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



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,972 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Yeah but that goes back to my comment about inventing our way out of problems. Modular reactors have been around in concept form for decades, but the technology never took off or scaled. Simply put there wasn't any market for it

    On the asumption that changed, and modular reactors made financial sense, it would still take decades of development and testing to become a viable product

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

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,972 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I'm kind of deliberately avoiding that topic since it incenses several nuclear pundits. But yes, particularly for a country with no nuclear industry, Ireland would need to figure out what to do with spent nuclear fuel. If you thought the NIMBYs for wind turbines were bad, imagine a nuclear waste disposal facility 😁

    And then there's the ever present spectre of an accident. They're rare, but unfortunately not quite as rare as the nuclear industry claims, it's supposed to be once in a thousand years, so far we've had 2 major ones in 50 years.

    I saw a great comment recently that Chernobyl and Fukoshima set decarbonisation back decades because they made people afraid of nuclear power. That person evidently forgot they rendered fairly large areas of land basically uninhabitable for centuries

    At least if a coal or gas power plant burns down, once the fires are out the cleanup operation is much smaller by comparison

    And if a wind turbine falls over, well it sucks for anyone underneath it but the damge it limited to that

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

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,972 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Haha, there's the battery swap market showing it's head again 🤣

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

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


    Have to wonder if the relative simplicity of EVs will allow a lot of new small, independent players to compete - thereby bringing down costs.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,877 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    If today's costs of converting an existing car to electric are anything to go by then Yes and No.

    Foxconn are huge ($215Bn a year) and No an independent player would not be able to compete with them in the general market.

    But Yes they could get a flat-pack chassis from Foxconn and bolt their own design on top.

    It would be nice if there were drop in replacements for older cars, it shouldn't be too difficult given that manufacturers would have standardised mounting points across their lines. Batteries are made from cells so it should be possible to assemble them from smaller units with plugs on them so there is more flexibility in retro-fitting them and weight distribution instead of having to fit a massive battery in one go. But that potential market is shrinking every years as cars are scrapped.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,972 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    There do seem to be a few companies around that are focusing on developing platforms for EVs that they can build and sell to others

    In that case then you could see a whole network of new brands popping up

    It might be better for support as well, more common platforms means one service center could service a lot of brands

    Of course the major brands could just counter this by opening up their platforms and tools for anyone to use... 😏

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

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,877 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    Or do like John Deere and lock out everyone except authorised service centres.

  • Posts: 2,799 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    Interesting, 2 accidents in 50 years from 400+ nuclear power plants is one in 10000 years...

  • Registered Users Posts: 511 ✭✭✭electricus

    Very true, most of the new designs seem to be stuck in the development and testing phase. Development of Thorium reactors was abandoned decades ago mainly because they burn off byproducts required for weapns.

    I suppose there hasn't been a need while buring fossil fuel was still acceptable but they may start making more financial sense, Bill Gates seems to think so.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,877 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight

    So renaming Windscale to Sellafield worked ? Thus far the average exclusion zone per nuclear power plant is something like 10 square kilometres. (also your stats suggest we are due another accident soon)

    Besides EV's will kill nuclear power. Demand for charging changes over the day and over the weekends and nuclear can't meet changing demands. And lots of batteries means that grid connected EV's can soak up lots of renewable power and can step in at peak times, this will undercut margins for nuclear.

    Thorium reactors only exist to make highly enriched Uranium-233 which bomb grade from the get go. The only problem is the byproduct U-232 is highly radioactive and gives off gamma rays and heat. The first means workers would have to use robots or remote presence so tricky but not impossible. A simple gun type design should work but you'd probably want a longer weapon to keep the explosives away from the heat.

    Regardless nuclear power is very expensive which would make EV's more expensive to run.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,153 ✭✭✭Markus Antonius

    I have no flags nailed to any mast but that 20+ moving parts figure sounds like a load of b*oll*ox

  • Registered Users Posts: 611 ✭✭✭Sonic the Shaghog

    Actually one thing I've been wondering.

    When your battery is on the way out will it possible to get a third party battery rather than having to get the official specific battery?

    For instance if you need an 2010 Audi A3 engine you have to it. But would a lot it cars have batteries of the same size etc and be more versatile so for instance you could pull a battery pack out of a Nissan Leaf for a Golf etc?

    Or maybe even companies manufacturing their own brand batteries for cars?

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

    True, the '+' makes the number irrelevant.

    Might as well say that both ICE and EV are 1+

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,787 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    Yes, there are plenty of hobbyists that have cracked Nissan software and done this. Tesla have also open their battery management software in the US for third parties to reprogram donor batteries to vehicles

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

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  • Registered Users Posts: 511 ✭✭✭electricus

    My understanding of the Thorium cycle is that the U-233 produduced in the cycle is used as fuel as part of the cycle. It is highly radioactive but short lived and does not require storage or handling.

    Thorium reactors are also considererd to be proliferation resistant: "This is not an issue if thorium is in a reactor, as U-232 is eventually burned during the production of energy. However, it is hazardous when crafting a military bomb with U-233, as trace U-232 can damage underlying electronics."

    It can be used to dispose of Plutonium waste by using it as part of the fuel to enrich the non fissile Thorium.

    Nuclear power is very expensive, mostly due to the massive size and development of current reactors (e.g. Hinckley C) and the waste issues. The results of research into smaller scale and safer nuclear solutions may keep electricity prices low as we switch off fossil generation - renewables may need some help, at least in the short/ medium term. Energy prices are going up either way...

    Anyway, this is probably the wrong thread for this discussion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 511 ✭✭✭electricus

    Batteries can be completly replaced, there are options for upgrading the packs in old Leafs and I sure more options will appear for current EVs as time goes on but most batteries will outlive their cars and go on to have a second life as home storage.

    Where their are issues, usually the solution is to change problem cells and not the whole battery pack.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,972 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Yes and no

    The battery pack in an EV is just lots of small batteries wired together to make a big battery. The individual cells are often grouped together into several modules which then group together into the battery pack

    How they group together is manufacturer dependant. Also the size and shape of the overall pack varies between brand and even between models in the same brand

    For example

    • A Tesla Model 3 AWD pack fits into a Model 3 RWD, but not the other way around (at least on the early cars)
    • All Nissan Leads use the same size pack, just more cells are put in the bigger battery car. So there have been examples of swapping out a 24kWh Leaf battery for a 62kWh one
    • Renault Zoe 22kWh and 40kWh use the same size pack, but the 50kWh is different and incompatible with older cars
    • All VW ID (and other MEB cars) use the same battery pack, so in theory it should be easy enough to swap battery packs

    So it's a bit of a mixed bag

    There's also the possibility of replacing cells or modules within a pack. Often when a relatively new EV suddenly loses a lot of range, it's because a single cell or module has gone bad. Because the batteries have to be kept in balance, this bad module will drag the others down as well, and should be replaced.

    This requires opening the pack up which is generally a sealed unit. Technically this requires special training and equipment, but if you take a look at Youtube, it's reasonably simple. Official service centres won't do this becuase they don't have the expertise and it isn't worthwhile to pay for it. They'll just sell you a whole new battery pack instead

    Several 3rd party shops have already demonstrated doing this and have restored EVs back to their original range for a fraction of the cost of a new pack. There's even a company in Spain which does a full replacement of the modules in a Nissan Leaf pack to bring it to over 60kWh capacity. Replacing cells within a module is also doable, but a bit harder since they're often glued into place, so it's generally simpler to replace modules

    In theory replacing individual modules isn't ideal because the degredation of the replacement cells may not match the exisiting ones, and the pack will be out of balance. However if you can find modules that are close enough to the exisitng one then it seems to work out fine

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

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,972 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Hopefully not, but that's the way the world seems to be going. Don't fix it, throw it away. Cheaper to buy a new one. Only a few people can do limited repairs and they charge a fortune 🙄

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

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

    Sorry, I wasn't disputing that an ICE has more moving parts than an EV. I was saying that from a mathematical perspective, the use of '+' weakens the point being made. If you substitute '+' with 'at least', it might be more obvious that it's a poor choice of terminology. Much better to have chosen a maximum upper bound for the EV parts and said <100 vs 2000+ for example.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,972 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Well, it's only wrong if it's less than 20 😁

    The article could definitely have been better written, something like

    "Dozens of moving parts in an EV motor versus thousands in a combustion engine..."

    Gets the point across without leaving it so open to glaring errors

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

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,917 ✭✭✭✭Toyotafanboi

    The uninteresting thing about this, is are the bulk of the 2000 moving parts predominantly unreliable? Generally not. If you buy a good brand car and service it correctly, bar a few notable exceptions, ICE engine construction is very very good and you dont see huge amounts of "moving part failures".

    IMO most failures in modern ICE vehicles are electronic components or a combination of electronic components and software issues and if we cant make dependable control units for ICE vehicles i dont know if it will be a whole lot different for EV's.

    Is there a direct relationship between parts that move and failure? I don't think say a 2021 ID.4 would be a significantly more dependable than a 2021 diesel Tiguan for example at any point in it's life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,972 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Well if you take the service intervals as an indication of how reliable the manufacturer thinks the car will be, then the ID.4 is the winner

    • Diesel Tiguan - every year or 60,000km, whichever comes first
    • ID.4 - every 2 years, unlimited mileage

    As a thought exercise, consider all the parts you've had replaced or repaired on an ICE vehicle you've owned and see if they exist on an EV. The results can be pretty interesting

    Here's my Toyota Auris as an example

    • Clutch - not on an EV
    • Gearbox - vastly simpler, only 1 gear
    • Brake pads - still have those, but regen should stop them wearing out as much
    • Tyres - still have those

    And my wife's old Citroen as another (worse) example

    • Clutch - not on an EV
    • Gearbox - simplified
    • Head gasket - not on an EV
    • Exhaust - not on an EV
    • CV boot - still have that
    • Brake pads - still have them
    • Tyres - still have them

    Not to mention all the oil, filters and other consumables you don't have on an EV

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

  • Posts: 1,263 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    How do they vibrate without moving parts/a motor?

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,917 ✭✭✭✭Toyotafanboi

    A service interval isn't a marker of how reliable a manufacturer thinks a car is going to be though, that's a completely riddiculous thing to say.

    In the sense of the OP, a head gasket isn't a moving part, an exhaust isn't a moving part, we're trying to attribute more moving parts to more failures here.

    Really, brake pads aren't a moving part either (or very very limited movement if we are being pedantic) and what you do tend to see with newer hybrids and EV's are the brakes, particularly discs and particularly on the rear are corroding and calipers seizing due to lack of constant use leading to needing brakes sooner than their ICE counterparts.

  • Registered Users Posts: 511 ✭✭✭electricus

    That’s why the VW ID cars have rear drum brakes. I would consider brakes as moving parts as their operation depends on it, even if the range of motion is limited.

    Post edited by electricus on

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,094 ✭✭✭✭javaboy

    A service interval isn't a marker of how reliable a manufacturer thinks a car is going to be though, that's a completely riddiculous thing to say.

    It sort of is though, even if not entirely. It's a measure of how long they think the car can go without maintenance. Reliability starts to degrade the longer you go between services and warranty costs go up. It's surely one of the factors that goes into determining the recommended service intervals.

    Computer storage has been through this debate with SSD vs HDD. There's no contest really.

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

    Off topic...

    I seem to have created a monster here and my email inbox is very full. 😐️

    It is possible to set one email alert (until you next visit the thread) like you could with the old version of Boards?