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About electric vehicles

Old 05-14-21, 10:14 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
Yeah, that's just not going to happen with EVs in their current form. The amount of specialty minerals needed for EVs is far greater than ICE vehicles.
The amount that Li mining would need to increase is at least 100 fold, and mining for other minerals like cobalt need to double or triple.
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The recycling of end-of-life batteries is a large opportunity to reduce primary demand for battery materials, including cobalt, lithium, nickel and manganese. Establishing closed loop recycling initiatives, as EV manufacturers have done, and more importantly the improvement of the efficiency of battery technologies (solid-state, lithium-metal batteries etc.) which will greatly extend battery life and function are both things that will help greatly in the transition

The breakthroughs in efficiency will not only lessen material demand but also give much longer and better battery function and life. Development from the research into cobalt-free batteries is happening now too with big investments from Tesla and others. There also isn’t either a lithium shortage or difficulty in extracting it in an environmental way. Australia is the worlds top producer of lithium and Toyota is one of the biggest investors there while also doing it in a strong environmental way.
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Old 05-14-21, 11:18 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Kat12 View Post
I'm just wondering how people who live in apartments are going to charge their electric cars, since they don't have a garage with an outlet they can plug it into... unless/until apartment buildings are outfitted with chargers, either in residents' assigned parking spaces or with some sort of "login" (hello huge rise in rent to pay for this), I'm not sure how it's going to be practical for people who don't own houses to use electric cars.
Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...installing chargers in bulk in a situation like that should not require "a huge raise in rent".
The wiring is a relatively simple improvement, and every apartment complex parking lot I've ever seen had pretty good electric lighting, for security.

It's a little more complex to meter them to the individual apartments, but again, not a huge capital expense.
Probably end up metering them individually, then assigning them to accounts, because I doubt everyone who lives in the complex will own oooand drive an electric car.
At my work there's like 8-10 electric car only parking spaces with charging stations that you have to pay for, and they also ask you to move your car when it's done charging. I gather there's a system where you give you phone number and it texts you when you're done, and the next guy when you move your car. I have no idea what the cost is to charge vs charging on your own electric bill at home. I would hope my company is subsidizing the cost to encourage electric-car commuting.
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Old 05-14-21, 11:36 PM
  #28  
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Electric fork trucks have had swappable battery boxes for years. There is somewhat of an industry standard. They are heavy, requiring some kind of hoist for removal.
Still, charging is more common. Most companies use what they call opportunity charging - plug in to charge whenever stopped - rather than only charging when depleted.
Obviously it's not exactly the same scenario as passenger cars. But for passenger cars, our mental model of what works is based on recharging when empty, and based on an existing infrastructure that supports that one solution. Electricity infrastructure is everywhere, including our homes, and virtually everywhere we travel.
I'm happy with our PHEV, but i expect our next vehicle to be fully electric.
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Old 05-15-21, 01:56 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Electric fork trucks have had swappable battery boxes for years. There is somewhat of an industry standard. They are heavy, requiring some kind of hoist for removal.
Still, charging is more common. Most companies use what they call opportunity charging - plug in to charge whenever stopped - rather than only charging when depleted.
Obviously it's not exactly the same scenario as passenger cars.
A very important difference is that a huge weight at the back of the fork trucks is a huge advantage for a fork truck, and troublesome for cars to put it mildly. For electric cars to handle well or even safe it's necessary to have the added weight of the batteries low and mostly between the wheels.
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Old 05-15-21, 06:56 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
While doing a little research on these, the Tesla vehicles are tied into a network of charging stations. There is a display inside the vehicle that will show the (registered) charging areas available nearby. My understanding is that it will do a "quick" charge that is good for ~40 miles within an hour or less. This would be cool for local running around, but worthless for travel.
Tesla has an extensive network of fast chargers that can charge up to 250kW. A large battery is about 80kwh which can be charged to 80% in under an hour. Every 4 to 5 hours of driving you need to stop for 30 to 60 min. Not a bad way to travel.
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Old 05-15-21, 07:17 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Tesla has an extensive network of fast chargers that can charge up to 250kW. A large battery is about 80kwh which can be charged to 80% in under an hour. Every 4 to 5 hours of driving you need to stop for 30 to 60 min. Not a bad way to travel.
Yep. We own a 2019 model 3 and find that our biological needs require stopping as often as the car needs a charge at a supercharger on long trips. And our Tesla has the shortest range amongst Teslas. We typically are stopped for 20 minutes (don't usually run to our limit on range before stopping). Younger folks might run full range before stopping and get a full meal.

Regarding battery recycling: There's time to get this figured out - our car's battery life is likely to be 300,000 to 500,000 miles meaning our heirs will be the ones looking at it, and several decades from now.

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Old 05-15-21, 08:45 AM
  #32  
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Wow, great bunch of posts and good reading here.

I prefer not to travel by airplane and don't feel I have the patience for a train trip. I have done bus once and hope I never have to again. I enjoy taking my own vehicle on long road trips. I have been to Maine several times by (my own) car, Mid/South Florida about every year. It isn't that I am 'afraid' of flying, it's just that the gate enforcers at the airports are convinced that I have cocaine and bombs in my prosthetic leg. Backscatter X ray HAS made things easier, but it feels invasive.

Someone touched on a point that is poignant. IF these battery packs catch fire they are VERY hot, VERY violent, and can't be put out with water. I could see every fire station in the nation (pa dum) having two fire trucks with one outfitted with the foam/chemical needed to contain (not extinguish) lithium pack fires. The other aspect is the pollution from the used up batteries and the environmental cost for increased mining of the elements needed.

I read an article the other day that they were working on a battery that is an integral part of the framework of the vehicle. It will allow for far more robust batteries and longer range. The issue I see is, what do you do when your battery needs replaced if it's an integral part of the frame?
I personally would like to see some development on the "pack" idea that could be swapped on the fly. Make it like a propane station, as it were.
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Old 05-15-21, 09:18 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
Someone touched on a point that is poignant. IF these battery packs catch fire they are VERY hot, VERY violent, and can't be put out with water. I could see every fire station in the nation (pa dum) having two fire trucks with one outfitted with the foam/chemical needed to contain (not extinguish) lithium pack fires.
So you're talking about heat/fires from charging, and surely there will develop sensible zoning/safety standards, including appropriate extinguishers, regularly inspected, at all public/retail charging stations.

The Oatmeal I linked above has an interesting perspective on battery fires...
People are primates. And we react to primal things -- things such as fire, blood, and boobs. Which is why last year when three Tesla Model Ss caught fire, the world responded like a mob of fractious orangutans. Never mind the fact that a fire in a Tesla is five times less likely than in a conventional gasoline automobile. ... Tesla Motors responded by releasing a software update that was wirelessly downloaded to every Model S overnight that adjusted the height of the car and fixed the problem. ...
I don't mean to minimize or even counterpoint about battery fires, I'm just sayin The Oatmeal is a fun read, and it left me very impressed with Teslas, and interested in maybe owning one someday, which is a high bar for a car.
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Old 05-15-21, 09:22 AM
  #34  
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I'm also interested in whether the economy/market will grow an industry of electric retrofitting. Will it become financially viable to (perhaps with govt subsidies?) have your gas engine scrapped and an electric one put instead? How many cars have a suitable architecture that you can put in a sufficient volume of batteries, sufficiently far from the engine (is that a safety requirement?) so there's still a trunk left?
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Old 05-15-21, 09:23 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
So you're talking about heat/fires from charging, and surely there will develop sensible zoning/safety standards, including appropriate extinguishers, regularly inspected, at all public/retail charging stations.

The Oatmeal I linked above has an interesting perspective on battery fires...

I don't mean to minimize or even counterpoint about battery fires, I'm just sayin The Oatmeal is a fun read, and it left me very impressed with Teslas, and interested in maybe owning one someday, which is a high bar for a car.

Not just that, but from crashes. Lithium batteries are extremely hazardous in this regard. I have been working fire safety for the past 7 ish years. There is one manner of place that we will NOT get involved in which are battery storage centers. You simply cannot write a letter of confidence regarding fire suppression and lithium ion batteries. And I was not joking about the "2 firetrucks" either. Water does NOTHING to put out a lithium fire except make steam. A couple of these crash into each other and a building and whole blocks (could be) levelled.
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Old 05-15-21, 11:38 AM
  #36  
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Interesting. As the small fraction of electric cars on the road gets larger, I wonder what's the rate of electric-electric collisions
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Old 05-15-21, 11:48 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I'm also interested in whether the economy/market will grow an industry of electric retrofitting. Will it become financially viable to (perhaps with govt subsidies?) have your gas engine scrapped and an electric one put instead? How many cars have a suitable architecture that you can put in a sufficient volume of batteries, sufficiently far from the engine (is that a safety requirement?) so there's still a trunk left?
I don't think that's feasible. It's not just the ICE that needs to be replaced, it's the engine, trans, heating, cooling, electrical, etc. Without whole system engineering from the ground up it would be too expensive.
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Old 05-15-21, 12:17 PM
  #38  
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There are companies, I just don't know right now if at this point they are worth it unless the body of the car has special value, like vintage/classic cars

https://electroswaps.com/products/un...conversion-kit
https://www.themechanicdoctor.com/co...ctric-vehicle/

https://www.hybridcenter.org/electri...ion-companies/
https://www.treehugger.com/electric-...ompanies-85249
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Old 05-15-21, 12:21 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
There are companies, I just don't know right now if at this point they are worth it unless the body of the car has special value, like vintage/classic cars

https://electroswaps.com/products/un...conversion-kit
https://www.themechanicdoctor.com/co...ctric-vehicle/

https://www.hybridcenter.org/electri...ion-companies/
https://www.treehugger.com/electric-...ompanies-85249

There is a guy that used to come out to Friday night drags (when such events were going on) that had a 2xxZ (it was either a 40 or a 60) that was converted to electric. Super duper fast.
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Old 05-15-21, 12:34 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I'm also interested in whether the economy/market will grow an industry of electric retrofitting. Will it become financially viable to (perhaps with govt subsidies?) have your gas engine scrapped and an electric one put instead? How many cars have a suitable architecture that you can put in a sufficient volume of batteries, sufficiently far from the engine (is that a safety requirement?) so there's still a trunk left?
It's done to classics. It's a 15-25k job but it's mainly for keeping the looks and comes at a price in handling and bootspace.

Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
I don't think that's feasible. It's not just the ICE that needs to be replaced, it's the engine, trans, heating, cooling, electrical, etc. Without whole system engineering from the ground up it would be too expensive.
Maybe it's a better idea to replace the gearbox with a torque converter electric motor combination and turn it into a plug in hybrid with little electric range and light batteries.

I got this idea from the Koenigsegg Gemera, wich is a 1800hp hypercar but the interesting about it is that they have retought the entire drivetrain and come to that number with a 2-liter 3 cylinder engine. They dropped the entire gearbox and replaced with direct drive and a torque converter, they put an electric motor on the driveshaft (also two additional electric motors on the other axl but most people don't need that many hp). I'm sure the ICE and the electronics are complicated, but the principle is simple. It's a really interesting and promising concept that might translate well to lower budget solutions.

Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
Wow, great bunch of posts and good reading here.

I prefer not to travel by airplane and don't feel I have the patience for a train trip. I have done bus once and hope I never have to again. I enjoy taking my own vehicle on long road trips. I have been to Maine several times by (my own) car, Mid/South Florida about every year. It isn't that I am 'afraid' of flying, it's just that the gate enforcers at the airports are convinced that I have cocaine and bombs in my prosthetic leg. Backscatter X ray HAS made things easier, but it feels invasive.
The best thing most individual people can do against climate change and the environment in general is stop flying. Easy for me to say because I don't have to and never liked it either for several reasons and security came on top of that only after I stopped flying. But it's really, really bad, if the Paris agreement is met and air travel keeps continuing to grow like it did pre-covid, all the achievements of Paris which doesn't include air travel would be more than neutralized by the increase in emissions from air travel. For me that's another reason to not fully get behind full EV's, because it will lead to at least Europeans taking the plane more often.
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Old 05-15-21, 12:43 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
There are companies, I just don't know right now if at this point they are worth it unless the body of the car has special value, like vintage/classic cars

https://electroswaps.com/products/un...conversion-kit
https://www.themechanicdoctor.com/co...ctric-vehicle/

https://www.hybridcenter.org/electri...ion-companies/
https://www.treehugger.com/electric-...ompanies-85249
Those simple kits leave out the power steering pump, AC, etc. (anything powered by the ICE needs its own motor now because you don't have an idling engine), and there's no regenerative braking, no fast charging (needs sophisticated cooling), etc. Performance would be dismal. They're for hobbyists and special projects.
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Old 05-15-21, 01:28 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
Not just that, but from crashes. Lithium batteries are extremely hazardous in this regard. I have been working fire safety for the past 7 ish years. There is one manner of place that we will NOT get involved in which are battery storage centers. You simply cannot write a letter of confidence regarding fire suppression and lithium ion batteries. And I was not joking about the "2 firetrucks" either. Water does NOTHING to put out a lithium fire except make steam. A couple of these crash into each other and a building and whole blocks (could be) levelled.

NFPA and the ICC are developing safety and construction standards (respectively) for lithium battery centers right now. The battery centers were few-and-far-between in the recent past, but they are starting to become more and more popular, whether in business or residential applications.

Also, don't forget hydrogen/fuel cells. Not too popular right now, but California is working with all the big auto manufacturers to develop the fueling infrastructure to make them viable. They are available right now in California, but as a lease that includes maintenance, repairs, and a fuel subsidy.
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Old 05-15-21, 01:32 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
The best thing most individual people can do against climate change and the environment in general is stop flying. Easy for me to say because I don't have to and never liked it either for several reasons and security came on top of that only after I stopped flying. But it's really, really bad, if the Paris agreement is met and air travel keeps continuing to grow like it did pre-covid, all the achievements of Paris which doesn't include air travel would be more than neutralized by the increase in emissions from air travel. For me that's another reason to not fully get behind full EV's, because it will lead to at least Europeans taking the plane more often.
I read an article recently that was an open letter from a volcanologist regarding an active/erupting volcano in Norway IIRC...anyway, he was basically saying that the last week of emissions from the volcano had added more 'pollution' to the atmosphere than the entire industrial period of humanity. Of course, articles of this type are so charged it's hard to know if true or not. In spite of that aspect I am just not sure that humanity really has the power or knowledge to control global heat/cooling cycles. Anywho, that is a WHOLE different subject that leans towards another sub forum here, and I have no interest in further diverting the discussion.
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Old 05-15-21, 01:35 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
Also, don't forget hydrogen/fuel cells. Not too popular right now, but California is working with all the big auto manufacturers to develop the fueling infrastructure to make them viable. They are available right now in California, but as a lease that includes maintenance, repairs, and a fuel subsidy.
Hydrogen is a good/bad situation. I can only imagine that all ICE vehicles will eventually fall into this category. They aren't particularly harmful to the enviro. The issue as things stand now is the lack of power produced by the combustion in the current designs.
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Old 05-15-21, 02:20 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post

Someone touched on a point that is poignant. IF these battery packs catch fire they are VERY hot, VERY violent, and can't be put out with water. I could see every fire station in the nation (pa dum) having two fire trucks with one outfitted with the foam/chemical needed to contain (not extinguish) lithium pack fires. The other aspect is the pollution from the used up batteries and the environmental cost for increased mining of the elements needed.

.
Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
So you're talking about heat/fires from charging, and surely there will develop sensible zoning/safety standards, including appropriate extinguishers, regularly inspected, at all public/retail charging stations.

The Oatmeal I linked above has an interesting perspective on battery fires...

I don't mean to minimize or even counterpoint about battery fires, I'm just sayin The Oatmeal is a fun read, and it left me very impressed with Teslas, and interested in maybe owning one someday, which is a high bar for a car.
...by far the most impressive car fires are the ones in VW's where the engine block ignites.
It's quite a bit of magnesium alloy, and they burn for quite a while. Eventually, they burn out.

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Old 05-15-21, 02:27 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
There are companies, I just don't know right now if at this point they are worth it unless the body of the car has special value, like vintage/classic cars

https://electroswaps.com/products/un...conversion-kit
https://www.themechanicdoctor.com/co...ctric-vehicle/

https://www.hybridcenter.org/electri...ion-companies/
https://www.treehugger.com/electric-...ompanies-85249
...back before there were companies making and selling electric cars, I took a class in converting your old small pickup to electric. It was offered over in the aeronautics mechanics department of City college here, which turns out certified airplane mechanics.

I had an '86 Toyota I figured I would eventually do this with, but by the time it was worn out enough to make the switch economically feasible, I could already buy a very nicely designed LEAF, that is superior in every aspect to what I could have built. It's much preferable to just buy something new, designed to be an electric car. Unless maybe you are Neil Young, with his electric Lincoln.
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Old 05-15-21, 08:53 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...installing chargers in bulk in a situation like that should not require "a huge raise in rent".
The wiring is a relatively simple improvement, and every apartment complex parking lot I've ever seen had pretty good electric lighting, for security.

It's a little more complex to meter them to the individual apartments, but again, not a huge capital expense.
Probably end up metering them individually, then assigning them to accounts, because I doubt everyone who lives in the complex will own oooand drive an electric car.
From what I can gather, just about any improvement involves a raise in rent. Both to cover the cost, and because they can now call this a "perk" of the complex/building...
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Old 05-15-21, 09:10 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
A very important difference is that a huge weight at the back of the fork trucks is a huge advantage for a fork truck, and troublesome for cars to put it mildly. For electric cars to handle well or even safe it's necessary to have the added weight of the batteries low and mostly between the wheels.
When a forklift is unloaded, it's quite unstable; that's because the counterweight CG is fairly high, and when unloaded the truck is severely out of balance towards the rear. Untrained drivers often believe they are more stable when unloaded, leading to reckless behaviors. The battery box is placed as low as possible, to maximize stability, just like it would be on a car.

Incidentally, another common untrained driver mistake is to jump from a tipping truck. Often they get just far enough away to be crushed by the overhead guard. Combine the hot rodding when empty with the tendency to jump, and you have a formula for serious injuries with untrained drivers.
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Old 05-15-21, 09:57 PM
  #49  
Darth Lefty 
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I occasionally drive up or down interstate 5 in California on a holiday weekend. This is a pretty crappy drive on the best of days, and on the holidays you can get stop and go traffic in the middle of nowhere. There is a Tesla supercharger Station at Kettleman city. It was completely packed and overrun on Thanksgiving about two years ago, the last time I made the drive. So were all the food joints. I am sure that Tesla is putting in more chargers everywhere all the time. I think they are here to stay. When I first started looking at electric cars, the best thing going was optima yellow top batteries. Tesla started by partnering with a tiny company headed by a GM EV1 vet, that had a really good motor and power supply set up, and wanted to put it in a little race car and then a Scion xB with lead acid batteries. Tesla were looking ahead to batteries more than the original owners. They essentially played the same trick but with a mass production car, a Lotus, but with laptop batteries for a huge upgrade in weight and range. The combination of brushless motors and lithium batteries has been causing revolutions in power all over the place. Just look at the e-bikes.

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Old 05-16-21, 07:56 AM
  #50  
skidder
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...installing chargers in bulk in a situation like that should not require "a huge raise in rent".
The wiring is a relatively simple improvement, and every apartment complex parking lot I've ever seen had pretty good electric lighting, for security.

It's a little more complex to meter them to the individual apartments, but again, not a huge capital expense.
Probably end up metering them individually, then assigning them to accounts, because I doubt everyone who lives in the complex will own oooand drive an electric car.
That shouldn't be a problem, just use charging stations equipped with credit card or debit card readers like you find at gas stations; that's what I see in a few 'higher-end' complexes right now in my area. A lot of bigger apartment complexes in my area are gated, so that'll keep any non-tenants from using them. If electric cars start becoming the norm, I'm also wondering how much electricity demand there will be and if the grid can supply it at night when most folks will be charging up.

FWIW: Electric was supposed to be a 'bridge' technology until fuel cell technology became mainstream. Now I wonder if fuel cells will ever become the 'standard' for powering vehicles or just a specialty technology for such things as long-haul trucking.
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