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Why not more range-extended electrics?

  • 23-12-2020 7:25pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,852 ✭✭✭ SeanW


    I've been watching the used car market for a while and have been semi-curiously, semi-seriously looking at electric vehicles. I understand that the main advantages to an electric car is that it should have less mechanical problems owing to fewer moving parts, lower tax, lower "fuel" costs especially if you can park in a driveway and charge at home etc. While the main disadvantages are worse range than an ICE car, longer charging times, fewer public charging stations and battery degradation over time.

    I would never consider a hybrid car as I understand (and I could be wrong on this) those give you the worst of both worlds, both a battery that is likely to fail over time, and all the moving parts associated with a normal ICE, transmission etc. AFAIK a plug in hybrid is the same, only with a bigger battery that can be charged.

    It would seem to me that the way to get people driving "electric but with a backup plan" would be to take a straight electric, like a Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe etc and add a generator that just provides backup power to the batteries but does not have any role in propelling the car. Something like this a mix of a 22kwh battery and a fuel tank could allow people driving long distances, people that don't have a private driveway or private garage to park in etc to charge the battery whenever they can but top up with petrol in a pinch. This would be particularly handy for single-car households (e.g. single person, single car family) to have one car that does everything.

    I thusly find it strange that only two major REEV types were ever made, the BMW i3 REx and the Chevrolet Volt, and both are now out of production.

    I'd be curious to know the thoughts of those who have more knowledge/experience of EVs, hybrids etc. on why range-extended electric vehicles are not more commonplace.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,062 ✭✭✭ JohnC.


    You just sent out the Mad Lad signal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 57 ✭✭ nsi423


    I think it's mostly a marketing thing. Including a REX -even as an option - is like admitting that your EV isn't practical enough yet, either because of your battery technology or the public infrastructure.
    BMW didn't have that problem with the i3, it was barely more than a concept car when it was released, so there was no pride lost in admitting the range issue.
    Nissan didn't see it the same way - the original Leaf had similar range, but they took a different marketing position, that their offering was good enough for many (which it was!).
    These days, nobody wants to admit their new EV isn't up to scratch, regardless of the state of public infrastructure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,177 ✭✭✭ Kramer


    SeanW wrote: »
    why range-extended electric vehicles are not more commonplace.

    Batteries have gotten bigger & charging speeds have improved in the years since the BMW i3 REx came out.
    Basically, there are many new fully electric cars (BEVs) which can do a Cork to Belfast drive (400km+, over 4 hours) with just a single 20 minute stop.

    You'd be making that stop anyway in an ICE vehicle, to strain the spuds & refil will a coffee etc.

    With 300km ranges being common nowadays, 90%+ of BEV owners likely have plenty of range for their day to day needs too.

    PHEVs can make sense as do BEVs. Range extenders no longer do.
    Time/tech has moved on - sorry Mad_Lad :pac:.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,028 ✭✭✭ Lantus


    Adding a small battery to a petrol engine is a good news story. Mum's can drive for miles and single handedly save the planet in their hybrid.

    But taking an ev and adding a fossil burning device is not such a good story. Your making an ev 'worse' which is much more problematic from a marketing perspective than making a petrol car a little better.

    The id3 and 4 are already there in terms of EV cars built from the ground up. No genny required
    This is the mainstream ev the world needs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,349 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    SeanW wrote: »

    I thusly find it strange that only two major REEV types were ever made, the BMW i3 REx and the Chevrolet Volt, and both are now out of production.

    The BMW i3 Rex is the only PHEV ever made that has absolutely no mechanical connectivity to the wheels and the only PHEV where the driver has complete control as to when it activates or not, that is from 75% charge to 6.5%.
    SeanW wrote: »
    I'd be curious to know the thoughts of those who have more knowledge/experience of EVs, hybrids etc. on why range-extended electric vehicles are not more commonplace.

    You won't get many favourable comments about the Rex here because those that don't have it have to queue at chargers, suffer cold battery extended charging periods, broken chargers, idiots IC'ing parking spaces etc etc and have a go at Rex owners with comments like, "the Rex isn't relevant today" "battery capacity is much greater now" "charging has got faster" all true except that the Rex is relevant and very much so to it's owners but one thing hasn't changed and that's Ireland's appalling charging infrastructure.

    The Rex also eliminates any increased charge times due to a cold battery which can add significant time to charging.

    The Rex also means you do not have to slow down on the Motorway.

    The Rex eliminates range loss due to bad weather.

    The Rex eliminates battery degradation issues But so far the 94Ah battery is proving to be extremely robust and I haven't observed any noticeable loss of capacity in nearly 4 years and 103,000 Kms a stark contrast to my 2015 Leaf after 3 years and 85,000 Kms.

    The Rex tank fills up in 10 seconds and you can carry on your journey.

    It's a shame there wasn't a bio fuel version but the Irish Government killed bio fuels with tax over night and could have been a good alternative to Diesel.

    The future, hydrogen ? a small hydrogen fuel cell or an ICE that burns hydrogen would be really sweet, refuel in seconds or add a larger tank for more range.

    Some say Electric cars will win out but I think that EV will not be suitable for many People in large countries that want to travel big distances between countries or states in the USA for instance where it wouldn't be uncommon for People there to drive 2 or 3 states away where we have no option but to take a plane or ferry if we want to leave the Island and car manufacturers are going to build cars that suit the larger countries and not what we want or need on a small Island.

    I was thinking about getting a new EV but a few things stopped me, the main one being the Rex, it's just too convenient, the battery meets most of my needs and a larger battery would meet even more except for when I need to put the boot down in bad weather, I would inevitably need to charge regardless and the convenience of not having to stop at a charger and as I experienced in Kilcullen last week, wait 20 mins and charge 20 mins, Rex allows me to miss this entirely but I decided while I was there and on the phone to wait.

    The 2nd thing that stopped me getting a new EV is my mileage, it's just too much and I've been paying for a car now for 5 years and this has to stop at some point for a few years and let the car earn for a change.

    The Rex has been 100% reliable, no issues at all, most of the Rex related issues were fixed before the 94Ah battery was released and the Rex in the 94 Ah is more powerful and I never experienced any power loss even with 6.5% battery at 120 Km/hr on the Motorway.

    You're much more likely to have issues with a Tesla than a Rex.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 538 ✭✭✭ Busman Paddy Lasty


    I think it's been a huge missed opportunity by European regulators not backing the REx. Under certain conditions classifying a REx as a full BEV for grant purposes would have steered the motor industry toward REx, reducing ICE sales. For example, eligibility based on a minimum of 125km of battery range or a quaifying CO2 figure so low that PHEVs can't reach it. Think about it, the Mad_Lad's i3 has more BEV on board than a Leaf 24 but does not qualify as a BEV. It has a small ICE but still has more BEV.

    Diesel sales took a slump after Dieselgate despite the advantage of our emissions based system. REx BEVs from all EU car makers were not available to replace lost diesel sales. Self charging hybrids filled the void and factories have kept crankin' out the petrols ever since.

    Almost everyone has asked me this last year does the Niro have a small backup tank. Their next question is why not. With grants REx versions instead of phevs would have sold big time. To this day diesels are still selling and many of them won't do the mileage to justify the engine choice.

    It was pointed out during the oil burners thread there are market segments not catered for by BEVs but demand is there. Many mentions of the Ford Galaxy or S-Max sized motors. These large wide cars would be well suited to a battery skateboard and REx. Folks do want to go EV but Model X and iPace aren't for the masses. Families that need 3 isofix in the rear have plenty of bills coming down the tracks.

    So Mr. REx maybe we will meet in an alternate history but you are not for this world.

    The king is dead. Long live the king.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,166 ✭✭✭✭ DrPhilG


    Mad_Lad wrote: »
    The Rex eliminates battery degradation issues.

    Eh?


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,349 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    JohnC. wrote: »
    You just sent out the Mad Lad signal.

    Red Alert Red Alert

    :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,349 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    DrPhilG wrote: »
    Eh?

    Think about it, when the battery degrades you still got the Rex as backup. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭ deravarra


    Mad_Lad wrote: »
    Red Alert Red Alert

    :D

    For a while I was wondering what that meant - "mad lad signal" :D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,166 ✭✭✭✭ DrPhilG


    Mad_Lad wrote: »
    Think about it, when the battery degrades you still got the Rex as backup. :D

    OK but it doesn't eliminate the degradation issues. The issues are still there, they just don't impact as badly.

    Plus is there any non-Leaf car that has notable battery degradation anyway?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,238 ✭✭✭ 80sDiesel


    One of the most popular small cars in Japan is the Nissan note e power. It’s a Rex but not a phev. The next gen quashai will have it here.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,992 Mod ✭✭✭✭ slave1


    Just another variant of a PHEV. Marketing have them as progressive step to a pure BEV but really it makes no sense for a battery to be paired with an emission motor.
    Just my humble opinion, proper range BEVs are here now so skip these Dino Juicers


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,447 ✭✭✭ ba_barabus


    I was in a Nissan dealer recently enquiring about a Leaf. He said it almost fits my needs but given my driving I'd be better wait until the new EPOWER Qashqai arrives late 2021 which seems to be what you've described above. Can't wait to try it


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,349 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    DrPhilG wrote: »
    OK but it doesn't eliminate the degradation issues. The issues are still there, they just don't impact as badly.

    Plus is there any non-Leaf car that has notable battery degradation anyway?

    No it doesn't change battery degradation it only makes it a non issue because there is no range impact with the Rex unlike a BEV.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭ deravarra


    Mad_Lad wrote: »
    No it doesn't change battery degradation it only makes it a non issue because there is no range impact with the Rex unlike a BEV.

    as long as there's petrol or diesel in the tank?

    Roll on those dilithium crystals!


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,349 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    slave1 wrote: »
    Just another variant of a PHEV. Marketing have them as progressive step to a pure BEV but really it makes no sense for a battery to be paired with an emission motor.
    Just my humble opinion, proper range BEVs are here now so skip these Dino Juicers

    It makes perfect sense to use an ICE only as a generator with an EV, until recharge times are greatly improved along with charger availability.

    This is what makes the Rex 100% unique, there's nothing like it on the road, the Rex isn't in any way mechanically connected to the wheels and you can choose whether to use it or not once the charge doesn't go down to 6.5%.

    You can choose to stop and charge or just continue on your way, chargers in use or down ? no problem just power up the Rex.

    The weather is crap, no problem, with the Rex you don't have to slow down to make up for foul weather or cold.

    The Rex allows you travel anywhere any time regardless of EV charging infrastructure, fill up in 8 seconds, pay and you're on the road again.

    The Rex could also be adapted to burn hydrogen or biofuels without the need of a Fuel Cell.

    Rex eliminates the increased charge times caused by a cold battery.

    Some day I'll have no choice but to change to BEV but for another few years I'm more than happy to keep the Rex. Maybe in 2-3 years there will be an EV that charges a lot faster, maybe battery charging won't suffer so much in the cold and maybe the charging infrastructure will greatly improve but I said that when I got the Leaf back in 2015.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,349 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    deravarra wrote: »
    as long as there's petrol or diesel in the tank?

    Roll on those dilithium crystals!

    Petrol, yes, fill up in 8 seconds, pay and drive off, you really can't beat that level of convenience.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,692 ✭✭✭ deravarra


    Mad_Lad wrote: »
    Petrol, yes, fill up in 8 seconds, pay and drive off, you really can't beat that level of convenience.

    8 seconds? Perhaps if you had a crew helping in the pit - but no, takes a bit more than that :)

    In the meantime, an overnight charge would suit a lot of people. Fast charging also not so bad especially on longer journeys. It would force you to take a decent recharging break for yourself as the driver. A good 400km drive with about 30 minutes layover before another 400km drive.

    With the range increasing to around 500+ km in most new entries, range anxiety should be lessened. And it should finally herald the end of fossil fuel antiques.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,349 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    deravarra wrote: »
    8 seconds? Perhaps if you had a crew helping in the pit - but no, takes a bit more than that :)

    In the meantime, an overnight charge would suit a lot of people. Fast charging also not so bad especially on longer journeys. It would force you to take a decent recharging break for yourself as the driver. A good 400km drive with about 30 minutes layover before another 400km drive.

    With the range increasing to around 500+ km in most new entries, range anxiety should be lessened. And it should finally herald the end of fossil fuel antiques.

    8 seconds, yes, it's a small tank! ;)

    Over night charging is fine except when away from home with no access to charging which brings me to another point, if the battery gets cold over night then charging on DC can be quite slow. The Rex also eliminates this.

    Stopping is fine if you want but can add significant time to your trip if there is a queue or someone charging when you arrive, The Rex means this is not an issue.

    400 Kms range is fine, less with foul weather and motorway speeds, cold etc but still needs to be recharged and Rex means you can avoid all this if you need.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,241 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Mad_Lad wrote: »
    Petrol, yes, fill up in 8 seconds, pay and drive off, you really can't beat that level of convenience.

    Not everyone needs a back up generator in the boot.
    From your posts you’d swear the forum is against Hybrids and PHEV’s. I. My direct family, there’s an EV, Hybrid and a PHEV. Each car suits the owners requirements.


  • Registered Users Posts: 383 ✭✭ vicM


    Gumbo wrote: »
    Not everyone needs a back up generator in the boot.
    From your posts you’d swear the forum is against Hybrids and PHEV’s. I. My direct family, there’s an EV, Hybrid and a PHEV. Each car suits the owners requirements.

    True not everyone needs a REX, but it has been stated earlier in this thread that there is a place for PHEV yet none for REX! Makes no sense to me as I would argue in the natural evolution from ICE to BEV, a REX would come after a PHEV.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 31,233 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dolanbaker


    My driving requirements are perfect for a REX, 95% of the time, I would only need a range of 30-70km. Then there is the occasional trip to Dublin and back 270 km round trip.

    I would only need to fire up the REX about once a month, or once a year with COVID.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,166 ✭✭✭✭ DrPhilG


    I can't afford a longer range BEV, I don't want to go back to a petrol.

    The Rex is ideal for my current needs but as soon as I can upgrade back into a BEV I will do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,349 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    DrPhilG wrote: »
    I can't afford a longer range BEV, I don't want to go back to a petrol.

    The Rex is ideal for my current needs but as soon as I can upgrade back into a BEV I will do.

    When I change to something else it will be BEV only because there's nothing else but I would definitely miss the Rex.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,177 ✭✭✭✭ KCross


    For the Rex lovers... what motorway range would a BEV need to have before you would give up the Rex and buy the BEV (assuming the rapid infrastructure didn’t improve).

    Just interested to know what the tipping point is for each of ye!


  • Registered Users Posts: 177 ✭✭ Ce he sin


    80sDiesel wrote: »
    One of the most popular small cars in Japan is the Nissan note e power. It’s a Rex but not a phev. The next gen quashai will have it here.


    It's not entirely correct to call e-power cars range extenders as they have only a very small battery and a correspondingly very short electric range. The idea is that the engine runs at a steady and efficient speed to keep the battery topped up and starts and stops very frequently. In steady high speed driving the engine will run almost all the time which is inefficient and is why e-power has up to now only been used in markets with high traffic densities. The next Cashcow will have an improved version of e-power more suitable for us, but Nissan haven't yet said what form it'll take.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,349 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    KCross wrote: »
    For the Rex lovers... what motorway range would a BEV need to have before you would give up the Rex and buy the BEV (assuming the rapid infrastructure didn’t improve).

    Just interested to know what the tipping point is for each of ye!

    It's not just about the range it's the Public charging infrastructure + recharge times. The ID.3 is progress for the average man but it needs to improve a lot more + cold battery charging.

    If I get another car it will have to be BEV because I'd have no choice but the convenience of the Rex just can't be emphasised enough.

    But if nothing was to change with the public network then 600 Kms would have a real impact or recharge times.

    I remember out old Honda CRV 2.0L Petrol needed a refill after around 300 miles that's 482 Kms, the difference is that it could be refilled in 1 min give or take.

    I could live with less range if I could recharge in 10 mins and 10 mins in cold weather and if we had a much better network.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,166 ✭✭✭✭ DrPhilG


    KCross wrote: »
    For the Rex lovers... what motorway range would a BEV need to have before you would give up the Rex and buy the BEV (assuming the rapid infrastructure didn’t improve).

    Just interested to know what the tipping point is for each of ye!

    200 miles at full pelt in winter.

    That would get me from Donegal to Belfast and back without a stop, or Donegal to Dublin with a destination charge or brief rapid on the way.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,376 ✭✭✭ Alkers


    Interesting post OP, we have an Ampera which is pretty much what you describe although the engine can drive the car at motorway speeds (only when set to or if the battery is depleted).

    The ev range covers my oh's commute each day without using any petrol and we tend to only use petrol if we need to do a long drive down the country etc. It's an ideal one car solution for us, it doesn't make much sense for us to fork out for a long range Bev to cover our irregular longer drives


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