rangerovers.pub
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I give them 10 years. Toyota bought electric cars into the mainstream with the Prius, now they have announced the Mirai running on a Hydrogen fuel cell. Similar refuelling time to petrol, similar or better range on a fill than a BEV and zero emissions. What is there to not like about it? It should also be possible to get a conventional petrol engine to run on Hydrogen too.

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Symes wrote:

Nobody seems to realise the environmental catastrophe caused by mining for the metals required for batteries for electric cars ---- I'll keep my disco and my collection At least I'm helping the environment that way

Well clearly they do, and work is going on all the time to improve all aspects of that process. For instance they're working to remove cobalt from battery chemistries all together. Furthermore its not like pulling the oil out the ground is all rainbows and butterflies either is it? You cant simply focus on lithium mines, say look thats shit, and ignore everything else. Well to wheel figures, when done properly show that an EV is significantly better than an ICEV over its lifetime.

One really nice thing about electrification, is that it centralises the emissions, which makes them much easier to control. Furthermore, it means vehicles will tend to get cleaner over time as the grid decarbonises, unlike ICE vehicles whose emissions deteriorate as they age, due to the various parts of the engine and emissions control systems wearing out, or dodgy modifications performed by their owners.

Its quite funny how people who havent actually ever tried an EV think charging is somehow really difficult and time consuming, and that filling up with hydrogen is somehow the fix. I guess the media is largely to blame, as i'm not sure where else they're getting these ideas from. The missing piece is that 99% of my EV charging doesnt actually happen with me stood there waiting on it. I plug it in at night, and it charges while i sleep and its full in the morning. Its also plugged in just now outside the office, and will be full again when i leave to go home. It simply doesnt need to charge in 5 minutes, because cars spend the vast majority of their time parked. In effect, "charging" takes the 10 seconds required to walk over to the wallbox, lift the cable and jam it into the socket. I dont have to drive to a filling station. I dont have to sit in a queue, and then stand there squeezing a lever (or pressing that damn button on the LPG pump!!) then go in and pay. Ofcourse, it CAN fully charge in 30mins on a suitable charger, but thats really the exception rather than the norm. I would never want to pay some filling station to fill up with hydrogen, when i can fill the car at home for a fraction of the cost. Why would anyone choose to do that? I really cant fathom it.

Plus, almost all of our hydrogen comes from natural gas. So i guess thats why its being pushed from various avenues, as it keeps those oil companies happy. But it also means its not actually "green" at all. and yes, you can produce it in other ways, but they're horribly inefficient.

Someone will always pop up with some edge case of wanting to drive 3700 miles in one day, but the reality is those really are edge cases. A 300mile EV has a range that fits quite nicely with when people should be taking rest stops anyway, and even a 200mile one, driven in the UK on our crappy congested roads, isnt really a huge inconvenience. My LEAF only manages 80ish, which i'll be the first to admit is pretty shite, but its plenty for my commute and a huge swathe of the UK population never drives anywhere near 80miles in a day.

If you can manage to drive across the country in an LPG powered range rover, then you've already proved the range afforded by many current EV models is sufficient.

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Even with all these 'non-polluting' EVs the actual pollution is simply just produced elsewhere of course...

This new push into Hydrogen may be fine for some fleet cars but I suspect it is really just to appease the Petrol Co. folks as it has the same/similar distribution business model (?). And c.65K/Pop may not be 'ideal' for most consumers either !

An overnight EV charge is the better option by far, but I also suspect the Power Utilities will try to gouge us (all) for 'infrastructure upgrades' if/when there are enough trying to fast charge at home ?

Just don't me started on 'self-driving' cars though....

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I'm not going to get into this one as I'm one of the ones where range and charging time really would make an EV a non-starter for me, but I find it highly ironic that they are pushing everyone to get a smart meter installed so they can monitor their energy usage and modify their way of life to save a bit. Then they want everyone to buy an EV so you use far more than you are saving.....

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Fair enough Richard, in fact the small battery/shorter range EVs are aimed mainly at city folk of course. It may be unfair but as I have explained to many folks the 'big battery' models weigh so much it is like having four passengers in the car all the time. Still surprises me how many are attracted to EVs because of the (perceived) Car Tax/VED savings....

"Smart" Meters are something of a con of course, I suspect they will introduce 'timed tariffs' at some point... and those without are already paying for their roll-out too...

Back (more) on topic just why exactly are LPGs vehicles on the decline if they are effectively 'greener' than diesel/petrol ? Surely they should be encouraged more ? Or do we all have to buy electric/H2 cars soon because the car manufacturers are lobbying for this ?

This is what the Mayor of London thinks anyway...

Date:
Wednesday, 1st April 2015
"My ambition is to deliver a zero emission capable London which will improve air quality, tackle climate change and boost London and the UK's economic position. Despite some benefits, LPG does not deliver against all of these objectives. For example, as LPG is derived from fossil fuels, its use continues to release carbon dioxide, albeit somewhat less than emitted by conventionally fuelled vehicles. In terms of air pollution, LPG has lower emissions than petrol and diesel engines on NOx; is essentially equivalent to petrol and well-below diesel on particulate matter; and just below petrol yet well above diesel on hydrocarbons.

However, with the introduction of integrated after exhaust treatment technologies for the new Euro 6 emission standard, the benefits of LPG over petrol and diesel cars are marginal. The latest zero emission capable technologies, meanwhile, will provide the functionality for vehicles to operate in 'zero emission mode' in the most polluted areas. As a result I do not believe LPG is the right answer for London and have instead focused on developing zero emission capable technologies that can deliver the best overall outcome for the capital, including creating significant new economic opportunities for the UK to design and manufacture these innovative new vehicles. "

Yes, the same guy who has extended the 'Congestion' Charging to 7 days/longer hours and is extending ULEZ charges (£12.50/day, 24/7) between the South Circular and North Circular next month. (Nothing whatsoever to do with raising TfL revenues of course....)

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davew wrote:

Back (more) on topic just why exactly are LPGs vehicles on the decline if they are effectively 'greener' than diesel/petrol ? Surely they should be encouraged more ? Or do we all have to buy electric/H2 cars soon because the car manufacturers are lobbying for this ?

Multiple reasons really. To many people it isn't mainstream enough to be considered and, there's a lot of old wives tales about how it is unreliable and will destroy your engine. That may have been the case 25 years ago, but a modern system is as refined as the petrol system. In fact, should you feel the need to buy a brand new Dacia, for an extra £500 on the purchase price you can have one running on LPG. The engine ECU has been programmed so when on LPG you get more power than on petrol and they push the difference in fuel cost too. No idea how many have been sold in the UK but in their home country they probably don't sell any petrol only versions. Once over the Channel, the further East you travel you will see LPG cars and diesel cars and hardly any petrol cars. You'll even see LPG only filling stations as well as an LPG pump on every filling station forecourt.

To convert a standard port injection petrol engine is pretty straightforward, you just put a nozzle in the inlet manifold as close to the petrol injector as you can and inject the gas in at that point. But in order to get better fuel efficiency, a lot of the more modern designed engines are direct injection where the fuel is injected straight into the combustion chamber. Nowhere to fit a second injector but it is possible to use the existing one to inject LPG as a liquid but as it is a dry fuel, you still need to inject around 25% petrol and while kits are available to do the conversion, they have to be specific to the engine model so not cheap.

More people are leasing cars these days so they aren't allowed to do any modifications.

The official figures show that it is in decline too. According to DVLA there are 150,000 cars running on LPG in the country, so any filling station owner that doesn't sell much (such as BP that never sold much anyway as they were always the most expensive), looks at that and decides it isn't worth it. Now I'm not sure what criteria DVLA used in their search that came up with this figure, but I've seen V5s that show the fuel type as Petrol/Gas, Dual Fuel, Bi-Fuel and Petrol/LPG so if they only checked one of those types the numbers would be low. In addition, of the 6 LPG fuelled vehicles I've owned, only one showed anything other than petrol as the fuel type because the V5 had never been changed. Even that isn't made easy. The first LPG car I owned came with an LPG safety inspection certificate but the V5 said Petrol, I informed DVLA of the change of fuel type and they did nothing. When I pointed out that I was supposed to inform them they simply said that I had but as the car was pre-2001, so on the flat rate VED rather than the sliding scale, I wouldn't get my £10 a year discount so there was no point in changing it. I registered an imported BMW that was already converted, put Petrol/Gas on the application and the V5 came back as petrol, so I sent it back and asked them to change it. I used the excuse that it was a rare model that was considered a classic and would be taken over to Paris to be displayed at Retromobile, a big classic car show, but if running on petrol wouldn't be able to be driven into Paris as the more clear thinking European countries appreciate the lower emissions and class a car running on LPG the same as a Hybrid. I used the same argument when I sent the V5 for my everyday car back to have the fuel type changed and they changed it (hence my Classe 1 Crit Air sticker in the windscreen). If 1 in 6 cars running on LPG here are shown in the V5 as running on petrol, then rather than the 150,000 DVLA say there are, that figure is probably over 500,000 so filling stations that have removed their pumps because there isn't likely to be the demand, are making decisions based on flawed arguments.

What really irks me is that TfL allow taxis that have been converted to run on LPG to enter the ULEZ without having to pay the charge but the same concession isn't given to privately owned LPG fuelled vehicles.

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Cheers Richard, your usual detailed/comprehensive reply ! Like your (French) workarounds too. There must still be millions of cars that could be converted and so many millions of tons of CO2 produced too.

TfL is hard to fathom at the best of times; We had some of their "LTNs" (Low Traffic Networks) installed last year because we are all going to walk/cycle soon instead of driving soon, apparently...... (Residents revolted, and these schemes were removed of course....)

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Not really a workaround, just that in order to get the Crit Air sticker you have to send in a pdf of your registration document. If it said fuel type Petrol, I'd get a Classe 4 (Euro 3 vehicles), on LPG I get Classe 1 but they need to see proof. The sticker is valid for the life of the vehicle and costs €4.10 rather than paying every time you enter the ULEZ. It's done to keep the air clean and not to make money...... Germany is the same but their sticker costs €6.00.

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Gilbertd wrote:

I'm not going to get into this one as I'm one of the ones where range and charging time really would make an EV a non-starter for me, but I find it highly ironic that they are pushing everyone to get a smart meter installed so they can monitor their energy usage and modify their way of life to save a bit. Then they want everyone to buy an EV so you use far more than you are saving.....

You may well be one of the edge cases, but given your driving an LPG powered range rover, which can probably not do much more than 200miles per fill anyway, i suspect your stretching the reality a little. Ofcourse, if your doing a lot of towing for instance then you've got a perfectly valid arguement against them currently, as there arent a great deal of options for models that can tow. Its more about keeping an open mind!

One advantage of smart meters is it enables time of use metering. What the national grid dont want, is everyone driving home from work, plugging their car in at 6pm, when the grid is already under maximum load. By offering cheaper tarrifs at other times of day, you can encourage people to charge at a time when the grid is not stressed, like at 1am. The grid is perfectly capable of handling EV charging, just so long as the bulk of its not done during the evening peak!

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davew wrote:

Fair enough Richard, in fact the small battery/shorter range EVs are aimed mainly at city folk of course. It may be unfair but as I have explained to many folks the 'big battery' models weigh so much it is like having four passengers in the car all the time. Still surprises me how many are attracted to EVs because of the (perceived) Car Tax/VED savings....

"Smart" Meters are something of a con of course, I suspect they will introduce 'timed tariffs' at some point... and those without are already paying for their roll-out too...

Back (more) on topic just why exactly are LPGs vehicles on the decline if they are effectively 'greener' than diesel/petrol ? Surely they should be encouraged more ? Or do we all have to buy electric/H2 cars soon because the car manufacturers are lobbying for this ?

This is what the Mayor of London thinks anyway...

A Tesla Model 3 weighs the same as a current BMW 3 series... My LEAF weighs 1600kgs, a bit fatter than a modern Golf, but only by 100kgs or so. The Enyaq i've ordered is 2 tonnes, but its also the size of a P38, so not really surprising.

As for London, the main issue there is getting the tailpipe emissions out of the city centre. LPG doesnt help with that.

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davew wrote:

Back (more) on topic just why exactly are LPGs vehicles on the decline if they are effectively 'greener' than diesel/petrol ? Surely they should be encouraged more ? Or do we all have to buy electric/H2 cars soon because the car manufacturers are lobbying for this ?

I suspect a big part of this is simply the faff. Aftermarket installs simply arent as clean and tidy as something OEM. And your carrying around two fuel tanks and are having to top up with petrol and LPG.

Modern diesels closed the cost gap entirely, and the majority of folk dont seem to actually care about green/environmental issues, especially if it adds any sort of inconvenience. Price wins out at the end of the day. Which is also why the government ends up needing to "force" the issue by banning things, rather than hoping people will do it themselves.

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Aragorn wrote:

You may well be one of the edge cases, but given your driving an LPG powered range rover, which can probably not do much more than 200miles per fill anyway, i suspect your stretching the reality a little. Ofcourse, if your doing a lot of towing for instance then you've got a perfectly valid arguement against them currently, as there arent a great deal of options for models that can tow. Its more about keeping an open mind!

True but yes, I do a lot of towing. Most of my long journeys are with a couple of tonnes (at least) hanging off the back. Last time I looked I think only the bigger Tesla is capable of towing and even then it isn't capable of towing any realistic (for me) weight. The other thing is charging points and the time taken. Yes I have to stop for 10 minutes every 2-3 hours to fill up, and the rapid chargers don't take much longer than that, but only if there are some rapid chargers where I'm going. For instance there are none to the north or east of Warsaw and the Tesla Model X takes 52 hours to charge from a standard power point.

One advantage of smart meters is it enables time of use metering. What the national grid dont want, is everyone driving home from work, plugging their car in at 6pm, when the grid is already under maximum load. By offering cheaper tarrifs at other times of day, you can encourage people to charge at a time when the grid is not stressed, like at 1am. The grid is perfectly capable of handling EV charging, just so long as the bulk of its not done during the evening peak!

But surely that's when the majority will want to charge their car? Get in from work, plug it in and leave it. Not go outside just before going to bed to plug it in?

I suspect a big part of this is simply the faff. Aftermarket installs simply arent as clean and tidy as something OEM. And your carrying around two fuel tanks and are having to top up with petrol and LPG.

Some are, if done properly, but I will admit that many aren't. I don't think any of the LPG cars I've owned hasn't had the system taken out and put back in a manner I'm happy with. A lot of this can be blamed on the done-in-a-day installers who will chuck it in and leave it at that. They are also the ones that won't calibrate a system properly and when the customer mentions that the Check Engine light comes on when running on LPG, tell them that is normal.

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Aragorn: Surely it depends on if you mean a (like-for-like) Tesla Long Range or not ! Seriously yes, I know Tesla's Model 3 now uses less aluminium that their other models but as far as I can establish it will still be very expensive to repair too ! Similarly if you do have a crash the battery pack needs a 'specialist inspection' (at ~£1500)... On top of a £50K list price it's still 'quite a stretch' for most 'private motorist' folks here... and so quite a tough 'force' for the 40M ICE motors here too, especially as the (slowly reducing) EV subsidy does not apply to cars over 40K.

Incidentally I am still unconvinced by the running/maintenance costs of EVs too, again very ££ 'specialist'...

Of course the Government encouraged us to use diesels in the first case....

As for LPG I was actually put off it considerably after I saw the aftermath of a 4.6 P38 with a head "blown clean orf" by a bad (single point) installation.. but again there are Emissions savings to be made by converting cars, faff or not, it just does not meet their whole 'you must buy/lease a new car' instead agenda....? Will EVs always be able to drive in London without charges ? (Sorry about the pun) - they are about to exclude hybrids for some reason (££)

The problem with 'Smart' Meters is they are being pushed as 'saving the planet' (etc); When I questioned that with my Supplier they said "ah yes but it allows you to know how much electricity you are using and thus reduce it", and that's how the claimed savings would be made. There was a further conversation... A 'man in a hole' showed me the 70+ year old cables and said we can't all charge our cars at the same time, even at night (and he may have a point) !

PS: Richard: Many EV chargers are on a timer....

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Battery powered cars are just the wrong technology for so many practical reasons. Many people cannot charge at home or at work. A whole new charging infrastructure needs to be rolled out

Hydrocarbons are so much more energy dense & suitable for powering vehicles than batteries. We would be much better off spending the money currently being devoted to battery cars to developing synthetic fuel. It's already possible to make petrol by sucking CO2 out of the air & catalysing it with hydrogen. The cost is currently several times that of petrol but it's carbon neutral. Synthetic fuel is going to be necessary anyway for vehicles that batteries can never be suitable for eg tractors & other agricultural machinery, earth moving equipment. Aviation can never have battery planes. They will need synthetic carbon neutral fuel to continue flying.

Biofuels aren't really the answer as they require so much land but I'm currently in France & E85 (85% bioethanol 15% petrol) is widely available & less than half the price of petrol so I'm doing my bit for the planet & my pocket by currently running on 50:50 E85 & E10. I see no difference in performance & only a little higher consumption. I have read in French Range Rover forums of guys running their P38s on 100% E85 so am currently working up to that. I usually do 18mpg on petrol but saw 16mpg on 30% E85 70% E10.

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LPG is getting harder to find in my neck of the woods, although it seems to have stabilised.
I can get LPG at ASDA for ~53ppl or much closer for 75ppl. The difference makes it worthwhile going to ASDA in terms of cost, but it's an hour round trip.
That's ok if combined with a weekly click and collect but a real ballache if I just want to fill up during the week.
I totally get the convenience of being able to charge at home, overnight!

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Shell stopping selling it definitely has had an impact in some areas for availability, however the Shell closest to me was the same distance away as the closest Asda with LPG and Asda was always cheaper of course.

Luckily the supply issues seems to be resolved now, as I have no more issues with Asda running out. Also the Asda has far better pumps than the BP and independent LPG stations around here. I'm now back to getting 75l in from empty, compared with 45-65l from empty at the other stations! BP being the worst for this, yet most expensive!

I was lucky that my P38 came with a working LPG install, however other than the issues of messy installs and rushed jobs Richard has already discussed, I find it a good current alternative to other fuels and as I plan to keep the P38 long term, even though I'm not doing major miles, I'd still have very likely ended up getting an LPG install.
I've thought about electric briefly and it just wouldn't work for me yet and that's not even towing related. Personally even with the reduced number of stations, LPG is still more available to me than electric charging points.

I also think about if I was given the option of LPG or electric as a company car, I'd go for LPG, as I need to be able to top up quickly and get on my way. I can get a charger fitted at home, which would be great, but almost all destinations for work don't have any charging facilities, most hotels I've stayed at don't either.

In a way I think of them as both needing a little more planning, finding a place to be able to fill up with LPG or charge an electric car on your journey.
However at least with LPG, in an emergency I can just fill up with petrol to get me to the next station and even the slowest of LPG pumps is still going to give me more range and faster than most charging points.

For some people with short commutes or the option of charging at the office then I can see the benefits to electric. The infrastructure may be improving at motorway services, however personally I feel that I would need more charging points in car parks at destinations rather than stops along the way for it to be a viable option.

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If you want to increase range on LPG of a P38 there's always the option of fitting a second (and a 3rd, possibly even a 4th tank).

Adding a single extra tank could easily more than double capacity/range, and you could fit it yourself for around £250... but it would take up around half the boot space.

Triple range for around £500 but not have much boot space left at all.

Maybe quadruple range for £1100 but have no boot space left and lose the petrol tank.. So then it would be monofuel LPG.

Side point - adding extra tank(s) can also increase the filling speed.

I'm not surprised that people don't like the idea of monofuel LPG, I too feel re-assured to know that I can fall back on petrol if necessary.

But I'm also not surprised people don't much like the idea of effectively only being able to recharge an EV at home and at work, not have the ability to fall back on petrol and not have the option of doubling range for £250 or even for £25k.

It would be handy to have the ability to refuel with LPG at home but that is something I could have if I really wanted it or if it was necessary. Even before LPG I could have stockpiled petrol at home if I'd ever felt the need but I never did (although I have stockpiled red diesel in the past!). It is more important to me that I can take my car anywhere with confidence of being able to find somewhere to refuel it close to my ideal route, refuel quickly, has long range, I can tow with it, I didn't have to pay £50k for it, and I don't have the uncertainty of it needing a new fuel tank in a few years that might cost £20k to replace.

I'm not a climate change denier and I acknowledge vehicle engine emissions have played a big part in climate change but the work I've done so far has helped reduce CO2 emissions to the extent of taking hundreds of vehicles off the road while not replacing them with brand new vehicles that were made at the cost of a lot of CO2 emissions. Until electric vehicles have better range and the charging infrastructure is much improved petrol/LPG dual fuel vehicles are still not a bad bet - I am busier now than I have ever been despite BP and Shell pulling out of the market and despite turning down contracts to convert hundreds of taxis.

A lot of EV buying has been company cars for office workers... who have since proven to be able to work from home, therefore it won't matter much if they have a dirty great diesel on the drive or an EV because they won't use it much in future, so why still allow subsidies for them to buy a new EV? If the buyer claims it's for leisure use and they want to use it to visit their remote farm in Scotland from London every weekend then that's their civil liberty and a different matter but an EV less than a Tesla would be a poor choice for that type of use.