The Problem with Electric Cars



Posted by Ed 3 mths ago
There’s a common refrain from those who have joined the front ranks in the electric car revolution. “We like to think we are doing our little bit to reduce our footprint on the planet,” says Dave Hawkins, a Wanaka-based retiree who produces most of his own power from the solar panels on his home’s roof.

In September, Hawkins bought his first electric car for $26,000 from a Christchurch car dealer – a second-hand 2016 Nissan Leaf with 17,000km on the clock.

“It seemed sensible – rather than selling power back to the power company for next to nothing – to put it into an electric vehicle and reduce our petrol bill as well.”

The day Hawkins took the Leaf for a test drive around Christchurch, the “state of health” of its 30 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery – a measure of its ability to hold energy – was at 97%. A few days later when he checked again, the figure had dropped to 94%.

“Fairly rapidly over the next month, it kept going down,” says Hawkins. “By the time it was past 90%, I contacted the dealer and told them what was going on.”

Nissan estimates that the battery on the 30kWh Leaf should reach about 80% of its energy-holding capacity after five years of use.

But Moller’s team were seeing them reach that point in just over two years.

Even worse, the rate of decline appears to be accelerating as the batteries get older.


Ed 3 mths ago

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