A day at the Races
Last September 1st took place at the Circuit de Calafat (Tarragona) the ecoGP, a 6-hour endurance race for electric vehicles. The test, organized by electromaps, was completely free, previous registration, for all electric cars.
The objective of the test, which in its fifth edition has been open to all participants, is to perform the maximum number of laps to the circuit in 6 hours. It is allowed to stop and recharge as many times as it is considered necessary, although the chargers available in this occasion were Schuko, Cetac of 32Ah and Cetac of 16Ah, without possibility of fast charging. The strategy, speed and number of stops to load, was important especially for those models with less battery range.
Brands and Models
The competition, however, was not the main objective of all participants, who in a festive and relaxed atmosphere, tried to get the most out of their vehicles, but above all, know a little better the performance of each model and spend a pleasant day dedicated to electromobility.
And although the race was divided into categories and was resistance, inevitably, the rivalry between drivers gave us some moments of dubious efficiency in which the pilots tried to make the fast lap to the Circuit.
And the Winner is…
We congratulate the winner, Markus, who with his Tesla Roadster, made the maximum number of laps and also the fastest lap. He left us totally admired for his ability to drive in the circuit, practically non stopping during the 6 hours of test.
Wattacars was present in the test supporting the electromaps team.
Thank you all for a great Day at the Races, without noise or bad smells!
Barcelona at the head of Pollution
Barcelona is one of the European cities with the highest pollution levels and according to the latest analysis, it does not comply with the safety limits established by the World Health Organization (OMS) for particles and nitrogen oxides.
In this context, the city has put forward a set of measures aimed at improving air quality, with special emphasis on the circulation of motorized vehicles.
By the end of 2017 the first measures to reduce pollution will be implemented, restricting the circulation of unlabeled DGT passenger cars and vans prior to Euro1 in the Low Emissions area during high pollution episodes. Gradually, the restrictions will increase until the permanent ban on all DGT unlabelled vehicles is reached in 2020.
Almost 20% of the urban displacements come from the circulation of delivery vans in the Metropolitan Area, which also generate 33% of the pollutant emissions. It is for this reason that the LIVE Platform leads the process of progressive transformation of the fleets of vans to electric or gas vehicles. The challenge is to achieve that by 2020 at least 15% of the fleets are electric or gas to comply with the Paris agreements.
And the Car-Rental fleets?
The presentation organized by the LIVE Platform last June in collaboration with Aigües de Barcelona and Gas Natural Fenosa aimed to promote sustainable mobility among professionals and Fleet Managers in Catalonia. The aim of the workshop was to present the latest developments in the sector and promote the use of electric and gas vehicles in commercial fleets and freight transport.
As indicated by Àngel López, Executive Director of the LIVE Platform, it is fundamental to work in professional fleets given the impact they have on the environment.
We miss out on specific actions targeting fleets of Car rental vehicles, which represent a significant percentage of cars and vans in our streets and roads.
Currently, 38 fleets of Catalan companies already have the environmental quality guarantee, representing a total of 6,359 vehicles of different types (cars, vans and trucks)
The LIVE Platform has designed a plan of actions for the period 2017-2018 to increase efficient use and knowledge of mobility. These are 9 urban, social, communicative, educational and infrastructure challenges in which the entity is working to achieve a more sustainable urban context. Each one of theses #ReptesLIVE is led by a Director of the LIVE Platform.
Specifically, Challenge 2, led by Aigües de Barcelona, aims to get 12 new companies to incorporate at least 2 electric vehicles into their fleet.
Challenge 4, led by Gas Natural Fenosa, aims at 4 distribution fleets to test vehicular natural gas, 6 driving schools also test it and acquire at least one gas vehicle.
Currently, with the new Movea Plan of State aid, the PIRVEC Plan, from the Catalan Institute of Energy (ICAEN) and other actions of commitment to sustainability, we wonder if the challenges are perhaps unambitious.
From Wattacars we encourage the Rent-a-Car sector to join the initiative and make an effort on the incorporation of electric vehicles in their fleets.
And we encourage the LIVE Platform to also take into account this sector, which not only represents a significant part of the total vehicles, but also has a demonstrative effect on the population, as well as being key in the registrations of new vehicles.
Are you are reading this post on your laptop? Or you are reading it on your mobile phone? Perhaps your tablet? Congratulations! You know almost everything there is to know about recharging electric cars!
An electric car is a car with a super simple engine that runs on electricity. In order to have this power available when you want to move, the car has batteries that store the energy. Yes, just like a laptop, mobile phone or tablet. The amount of energy required to move a car is much higher than that to run a mobile, of course, but the principle is the same. Batteries store energy in their cells and give it back when the engine is running.
How are the batteries charged?
By plugging the car to a power source. Just as we do with any other device. So simple? Yes, this simple.
There will be a trick, obviously? No, no trick, just a few complications arising from the different systems adopted by each country, manufacturer or power company. Let’s go back to mobile phones … Who has not encountered problems in a foreign country because of country’s different type of plug? Who has never left the charger at home and discovered helplessly that all partners have a phone from a different brand? Something similar happens with electric cars … for now.
Plug types – connectors
Each model of electric vehicle has one or more input connectors. Each supply point has one plug or one or more output connectors. And both are connected by a cable with the right types of connector at each end. The cable can be installed in the recharging stations or be an independent cable the car carries in the trunk. To know if we can load into an outlet or charging point, we must check that the charger connector is compatible with the input connector of our vehicle. If we have the right cables and connectors we can load our electric car in any plug, always respecting the basic safety standards.
Virtually all cars on the market have a cable with built-in security system that allows to load the vehicle in a domestic socket. If the facility has the adequate protection systems, the car will take the power that is available, usually from 2.2 to 3,6 kWh if we talk about home or office.
Many charging points offer a protected domestic socket as it is the most universal system.
How many types of plugs and connectors exist?
More than we users would like to, but not that much if we focus on the most common in Europe. We will cover this subject in more detail in a specific post very soon (stay tuned to the blog!). In summary, here’s a list of the most common connectors:
- SCHUKO or UK Domestic: The plug we have at home or office.
- CETAC or Industrial: In some car parks, industrial or commercial premises.
- SAE J1772, Yakazi or Type 1: It is a common connector in American and Japanese vehicles.
- Mennekes or Type 2: A type of connector common in European models such as BMW.
- Scame or Type 3: Very little used, almost exclusively in France.
- Combo: Specific for electric vehicles. Supports slow and fast recharge.
- CHAdeMO: Specific for quick recharging. Standard of Japanese manufacturers.
- Tesla S connector: Exclusive for Tesla models.
How do I know if I can load my car at a certain charging point?
Most, if not all, electric cars have an intelligent adapter with a safety socket. This allows you to load slowly in any household outlet that complies with current regulations.
In addition, almost all public rapid charge points have the three common types of connectors on the market, Mennekes, Combo and CHAdeMO. If you consider that almost all new vehicles in Europe also incorporate the adapter cable to Mennekes, the most common in slow or fast chargers, the problem is minimized.
Electricity is the same whether we talk about home or public charging points. The difference is the available power in kWh. If we charge in a domestic plug at 2,2 kWh it will take much longer to fill the battery than if we do it in a rapid Charging Point at 50 kWh. For an average 25 kWh battery, at home it would take 11 hours and only half an hour in a rapid charging point. The most common charging points in car parks, hotels or shopping centers are slow or fast (from 2,2 kWh up to 22 kWh) while dedicated public charging points on highways are rapid (50 kWh).
For a better understanding, watch the following videos of Renault, Nissan and BMW in which you will see how their electric models are loaded.
Exploring the limits of electric car
The day rises sunny and with my #Nissan Leaf30 fully loaded I am ready to start my route. Today I have some meetings out of the city. When I go out, the range display indicates 198 km (ECO mode, air conditioning ON).
The first 52 km I drive in the area of #SantCugatdelVallès, up and down steep streets, in several short runs of 13-20 km each, returning to the starting point, ie, equal negative and positive slope, maximum speed of 50 km/h and climate control on automatic mode. The outdoor temperature is quite high, we are two passengers inside the car, we drive ECO mode. After traveling 52 km, the system estimated range shows 162 km.
On the motorway with the electric car
By midmorning, without recharging the battery, I leave Sant Cugat through the AP7 motorway. The outside temperature is 30 degrees and again I have the air conditioning on automatic mode. ECO drive mode as well and a speed of 90-105 km/h. Immediately I realise that the range indicator goes up! instead of going down for several kilometers. On leaving the highway, I still recover some km of range. Besides driving a little below the average speed of the other cars, I do nothing different from what I have always done when driving. I have my mobile phone connected, the inside temperature even too cold for my taste and the radio on.
I arrive in Mataró having driven for 103 km and a remaining range of 106 km.
After a short tour of Vilassar de Mar, I decide to come back through the C32. I try to keep the speed between 100 and 105 km/h, though as the speed is limited to 80 km/h in several sections and the traffic is dense I drive at 70-80 km/h most of the way.
Making the most of the battery
When I arrive in Sant Cugat, the mileometer shows 173 km and the remaining range indicator, 36 km left. So I decide not to plug in the charger and try if I can really get to these 209 km. I drive not too far away from my parking lot making several short trips until I reach 210 km. At this point I decide to stop the experiment and connect the charger.
The performance of 210 km is far from the 250 km of the NEDC cycle, but it is more than a reasonable distance for many commuters.
I forgot to tell you, that on the way back to Sant Cugat I even drove without the ECO mode on the last uphill streets :)!
Electric cars are already a reality in our streets, however, we are still confronted by doubts when we think about buying or to renting one. How much will my car consume during the journey? How much will it cost me to charge the batteries?
First of all, it is important to know that the majority of factors affecting the consumption of an electric car are exactly the same as those which affect any other car: those related to its own shape and technology and others related to external road factors and your own driving style. The difference with conventional vehicles is that instead of talking about litres, we talk about kWh.
Electric car models
We will start by analysing the most popular models currently on the market, obviously in the knowledge that it would not make sense to compare the consumption of a Smart ED with the consumption of a BYD e6 without bearing in mind that one is a small, lightweight vehicle and the other is comparable to a large SUV. Some manufacturers have made enormous efforts to reduce the weight of their electrical vehicles and improve the performance of the batteries and engine, for example the new Renault model, the ZOE 240. Also noteworthy is the work BMW have put into developing their electrical version of the i3, its sleek outline, designed with light materials like carbon fibre contribute to significantly reducing the energy consumption without diminishing safety.
The theoretical consumptions of the following electric cars in test conditions are:
- BMWi3 -12, 9kWh / 100km
- Renault ZOE 240 -13, 3kWh / 100 km
- Renault ZOE – 14, 6kWh / 100km
- Nissan Leaf – 15kWh / 100km
- Smart ED -15, 1kWh / 100km
- Tesla Model S 85 kW -16, 9kWh / 100km
- BYD e6 -20, 5kWh / 100km
The real consumption, other than in test conditions, average 30-35% more than those indicated by the European Cycle (NEDC).
What factors affect the consumption of electric cars?
We would like to emphasise the influence of external factors on consumption. The orography, the speed, the driver’s style and the use of the air-conditioner are all factors which make a difference to the consumption of electric cars. In contrast to conventional cars, electric vehicles are able to non-consume or even generate energy when braking or descending. We will not go into the details of efficient conduction now, but it is an important feature to bear in mind because although we can talk about average consumptions in real conditions, when we plan a route which includes undulating terrain or high-speed motorway driving, we need to be more prudent in our forecasts.
To avoid high consumption, especially on motorways, many manufacturers have chosen to limit the maximum speed of their electric models, for example the BMWi3 is limited to 150km/h and the Nissan Leaf to 145km/h. This, however, is not the case of the Tesla factory, whose Model S, for example, allows speeds of up to 250km/h with a similar philosophy to that of a sports car.
How much does it cost to charge the batteries?
Now that we have looked at the influencing factors on consumption, when considering the most popular electric cars on the market, we might conclude that the average consumption of an electric car would be between the 16kWh/100km and 25kWh/100km depending on the model. These theoretical calculations are confirmed by users, although most people who become accustomed to driving an electric vehicle, considerably reduce their consumption thanks to a more efficient driving style.
If we take into account that battery charging has approximately 90% efficiency, we arrive at electrical consumption figures of 18-27 kWh/100 km. This data demonstrates that the cost of an electric car at the current price of energy would be around 3€/100 km at standard rates, going down to 1€/100km with special fares which would be expected for consumers who have a charging point.
Remember this data!
In our next post we will talk about the autonomy of electric cars, or in other words: Am I going to reach my destination?
During the month of September You can rent a Nissan Leaf Tekna 30kWh in Sant Cugat del Vallès O Barcelona with all the equipment you can imagine for only 40€ / day.
We deliver what you fully charged so you spend not one euro more in your displacement.
Get your Book now and enjoy the route!
What is the range of an electric car?
One of the usual concerns of those who are interested in e-mobility is to know what real range their electric car has.
Will I make it to my destination?
The two pillars for the autonomy of our electric car are consumption per kilometer and the capacity of the batteries. It is relatively simple as you will see.
In our previous post we wrote about consumption, so we won’t repeat the basic concepts related to the vehicle, but we would like to emphasise the “external” factors, both travel-related ones and driver-related ones. Keep reading and at the end of this article you will have all the information you need to decide whether you should rent an electric car for your next weekend or holiday. Or whether you will decide to buy one.
Consumption of the different models of electric car
The real consumption of an electric car depends on the specific model, that is, from the 15kWh / 100 km of a BMW i3 to the 25kWh of a BYDe6 in mixed conditions. The capacity of the batteries also depends on the model: the new Nissan Leaf 30kW runs a 30kWh battery, the BMWi3 and the Renault ZOE one of 22kWh, while BYDe6 comes with a 60kWh battery and Tesla Model S has 90kWh in some versions. The calculations are simple. If our car consumes 20kWh per 100 km and we have 40kWh in our battery, we can travel 200 km. In conclusion, the maximum autonomy of each model depends on consumption per km and the total capacity of the batteries. Easy?
Example of the calculation of consumption of an electric vehicle
To refine the calculation. As an example, let’s look at the Nissan Leaf. If we take the battery of 30kWh and our average consumption is 17kWh per 100km, with the battery fully loaded we can drive for 176km. Real.
What happens when we don’t have the battery fully charged?
Help with this is built in by the manufacturers. As we are driving calculations are continually being made, based on consumption and driving style. This information is then shown on the display. This is very handy, but it can be a bit misleading when driving on a steep mountain road. However, they remain reliable because the forecasts are adjusted continuously.
The ECO mode
All electric cars have a driving mode called ECO, configured by the manufacturer to optimise the consumption of the batteries. In ECO mode the power is limited to achieve the lowest consumption per km.
We recommend you use the ECO mode by default, but if you’re full of energy and don’t need to drive a long distance, test your vehicle on a mountain road and you’ll discover the great response of electric motors.
Autonomy of the electric car
This brings us back to talk about those external factors that have considerable influence on the autonomy of the batteries. Firstly, you need to take the characteristics of the road into account. All cars consume more on uphill journeys or at high speeds on the motorway. It is clear that on a journey into a mountainous region, you are going to consume more on your way up there than you will on your way back down.
Other important factors are: the exterior temperature, which influences the performance of the battery; and the increased consumption of energy if you turn on the air conditioning unit. Nothing new or different to what happens with any car.
We recommend you err on the side of caution during your first journeys, you will be able to adjust your calculations more precisely when you become more familiar with the car and your driving style.
Plan the route
And of course, we need to talk in more detail about planning and calculating for your trips, because the autonomy of your car is not limited to the total battery load available.
The good news is that you can upload it on the road. How? That will be a new post!
Watch this space!
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