Electric vehicles

I have to say I love the concept of electric cars: simpler construction, easier to maintain but a heavy reliance on electronics and their life span?

I was looking at the petrol engined 32 year old car in my garage recently. Hands up, it’s not used day to day but is ‘going well’ and in good condition. The only nod to electronics it has is the ignition system. My thoughts were on the march of technology. I gazed at the car and wondered, what’s the chances of an EV (electric vehicle) being useable at the age of 32?  The key EV factor is the battery and an EV battery is typically warranted for around 8 years.

I have to say I love the concept of electric cars: simpler construction, easier to maintain but a heavy reliance on electronics and their life span?

An electric car weighs on average 300 to 500Kg (47 to 78 stone) more than a similar internal combustion engine powered vehicle. The difference is the battery. Although electronics continue to develop apace batteries have struggled to find the breakthrough needed. How long will an EV battery last?

Our experience with our phones, laptops, tablets and toothbrushes gives us a good deal of the (current) answer. By the time an EV is lets say 10 year old the chances are the car will worth considerably less than the cost of a replacement battery. There’s lot’s one can do to extend battery life; recommendations I’ve seen include keeping the charge range between 20% and 80%, avoiding fast charging, which can heat and damage the cells (how does that fit with fast top up points?) and careful driving. But it will all need thinking about, which lets face it, is a pain and hardly conducive to stress free driving, and that’s before we consider the cost differential. And yes I’ve seen the cost of ownership arguments but an I convinced?

Personally I think there’s a lot to look forward to with electric vehicles but owning one (rather than leasing) is not something that I’d consider at this time. I’m one of those people who tends to buy a car and keep it for a long time. For a day to day use vehicle I really don’t care about a new registration plate; as long as the car is working and in reasonable condition, why replace it? Most cars from the last decade have the gadgets we have come to rely on and add on’s are readily and cheaply available. I’m rather hoping that we will reach the stage that when I want an electric car I will use an app and call a self driving one which will arrive on it’s own and take me where I want to go, whilst I do something useful. We are some way off this ideal so I fear so that means I will probably end up leasing an EV at some point.

Early spring sunset

———————————

———————————

Despite the best attempts of the British weather to persuade us that ‘spring’ is really winter, many people have continued to get out and about. The pictures in this edition of the magazine show some of the rewards one gets; thanks again to Issy Runswick for many of them. At the head of the page – angry spring skies, centre a Chiltern sunset and below the proof that the rain came down!

An old mill on the Chess

———————————

The Queens Head Chesham shortly before re-opening

———————————

High in the Chilterns