The imagined, realistic situation: I have a petrol car, but for the benefit of a price discount, a state subsidy, free parking with a green license plate, and if I want to look trendy and environmentally friendly, I am considering purchasing an electric car. Even so, I can pay a good deal for it, while I can’t be sure if the lifetime ecological balance of my vehicle will actually be better than the internal combustion engine it wants to replace.
Ignoring bizarre solutions, such as providing cars with driving energy from induction coils embedded in the roadway (analogous to a cordless smartphone on the center console), I start from the premise that the car should carry the energy carrier – a petrol tank (later understood as dice). for the sake of not mentioning it constantly) or battery. Let your current and tomorrow’s fantasy car (not some specific type, as these are phenomena) be in the compact category. The tank is currently 50 liters, its empty weight is five kilograms, it can hold 35 kilograms (data of all numerical examples are rounded), it is enough for 1000 kilometers. It runs out by the end of the range, its weight is close to zero, so it’s half fair to count it as if there were a gross 20 pounds on board all along. When the red level indicator light has been on for a long time and the message “Refueling necessary” is constantly warning, I turn off to a gas station and refuel from the 50 liter / min filling gun in one minute – I can go on in five minutes with payment.
What can I expect from the electric car? It will have, say, a 33 kWh battery weighing 255 kilograms and a capacity of 30 liters. It takes up less space than the tank, but is plenty ten times as heavy: as if I were carrying 4 and a half cement bags with me on gasoline – constantly, because a discharged battery is as heavy as a charged one. This in itself guarantees the suction of a significant percentage of the capacity, shortening the range.
No wonder my electric car is said to have a range of just 170-400 kilometers. The higher number applies to horizontal road, constantly moving traffic, ideal temperature (no air conditioning, no heating, no windshield wipers, no rear windshield heating), low load on the car and only a caressing, very restrained driving style; in practice, it is more viable to start with the 170, which is almost six times more than a petrol vehicle goes for refueling. Let’s shake that 33 kilowatt-hour a little bit: in principle, it’s enough for an electric motor to exert 33 kilowatts, or 45 horsepower, for an hour. If we call only half of that, the performance of a Trabant on average, even two hours would still be enough. During that time, you could really do 170 kilometers on rural country roads, but you should look for a charging option at the latest afterwards. Why conditional mode? Because of one of the lithium-ion battery! He doesn’t like to be completely discharged, so electronic surveillance will disable further use if his charge has dropped to 20% of the nominal. It’s as if only 40 of the 50-liter tank could be utilized, 10 even swaying there at the bottom when we’re standing on the side of the road with “out of gas”.
Why would manufacturers complain in press releases and promotional texts that it only takes half an hour to regain 80% of capacity at a fast-loading column? Why is everyone talking about exactly 80%, as if they had agreed? Because the other reason for the lithium-ion battery is that its charging speed is not uniform, it reaches a certain 80% “soon” in, say, 30 minutes, but then, with decreasing charging current, the process slows down, to 100% more it may take two hours. That’s a total of 2 and a half hours, five times more than half an hour in marketing rice… Remaining with my analogy: as if 40 liters could be added to the 10 liters perpetually left at the bottom of a 50-liter tank, but the last 10 would only slowly trickle down. next to a well column. Isn’t it unthinkable, is it? Yes – with gasoline, but an annoying reality with the electric car.
What happens if the driver fills his fuel tank to the neck on the long road, pulling the “trigger” of the gun? Until the excess spills out, nothing is wrong. What if a lithium-ion battery is overcharged? In a cell charged above the rated voltage, lithium precipitates on the anode, an oxidation process is initiated from the cathode, during which the cell loses its stability, becomes hot, inflates, catches flames, and even explodes. The car and even the entire garage of the condominium can burn.
The next thrush is coming. How many times can a petrol tank be filled and emptied? As many times as you like, border the starry sky. And charge, discharge a lithium-ion battery? Read about 10,000 cycles, or a total of 200,000 kilometers, but this is not voiced in the commendable texts, nor is it the case that each charge cycle somewhat reduces the capacity of the battery (as if the fuel tank would shrink a little after each refueling). Complicating the situation is whether it does not matter whether it is a partial discharge-embankment or an approach to the permissible extremes. On the other hand, it knew that capacity would decrease towards the end of its life. The way it is used has a strong effect on battery life and performance. This can be one of the obstacles to the spread of an idea: to replace battery packs at the charging station instead of a lengthy charge. If the battery is relatively new, would I let it replace a precariously degraded one? Nana, that’s not it!
Here’s another magic number: why do manufacturers give an almost 8-year warranty on the battery (usually limited to 160,000 km)? At first glance, it seems generous, but looking up it raises suspicion: isn’t it because that’s the actual life expectancy? What will be the residual value of an electric car then, and what would it cost to replace the battery when its current price, as a part, reaches HUF 5 million? For information, European lithium-ion battery prices range from 4,000 euros (approximately 1.36 million forints) to 23 thousand (approximately 7.8 million forints) Tesla Model S electric cars. Will it be worth buying a new one, or will my car die with the battery? Anyway, what exactly does that 8 year warranty mean? Usually, 80% of the original capacity remains after this time. And since only 80% of that is worth taking advantage of, the owner of an aging electric vehicle can actually count on only 64% of the nominal one.
They are also happy to push me in front of my nose so that I am not afraid, the number of public filling points is dense, I can count on 130 thousand in Europe. That’s nice, but honestly, I don’t care a bit about how many charging stations there are in Norway or Portugal, I’m just and exclusively wondering how far the nearest one is, at home, in Hungary, and that I can get there right away or have to wait for it? Well, good, I have the smartphone application to help me, but we know that the infrastructure still needs to be significantly improved so that there are no annoying expectations, avoiders. Refueling is still a much smoother affair than recharging a battery.
And there’s the dilemma of choice: which one should I choose from the multiple charging options for my car? At home, from an electrical outlet, at the expense of my electricity bill, or from a public column, with a telephone application payment? Which one do I do better? It is not as simple as refueling, which we know is cheaper at small wells than at motorway stations. What is the optimal strategy for a private or company car?
However, the lithium-ion battery is easy to store. While a petrol tank can be left alone for months, the engine will start worse at most, because easily volatile, more flammable distillates leave the petrol first, the electric car battery, with self-discharge, can lose 3-5% of its capacity per month. If left to discharge completely, chemical processes can take place in it that will permanently destroy it. He doesn’t like cold below freezing anyway, a range between 5 and 10 degrees is optimal, but charging below zero Celsius is especially harmful. It can freeze and ruin the whole thing below minus 25 degrees – think of it, who would go skiing in their car and leave it in the hotel’s lush parking lot for a week.
Because the high price of the battery makes it a basic interest to extend its life, the owner is forced to stick to the additional needs of the energy storage. Sorolom.
• Avoid full discharge and full charge, stay between 20 and 80%.
• When charging above the latter, only park the car for as short a time as possible, and if it is being charged before a longer trip to extend the range, do so immediately before departure.
• Do not stand solely or predominantly on a quick charger; mostly with low current, charge slowly. It is preferable to take energy from a household socket.
• Do not add “floor gas” while driving, as this will shorten the life of the battery.
• Save your electric car from sub-freezing temperatures, keep and charge it in a garage, but also protect it from heat: stand next to a shaded charging pole if possible. Charging a cold battery is harmful, so charge it immediately after driving in winter before it can cool down from operating temperature.
• Use factory or other applications that optimally schedule and control charging.
• Shift to a high recovery rate on the go so you need to refill less when you reach your destination.
• Drive with foresight, avoid sudden braking, as the service brake slows down, there is no or poor recovery.
• Switch off all non-essential consumers, such as the seat heating. Reduce power consumption by selecting City or Eco mode.
Knowing all this, what can the owner of an electric car do? He pays close attention to his battery, cultivates himself from the knowledge, so he can avoid the worst misfortune, financial loss. If, on the other hand, you want to operate the expensive battery optimally, it’s a good idea not to rely solely on the vehicle’s on-board electronics to charge, but to invest in a state-of-the-art wall charger that constantly monitors battery status and works with a long-life optimized strategy. If I compare all this to using a gasoline car, I realize that my electric car is going to be pretty sloppy – I have to keep an eye on it, I can care a lot about it, it will often break pepper under my nose – but it also holds a big financial pitfall a few years later. I sleep one more to change cars…
Source: Autó-Motor by www.automotor.hu.
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