Gavin Shoebridge – an electric vehicle nut, a keen environmentalist

                Electric Car Conversion Blog By Gavin Shoebridge

May 15th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Electric Car Recharging Points – A Waste of Time?

EV Recharging Points Will Help To Ease Us Off The Oil Titty

EV Recharging Points Will Help To Ease Us Off The "Oil Titty"

Most forward-thinking city councils and local governments are busy laying plans for the installation of electric car recharging points. Malls and shopping centres are getting in on the action too. Even fast food chains such as McDonald’s are installing free charging points outside their stores in order to entice those customers more interested in processing electrons instead of burning gasoline.

But all of these charge points might just be a big waste of time and money in a few short years from now.
Judging by probably over-hyped reports floating around the web, ultra-long-range electric vehicle batteries are in the labs undergoing testing as we speak. This will most likely mean that in just a few short years we’ll be able to “fill up” our electric car batteries just once a week and then drive for 300 miles like we do with our gasoline cars.

This is great news for the future of electric vehicles, but it could mean that the thousands of recharging points being installed globally every year will be sitting around doing nothing in 20 years from now with people just recharging at home instead. The same thing happened with public phones – the only time you’ll ever see someone using one is when their cellphone’s missing or it’s battery is flat.

Of course there will always be a need for recharging points, just like there’s still a need for the public telephone. It just means that they’ll sit around unused for the majority of their lives, becoming objects of public abuse, until they’re systematically removed on a case-by-case basis.

Does this mean they’re a big waste of money? No, not at all. Invading Iraq was a big waste of money, but electric car recharging points are going to play a big part during this decade in reducing the effects of that terrible mental illness known as “Range Anxiety”. This untreatable(?) illness will stop normally logical people from buying an electric car, even though they might actually only drive 100 miles a week. With the knowledge that you’re only a mile or two away from an emergency charge if you need it, you’ll be less stressed while driving, and more likely to buy a much cleaner electric vehicle.

So even though they may only be a flash in the pan, my advice is to embrace these new charging points. They’re going to be the baby formula we need to help ease us all off the “oil titty”.

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3
  • steve
    9:44 pm on October 10th, 2010 1

    only question i have , that no one is saying, how long will it take to drive from fla. to az.

  • Yuri
    5:01 am on July 6th, 2011 2

    Gavin,
    I fully support your desire for a cleaner and more sustainable transport but the whole idea of electric transport is just fundamentally wrong.
    I wish that government decision makers studied physics better at school.
    The law of conservation of energy says that energy in conserved. A consequence of this law is that electric energy can only be transformed from another kind of energy. It means the electric energy in the charging point is converted chemical energy of fossil fuels burned at a power station. Unfortunately this conversion is not 100% efficient. According to the 2 law of thermodynamics it cannot be more that appx 40%.
    Then your charging /discharging process leads to further energy losses and last but not least – diving an electric vehicle is probably 60-70% efficient.

    Electric car is approx. 0.4×0.6×0.7=.168 or 17% efficient.
    The figures I used in this example are rather optimistic and do not account for other losses e.g. electricity in transit, battery self-discharge etc.
    A conventional car is somewhat 20%-25% efficient depending on the fuel.

    I am writing this because mass introduction of electric cars will increase our energy demands to a level which will lead to a huge overspending of our resources on new energy grids, increase pollution and global warming.

    Modern cars are becoming cleaner every year. Hydrogen fuel is a great prospect.
    Building a culture of using clean low powered cars and economical driving habits, use of public transport, motorcycles and bicycles can reduce private motoring oil consumption by a tenfold.
    But please, even if you are lobbying energy companies’ interests, for the sake of the Earth future, do not spread the electric vehicle ideas.
    Respectfully,

    Yuri

  • gavin
    10:24 pm on July 7th, 2011 3

    You may want to read one of the many, many studies which compares electric cars to gasoline cars. Every study, from every university concludes that electric cars are better for the environment – even when running off coal-fired electricity. That includes the manufacture of the battery pack too.

 

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