Nissan claims electric car test was 'rigged'; has 'evidence'

M3lover

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2005
Messages
1,959
Location
The milkyway, Earth, Denmark, Copenhagen
Car(s)
S204 Mercedes-Benz C200 CDI BE T
I've had a bit of a eureka (or possibly dumb idea, you decide) moment here, thanks in part to photography. Make the most of it because it doesn't happen often.

For electric cars to work now they need to think differently. If the battery in a pro photographer's camera runs out, he doesn't wait to recharge it, he takes it out and replaces it with another that has been charged and is ready for use.

This is what needs to happen with these cars. A standard battery design must be agreed on, some kind of cartridge that can be taken in and out of the car. It would probably be long and narrow, with 3 or 4 fitted side by side behind an access panel at the back of the car. Instead of charging stations there would be battery replacement stations, where automated units will withdraw the battery and replace it with one that has been in the machine charging.

This removes the problem of charging because a new battery goes right in and is fully charged and also removes the problem of old batteries, because the batteries are owned by the company that runs these units. You would rent the battery from them, much like you do with a gas bottle. When it's empty you go back and get another that's topped up.

The only flaw I can see in my plan is range. If you drive 80 miles to work and back then you'd be changing batteries quite regularly, so range would need to be extended to suit, and battery replacement units would have to charge based on remaining battery power. Clearly, as all plans, it needs work.

It would certainly remove the 13 hour charge issue...
Hehe, your idea is actually good enough for someone to go ahead and do it soon.

Better place is planning to set up excactly what you descibed in Denmark, with battery switch stations.

See "switch stations" under "the solution". You even get a neat little video of it.

If you had thought of this 10 years earlier and patented it you could be a rich man now :p
 
Last edited:

narf

Sgt. Maj. Buzzkill
DONOR
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
18,175
Location
Kiel/Wherever, Germany
Car(s)
'19 BMW M240i
if you don't drain it, but top it off every day, i don't think you batterie will last very long...
Batteries have become much better at half-cycles than they were in the NiCd days. It'll certainly last longer with two eight hour half charges every day than with loads of high-speed charges.
 

Amie8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
903
Location
Essex, UK
Car(s)
Bye bye Alfa - Hello Mini Cooper
Alternatively, just put a REALLY long retractable cable on it and drive it while it's still plugged into the mains.

Try to avoid roundabouts
 

narf

Sgt. Maj. Buzzkill
DONOR
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
18,175
Location
Kiel/Wherever, Germany
Car(s)
'19 BMW M240i
Alternatively, just put a REALLY long retractable cable on it and drive it while it's still plugged into the mains.

Try to avoid roundabouts
You jest but have a good point. Overhead cables on major roads to drive and charge, batteries elsewhere.
 

Wyvern

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2008
Messages
591
Location
Loughton, Essex
Car(s)
Triumph Herald 1200, in need of arse transplant
I haven't looked into this in any great depth, mainly because I'm doing shift work at the moment and it is killing my brain, but what about inductive power transfer? It seems to me that if it could be made to work on a wider scale, it has the same benefits as either overhead or street level electrification without the risk of electrocuting pedestrians or having a lot of new overhead street furniture. Measuring power consumption for billing purposes should be pretty simple, but of course the infrastructure drawback still exists, and I'd say was a bigger hurdle than installing charging points for plug in EVs.

It's an interesting idea, anyway, and it sounds like the people who are working on it have got as far as making static charging points, but if I've understood the theory (and even though it's in an area that touches on what I'm qualified in, I'm not sure that I have), a dynamic charging infrastructure is at least theoretically possible. That would mean constant charging, which would make a big difference to the feasibility of EVs for longer journeys.
 

That American Girl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
4,581
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Car(s)
None, right now. Bye Bye Mustang. :-(
I've had a bit of a eureka (or possibly dumb idea, you decide) moment here, thanks in part to photography. Make the most of it because it doesn't happen often.

For electric cars to work now they need to think differently. If the battery in a pro photographer's camera runs out, he doesn't wait to recharge it, he takes it out and replaces it with another that has been charged and is ready for use...
I've been saying that same thing forever. :)

I like your idea however, what happens on a busy day? You'd need a massive power station to charge them. sit at your local gas station and count how many people come during a day.
Well you do have a point. But it would probably be easier and cheaper for now to have batteries charged at a more central location on a larger scale, than to try to install recharge stations in just about anywhere that people tend to drive and will eventually need to recharge their car. So even if you did need a larger more powerful power station, it would make more sense for now for people to go to their local 'refueling' station.

As for hydrogen cars: I think that for the moment hydrogen isn't really feasible yet, due in one part that hydrogen doesn't like to be stored long term (smallest atom we know of-will escape from anything).

But I wonder if the local 'refueling' station would be able to use hydrogen to charge the 'swappable' batteries, as I think it's probably easier and cheaper to use one larger tank, than to try to refuel lots of smaller tanks for now. Not sure though. It's 4:30 in the morning and my brain is fried. Pardon the pun. ;)

But most of us (if any) don't have our own personal gas pump installed at home for many reasons. It makes sense to have it located at one bigger station like your local BP or Shell station than to have them bring a tanker truck down your street to refill your one tank for personal use. You'd probably use more gas to get from one house to another, then another and so on, than to have that tanker truck stop at the corner gas station.

I'll more to my post later, but I really need to go get some sleep! :D
 

bryanbeachboy1970

Active Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
307
Location
Kansas, United States
Car(s)
Dodge Dakota, Chrysler Lebaron convertible
And this is exactly why we need to make Jurassic Park happen - NOW! Running out of oil? Just make more dinosaurs, kill them, bury them, subject their carcasses to the various natural forces, and presto! More oil!

Hydrogen? Batteries? Pah!
 

craigix

New Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
3
Sorry to grave dig this thread a little, but we have a Nissan Leaf though our business and it's great, however I want to explain why:

We're based in Newcastle, which, along with London, is a trial area for electric cars in the UK - thus we have a fantastic charging infrastructure.

15 rapid chargers are being installed and these are what we use every day, they charge the car in 20 minutes.

That's right, 20minutes.

And... it's free - along with 1200 slow chargers being installed all over the region with free parking.

We have done 1000 miles in the first 8 days of having the car (including a trip to Edinburgh via the fast charge network) and I can say this car works, at least within the north east network.

The cost of the car is ?99/week including the free electricity charging, and the ?99 can be reclaimed via a tax incentive. So the car works out almost free, this is a rental scheme but works out far cheaper than our old BMW.

I honestly can't believe what a great deal we have got with this car and we're looking to get another one.

Do I want the rest of you buying them? No I bloody don't, we want all the free parking and fast chargers to ourselves, if you all get these cars they will no doubt start charging us ?2+ to fill the car!
 

Amie8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
903
Location
Essex, UK
Car(s)
Bye bye Alfa - Hello Mini Cooper
If you're on slow charge, how do you prevent your charging cable from getting nicked? Do you wait with your car all day?

What if all the chargers are already in use? That's a long time to queue
 

The Mouse

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2010
Messages
31
Alternatively, just put a REALLY long retractable cable on it and drive it while it's still plugged into the mains.

Try to avoid roundabouts
Jeremy tried that on Top Gear Live last year.. It did not end well. :cry:
 

skylock

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Messages
2,548
Location
USA
Car(s)
Honda Civic
That's very interesting... the US EPA range estimate is at least 10% lower than Nissan's, and when I tested one a few weeks ago I was told by the Nissan rep that if it's driven gently, it can manage 110 whilst neglecting to tell me that if driven at motorway speeds that may drop to as little as 67. I understand that the way an electric car is driven affects the range (hey, I'm a girl, there's nothing anyone can tell me about variable motor speeds and battery life that Ann Summers hasn't taught me already), but I don't understand why Nissan's making such a big thing about a film that wasn't about testing battery range in the first place. In fact, the film didn't find fault in the car, rather in the underlying technology that is common to all EVs, and how a lack of infrastructure and the limitations of battery technology (about which I agree entirely with the TG verdict - it's a very, very good car per se... I'd consider having one if they made an eco-diesel version, which of course would defeat the object, so they won't) are what makes cars like the Leaf a less-than-appropriate option for a lot of people.

In short: Nissan needs to learn the difference between criticism of the Leaf and criticism of EV technology in general. The Leaf got a good review - the battery tech and infrastructure not so much.
I got similar ommissions when I was looking into buying a Prius. I was promised huge mpg numbers, but after reading some more on my own, I found out I would have to run most of those miles below 35. I live in the country. The only time I do those kinds of speeds is in WalMart parking lot and I only go there about twice a year. I bought a Honda Civic instead and after 8 years I am still averaging 40 miles per gal. I would have been looking at about 23 on the Prius when it was new.
 

craigix

New Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
3
If you're on slow charge, how do you prevent your charging cable from getting nicked? Do you wait with your car all day?

What if all the chargers are already in use? That's a long time to queue
Obviously anyone can't remove it, it's locked in place with a code.

I've only used a slow charger twice, just so I could park in the most expensive street in town all day :) saved me ?30.

I've never seen one of the fast chargers with a queue, they have 2/3 bays so you can share and the signage is clear that you must move your car after 30mins (or when it's fully charged), the parking is only unlimited in the slow charging bays.

I've had a lot of people come up to me with a lot of negative guff about the Leaf (the best being telling me it takes 12 hours to charge WHILE I'm rapid charging it in 20 minutes), but I'm loving it - the torque and acceleration is great, not to mention bizarrely silent - plus the car is very well loaded, for once we get the top USA spec on the standard car.

But as I said, I don't expect the honeymoon to last, I'm pretty sure within 3 years when these cars are more popular the charging won't be free anymore - but that's why I'm renting it :)
 

MacGuffin

Forum Addict
DONOR
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
8,278
Location
Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Car(s)
'17 Ford Mustang GT Fastback
So another car company claims to have been treated unfairly by Top Gear, just because the Top Gear production team refuses to simply repeat what carmakers say in their brochures and doesn't give a damn about marketing slogans.

That sucks, man.

For the carmaker.

For the consumer it's valid and sound information.

There is one thing, though, that the Nissan reaction to the film tells me: They have put a lot of money in that electric car business and are terribly afraid of making losses with it. Which they will. That's why they lash out and even found space in the "Times" for it.

(Btw., isn't the Times part of the Murdoch empire of evil?)

In the end it's like Jeremy said: Battery-powered electric cars are like LaserDisc or Betamax: Good idea but no market besides some enthusiasts.
 
Last edited:

HellPhish

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
23
Location
MD,USA
Car(s)
1989 LSx swapped Camaro RS
Nissan are trying to sell a stupid product nobody in their right mind would buy. Just face it Nissan; your product is impractical and too expensive.

They should have blown it up.
richard shouldve showed up in a volt and just driven by them:lol:
 

awdrifter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Messages
3,135
Now THAT wouldn't surprise me at all. I suspect that the truth is somewhere in the middle - that they will use the data for real world performance monitoring, but that there will be clauses in the small print that say if you've done anything to reduce battery life you won't get your free replacement. And let's face it, the price of a new battery is a heck of a hit for the wallet to take.

It also makes me wonder what the second hand value of these cars is going to be like. They're not going to be worth buying second hand if they come with a half-dead battery. Perhaps, as with some other niche vehicles, there will be some kind of arrangement for them to be refurbished before resale, so the new owner gets a car with fresh consumables, including battery. Even an 8 year battery life is a bit shit really - imagine fitting a petrol tank that effectively costs you almost ?800* per year of its life and needs replacing after 8 years. The more I think about it, the more uncertainty there is about the future of this kind of car.


*assuming a battery cost of ??7000, which isn't by any means certain, but is the figure being bandied about based on the cost of the individual cells that make up the Leaf battery.
Engine swap time. Maybe not for full EV like the Leaf, but for cars like the Honda CR-Z, I can see people swapping K24s into it once the batteries are dead.
 

xen

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
Messages
11
Location
St. Louis, MO
Car(s)
'03 Infiniti G35 (RIP)
And this is exactly why we need to make Jurassic Park happen - NOW! Running out of oil? Just make more dinosaurs, kill them, bury them, subject their carcasses to the various natural forces, and presto! More oil!

Hydrogen? Batteries? Pah!
Well, with artificual diamonds we can now reproduce via technology what used to take the earth millennia to accomplish, so maybe once we get some dinosaurs to kill, we can take a similar approach to turning them into oil.
 
Top