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The EV thread

I don’t think we have a dedicated EV thread so here goes:

Robert Pepper is an automotive journalist who is more of an acquaintance than a mate (I have met him through a 4WD club and we are FB friends).  He doesn’t play favourites and conducts his own research to test manufacturers’ claims.  The following is his take on the recent Dakar rally:

Quote
An EV has won Dakar!  No it didn't, it's not an EV!

So which is it?  An electric vehicle, or a petrol vehicle? The opposing camps are each claiming the vehicle as their own.

The answer is both and neither. It's a hybrid. Similar in fact to Nissan's X-Trail e-Power.

So the Audi RS Q e-tron is indeed pure electric drive. It has an electric motor on the front axle, and another on the rear.  The "centre differential" is software, virtual.  This is just like Rivians, AWD Teslas including Cybertruck and the other AWD EVs.  There is no gearbox, single-speed.  Watch my EV AWD powertrains video for more on all of this.

The Audi RS Q e-tron also has a battery which weighs around 370kg and has a capacity of around 52kWh, which is pretty small for even a roadcar EV.  Total weight is 2100kg without drivers.

Now as you can imagine a 52kWh battery isn't going to get a 2100kg sand racer on 37" tyres very far. Which is why there is also a 2.0L, four-cyclinder turbo petrol engine which acts as a generator, or energy convertor - it generates electricity which either powers the motors at the axle, or charges the battery. The battery can also be recharged via re-gen when the vehicle slows.  And that's exactly what the X-Trail e-Power uses. Older hybrids used the ICE motors to directly drive the powertrain as well as the electric motors.

So is the Audi RS Q e-tron an EV?  Yes, and also, no.  Yes as it has electric motors which drive the car, and that is the technical definition of an EV, which doesn't preclude how those motors have their power supplied - from a generator driven by petrol, hydrogen, or just a big battery, or even solar. A "hydrogen car" is also an EV as it uses electricity to power its engine, just that electricity is generated by a hydrogen powerplant.  The definition of an EV doesn't mean it has to have a battery.

But in popular parlance, most people think of an EV as what is actually a BEV, or Battery Electric Vehicle which has no ICE (petrol/diesel) engine at all, and the Audi RS Q e-tron is not a BEV as whilst it has a battery, it also has a petrol engine.

Hopefully that clears it up.  You can go back to shouting at each other now which should make everyone feel better.
“Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”  Oddball

Re: The EV thread

Reply #1
Yep.  I like the shouting at each other bit the most.

Personally, I just want to drive a mid sized hatchback that isnt going to cost me a house deposit, and am agnostic when it comes to ICE vs EV vs BEV vs what ever other acronym is being invented.

Instead, you can buy a small, medium or large SUV, a commercial vehicle, or a hatchback or one of the crappy little sedans that fit nothing but the people they are transporting. 

"everything you know is wrong"

Paul Hewson

Re: The EV thread

Reply #2
The ICE/EV concept is nothing new.  Diesel locomotives have diesel-powered electric motors and Ferdinand Porsche's WW2 Tiger tank had twin ten-cylinder diesel engines, each of which powered a 500 kVA generator that fed twin 230 kW generators that powered the electric motors that drove each set of tracks.

Of course, Audi's set up is far more sophisticated and efficient, as is Porsche's current version of Ferdinand's concept.  The fact that the ICE/EVs don't have gears, transmission or transfer case means that they are lighter, easier to drive and quicker to get from point A to point B.  They're still burning fossil fuel though, but probably not for too much longer.

My diesel V8 will probably keep going until diesel is outlawed or becomes too expensive.  I probably won't need a vehicle then  :)
“Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”  Oddball

Re: The EV thread

Reply #3
My diesel V8 will probably keep going until diesel is outlawed or becomes too expensive.  I probably won't need a vehicle then  :)

This is the million dollar question that nobody seems to know the answer too. When is Diesel (and petrol) going to become unsustainable financially.

I'm due for a new work car that is sorted through work. I can have a 2-3 year lease and buy it out after that which at that time, will most likely go to the missus and she can sell her car (currently a CX9.)

So i've been kicking tyres for 2 years trying to work out what i should get / invest in with an eye to the long term viability of it and how it would suit our families needs basically now and 6 years from now.

Currently i've got a ranger and am very happy with it. Doesn't miss a beat, has all the fancy tech which half drives itself.
But, the missus won't want to drive a ranger as a daily drive....and fair enough too. Ditto any other ute.
So i've been looking at some SUVs and Prado and Everest seem to be the go-to options which i can make do with and she'd happily drive down the track....and have the 7 seats which she 'needs' despite us only having 2 kids....but i digress.

Currently there is no PHEV (insert acronym here) in either of those and varying reports on if/when there will be, despite it being 'on-the-cards' for years now.

So do i continue to wait for a hybrid?
Do i pull the plug now and end up with a money sink down the track?

Currently i'm in a state of paralysis by analysis and i need to get moving one way or another soon.
What do i do?

Re: The EV thread

Reply #4
This is the million dollar question that nobody seems to know the answer too. When is Diesel (and petrol) going to become unsustainable financially.

I'm due for a new work car that is sorted through work. I can have a 2-3 year lease and buy it out after that which at that time, will most likely go to the missus and she can sell her car (currently a CX9.)

So i've been kicking tyres for 2 years trying to work out what i should get / invest in with an eye to the long term viability of it and how it would suit our families needs basically now and 6 years from now.

Currently i've got a ranger and am very happy with it. Doesn't miss a beat, has all the fancy tech which half drives itself.
But, the missus won't want to drive a ranger as a daily drive....and fair enough too. Ditto any other ute.
So i've been looking at some SUVs and Prado and Everest seem to be the go-to options which i can make do with and she'd happily drive down the track....and have the 7 seats which she 'needs' despite us only having 2 kids....but i digress.

Currently there is no PHEV (insert acronym here) in either of those and varying reports on if/when there will be, despite it being 'on-the-cards' for years now.

So do i continue to wait for a hybrid?
Do i pull the plug now and end up with a money sink down the track?

Currently i'm in a state of paralysis by analysis and i need to get moving one way or another soon.
What do i do?


As long as it’s only an option to purchase, I’d grab the funest.
I’d happily drive a ev but when I purchased my van in 2021 there were no ev vans, so I went with a turbo diesel HiAce.
Let’s go BIG !

Re: The EV thread

Reply #5

So i've been looking at some SUVs and Prado and Everest seem to be the go-to options which i can make do with and she'd happily drive down the track....and have the 7 seats which she 'needs' despite us only having 2 kids....but i digress.

Currently there is no PHEV (insert acronym here) in either of those and varying reports on if/when there will be, despite it being 'on-the-cards' for years now.

So do i continue to wait for a hybrid?
Do i pull the plug now and end up with a money sink down the track?

Currently i'm in a state of paralysis by analysis and i need to get moving one way or another soon.
What do i do?

I can't believe the changes of mind over the Everest PHEV.  One article says 2024, the next says never and so on ad nauseum.  ::)

I don't think things will change dramatically over the next five years or so ... but that could be famous last words!
“Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”  Oddball

Re: The EV thread

Reply #6
I can't believe the changes of mind over the Everest PHEV.  One article says 2024, the next says never and so on ad nauseum.  ::)

I don't things will change dramatically over the next five years or so ... but that could be famous last words!

Yep.
Bloody frustrating.

I know as soon as i make a decision, the following week there will be an announcement thats its on the way. I've got awesome timing like that.

Example....
After years of thinking about it, decided to 'upgrade' the house and move not far away (same suburb). Looking at prices, attending auctions with no luck. Finally had a winning bid on the saturday. On the Monday was the first of the non-stop rate increases we've seen. Had a 12 month bridging loan. and an investment loan. All 3 of them doubled by the time we sold our old joint and moved in. Cost us 1000's if not 10,000's due to timing of the whole thing.


Re: The EV thread

Reply #7
So i've been kicking tyres for 2 years trying to work out what i should get / invest in with an eye to the long term viability of it and how it would suit our families needs basically now and 6 years from now.
For me waiting for a reliable PHEV might be a long wait, when the first ones come out they'll struggle. A mate just took delivery of a brand new top end Merc FEV 4WD, his summary after 3 months, "Piece of crap, I want my money back".

You pay all that money, and it's a lot like $180K, and the thing breaks down and is off the road for a week at a time twice in the first 3 months. No genuine local support, technicians coming in from OS, so he's gone back to diesel.

I'm not sure if it's better to wait for Hydrogen 4WD if you want to go green, it's already working reliably in buses and trucks, you just need more filling options to appear and they will eventually.
The Force Awakens!

Re: The EV thread

Reply #8
For me waiting for a reliable PHEV might be a long wait, when the first ones come out they'll struggle. A mate just took delivery of a brand new top end Merc FEV 4WD, his summary after 3 months, "Piece of crap, I want my money back".

You pay all that money, and it's a lot like $180K, and the thing breaks down and is off the road for a week at a time twice in the first 3 months. No genuine local support, technicians coming in from OS, so he's gone back to diesel.

I'm not sure if it's better to wait for Hydrogen 4WD if you want to go green, it's already working reliably in buses and trucks, you just need more filling options to appear and they will eventually.

All I’ve heard about Chinese ev is that they’re great, all I’ve heard about euro/yank ev is that they stink
Let’s go BIG !

Re: The EV thread

Reply #9
All I’ve heard about Chinese ev is that they’re great, all I’ve heard about euro/yank ev is that they stink
I suspect that is right because of relative judgements. If you have come from a mid-range ICEs like Mazda, Toyota, Hyundai or Kia you are probably going to think the torque and acceleration of the EV is terrific, and the EV comes with much of the fancy gadgetry standard. But it looks to me like people coming off high end vehicles are finding the EV equivalents somewhat sub-par. It sort of makes sense because the high end already had the performance and the features that EVs bring as standard to the low end.

The only thing that worries me about the low end, is that I fear it's going to be a big shock when the batteries start failing. These things aren't like ICEs, the EVs grow old even when you are not using them and you'll be changing the batteries within a decade or so just like you would on an ageing laptop, or you'll upgrade the whole car, in which case it's green credentials bite the dust long before the odometer equals break-even!
The Force Awakens!

Re: The EV thread

Reply #10
I’m hearing from non Australian ev owners that battery degradation is minimal and they are expecting the batteries to outlast the car itself.
Sure, only time will tell but I wouldn’t want a ice petrol with 300,000km+ but these ev owners believe they’ll be getting 600-1000000km, if the body lasts
Let’s go BIG !

Re: The EV thread

Reply #11
I’m hearing from non Australian ev owners that battery degradation is minimal and they are expecting the batteries to outlast the car itself.
Sure, only time will tell but I wouldn’t want a ice petrol with 300,000km+ but these ev owners believe they’ll be getting 600-1000000km, if the body lasts
I'm afraid it's a fantasy.

It fairly easy to discredit, with what is starting to happen with Tesla's. Not only are they already seeing drop offs in capacity and range, but in places like California they are generating stockpiles of EV waste.

btw., All the EV's cap charge to about 80% of the initially rated capacity, the end users don't see the drop happening until it starts to eat into that 80% region, so the first few years look golden before they come to a cliff edge. I appreciate if you have a small to medium EV city car you might never get to the region that is critical and might not even notice the battery is down 50%, but we were talking about 4WDs.

At the moment, the battery industry is a bit like SolarPV, it's full of cowboys who won't be here in a decade when the warranty claims start rolling in. They build the factories, win the contracts, then sell the business to your pension fund!
The Force Awakens!

Re: The EV thread

Reply #12
For me waiting for a reliable PHEV might be a long wait, when the first ones come out they'll struggle. A mate just took delivery of a brand new top end Merc FEV 4WD, his summary after 3 months, "Piece of crap, I want my money back".

You pay all that money, and it's a lot like $180K, and the thing breaks down and is off the road for a week at a time twice in the first 3 months. No genuine local support, technicians coming in from OS, so he's gone back to diesel.

I'm not sure if it's better to wait for Hydrogen 4WD if you want to go green, it's already working reliably in buses and trucks, you just need more filling options to appear and they will eventually.

Care to elaborate on piece of crap??

The car will be on a 3 year lease which will then be passed onto the wife while i get a new 3 year lease and the cycle continues of hand me downs. With the oldest one getting sold.
My worry is, by the time it gets to that 6 year mark, so much in the industry will have changed that it could be a piece of scrap and that's about it.
That could be if it's diesel or if it's an ev which is superseded by a better tech by then.
It could be because the car is close to its of life or its technology is or its taxed out of existence with rising fuel costs....or simple much better running costs from an equivalent.

There doesn't seem to be a clear path for any one area as there have been no governmental  certainty in our next direction as a society.

Do you buy vhs or beta or hold out for laser disc? Only to be made redundant by DVD and then streaming?

Re: The EV thread

Reply #13
I’m hearing from non Australian ev owners that battery degradation is minimal and they are expecting the batteries to outlast the car itself.
Sure, only time will tell but I wouldn’t want a ice petrol with 300,000km+ but these ev owners believe they’ll be getting 600-1000000km, if the body lasts

Yes, most EV manufacturers guarantee batteries for 8 years/160,000km and informed estimates suggest that they'll last 10-20 years, but with performance diminishing more rapidly after the 10 year mark.  However, EV batteries will degrade more quickly if exposed to temperatures below 0C and above 27C.  Clearly, that will present problems for Australian users, but not Tesla owners as their batteries are protected by a thermal management system.  Fast charging also degrades batteries.

There's an interesting blog about a cove towing a caravan around Australia with a Tesla.  It is a specially designed pop-up type caravan rather than the over GCM monstrosities many folk seem to tow.  He's having a ball and no issues ... yet.

TV "personality" Craig "Macca" McGowan recently gained publicity by exposing a "diesel fueled EV charging station" at Caiguna on the Nullabor.  In fact, the charging station is powered by cooking oil from the roadhouse and diesel is only used to start it during cold weather.   Just more "shouting at each other" as Robert Pepper put it.
“Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”  Oddball

Re: The EV thread

Reply #14
If I ever buy another vehicle in my life I will probably strongly consider an EV. As long as my present ICE vehicle keeps going then I'll probably settle for that. At my present  rate of distance covered per year I should be OK.
Reality always wins in the end.