge enough battery packs, charge them until they are used and swap them over.
  • (And here's the sticky one) All electric vehicle manufacturers will need to agree a standard size, shape, plug location and power storage to make this in any way a viable option.
  • Oh, and someone needs to figure out what to do with all the nasties that will need to be disposed of when a battery pack reaches the end of it's natural life.
Modern electric car design is going in a different direction that makes interchangeable battery pack near impossible. The batteries are built into the floorpan to keep the weight low and to protect the batteries from impact. Whatever happens with battery design, they are always going to be relatively heavy. Mounting them where they can easily be changed will significantly raise the roll centre of an EV, compromising primary safety.

IMHO the interchangeable battery is an idea that will never have its day.
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
Modern electric car design is going in a different direction that makes interchangeable battery pack near impossible. The batteries are built into the floorpan to keep the weight low and to protect the batteries from impact. Whatever happens with battery design, they are always going to be relatively heavy. Mounting them where they can easily be changed will significantly raise the roll centre of an EV, compromising primary safety.

IMHO the interchangeable battery is an idea that will never have its day.
Which is part of my point.
 
Modern electric car design is going in a different direction that makes interchangeable battery pack near impossible. The batteries are built into the floorpan to keep the weight low and to protect the batteries from impact. Whatever happens with battery design, they are always going to be relatively heavy. Mounting them where they can easily be changed will significantly raise the roll centre of an EV, compromising primary safety.

IMHO the interchangeable battery is an idea that will never have its day.
The interchangeable battery idea was never really well connected with reality from a financial perspective either. The idea was to somehow take one of the most expensive parts of a car and swap it willy-nilly between cars. I would imagine that the opportunities for fraud are legion.
 
Which is part of my point.
I thought you were coming at it from the perspective of the challenge of getting manufacturers to standardise of form and fit so that batteries can be interchangeable? My point is more about the engineering impossibility of interchanging batteries are an integral part of the car’s structure.

The end result is the same; it’s not going to happen. We’re far more likely to see interchangeability of whole vehicles; rather than swap the battery, you swap the whole car. Vehicle ownership models are already changing; car shares, short term hires etc etc. There are plenty of cities where BEVs are already available in the manner of a Boris bike.
 
Forget swapping batteries, have you seen the prices for replacing simple things like HID lamps (headlights) or side mirrors? Eye watering, if you're a car owner. Everything is basically designed to be thrown away rather than be repaired/ fixed.
 

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