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20+ moving parts versus 2000+ moving parts. Will EVs become way cheaper?

  • 05-11-2021 6:08pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3,395 ✭✭✭

    An article in the Financial Times a couple of weeks back mentioned that petrol cars have about 2000+ moving parts versus the 20+ moving parts in an electric vehicle.

    Can EVs go the way of all electronic goods over the last 25 years (computers, TVs, take your pick...) and become way better and way cheaper?

    In short, there is virtually nothing to an EV and little to be maintained.

    Are there opportunities for Tesla-like startups to produce dirt cheap EVs?

    Is an IKEA-priced EV possible?

    Do we still need Toyota like infrastructures to build the EV cars of the future?

    Or are governments too in love with all that tax, and is the car lobby too powerful?




  • Registered Users Posts: 10,968 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Cheap EVs are very much a reality, just look at the range of budget EVs from China available for under €5k

    Will you be able to get a 4 seat EV that can travel 400+km for those kinds of prices?

    Probably not, car makers have gotten pretty good at selling people cars they don't need and I doubt they'll stop

    Plus as you mentioned, governments make a lot of tax money from higher value cars and there isn't a huge incentive for them to change this

    However, there's a strong possibility that car ownership might become a thing of the past for many city dwellers. Small car rental services using cars like the Citroen Ami seem to be getting more popular.

    Go Car in Ireland seem to be doing well, and if you don't need a car for commuting then it's probably more cost effective to sign up for a car sharing service like that

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 564 ✭✭✭Pivot Eoin

    There will come a time when a Huawei, or more recently a Xiaomi comes in and disrupts the market from a price perspective.

    You could argue someone like Dacia has paved the way for this to happen in EV market.

    In terms of parts etc. yes its a no brainer, this stuff will just naturally become less costly to produce with better performance to boot.

    But you can bet the likes of VW, Ford and BMW will be fighting tooth and nail with regulators to stop something like this when the time comes to it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,395 ✭✭✭Dinarius

    Interesting points.

    The EV has redefined the car. We now have something that is a simple as an electric scooter, albeit on four wheels. There is little to them.

    But, there are powerful vested interests.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,575 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i assume the stat mentioned in the thread title relates to the engine/motor, and not the car?

    a single wheel's worth of suspension would probably contain that many moving parts.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,395 ✭✭✭Dinarius

    Yes, I assume so. The FT didn’t quote a source, just made a statement. This tallies with what was written.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,221 ✭✭✭orangerhyme

    I think battery EVs are unsustainable and just a stepping stone to something else. Possibly wireless induction charging.

    Maybe all main roads with certain volumes of traffic will have wireless charging and you just need a small battery to fill in the gaps. So you could just buy a cheap EV with a small battery with a range of 50km maybe for like E10,000 or less even.

    EVs will definitely take over though,far better product. Far more efficient, much simpler engine.

    The big question is self-driving cars. Will they be common in 10 years?

    If so, then why bother buying a car, just pay a subscription for a certain quota of miles.

    Car ownership will fall off a cliff and numerous car companies will go bust. China might dominate instead of Germany then.

    Lots to ponder. Enormous change coming in the next decade. AI, EVs, self-Driving cars, lab grown meat, renewables, crispr gene editing, vertical farming.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,221 ✭✭✭orangerhyme

    By the end of this decade. Car ownership could be a relic of the past. Petrol/Diesel cars non existent. Petrol stations gone.

    Livestock industry on the way out also.

  • Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭Back Home

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,968 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    By the end of the decade? Doubt it, maybe by 2050

    If you want a great example of urban planning in favour of public transport and cycling or walking, look at the Netherlands

    They have a very good division between main roads for cars and pedestrian oriented streets. In fact they've a whole plan around this setup

    But it's taken over 30 years to get to this point, and that's for a country which is generally knows what it's doing

    For our banana republic it'd probably take 60 years 😏

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,221 ✭✭✭orangerhyme

    Maybe not exactly end of the decade but self driving cars is very scalable so once it's cracked, it can become mainstream quickly.

    Enormous amount of research going into it right cos it's potentially a multi trillion dollar industry.

    That's why Tesla is so overvalued, as they're perceived to be furthest ahead.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,968 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Again, the whole self driving thing is a bit of a sham. A lot of the companies doing research into that lost huge amounts of value over the past two years

    Basically investors are realising that true self driving cars are a lot longer out than had been previously advertised

    And then when we get self driving cars, who's going to pay for them? They're not exactly cheap in terms of sensors or computing power. It seems more cost efficient to just put a load more buses on the road

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,221 ✭✭✭orangerhyme

    Yeah maybe you're right. There's no clear finish line on self driving cars.

    I just like the idea.

    Buses are underated in terms of cost and effectiveness but there's something grim about them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,968 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Oh for sure, I feel like all the armchair urban planners who say buses are great should be forces to sit at the back of the number 4 from ballymun for a day

    In fairness, the folks are very generous, I've never been offered so many drugs in my life 🤣

    Not so great on the 41 from Swords, every time I get it on a night out to Dublin there's a fight on the bus (no, I'm not involved 😜)

    Maybe I just have bad luck

    One of the problems is that per capita Ireland spends very little on public transport compared to other European countries

    So we have expensive tickets and rubbish services for it. Also because we have a very spread out population, many bus routes are difficult to make a profit on

    At least when they move to electric buses they should be a lot cheaper to run, and things like V2G for bus fleets can be a good money maker on the side

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,575 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i've regularly got the 4 - there's a stop outside my house - and i've never been offered drugs. i'm disappointed now.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,858 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    A generic 4 wheeled scooter ? Yip. Pretty much.

    MIH is a software and hardware open platform for electric vehicles. Other manufacturers can then plonk their body and interiors on top. Like back in the days of the VW Beetle being used for kit cars.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,692 ✭✭✭✭josip

    You left out fusion reactors.

    And the only way I can solve the number 4 drugs conundrum is if magic b is the one doing the offering :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,968 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Haha, I used to get the 4 into town from DCU a fair bit. One time we ended up sitting at the back chatting to some homeless guys. One of them probably offered me drugs a dozen times 😂

    I think he was giving it away for free as well, generous man. Although he'd just settled a court case againt Dublin Bus for €50k after he got run over by a bus, so maybe that explains why he was feeling generous

    He also showed us the foot where he'd had 3 toes amputated after the incident, kinda wishing I'd taken up the offer of the drugs before he did that 🤮

    Anyway, back to EVs...

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,605 ✭✭✭zg3409

    EVs are already cheaper total cost of ownership for those with long commutes. If you match your commute to a cheap EV the annual total cost going EV will be less. In terms of sales price yes there will be a point where EV is cheaper than exact same ICE. This is mainly due to battery costs dropping and economy of sale and various incentives and emissions targets. Some manufacturers are delaying as some EVs are less profitable than ICE and others are manufacturing the minimum amount with long waiting lists. Some dealers in Ireland have cars in stock now, but won't hand them over to customers until January 2022 due to manufacturer emissions targets.

    Car sales in general in Europe are going down, it's a mature market with high cost of ownership. Many apartment dweller's have no or one parking space. Many young people are on scooters and never take driving test. Bike sharing schemes are popular as will be scooter sharing schemes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,968 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Jokes aside, you've hit on one of the big issues with relying on new techologies to fix climate change, which is that it takes decades to bring products to market and deploy them at scale

    We only have until 2030 to achieve a massive reduction in emissions, so basically we've got to work with what's available now

    Kinda lends itself to my comment above about better publc transport and urban planning. It's definitely the better plan for the future, but it'll take 30 years or more to implement. Whereas changing the vast majority of transport over to electric is something that's doable with current technology

    Similarly, nuclear power plants might be "clean" and "reliable" (spoiler alert, those statements may have been embellished a bit 😏), but it's taken France 14 years and €19 billion to build their latest reactor, and it still isn't finshed

    You could install a lot of wind and solar and still have change left over for batteries, pumped hydro and infrastructure upgrade for EV chanrging and V2G with that money and still get it done by 2030

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,117 ✭✭✭innrain

    Which one is that? ITER? fusion is not expected to deliver energy before 2040 and even that is optimistic.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,968 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Oh I'm talking about bog standard nuclear fission

    Wasn't even thinking about Fusion 😁

    There's been a lot of people ringing the nuclear bell recently and while I'm not opposed to nuclear power, I feel everyone talks about the advantages without speaking about any disadvantages or how it won't help fix any of the problems were currently facing

    Everyone always points out France as the leading nuclear producer and to be fair they did a pretty good job of building reactors in the 1970s, but there's no point in looking at older designs because no-one is going to build them now. You can't use those as a point of reference, you have to look at the latest which is Flamanville Unit 3, which by all accounts is a bit of a debacle

    Hinkley Point C is the same design and it also facing major delays and cost overruns, so it isn't an isolated case

    Abundant nuclear power in France is also creating a few other problems

    • Cheap energy has led to France having some pretty poor energy efficiency figures. Same happens in the US and other countries where energy is historically cheap
    • Nuclear is best suited to baseload power, where a constant load of power is supplied. It doesn't respond to changes in demand very well
    • Consequently France has very poor ability to respond to changes in demand, which can be extreme in winter due to poor energy efficiency. They're dependant on being able to export or import lots of power
    • If every country in Europe went nuclear, then this ability to respond to demand would disappear, or would have to be met with gas turbines, and we're back to square 1
    • Also worth noting that 30% of France's 94 reators are offline because they hit operating problems or have been shut down because they weren't econimical to run

    While I'm ranting, here's a few interesting facts about the current (self inflicted) gas crisis

    • You may have heard the idea that every time of plenty contains the seeds of the next famine? Turns out the gas industry skipped this lesson
    • Historically most gas contract were done on a long term basis, buyers would buy gas for 6 months or so ahead and lock in a set price to insure against fluctuations. This is what would be called the common sense approach
    • A few years ago (~2016) there was an oversupply of gas, so the spot price of gas went really cheap. All the gas traders decided to ditch their long term contracts and just buy the spot price because it's always cheap right? It works as long as the gas price doesn't go up (spoiler alert, it did)
    • Then we had a cold winter in Eurasia which cut into reserves. On top of that, the pipline from Russia is experiencing "issues" (read into that one as much as you'd like), Norwegian output is down and strong demand from Russia and China is driving up prices
    • Spot price shoots up as a result, and consequently energy prices go up because there's no reserves or long term contracts to provide price stability

    Sorry for the massive rant, just wanted to get that off my chest 😂

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,082 ✭✭✭sh81722

    Yes, it's just latest revision of the 1st in series of fission power plants by ex. Framatome/Areva. The Finnish version of the same design than Flamanville and Hinkley Point just completed last month after just over 15 years in construction and over 10 years late from the original estimation.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,783 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    There's still complexity in EVs and a lot more than 20 moving parts, very selective quote that.

    Tesla are ahead in terms of software, app integration and SuC. Their gigacasting and structural batteries are also ahead of the game. They also have an CEO with outlandish strategy that delivers.

    Look what Tesla have done in a decade, it's unreal and turned the global car industry sideways...

    Once degradation settles and replacement battery become accepted we've reached another plateau

    My stuff for sale on Adverts inc. outdoor furniture, roof box and EDDI

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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,858 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    Shares in electric vehicle firm Rivian are set to start trading in New York on Wednesday, after raising about $10.5bn (£7.75bn) from investors. ... Amazon... owns 20% of Rivian ... said it will buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from the firm

    That makes them bigger than Renault and nearly twice as big as Mazda, and Amazon have very deep pockets and lots of lawyers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,581 ✭✭✭Yellow_Fern

    Smart phones have no moving parts but still break down

  • Registered Users Posts: 511 ✭✭✭electricus

    Something on the scale of Hinkley C would never work here, too long to plan and build, and far too big. We would also need two to make up for down time. However using small modular reactors could avoid most of the problems you mentioned.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,385 ✭✭✭Fingleberries

    I'm a bit out of the loop on Nuclear power, and don't want to sound all Eamonn Ryan, but is there still the issue of dealing with the radioactive waste? (e.g. The spent rods that still have really long half-life that need to be disposed of somewhere other than the Irish Sea)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,395 ✭✭✭Dinarius

  • Registered Users Posts: 511 ✭✭✭electricus

    Modern (gen 4) reactors can burn the worst of the waste produced (using it as fuel) leaving much lower volumes with a much shorter half-life.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,692 ✭✭✭✭josip

    Do any Gen 4 reactors exist yet? From reading that article you would think all of this wonderful new tech was in operation and proven in the real world.

    It's only when you get to the end of the article (which many won't), that almost as a footnote,

    "a BWRX-300 plant might not be built in Japan until the 2030s and building a PRISM plant in Japan might not be possible until the 2040s."