• Question: is there any timescale for battery cells to provide the distance required for cars to become totally electric

    Asked by olivia10 on 15 Nov 2017. This question was also asked by chloe09.
    • Photo: Craig Allison

      Craig Allison answered on 15 Nov 2017:

      Honestly, for most car journeys that happen today electric car batteries charge level/ distance is sufficient already.
      The problem is there is no real benefit currently in shifting to pure electric cars, as they lack infrastructure support, performance and are incredibly expensive compared to petrol/hybrid vehicles.
      There is the argument that electricity is greener, however, unfortunately this isn’t really the case, as emissions due to electricity generation is the developed worlds highest source of greenhouse gas emissions, as we lack established renewable infrastructure. Either the power station is polluting or your car is, either way driving is currently not good for the environment.
      Will we see greater influx of electric cars onto the market, yes, and hopefully we will see a corresponding increase in infrastructure and fast charge stations.
      I think its the required infrastructure and science behind fast charging that make the biggest difference to the feasibility of electric cars, and the price which will determine whether they become the norm

    • Photo: Miriam Ricci

      Miriam Ricci answered on 16 Nov 2017:

      Most electric cars on the market can already go for over 200-300 km on a single charge (if you believe the car makers…) so probably that’s enough for most of us. For longer distances you can simply re-charge or, better, take the train! For shorter distances there should be no problems and really we should get on our bikes or walk more rather than using a car 😉 but I agree it is better to use an electric car rather than a petrol/diesel one if you cannot cycle/walk/take the bus.

    • Photo: Rhys Phillips

      Rhys Phillips answered on 16 Nov 2017:

      Expensive to purchase but the fuel costs would mean you could claw that back quite quickly – at an average of 2 pence per mile, it would cost £6 to do 300 miles in an electric car. I get approx. 300 miles out of my fuel tank and it costs around £50 to fill up each time.

    • Photo: Andy Woods

      Andy Woods answered on 16 Nov 2017:

      I’m actually looking into replacing my current car with a Nissan Leaf. To replace my car with something new is about £17K and a Leaf comes in around £20K for a similar spec.

      From my workings my fuel cost is about 8p per mile while electric is around 3 per mile. I drive about 20,000 miles a year so I would save about £1,000 a year in fuel. This doesn’t take into account reduced tax and servicing costs.

      I drive 60 miles for my commute so would need to charge every other day but the newer Leaf which is about to be released has a range which may get me to three days.

      I would swap my car if I could charge at work because I can’t charge at home as I park on the street. My employer is thinking about a charging point so I am hoping it will be soon!

      The electric car is here people just need to embrace it!

    • Photo: Omar Mustufvi

      Omar Mustufvi answered on 16 Nov 2017:

      As others have mentioned there are cars out there today with very large battery packs to meet the range requirements car owners expect of a conventional car (300-400 miles). The challenge for us automotive engineers is to reduce how much those battery packs cost and weigh. There is also an infrastructure challenge to develop a charging network which will make it easier to travel long distances by charging as you go along.

    • Photo: Eleanor Sherwen

      Eleanor Sherwen answered on 17 Nov 2017:

      My local car club has 2 totally electric cars available which travel 124 miles on a single charge, with fast charge capability. That’s a larger range than me before I want to stop driving, stretch my legs and have a coffee, by which time it’ll be recharged. I use the Ecotricity electric highway, fast chargers at loads of motorway services. https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/for-the-road/our-electric-highway

      So I’d say timescale: completed!