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Is the future of birding electric? (1 Viewer)

DMW

Well-known member
With the current energy mix, EV cars cause about half the amount of CO2 emissions over their lifetime (including production) compared to ICE. So that's a 50% reduction. However, I worry that people are going to drive more because once they have invested in an expensive EV the cost of driving it is much less. I would definitely drive more if I had spent so much money on a car that enables cheap driving.

I really like EVs, but I will probably keep my (14 year old, little used) car alive for another 10 years because it makes more environmental and economic sense for me. 10 years from now, I think private ownership of cars will be less because for people who only use cars occasionally (like myself) it will make more economic sense to just use the cheap driverless electric taxis that I expect will be abundant by then.
I think it will be made increasingly untenable to drive older cars, through legislation and increasing cost of fuel. There are already cities where you aren't allowed to enter with a vehicle that doesn't meet certain emissions standards, and this is likely to be rolled out more and more widely.
 

Essex Tern

🦆🥋🏃🏻‍♂️📷🎹🎸
Supporter
Europe
My full hybrid shows a range of 450 odd miles on a full tank of petrol - due to the situation in the world I haven’t yet had chance to take it on a long run 🙁, but think the range would outweigh that prediction with some long range cruising type driving. Currently showing an average of 45mpg with only 4500 miles of short drives which isn’t bad for a 2litre. My first car with an auto handbrake and I actually quite like it doing it for me when I put it into park. Too early fo me for a full electric, I like the reassurance currently of being able to fill up and carry on quickly.
 

cottonbase

Well-known member
It's a valid point, but also applies to bikes. As EVs become more popular, I suppose we will see some form of Darwinian evolution among pedestrians 😁
Unlikely. Segways got banned from pavements for safety reasons.

And it's not about Darwinianism - EVs at low speed are unbelievably quiet. In a car park, you could easily get hit by one as you don't realise they're anywhere near you. (But then plenty of ICE drivers are equally as oblivious on motorways!)
 

YuShan

Well-known member
I think it will be made increasingly untenable to drive older cars, through legislation and increasing cost of fuel. There are already cities where you aren't allowed to enter with a vehicle that doesn't meet certain emissions standards, and this is likely to be rolled out more and more widely.
You may be right, but in the UK new petrol cars will be sold until 2030 so they won't be banned outright. Also, many people don't have the possibility to charge their car at home. As always, these things hit the poorest people the most. They will probably increase fuel duty and I'm fine with that. You'll have to balance that cost against the cost of scrapping a perfectly fine car and spending thousands of £ on an EV.
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
Unlikely. Segways got banned from pavements for safety reasons.

And it's not about Darwinianism - EVs at low speed are unbelievably quiet. In a car park, you could easily get hit by one as you don't realise they're anywhere near you. (But then plenty of ICE drivers are equally as oblivious on motorways!)
Near us there's a road you have to cross between two reservoirs at the bottom of a dip on a bend. You can only really safely cross by listening for traffic (as opposed to looking). In town taxis are often hybrid - they suddenly creep forward unexpectedly. Both issues could be readily resolvable with reasonably low technology though.
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Renault are looking at introducing a couple of small electric vehicles and reviving some old names. The 5 and the 4. Initially the designs look great.

An MX-30 with a range extender (when they introduce it) could definitely be a viable option for us after a couple of years of depreciation.

Rich
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
I agree with all these points. Living on a busy road, the idea of no more engine noise is very appealing, but would need to be accompanied with better tyre tread design and quieter road surfaces for maximum benefit.

Range could easily be dealt with in the longer term by having standard battery dimensions and fittings. You would just rent batteries, pull into a service station and a robot arm (or surly teenager) would automatically swap out with a fully charged battery. It's a question of infrastructure and common standards rather than technology.

Places like Africa and inland Australia are probably never going to be suitable for EVs unless there's a currently unforeseeable advance in technology and infrastructure.
Different road surfaces for different areas perhaps - sometimes you need to hear a vehicle approaching, perhaps noisier road surfaces in towns (safety for older/partially sighted/children).

As batteries are very heavy and kept low where possible to keep a low centre of gravity and stability, it may be that driving onto a ramp in a car wash type installation and the battery could be decoupled automatically (like a supermarket spirit bottle tag?!) from below, car moved forward and newly charged battery installed for correct type. Stock of batteries would be pre-charged from grid at low usage times - then charged throughout the day. If standardised then a rolling charge and replacement through the day - no need to store hundreds on site.

I'm sure there would be other issues complicating it though (eg manufacturers working together), but could suit a niche.
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Are there any chargers at the reserves? Would be great to be able to turn up, plug in, then have your car charging whilst you spend a few hours birding.

Can’t say I’ve ever noticed any.

Rich
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Are there any chargers at the reserves? Would be great to be able to turn up, plug in, then have your car charging whilst you spend a few hours birding.

Can’t say I’ve ever noticed any.

Rich
Minsmere has a couple, but they need every space to have one, so not being realistic yet. Infrastructure must lead conversion.

John
 

ClarkWGriswold

Carpe Carpum
Staff member
Supporter
Wales
Minsmere has a couple, but they need every space to have one, so not being realistic yet. Infrastructure must lead conversion.

John
Harry Metcalfe (Harry’s Garage) run an iPace a couple of years ago and was very critical of the infrastructure. More recently he ran a Taycan and said that it had improved but there was still a way to.

Rich
 

Adey Baker

Member
You may be right, but in the UK new petrol cars will be sold until 2030 so they won't be banned outright. Also, many people don't have the possibility to charge their car at home. As always, these things hit the poorest people the most. They will probably increase fuel duty and I'm fine with that. You'll have to balance that cost against the cost of scrapping a perfectly fine car and spending thousands of £ on an EV.
The fuel duty will be a major problem - or, rather the lack of it if we all drive EVs. They'll have to put higher tax on other things to make up the shortfall so driving might be cheaper but other things may be more expensive
 

DMW

Well-known member
Unlikely. Segways got banned from pavements for safety reasons.

And it's not about Darwinianism - EVs at low speed are unbelievably quiet. In a car park, you could easily get hit by one as you don't realise they're anywhere near you. (But then plenty of ICE drivers are equally as oblivious on motorways!)
I was, of course, joking, but being serious, clearly the long term solution is to limit speeds to 15mph and have your valet run in front of the vehicle with a red flag and a bell.
 

Essex Tern

🦆🥋🏃🏻‍♂️📷🎹🎸
Supporter
Europe
My full hybrid shows a range of 450 odd miles on a full tank of petrol - due to the situation in the world I haven’t yet had chance to take it on a long run 🙁, but think the range would outweigh that prediction with some long range cruising type driving. Currently showing an average of 45mpg with only 4500 miles of short drives which isn’t bad for a 2litre. My first car with an auto handbrake and I actually quite like it doing it for me when I put it into park. Too early fo me for a full electric, I like the reassurance currently of being able to fill up and carry on quickly.
....the quoted range on full electrics is getting better, but if you give them any amount of beans the remaining range starts to drop off like the edge of a cliff I understand, and that scares me as I never let my fuel tank go below a quarter 😂
 

edenwatcher

Well-known member
What is the argument against hydrogen for cars?
Insufficient energy density (also infrastructure, but that applies to everything). Fuel cells aren't efficient enough.
Ammonia is an interesting option for ships, but I'm veering off topic!

Rob
 
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DMW

Well-known member
Different road surfaces for different areas perhaps - sometimes you need to hear a vehicle approaching, perhaps noisier road surfaces in towns (safety for older/partially sighted/children).

As batteries are very heavy and kept low where possible to keep a low centre of gravity and stability, it may be that driving onto a ramp in a car wash type installation and the battery could be decoupled automatically (like a supermarket spirit bottle tag?!) from below, car moved forward and newly charged battery installed for correct type. Stock of batteries would be pre-charged from grid at low usage times - then charged throughout the day. If standardised then a rolling charge and replacement through the day - no need to store hundreds on site.

I'm sure there would be other issues complicating it though (eg manufacturers working together), but could suit a niche.
There are various ways you could load batteries. I was thinking of a robot forklift style side loader, but your way would perhaps be better. The issue is a bit like the early railways, no common standards between competing manufacturers, and the need for a very rapid roll-out of infrastructure.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I birded in a Prius for years....loved it. Gas saving to me is important as birding is 'back to nature' and while I am still burning gas with the Prius, I am not burning it as much. I am temporarily in a 'truck'...but only until I make a move across country and then back to some sort of hybrid. I don't like a pure EV as right now, they are not good enough and too many issues with charging and the time involved etc. In time, that will work its' course. But a hybrid like the Prius where I have 30 miles of free miles, plus a gas tank, allows me to bird while still being environmentally aware, jim
 

cafe birder

Well-known member
Supporter
I'm another who now drives a Prius as a halfway move while EVs become more practical. I understand that one of the big Chinese manufacturers use battery swaps rather than recharge. You pay a monthly fee which entitles you to 5 swaps per month. They are promising a battery with a 600 mile range before end of this year but do not operate in Europe yet. We are at the start of a paradigm shift where there is money to be made by companies who react quickly. I believe the landscape will be utterly different in 3 to 4 years time and intend my next car to be all electric if affordable.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
I was just reading an article in the paper where they reverse CO2 and combine with Oxygen and turn into a fuel. I think it has been around a while but with the battery issues etc, this still is an option. Zero carbon footprint from what I understand.
 

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