Pages

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Electric car spotting

source

Presumably electric cars are not wildly uncommon in cities, but out here in Derbyshire they are rare. However, the other day I passed a Nissan Leaf (plural Nissan Leaves?) parked in a nearby street. I haven’t seen many which is not surprising in view of the short range and high purchase price although they are reputedly cheap to run.

Decades ago I was very much in favour of electric cars, not for environmental reasons but because of their comparative simplicity compared to the internal combustion engine. Fed up of doing my own servicing I suppose. We don’t do simplicity these days, but I still find the idea of an electric car attractive in spite of the embarrassing climate baggage.

Coincidentally I also saw a Tesla Model S on the M1 not so long ago, cruising along steadily at 60mph. Ignoring the hype and the expense, this one does seem to be a practical proposition as its range is at least three times the Nissan’s – about 80 miles for the Nissan compared to about 240 miles for the most basic Tesla.

Apparently Nissan Leaf drivers are prone to mileage anxiety for even moderately short journeys as they watch their battery charge drop lower and lower. It seems extraordinary that the Tesla can travel three times as far as the Nissan on a single charge. It’s not as if the need for electric cars to have an acceptable range is a new issue. It's been a key issue for what - a century?

I’ve seen a few examples of the BMW i3 about too, but they are barely any more practical than the Leaf and too ugly for serious consideration. All statement and no style. 

The Tesla though - that has style.

7 comments:

James Higham said...

Can they be electronically jammed though?

Michael said...

I'd go for an electric bike instead!

When my boat comes in, and presuming I'm not waiting at the bus station instead of the harbour, I'll be up for one of the best there is - but they keep getting better...

Roger said...

The life history of Nikola Tesla provokes some uncomfortable thoughts regarding the eponymous car. Let us hope for the investors' sakes the outcome is better.

Demetrius said...

Why can't they install wiring above streets and equip vehicles with a contact pole that would power the movement? Perhaps this could be used instead of diesel or petrol buses. Why has nobody ever thought of this?

A K Haart said...

James - almost certainly.

Michael - I fancy an electric bike but they tend to be pricey.

Roger - it's a loss maker so the outcome could be similar.

Demetrius - much too radical.

wiggiatlarge said...

Why can't they install wiring above streets and equip vehicles with a contact pole that would power the movement? Perhaps this could be used instead of diesel or petrol buses. Why has nobody ever thought of this?

They have, it was called the trolley bus, and whilst effecient they had two major flaws especially if you applied the technology to normal cars, 1 you cannot overtake and 2 if you take a bend to fast the connecting arms come off the wires and wrap themselves around the nearest lamp post, some thing that happened on more than one occasion on my way to school on one.

A K Haart said...

Wiggia - the comment by Demetrius was tongue in cheek. I remember the poles coming off quite frequently.