The year of the EV? (12 Jul, 2017)

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The year of the EV? (12 Jul, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:55 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2017/0712.shtml

Yes, I'm going out on a limb and predicting that by 2027, at least half the vehicles on our urban and suburban roadways will be electric.

Unfortunately, unless we start upgrading our electricity generation and distribution infrastructure now, cities like Auckland will find it very hard going - as EVs suck the life out of the grid overnight.

Should we be planning for this transition already and getting critical work underway in order to meet the massive surge in peak-power demands that EVs will create?

Or will we (as usual) be reactive rather than proactive?
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Re: The year of the EV? (12 Jul, 2017)

Postby Perry » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:34 am

Not all houses will be oriented to suit PV arrays, but a power pack charging at home, for a transfer to the EV overnight? Could that work?
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Re: The year of the EV? (12 Jul, 2017)

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:36 am

With EVs and battery technology it is possible to have a battery in your garage which can be run off the ripple controller to charge during off peak times or even off a solar panel and or wind turbine on the garage roof. This could allow the lines companies to manage the loads a bit and avoid a massive spike. There is even talk of batteries being charged during off peak and then feeding back in during peak time. I think in Auckland a 1MW battery is being installed to do this in one of the central substations. This will save them having to build another feeder to handle the peak load.
With some EVs you can even charge them, then plug them in at home and run your house off it.
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Re: The year of the EV? (12 Jul, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:46 am

The thing is that once EVs become popular there won't be an "off peak" time as we know it now. At the moment, "off peak" tends to be after 11pm and through the small hours of the morning when most people are tucked up in bed with the lights out and heating turned way down. Once we've got half the population recharging their EVs overnight, this may well become the new "peak time" for energy consumption and during the day, levels of electricity consumption probably won't be much higher or lower because we're all using heat pumps, appliances and other items.

The addition of a battery pack to allow the storage of "off peak" power will also add hugely to the cost of an EV so I don't see that being much of a starter.
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Re: The year of the EV? (12 Jul, 2017)

Postby Muz » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:14 am

aardvark_admin wrote:Should we be planning for this transition already and getting critical work underway in order to meet the massive surge in peak-power demands that EVs will create?


Easy answer, dam every river, dam every stream

aardvark_admin wrote:The addition of a battery pack to allow the storage of "off peak" power will also add hugely to the cost of an EV so I don't see that being much of a starter.


At the moment it's all encouragement ...... free fast chargers being set up all around the country so with a bit of careful management these guys aren't being charged a thing. The one thing that seems to be ignored is how and how much EV users are going to be charged to use the roads. Will it be simple like road tax for diesel vehicles? If so, then how do they handle hybrids - they'll be paying twice when on dino fuel.

Will this be the death of caravans? trailers? How much range do you have while towing using an EV? To the end of the driveway or the street?
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Re: The year of the EV? (12 Jul, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:17 am

I expect that road-use will be as it is for diesels -- by per Km traveled. This may even be linked to charge-stations so that when you charge, the number of Km you've traveled is automatically charged along with the amount of electricity you're buying for the charge.
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Re: The year of the EV? (12 Jul, 2017)

Postby hagfish » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:55 am

The electrification of the vehicle fleet isn't happening in isolation. Also in the mix we have vehicle autonomy, delivery drones, fast internet access (fibre, 5G), resource depletion/pollution (CO2) etc. These factors will all develop and bump off one another in unpredictable ways. I would be very surprised if in 10 years, we have privately-owned, 1.5 ton vehicles capable of travelling 300Km at 100Kph, and the only thing that has changed is the form of motive power.

My guess is that the future holds much more public transport (or at least, centrally-owned transport - fleets of autonomous taxis and small buses) and that these vehicles will have much lower performance than a modern cars. If they don't have to foot it with the existing car fleet, they could be built from 3D-printed composites, and putter along at 50Km/hr, swapping out battery packs every 50Km. Maybe the future will be less convenient than just piling all our crap into a car and heading off, but something has to give.

It's hard to imagine an end to 'the commute'. The remote-working dream came and went. Maybe drones will take over lots of trips that currently require a 2-ton van+driver. They aren't making any more fossil fuel, and growing corn to feed to cars will be unthinkable, pretty soon. Electrification of the vehicle fleet is on the way, but everything else is crystal ball material.
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Re: The year of the EV? (12 Jul, 2017)

Postby Weasel » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:14 am

If the cost of batteries and solar panels come down enough, the solution to the "grid" problem is most have solar regulated by a large battery pack at home, dribbles electricity out to the neighborhood grid as needed and retains enough to charge the car up each night. Otherwise car charing will need to be managed/load controlled, which means no car charging at 7PM when everyone has the oven and hot water running.

Alternatively TransPower could build a real transmission line between Haywards and Auckland. 500kV to 1MV HVDC and AC line are common elsewhere. Where I live there are a few 500kV lines around. But I think the last time TransPower tried to build a transmission line somewhere everyone got upset about it and opposed as soon as they realized the golden goose wasnt going to lay them a gold egg to run a transmission line over their property. So ripple controlled car charging it is, just like the hot water used to be and probably still is in Northland.
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Re: The year of the EV? (12 Jul, 2017)

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:07 pm

aardvark_admin wrote:I expect that road-use will be as it is for diesels -- by per Km traveled. This may even be linked to charge-stations so that when you charge, the number of Km you've traveled is automatically charged along with the amount of electricity you're buying for the charge.


The rules are already in place. Basically the same as private diesel vehicles. Standard RUC paid for at the post office with the sticker displayed next to the registration sticker. EVs are currently exempt until they hit 5% of the NZ vehicle fleet. A nice little bonus for the early adopters.
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Re: The year of the EV? (12 Jul, 2017)

Postby paulw » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:56 pm

I suspect that you won't see a big jump in EVs unless someone like the Chinese gov mandated that all new vehicles sold in China from Jan 01 2020 would have to be EV then you would see development. Currently in NZ the price of a new EV is around the $60 to 70 grand mark. People who buy the likes of the Toyota Corolla or Mazda 3 will not pay that price. Even the much heralded Tesla 3 will be about $70K by the time it gets here.. The only other option is to buy a second hand Jap or UK Nissan Leaf import for about $15 to 30 grand with a battery that may or may not have a good life expectancy. I don't see an EV on my horizon for at least another 5 or 6 years and then it will most likely be second hand or plugin hybrid..
Last edited by paulw on Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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