If, like me, any of you environmentally friendly types are thinking of buying an electrically powered car … think again, this is perhaps the biggest con since unleaded petrol !
An average electric car uses about 15 kWh per 100 km. With a kWh (here) costing around 30 € cents that’s about €4,50 per 100 km, not at all bad !
We already have solar for hot water and heating (designed and built the house ourselves), works just great, in winter the log fire, with an integrated heat exchanger, does what the sun can’t. So we have regularly looked at solar Photovoltaic - electricity to give us still more independence and help protect the environment.
All of our research has proven that it’s a waste of money as we only pay about €800,- per year for electricity and a suitable system would cost us around €20,000,- without batteries ! So we would be paying our electricity bill 25 years in advance and still carrying the risk of damage and repairs and our insurance charges would increase into the bargain. OK, any unused / surplus electricity can / (here 10% MUST) be sold to the grid but then we become 'an energy producing business' and need a business tax advisor who's charges then consume our theoretical win. (There are also major concerns regarding safety in the event of fire as the Fire Brigade risk a lethal electric shock if they spray water onto the fire and so often prefer to let houses burn out !!!!!)
With batteries to store the surplus (instead of selling it to the grid) it would cost quite a lot more but we would, in theory, still be willing to risk this investment for the added independence and security of supply but …
If a solar system produces a nominal one kWh and you load it into a battery, you can’t get one kWh from the battery as around 50% gets lost during transmission. Where does the energy go ? It vanishes as heat ! So, logically an electric car, which itself consumes 15 kWh / 100 km, consumes considerably more power from the plug socket during charging, increasing the cost up to about €9,- per 100 km, NOT AT ALL good
and not much cheaper than a conventional small car !
Using a direct solar photovoltaic charger can’t work either as most cars are usually parked at home at night and it’s then dark.
Using a normal 240V plug charger needs about 12 hours daily to top up the batteries.
A quick charger does this in about 3 - 4 hours but then … the house fuse needs to be 80 amps and most houses only have a 63 amp fuse. While it’s easy enough to upgrade, if three houses in a single street upgrade and quick charge at the same time the streets fuse might well blow out.
The electricity out of a plug socket is still mostly produced by coal, oil, gas or nuclear power and not by environmentally friendly sources and anyway, from the point of producing one kWh to the point of it being consumed at home there are often also up to 40% of transmission losses !
But the real kick in the arse is: to produce a battery for an electric car it creates so much carbon dioxide that you could run a small car for about 8 fucking years !
AND, such batteries only have a life expectancy of about THREE years, effectively at least DOUBLING the environmental pollution
I would be happy if anybody could prove me wrong here but I fear we are all being taken for a ride