• Forum down time - September 25, 2020
    On the evening of September 25, 2020 we will have some downtime as we migrate to a new server.
    More details can be found in this thread.
  • Server migration complete
    In the early morning of September 26, 2020, our migration to new servers was completed.
    Things seem to be working as expected, but if you notice any issues,
    please vistit this thread for more details

Electric vehicles (EVs), their emissions, and future viability

Status
Not open for further replies.

kjclow

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
The bigger problem is that many fire departments have yet to face a liquid metal based fire. They all know how to fight liquid fuel fires (gas/diesel/home heating oil/jet a). Not saying that the EV fires are all from melted batteries, but once the fire gets rolling, it is a possibility.

Add to the scenario the fear of being electrocuted by pouring water on a large battery. Again, may not be realistic, but fears are not always based in reality. Such as the way my grown up daughter still screams when she sees a spider.
 

Tin Man

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2001
Location
Coastal Empire
TDI
Daughter's: 2004 NB TDI PD GLS DSG (gone to pasture)
There's a heck of a lot more stored energy in a tankful of gasoline or diesel. We should be more concerned about fires in those vehicles.
It may not be that simple.

The fact that batteries have less energy is both a problem and perhaps a good thing. Diesel may still be best because of its high energy density and relative resistance to catching fire, and still pretty good for the environment.

While mass marketed BEV's are around perhaps 6 years now, most would feel very safe due to their perceived records. Knowing this, there still may be areas of concern with newer tech/materials/higher charging rates that may show up, including in hot climates or enclosed spaces due to inevitable heat generation. Early adopters may find these vehicles perfectly safe, though.
 
Last edited:

rotarykid

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Location
Piedmont of N.C. & the plains of Colorado
TDI
1997 Passat TDI White,99.5 Blue Jetta TDI
Lithium batteries have for all of the last 100+ years have had fire issues.....

Since the first lithium battery was conceived of and made over 100 years ago fires and exploding batteries kept them from becoming widely used. Not until the last decade or so when electronic monitoring of battery temp & charge levels down to the millisecond did these batteries become safe to use like they are widely used today.....

But as we all know even with monitoring down to the millisecond these things still catch fire and explode with horrifying regularity if they are forced to or allowed to operate outside of safe temps or charge for the smallest amount of time.....

So what I know is if everything is perfect in condition & charge 100 % of the time the high energy density they possess make these batteries a really good battery for what we are using them for today compared to gasoline or diesel.....

But just as was found out soon after they were invented at the turn of the century when things go bad, they are a really bad idea made manifest....

So in my educated opinion there is no comparison gasoline & diesel are safer for transportation propulsion....
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
Yup, the Li ion batteries in my phone, laptop, power tools, etc., etc., regularly burn my house down. It's worth it though. :D
 

Tin Man

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2001
Location
Coastal Empire
TDI
Daughter's: 2004 NB TDI PD GLS DSG (gone to pasture)
Here is a pretty balanced summary of Safety Concerns with Li-ion
There are also safety concerns with the electric vehicle. However, statistics shows that EVs produce fewer fires compared to vehicles with the internal combustion engine (ICE) per billion kilometers driven. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), over 400,000 ICE powered cars burned down in the 1980s. Today, 90 fires per one billion with ICE vehicles are considered normal; reports say that Tesla had only two fires per one billion driven kilometer.
The problem is that both gasoline and diesel vehicles are lumped together as "ICE vehicles." For some of us, diesel seems safer than gasoline to a large extent when it comes to "spontaneous combustion" but I am finding it difficult to discover statistics to show this - maybe its just assumed?
 
Last edited:

tikal

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2001
Location
Southeast Texas
TDI
2004 Passat Wagon (chainless + 5 MT + GDE tune)
Here is a pretty balanced summary of Safety Concerns with Li-ion
The problem is that both gasoline and diesel vehicles are lumped together as "ICE vehicles." For some of us, diesel seems safer than gasoline to a large extent when it comes to "spontaneous combustion" but I am finding it difficult to discover statistics to show this - maybe its just assumed?
Good points. Flammable vs combustible. Need to separate the data to compare light duty diesel vehicles to EVs in terms of energy storage safety.

Also, as the number of EVs increase the normalized statistics will be more 'apples to apples'. This is just my opinion: for the US we need to have around 25% of passenger vehicles to be EV. Right now (July 2019) is around 2.5% (USA EV sales up to 2.5% of total market[55]).
 

rotarykid

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Location
Piedmont of N.C. & the plains of Colorado
TDI
1997 Passat TDI White,99.5 Blue Jetta TDI
Yup, the Li ion batteries in my phone, laptop, power tools, etc., etc., regularly burn my house down. It's worth it though. :D

FUNNY, HA HA....nice smart aaaa response....

But this 100+ yeat old issue is real, remember the Boeing planes catching fire,.....

And just a few weeks ago a ban was put into effect on a list of recent new still for sale apple notebooks being banned for the fire risk in flight danger....

A fact, with a quick search from around the world you will see these things are failing in an out of control fire &/ or explosion somewhere almost if not on a daily basis in something


..the Internet is full of videos of overcharged, overdrained
overheating & punctured lithium batteries catching fire & exploding....
 

rotarykid

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Location
Piedmont of N.C. & the plains of Colorado
TDI
1997 Passat TDI White,99.5 Blue Jetta TDI
Yup, the Li ion batteries in my phone, laptop, power tools, etc., etc., regularly burn my house down. It's worth it though. :D
And the current samples being used to compare ice from the last ~45 years that outnumber ev's what...500,000,000 to one.....in no way with the widely used today of anti rupture fuel cell integrated into auto class vehiles over that ~45 years....
In Colorado ice's outnumber electrics, what 1,000 to 1.....ice"s on a daily basis being driven across terrain an ev will NEVER see during it's driving life...
..these stats are as irrelevant as the cooked up dishonest speed limit increasre data put out in the same dishonest way the AAA lumps all roads , 95-98% of their claimed increased carnage coming from roads & streets that never have, never will see any speed or posted limit increase!..
..lies in how & where data is collected to be used to tell lies one group of or the other hides a lot of dishonesty used to make the point they are with untruthful data, cooked up data being used in a way trying to make....true or not....a groups point...
.
..how is that a valid comparrison in any way....
 
Last edited:

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
And the current samples being used to compare ice from the last ~45 years that outnumber ev's what...500,000,000 to one.....in no way with the widely used today of anti rupture fuel cell integrated into auto class vehiles over that ~45 years....
.

..how is that a valid comparrison in any way....
I'm not sure what you're trying to say there. At this point Li-ion batteries are a well proven technology. Life is full of risks. I'm not prepared to give up the convenience of modern technology due to a nonzero risk of fire.
 

rotarykid

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Location
Piedmont of N.C. & the plains of Colorado
TDI
1997 Passat TDI White,99.5 Blue Jetta TDI
My point is simple, until ev's are being used in similar head conditions on a daily basis that fire danger is not valid for comparison of ev fire danger capared to those same conditions in a diesel & gasoline ice....
 

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
1999.5 Jetta GLX TDI
Umm.. ok? I guess the heat in DC doesn't count?

And yes, we do get ICE cars bursting into flames when they sit in stop & go traffic for an hour in 110*f heat. I'm not worried about this in an EV, while enjoying the air conditioning that can work at nearly full tilt, even when stopped.

-J
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
All my cars'* A/C can run "fill tilt" in stop and go traffic, too. For hours on end if need be (thankfully never needed that). I am not sure that is of any relevance just like "bursting into flames" isn't either. Car fires are largely pretty rare, and I'd wager FAR more are caused by outside sources like idiotic added on electrical bits. Stupidity knows no limits, and certainly has no favor towards how a vehicle is motivated.

Fires are a really, really, dumb argument against or for an EV. :rolleyes:

*my F150's crank driven cooling fan at idle may lessen the A/C's efficiency. However, its massive engine, giant surface areas of heat exchangers, and relatively small cab area, means that no normal human can tolerate the system running at full cold for very long, even in triple digit temps. It is still capable of providing ice-cream headache temps sitting still. I suppose it is because Ford used the same HVAC system for the SuperCab, CrewCab, and Bronco, which have 50%, 100%, or 200% more interior volume to cool/heat. So the regular cab pickup has enough margin in the BTUs to be pretty impressive in that regard.
 

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
1999.5 Jetta GLX TDI
All my cars'* A/C can run "fill tilt" in stop and go traffic, too. For hours on end if need be (thankfully never needed that). I am not sure that is of any relevance just like "bursting into flames" isn't either. Car fires are largely pretty rare, and I'd wager FAR more are caused by outside sources like idiotic added on electrical bits.
From what I've seen, most of the car-b-q's that happen when temprature spikes hit are older, poorly maintained cars that probably have a bunch of oil leaks. If you leave them cooking for long enough, something oil soaked in the engine compartment will catch.

My comment about A/C is that an EV can cool better at idle than a combustion car since the compressor has its own motor, and can be driven as fast as needed vs. a standard car where compressor RPM is tied to engine RPM. Even with a good system, when it's 110*f air temp, 120*f local temp due to all the idling cars and blacktop, and 80% humidity, it makes a difference.

-J
 

Tin Man

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2001
Location
Coastal Empire
TDI
Daughter's: 2004 NB TDI PD GLS DSG (gone to pasture)
Top 10 Causes of Car Fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that vehicle fires account for about 20 percent of all reported fires, so it's worth knowing how to reduce some of the risk in your own car or truck [source: Chandler Law Group ].
1. Fuel System Leaks
2. Electrical System Failures
3. Spilled Fluids
4. Overheating Engines
5. Overheating Catalytic Converters
6. Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Batteries
7. Arson
8. Car Crashes
9. Poor Maintenance
10. Design Flaws
 
Last edited:

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
My comment about A/C is that an EV can cool better at idle than a combustion car since the compressor has its own motor, and can be driven as fast as needed vs. a standard car where compressor RPM is tied to engine RPM. Even with a good system, when it's 110*f air temp, 120*f local temp due to all the idling cars and blacktop, and 80% humidity, it makes a difference.
-J
Except that does not apply to modern variable displacement compressors, that have no problem making the adequate pressure even at idle speeds. Once the pressure drop has happened, and the bulk of the heat has been removed, they actually back off the duty cycle. Again, cold is cold, the evap temps will try to achieve a "just above freezing' minimum temp. That is Automotive A/C 101, nothing new there. And again, efficiency is withing whatever margins are set forth by the manufacturer... so some are better than others. Old fixed displacement compressors and engine driven fans (like my truck mentioned above) are indeed tied to RPM, so that at idle, they are NOT the most efficient for sure. But all that means is the system needs to be designed with greater margins in mind, so that at idle speed, the system still works in an adequate manner.

Most hybrids have electric compressors too. Their A/C is no better or worse. I think the big advantage an EV has, is (so long as you do not mind the battery use) is they can pre-cool or maintain a temp while the car is parked. And be controlled remotely and securely (meaning the doors can remain locked) via a smart phone or some internet based deal. Although you can do the same thing with an ICE car. Our one service writer starts his new Acadia from inside the shop about 10 minutes before he leaves. So once he walks to his car, it is already cool/warm. It does however require the HVAC temp be preselected beforehand, you cannot change that remotely.

The EVs are far more likely to be able to have a better A/C system capability simply because they are not having to content with all the waste heat of an engine, which is considerable, since most of an ICE's fuel burned turns into heat. So, assuming the engine is at the front of the car, means the firewall is hot. The underside of the car gets hot (exhaust routed all the way to the back), and, in most VAG products' case, the heater box is [very] hot. But, again, cold is cold, so even with all that, my Golfs and Jettas have ALWAYS been able to overcome that and keep the interior comfortable. I never, ever, have to keep the temp knob on full cold, even sitting in traffic should I have to. The B5 Passats are not quite as good, but they use an orifice tube system, which is not as efficient at lower speeds as the expansive valve system. They also seem to wick a lot more heat up through and around the transmission tunnel for some reason.
 
Last edited:

compu_85

Gadget Guy
Joined
Sep 29, 2003
Location
Springfield VA
TDI
1999.5 Jetta GLX TDI
A recall / software update on my ELR made the AC blow much colder... before it would only do 3kw of cooling for the cabin, with another 2 available when it also needed battery cooling. Now it will do 4kw for the cabin, and it blows cold quickly after heat soaking the car in the sun :cool:

That's a good point about the ICE adding more cooling load to the AC system.

The best AC I've ever experienced was in our roomates past '12 Nissan Leaf. That thing would blow 42*F air out the vents on a 100*f, 90%RH day... water pouring out of the evap drain, and all the windows would fog on the outside! The AC in our Passat was good... but it wasn't that good!

-J
 

El Dobro

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
NJ
TDI
2017 Bolt EV, 2015 Spark EV
A recall / software update on my ELR made the AC blow much colder... before it would only do 3kw of cooling for the cabin, with another 2 available when it also needed battery cooling. Now it will do 4kw for the cabin, and it blows cold quickly after heat soaking the car in the sun :cool:

That's a good point about the ICE adding more cooling load to the AC system.

The best AC I've ever experienced was in our roomates past '12 Nissan Leaf. That thing would blow 42*F air out the vents on a 100*f, 90%RH day... water pouring out of the evap drain, and all the windows would fog on the outside! The AC in our Passat was good... but it wasn't that good!

-J
The A/C in my Jettas sucked big time. The A/C in every car I've owned since just blew them away.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
You guys must have had some REALLY poorly maintained cars.

This is my nearly 1/4 million mile stray rescue project, a VERY neglected 2001 2.0L Jetta.



It has no problems providing a cool cabin:



It was 92F when that pic was taken, sitting at a stop light, and as always eastern Missouri's humidity is super high. And this is a car that has had MAJOR neglect. So you know the evap core is nasty filthy dirty (the cabin filter I pulled out looked like it had been in there for a decade, and was half folded in on itself). Surely lots of debris built up between the condenser and radiator, as is normal, and the condenser fins themselves are not all that great. Yet, it still manages to do its job perfectly fine, all these years and miles later.

*shrug*

BTW, I actually, as normal, had to move the temp knob UP after I took this pic... I had turned it DOWN just to show how cold a normal A4 platform Volkswagen's A/C gets. It was simply TOO cold in the cabin to keep it that way. And I HATE the heat, I'm old, fat, and work in sweaty conditions all day... so my ride home MUST be cool and comfortable, and even I cannot tolerate the A/C in this car left running full cold the entire ~1 hour drive home, LOL.

As I said early, industry standard is "just above" freezing at the coldest part of the system, where the pressure drop happens. Any colder, and the system will freeze the evap core into a block of ice. So a ~45F temp at the duct is pretty normal, some cars seem to get there a little quicker than others, and some have better airflow than others which of course makes the system do its job faster and easier.
 
Last edited:

Growler

Got Soot Vendor
Joined
Nov 24, 2003
Location
Millersport, Ohio
TDI
Schmutz, 2015 Golf Sportwagen DSG & Schnurren, 2001 Golf GL 2 door 5M
Yeah the AC in my 2015 GSW takes forever to cool the car down..but once it is cooled down does pretty well at keeping me comfortable.
 

El Dobro

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
NJ
TDI
2017 Bolt EV, 2015 Spark EV
Both my Jettas, 2006 and 2009, were purchased new and the A/C sucked from the beginning. When I brought them in for warranty work, I would have the dealer check the A/C and was told "normal". One time, I had a chance to talk to a tech about it and he told me it was a common complaint and then he shrugged his shoulders. It got to the point that when I had passengers, I would use my Buick Century so I wouldn't have to hear the complaints, "Could you turn the A/C on?""It is on". It was that bad.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Sucks to be you, sorry for your misfortune. Glad you are (I hope?) happy now.

Not all of us have had your problems, although the RCVs in the later cars' compressors are a common but easily fixed item.

I have a theory that much of the "swarf" or whatever they call it, from the manufacturing process, gets caught up in the RCVs and their little screens, but it is a one-and-done affair. So after the original RCV gets replaced, they are unlikely to ever need another one, and in many cases I have found they needed one relatively early on. Like in the 30k mile range, but those same cars continue to have excellent A/C performance 150k miles later.

Thankfully, Volkswagen finally released a TSB for this (not that the dealers necessarily know about it).
 
Last edited:

El Dobro

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
NJ
TDI
2017 Bolt EV, 2015 Spark EV
Both those cars had voodoo, so hopefully they were turned into cubes and shipped to Japan, where they in their second lives, were turned into Prii for penance.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
17 electric school buses purchased by state of Michigan for various school districts. Partially funded by Volkswagen emissions scandal revenue
 

turbobrick240

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Location
maine
TDI
2011 vw golf tdi(gone to greener pastures), 2001 ford f250 powerstroke
17 electric school buses purchased by state of Michigan for various school districts. Partially funded by Volkswagen emissions scandal revenue
That's got to be one of the best possible uses for VW's blood money.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
I think electric vehicles have a future in public transportation such as this, buses, and ride shares. If R&D costs can be recouped through these uses the manufacturing costs and final prices for general public vehicle purchases can be lessened, hopefully.
 

tikal

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2001
Location
Southeast Texas
TDI
2004 Passat Wagon (chainless + 5 MT + GDE tune)
I think electric vehicles have a future in public transportation such as this, buses, and ride shares. If R&D costs can be recouped through these uses the manufacturing costs and final prices for general public vehicle purchases can be lessened, hopefully.
Agree. Much better chance for EVs to flourish in the public transportation sector in the US vs private individuals buying electric SUVs and pickup trucks in large numbers for $55,000 a piece or more!

In my opinion the window for electrical trains for city transportation in the US is almost closed or already closed so might as well look at electrical buses and so forth :-(
 

kjclow

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
And the current samples being used to compare ice from the last ~45 years that outnumber ev's what...500,000,000 to one.....in no way with the widely used today of anti rupture fuel cell integrated into auto class vehiles over that ~45 years....
In Colorado ice's outnumber electrics, what 1,000 to 1.....ice"s on a daily basis being driven across terrain an ev will NEVER see during it's driving life...
..these stats are as irrelevant as the cooked up dishonest speed limit increasre data put out in the same dishonest way the AAA lumps all roads , 95-98% of their claimed increased carnage coming from roads & streets that never have, never will see any speed or posted limit increase!..
..lies in how & where data is collected to be used to tell lies one group of or the other hides a lot of dishonesty used to make the point they are with untruthful data, cooked up data being used in a way trying to make....true or not....a groups point...
.
..how is that a valid comparrison in any way....
As my mother told me:
There's lies, there's damn lies, and then there's statistics. I can use statistics to create just about any outcome you want me to. It all depends on the sampling basis I use. Just tell me what your conclusion is and I'll create the data to back it up. Even easier these days with the wealth of misinformation on the internet.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
Just tell me what your conclusion is and I'll create the data to back it up.
You could easily recoup all the taxes you have ever paid by pimping yourself to the government with that philosophy.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top