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ISSUE 19

JUL-AUG 2017

The Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Magazine

RACING DRONES
HYUNDAI IONIQ ELECTRIC
MERCEDES E 350 e
BMW
TOYOTA PRIUS PLUG-IN C EVOLUTION
KIA OPTIMA PHEV Paul Blezard rides
BMWs leccy
Stephen Irish, Hyperdrive MD maxi-scooter
IS THE UK EV READY?
Editors
Letter
THE UKS PREMIER
ELECTRIC CAR MAGAZINE

Editorial ROBERT LLEWELLYN,

O
JONNY SMITH, STEPHEN IRISH,
TOM CURTIS, PAUL BLEZARD
n the 4th July, we celebrated our third birthday Editor JONATHAN MUSK
with the launch of Autovolt on Amazon. This Deputy Editor LUCY HARGRAVE
Technical Editor EMRHYS BARRELL
new service offers Autovolt in paper format
Technical Consultants RYAN DUFFY,
including next day delivery for just 10. Ever IAN RUTTER
Art Director OLIVIER BLANC
since Autovolts inception, Ive been inundated with requests for
Designer DAN PACEY
a decent paper magazine solution, so I do hope this has now been Advertising Manager LIAM OREILLY
answered. Even though other automotive magazines are available liam@autovolt-magazine.com
Publisher Contact
at newsstands for less, I would argue that Autovolt offers far more Autovolt Limited
dedicated plug-in content than any of them and is therefore better 23 Station Road, St Albans
Hertfordshire, AL4 0HA
value than magazines that dont focus just on electric and hybrid.
United Kingdom
And so to this new issue, which is a little more off-piste than +44 7400 85 95 99
www.autovolt-magazine.com
usual, with features about racing drones and an electric BMW
enquiries@autovolt-magazine.com
maxi-scooter named the C evolution. The scoot is an impressive
beast, as seasoned rider Paul Blezard found out, and it can even be
AUTOVOLT
ridden with a days CBT training and L-plates, yet it has three times The UKs premier electric and hybrid
the power of other learner-legal bikes (including petrol ones)! car magazine is enjoyed by more
than 7,500 verified readers per issue
If you love Formula E and the idea of electric racing, you might wish
and released every two months. The
you could somehow participate. Unfortunately, unless youre a pro magazine reaches more EVangelists
(owners/drivers/enthusiasts of electric
driver, thats unlikely so what about radio controlled cars? Thats one
and hybrid vehicles) than any other
way, but more immersive is to take to the skies with a quadcopter. UK automotive consumer publication.
Plus, theres the usual mix of plug-in car reviews, including our cover Autovolt is distributed worldwide in
paper and digital formats.
star, the excellent Hyundai Ioniq Electric and much more too.

Jonathan Musk | Editor This publication may not be


reproduced, transmitted or distributed
COVER: Hyundai Ioniq Electric, DJI Inspire Drone, BMW C evolution
in any form, in whole or in part without
prior permission of the publishers.
TWITTER FACEBOOK GOOGLE+
Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Google+ Autovolt ISSN 2399-9926 is published bi-monthly

@AutoVoltMag http://goo.gl/kulwW0 http://goo.gl/b8QbcX (six times per year) by Autovolt Limited.

2 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


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Contents
6
In PIctures. 30
EV and hybrid photos from the past
two months.

10
news
A selection of electric & hybrid
vehicles, eco, racing & tech news.

21
HIstory
The story behind the 1959 Henney
Kilowatt electric car.

22
tom curtIs Leaf
Part five of Toms ownership
experience with his second hand
Nissan Leaf.

24
coLumn:
stePHen IrIsH
Hyperdrive Innovations MD
discusses the adoption rate for
electric vehicles.

28
Long term test:
KIa oPtIma PHeV
Our on-going long term test
update, this time - beyond EV 24 28
range.

30
reVIew:
Bmw c eVoLutIon
Seasoned motorcycle journalist
Paul Blezard tests the C evolution
electric maxi-scooter and discovers
its the most powerful learner legal
scooter money can buy.

4 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


36
reVIew: 38
HyundaI IonIq eLectrIc
Hyundais entrance into battery
electric vehicles is put to the test,
but how does it compare against
established competition?

46
feature:
drone racIng
A slight curve ball this one, we take
a look at an electric sport you can
participate in - drone racing.

54
reVIew:
toyota PrIus PLug-In
A week-long test of the new
plugged-in Prius. Is it all its cracked 46 54
up to be? We find out.

62
reVIew:
mercedes-Benz e 350 e
Mercs latest plug-in is a big old
barge. Are its electric motors
enough to make it fuel efficient?

69
BacK Pages
[In eVery Issue]
Get to grips with EVs using our 62 78
handy guides, myths and glossary.
Included in each issue.

78
rear VIew
By Lucy HargraVe
The topic this issue:
What are Biofuels?

FINAL IMAGE ANSWER:


Croatia, Rijeka Airport www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 5
In pictures
NIO EP9 AT NURBURGRING
On 15 May, 2017, a NIO EP9 managed an incredible 6m
45.900s lap time of the famed Green Hell Nurburgring
Nordschleife. The time is faster than any other production
vehicle, petrol or otherwise and is yet another feather in
the electric vehicle cap.
In pictures
NAVYA AT LA DFENSE, PARIS
Autonomous bus leader, Navya, is now in operation at
Europes largest business district, Paris La Dfense. The
six month trial employs three electric & autonomous ARMA
shuttle buses to serve the main areas of the district at
dedicated request stops. The service is free to use.
TORQEEDO, BMW i3 POWERED BOAT
BMW is supplying lithium-ion batteries from its Dingolfing
plant to German company Torqeedo, to power electric and
hybrid propulsion systems for motorboats from 1 to 160
HP for sailing yachts and commercial marine applications,
such as ferries and water taxis.

FISKER EMOTION ELECTRIC SPORTS CAR


The world needs more beautiful electric vehicles,
exclaims Henrik Fisker, Founder and CEO of Fisker Inc.
Whats more, the recently unveiled Fisker Emotion has a
400+ mile range, 9-minute charging to 125-miles, LIDAR
for autonomous driving and all-wheel drive electric power.
All at a base price of $129,900.
NEWSELECTRIC, HYBRID, ECO, RACING & TECH
NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

and managed to keep the car Other details that can be seen
Elon Musk shows near identical to the trio of pre- upon close inspection of the photos

first production production models shown nearly


a year ago that caused a stir in
include Autopilot sensors like
B-pillar mounted cameras and an
ready Model 3 the motoring world and saw Tesla all-glass roof option. In addition,
ON the 9th July, Tesla Motors CEO accumulate more than 400,000 pre- the door handles appear to be
Elon Musk took to Twitter to show orders for the smallest Tesla. the thumb-push type, unlike the
off the first production-line built However, the photos do not automatic pop-out Model S style.
Model 3. show the interior, although this is The appearance is very much
The new car has a lot riding on it, expected to be minimal and will the cut-down Model S, as was
with Tesla hedging its bets that a move away from the traditional expected.
smaller car will make electric cars ideas of a driver-focussed Production numbers will be slow
profitable and take the fight to the instrument cluster and instead rely initially, with only one hundred
German conquered compact-exec on a single central touchscreen cars set to be made in August,
class including cars like the BMW to provide both essential before production is ramped up
330e and Mercedes-Benz C 350 e. driving information like speed to a predicted 20,000 Model 3 in
The photos demonstrate Tesla and indicator lamps alongside December.
has been true to their word infotainment. Image courtesy @elonmusk

t : ++44 (0)1205 724754


THE UKS LEADING MANUFACTURER : rolec@rolecserv.co.uk
OF EV CHARGING POINTS website : www.rolecserv.com

EV charging points for the home,


business and public sector

Over 55,000 EV charging points


manufactured to date

The UKs largest range of EV


charging points
Grant funding available
For more details, either contact
Rolecs technical/support/
sales team or visit your local
electrical wholesaler AT HOME AT WORK ON STREET CHARGE POINT TESTING
managed an incredible 235.44mph. UK PLUG-IN GRANT
Lucid Air hits Only minor tweaks to the air Cat. CO2 ZEV Grant Max.

235mph in Ohio suspension and cooling of the front


motor were necessary to acheive 1
g/km

>50
Range

+70 35%
Grant

4,500
In April 2017, Lucid Motors set this over the previous run, further 2 >50 10-69 35% 2,500
an impressive record with their demonstrating the power potential 3 50-75 +20 35% 2,500
Air concept car of 217mph. That of electric motoring. Van >75 +10 20% 8,000
speed was limited electronically, Despite the already terrifying pace, M-bike 0 +19 20% 1,500
as the team werent sure about Lucid are confident the Air Alpha Moped 0 +31 20% 1,500
how the car would react or indeed can go faster still, as conditions on
There is no grant for 2nd-hand vehicles,
if it would have enough track to the day were unfavourable. or cat. 2/3 vehicles with a RRP over
brake. Following lessons learned, 60,000.
the Lucid Air Alpha Speed Car has Eligible category 1 vehicles
returned to Ohios Transportation BMW i3
BYD e6
Research Centre (TRC) and Citroen CZero
Ford Focus Electric
Hyundai IONIQ Electric
Kia Soul EV
Mahindra e2o
Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive
Nissan e-NV200 (5-seater and 7-seater)
Nissan LEAF
Peugeot iON
Renault Fluence
Renault ZOE
Smart fortwo electric drive
Smart forfour electric drive
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model X
Toyota Mirai
Volkswagen e-up!
Volkswagen e-Golf
Eligible category 2 vehicles
Audi A3 e-tron
BMW 225xe
There were a number of unique BMW 330e
Battersea Project challenges attached to the project, BMW 530e
Hyundai Ioniq PHEV

Rolls Out 100 all of which were solved by our


GroupManager, cloud based,
Kia Optima Saloon PHEV
Mercedes-Benz C350 e (with 17 rear wheels)

New Rolec Smart


Mercedes-Benz E350 e SE
Smart charging system. These MINI Countryman PHEV
Mitsubishi Outlander (except Commercial)
Charging Points challenges included developing a
bespoke RFID card system to allow
Toyota Prius Plug-in
Vauxhall Ampera
Volkswagen Golf GTE
THE 9 billion Battersea Power EV drivers to use the same card to Volkswagen Passat GTE
Volvo V60 D5 Twin Engine (Tw En)
Station project in central London charge their electric vehicles, access Volvo V60 D6 Tw En
has recently taken delivery of 100x the private lift system and operate Volvo XC90 T8 Tw En Momentum (2017MY)
Eligible category 3 vehicles
Rolec Smart EV charge points. the car park barriers on site. Mercedes-Benz E350 e AMG Line
Eligible vans
These charging points will provide Alsop continued: GroupManager BD Otomotiv eTraffic
electric vehicle charging facilities for also enabled the developers to BD Otomotiv eDucato
Citroen Berlingo
residents, as well as the thousands provide a substantial number of Daimler Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell
of visitors and business users of EV charging points on a limited Mitsubishi Outlander Commercial
Nissan e-NV200 (cargo van)
this new iconic development. electrical supply utilising the Load Peugeot ePartner
Renault Kangoo ZE
Kieron Alsop, Rolecs Managing Manager feature within the system. Smith Electric Smith Edison
Director, commented: We were The charging points themselves Eligible motorcycles
BMW C evolution
delighted to have been chosen to were provided by Rolec Energica Ego
Energica Eva
design and provide the EV charging SecuriCharge units complete, with Scutum Silence S02
infrastructure for this prestigious built in RFID readers, LCD data Torrot Muvi
Vmoto 100
project. screens and Ethernet connectivity. Vmoto 120
Zero Motorcycles (all models)
Eligible mopeds
Torrot Muvi City
Vmoto Super Soco TS1200R
and 53.8% up on the same period
Volvo to go all in 2015. Poor show for EVs
electric by 2019 June exceeded all previous non-
plate-change months with 4,405
at 2017 Pikes Peak
EVERy Volvo launched from 2019 new plug-in models sold during IN 2016 Rhys Millen set a new
will have an electric motor, the the month (33% up on June 2016). record for electric vehicles at the
Swedish car maker announced on Demand from private buyers has Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
5th July. The landmark decision driven growth with 44.9% more (PPIHC) by completing the 12.4-mile
comes as a result of, customer consumers opting for plug-in course in 8:57,188.
demand and, future needs hybrid and electric power between In recent years, PPIHC has attracted
according to Hkan Samuelsson, January and June 2017, compared a wave of electric motorsport
president and chief executive. to the same period last year. attention, battling petrol cars
The electrification plans include for the outright title and making
cars being introduced including huge leaps forward in power and
fully electric cars, plug in hybrid Tesla to the rescue performance.
cars and mild hybrid cars, so the
petrol engine isnt dead for Volvo
in Australia? Unfortunately, non of the top
runners from previous years
quite yet. However, Volvo has SINCE September last year, entered for various reasons, leaving
stated five full-electric cars will be Australia has suffered from random the petrol-ruled field to rule the
launched between 2019 and 2021 power cuts due to shortages and roost.
- consisting three Volvos and two storms including the entire state Notable entrants, however,
Polestars. of South Australia where more included a near standard Faraday
As for the hybrid models, Volvo than 1.7 million people live were Future FF91 concept car, which
will introduce 48V mild hybrids in a total blackout after one of the finished the course in a very
alongside plug-in hybrids like the worst storms to hit the country respectable 40th position overall
XC90 T8 (Twin Engine) already on in 50 years. Following the spate with a time of 11:25.082, and three
sale and the forthcoming V60 T8. of power shortages, Australia has electric bikes.
The announcement follows the been having mass debates about The 2017 Buckeye Current RW-3x
separation of Polestar to be a new energy, infrastructure and policy. finished in 28th overall position
electrified global brand. Enter Tesla and a 100mW battery (10:55.500), followed by the 2016
energy storage solution, with Elon USA-JAPAN IDATEN-ZERO FXS in
Musk stating, There is certainly 30th (10:59.086) and the 2017
some risk, because this will be University of Nottingham UoN-
largest battery installation in the PP-01 ridden by USAs Jeremiah
world by a significant margin, the Johnson finished last, in 78th after
next biggest battery in the world is not finishing.
30 megawatts.
UK electric and The battery will be paired with a

plug-in sales records Neoen energy company owned BMW commits to


THE future for the UKs roads looks
wind farm, with the batteries
serving as both backup and
Formula E
greener than ever with UK car stabiliser for the southern IN Season 5 (2018/19) of the
buyers registering more electric Australian grid. Its hoped the electric formula racing series, BMW
and plug-in hybrid cars during battery system will also reduce has confirmed it will enter as an
the first half of 2017 than in any energy prices for the area. official manufacturer for the first
previous six-monthly period. More Elon Musk has publically stated that time. Their powertrain will drive
than 22,400 plug-in models were it will take just 100 days to install, the Andretti FE works team car and
registered between January and or the Australian government can serve as development for future
June 2017, a rise of 14.3% on 2016 have it for free. BMW i vehicles.

12 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


FACT 2 eventually [be] able to navigate city
Five facts we know FOLLOWING the headlight image intersections.

about the next (bizarre choice of first reveal by the


way), Nissan announced some of
Gareth Dunsmore, Director of
Electric Vehicles, Nissan Europe
Nissan Leaf the new Leafs key features. This said: The ultimate embodiment
NISSAN has been playing its cards includes, ProPILOT technology, of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the
close to its chest with respect to enabling autonomous drive new Nissan LEAF will be the most
the latest Nissan Leaf design, but it functionality in single-lane highway advanced, accessible EV on the
seems the company cant contain driving. Its worth remembering market, today. Adding ground-
itself entirely and has released that press releases are examined breaking ProPILOT technology to
select information. While we still before release, so there are a the new Nissan LEAF will prove
dont yet know what battery size couple of things we can tell from invaluable in unlocking many of
the car will have, we do know that this quote. Firstly, the new Leaf is the benefits of electric vehicles,
it will sport Nissans new ProPILOT unlikely to support full autonomous creating less congested, cleaner
semi-autonomous tech. driving and the system will not cities for future generations.
initially support towns or cities. As one would expect, ProPILOT
Nissans Dr Maarten Sierhuis, does not replace the driver, but
FACT 1 Director at Nissan Research instead should be seen as an
THE first teaser image revealed Centre, Silicon Valley, himself assistance or driver aid. In the
by Nissan shows the new Leafs said that autonomous vehicles Nissan promotional video, it details
headlight design. It is of similar will struggle with simple human how the accelerator, brakes and
design to the 2017 Nissan Micra problems like recognising road steering are all assisted by the
and sports LED bulbs, that much is works and temporary traffic lights. system. This can be activated
obvious. Whether it looks like the His solution was to employ human or deactivated via a blue button
Nissan IDS concept (oft touted as call centres to do the work, which mounted on the steering wheel.
the next Leafs concept car), there didnt gain him too many favours in
are similarities, yes, but thats as the quest for robotic autonomous FACT 3
far as it goes namely the square driving. In addition, Nissans press IN the same ProPILOT press
lights behind an aerodynamic lens. release states, the system [will] release mentioned above, Nissan

14 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


gave us a first glimpse at the there for the drivers benefit. presto, youre in the space. Whats
new Leafs steering wheel and The column stalks still remain, not clear at this time is whether
dashboard. Take a look above. including one for lighting and the ProPILOT Park or indeed the
Were extremely pleased to see indicators and the other for ProPILOT features are included
the old silver buttons have been windscreen wiping/washing. with every Leaf.
replaced with a much more Finally, the warning and
grown up set, including volume information lights are mounted FACT 5
control, four-way directional arrow just above the dash within the THE new Nissan Leaf will sport
controls plus OK button, as well binnacle, showing the parking a fancy new pedal that Nissan
as cruise control settings and the brake, indicators, ABS, full beam, are calling a world first. In truth,
new ProPILOT button. In addition, seatbelts unfastened warning, it is described a lot like the
were given a first glimpse of the passenger airbag disabled indicator BMW i3s accelerator pedal, but
dashboard instrumentation, which (important for those with kids) and there appears to be two major
is surprisingly old fashioned in its battery (12V). differences.
approach with an analogue style Firstly, its operated by a switch on
gauge for speed and an inner circle FACT 4 the dashboard from what we can
set within it for we assume THE new Nissan Leaf will be see in the video, meaning it can
0-100% power. Centrally mounted equipped with advanced parking be disabled unlike in the BMW i3.
is the gear selection (D) and sensors as part of the ProPILOT Secondly, when it brings the car
other information would appear package titled ProPILOT Park. to a complete stop, it will engage
here and/or to the left where the Like many systems that already either the brake or parking brake
ProPILOT display is shown. exist, the driver should pass by (we dont know yet which) to hold
The display itself looks like its a spaces slowly and the car will the car on a hill.
full LCD screen, like that seen in sense and offer them as potential Aside from that, if you want to go
Volkswagens e-Golf and thats parking spaces. When the driver faster, press the accelerator like
no bad thing. Its also full colour, makes their selection, the car will usual. If you want to slow down,
as indicated by the screens shown, manoeuvre into the space. This is release the throttle partially. If you
which means its likely maps and instructed by pressing and holding want to come to a stop completely,
infotainment will also be displayed down the ProPILOT button. Hey release the pedal altogether.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 15


various boroughs of London to
Need a charge? accommodate their Paris-style car

Head to a Shell sharing scheme, Autolib, which


in Paris today sees half a million
service station rentals every month of its 4,000

forecourt strong electric vehicle club with


6,000 charge points around the
SHELL and Allego are working French capital.
together to bring fast charging Aiming to emulate the successes
capability (50 kW) to selected Shell in Paris, Bollor has expanded the
service stations in the UK and service to other French cities and is
the Netherlands. The goal is that beginning to make their mark on a
rapid chargers are expected to be global scale including Indianapolis
operational at all selected locations with BlueIndy, Los Angeles with those people who live and work in
as soon as the end of 2017. The BlueLA and the soon to launch the Borough of Hammersmith &
first chargers are due to open in BlueSG in Singapore to name but a Fulham.
Greater London, Derby and the few. In addition, there are plans to
western part of the Netherlands In London, however, things are expand the network in H&F to 250
(Randstad). moving a little slower. The size charging points by Christmas 2017.
of the capital and its different Interestingly, some of these will be
Boroughs have made it a logistical lamp-post charging points that are
Bollor starts challenge to launch a new car yet to make their mark on electric

London Bluecity in sharing network, but Hammersmith


& Fulham have been not only
car infrastructure.
Merton and Hounslow are next on
Hammersmith & quick to deal with but actively the agenda and residents there can

Fulham aided the rollout of Bluecity, by


installing 100 charge points. H&F
claim 12-months free membership
and 10-hours free driving using the
A new electric car club, Bluecity, Councillor Stephen Cowan said, code EARLyBIRD10 on the Bluecity
has launched in Hammersmith We currently have 100 electric car website:
& Fulham, London. Bluecity is a charging bays and thats more than www.bluecity.co.uk
new arm in the global-reaching any other council in the country. Residents in Hammersmith &
Bollor empire and hopes to When you consider what a small Fulham, however, can benefit
take London by storm. Following land mass Hammersmith & Fulham from 12-months free membership
Bollors winning tender for Source is, Im proud thats quite a feat. If and 20-hours of free driving
London in 2014, the company you sign up, Bluecity has kindly by subscribing using the code
has been busy working with the agreed to waive the sign up fee for EARLyBIRD
Source London already covers 18
London Boroughs and Bluecity cars
are able to operate in all of them.
Bluecity will cost 5/month
membership plus 17 pence per
minute.
Unfortunately, Bluecity suggest
members keep within the M25 ring,
despite the cars 150-mile range.
Bluecitys cars can, however, be
charged at any charge point with a
Type-1 tethered cable, as the cars
do not come with one.

16 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


Ryan and Laila Duffy head to their first Electric Owners Club meeting,
Chargemaster opens following the purchase of their first electric car; a Renault Zoe Z.E.40.
new multi-brand EV
Experience centre in
Milton Keynes
CHARGEMASTER, the UKs
foremost chargepoint supplier
and installer, has opened a new
EV Experience centre in Milton
Keynes on Saturday 22nd July.
The event was attended by many quickly, as more Zoes are sold and
manufacturer representatives and EVs in the Park the forum provides a resource for
supported by Nissan, Renault, Kia,
Volkswagen, BMW i and Mitsubishi.
2017 owners to talk in nerdy detail of
their cars performance. The event
11 EV gurus have been trained and A first adventure to an electric is free to attend and open to all
employed purely to educate, inform vehicle social, in an electric vehicle. EVs. On display were the stalwart
and advise interested visitors in a Arriving into Coventry on a wet LEAF, original Z.E. Zoe and Z.E.40,
relaxed environment, with no sales Sunday morning, trusting the accompanied by a Nissan e-NV200
pressure. In addition to advice on French in-built sat nav to lead the and a BMW i3. Owners swapped
the different vehicle technologies, way to the War memorial Park, tales of vehicular adventures and
and undertaking test drives, visitors a blue blur whizzed across the charging strategies on longer trips.
are able to find out about local entrance and through the gate of The e-NV200 showed how practical
charging infrastructure, including the park. an EV can be as a touring vehicle,
the creation of two EV charging We were waved on to join the rest running only a 24kWh battery and
hubs in Milton Keynes, free EV of the cars, where the Renault Zoe planning a trip to Lithuania in the
parking and grants for home and Owners Club (RZOC) coming weeks!
workplace charging. (www.r-z-o-c.com) had arranged (www.facebook.com/evnero)
The AA Trust, also a founding a display. The weather cleared up The event atmosphere was
partner of the centre, has launched and the sun came out. relaxed and friendly adding to the
its new Drive Electric lessons, The 2017 event is the second enjoyment of the day, with picnics
which will initially be run from the annual such event and shows signs and shelter providing the social
EV Experience Centre. The lessons of strong growth with numbers hub.The event was recorded across
have been designed by Drive of cars in attendance reaching social media and forums.
Tech and will be delivered by AA for twenty. The RZOC is growing (forum.autovolt-magazine.com)
instructors, to help drivers better
understand electric vehicles, and
how to get the best out of them
when driving.
The EV Experience Centre is located
within Centre:MK, 26 & 28 Crown
Walk, Milton Keynes,
MK9 3ES
The centre is open seven days a
week and welcomes anyone with
an interest in electric cars who
wishes to learn about them and see
them first hand.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 17


neXt Issue
IN THE NEXT AUTOVOLT, our annual electric and hybrid awards return for
another stunning selection of the years hottest cars. Weve categories for electric
and hybrid machines plus everything in-between.

ISSUE 20 AVAILABLE 16/09/2017


Check our website for news and information
Plus more about our forthcoming issue.
www.autovolt-magazine.com/subscribe
Jeff said: It is going to be difficult
Cross Europe EV to find a new challenge after this

record attempt gets one. I first did an Alzheimers event


in 2014 - climbing Ben Nevis in
underway an Alzheimers Society organised
DR. Jeff Allan and his son, Ben event, rather selfishly because I
Cottam-Allan from Birmingham wanted to climb Ben Nevis. Ever EVEN Electric
have already won a Guinness World
Record for the shortest charging
since then I have tried to raise
money for Alzheimers each year - I
partners with
time driving an Electric car from climbed Skiddaw last year in an Microsoft to
John OGroats to Lands End. They
are setting off at the beginning of
Alzheimers event but I have also
cycled from Lands End to John
revolutionise
July to try to beat the cross Europe oGroats as well as raised money electric vehicle sales
record. through the Guinness World record LIKE many others, EVEN Electric
The route starts at the north attempt for electric charging founder and CEO Gisli Gislason has
end of Norway in Nordkapp and Lands End to John oGroats. My a vision of a gasoline and diesel-
crosses Europe for 4000 miles to mother had short term memory free automotive industry.
Tarifa in Southern Spain. The aim problems in the last years of her EVEN is developing a new smart
is to charge en route for no more life but it was never diagnosed as trading platform that will change
than the cur- rent Guinness World Alzheimers. I am just aware of how how we find and consume electric
Record time of just under 20 hours. important it is. cars. The platform combines
Jeff and Ben will be driving their Ben said: Our next trip will have to the power of a modern price
Tesla P85D saloon car in Norway, be somewhere no-one has been to comparison site with the latest
Sweden, Denmark, Germany, in an electric car, maybe the South in artificial intelligence and bot
France and Spain. The current Pole. technology to effectively match
record is held by a team of three Jeff and Ben will be raising money the needs of access to products
drivers from Germany who also for the Alzheimers Society on the and services linked to electric cars.
used a Tesla for their record run. journey. In addition, a physical distribution
channel will be provided for electric
vehicle manufacturers to showcase
their products in showrooms
Aston Martin and pop-up stores at attractive

confirms first all- locations around the world.


The collaboration with Microsoft
electric model Services in Sweden is based on a
ASTON Martin has confirmed cloud-based solution with micro
a limited production run of 155 services on Azure App Fabric, along
RapidE electric cars. with Dynamics 365 and Microsoft
RapidE sees a continuation of Cognitive Services. The platform
the collaboration with Williams is designed to easily scale across
Advanced Engineering who worked the world and integrate with other
on the original RapidE Concept. services and platforms.
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20 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


History

Henney Kilowatt
1959

A
Renault Dauphine may not seem like the ideal an aclaimed world leader in electric science having
donor car from which to revolutionise the car studied at Caltech and started several successful
industry, but thats exactly what the Henney electric companies.
Kilowatt hoped to achieve. Development began on the Kilowatt, but sadly things
With a powertrain from a vacuum company and a were not off to a good start. The Dauphine had
Renault donor car, Henney might have had beeter luck apparently been chosen over an American alternative,
launching the car in Europe rather than their home because it was smaller and lighter. Unfortunately,
country, America. Wouk concluded early on that the car would be
Henney had made a name for itself by making severely restricted by its lead-acid batteries but rather
limousines, hearses and other assorted custom built than listen to his advice, Feldmann decided to press on
coachwork, so quite why they chose this fairly bizarre with the project regardless.
concoction is anyones guess. The company had been In 1959 and in a parallel story to later decades, the
bought by an ambitious millionaire with links to the Henney was initially only offered to utility companies,
automotive industry called, C. Russell Feldmann. with a top-speed of just 35mph. Needless to say, sales
Feldmann wanted to be the Tesla Motors of the day were slow but the very next year significant changes
and bought companies including the vacuum cleaner - namely a boost from 36 to 72 volts raised the top
maker Eureka Williams, famed in its own right for speed to 60mph and offered 60-miles range. This next
producing the Dispos-O-Matic - a device Wallace & generation car was offered to the buying public under
Gromit would have been proud of. similar marketing to today; quiet, easy to operate etc.
Feldman spent a great deal of time and effort bringing Sadly, of the 100 Kilowatts made, only 47 sold, with
together various companies that he felt would lend most going to National Union Electric, also owned by
their expertise to creating a new era of electric cars, via Feldmann. Nonetheless, the Kilowatt was a pioneering
partnership and aquisition. attempt to make a saleable electric car. The problem
One such partnership was with Victor Wouk, who was Feldmann was years ahead of his time, with
would go on to become a key player in other electric worries about the environment and exhaust emissions
car projects of the 60s and 70s. Wouk was already largely ignored by the public of the swinging 60s.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 21


Pt5. destination suffolk by Thomas Curtis

Join Tom Curtis on his ownership journey with his Nissan Leaf 24kWh. Tom bought his Leaf second hand and sight unseen,
confident in the knowledge theres little to go wrong. This time, Tom goes travelling in winter and finds out what range
anxiety is the hard way.

S
ummer. Blessed, beautiful summer. The Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder as I chased caravans and
season of sea, sand and road trips. During the trucks in the name of slipstreaming.
recent heatwave I reminisced about the first The remaining journey and the first service station
road trip in my Leaf. We hit the road after a charge point went without a hitch and we arrived with
fine Christmas Day meal, fully charged and prepared around 30-miles remaining range and a fine feast to
for the journey ahead. I had spent time assessing the enjoy.
route, downloading and setting up the various charging
applications to ensure that we had sufficient charging
options to cover the seemingly daunting 95 miles to
Beccles. It was a crisp sunny morning as we hit the road.
The car felt confident, purposeful and ready for the task
ahead.

Sadly, the following afternoon we had to return home,


with the car now jam-packed full of gifts and new found
confidence after our first long distance drive the day
before. With a quick pause to input the destination into
Apple Maps we set off. It was here that we made our
first mistake, we assumed that the journey would be the
Slow and steady wins the electric race, so a heady 64 same. However, no journey is the same in an electric
miles per hour would be my target. The monotony of car. The day before we had left in the morning, but now
the [lack of] pace was broken up by the classic game of it was late afternoon. The setting sun gave way to rain
truck, truck, caravan. The faster the speed the greater and the temperature began to drop. Fast.
the force of friction upon the car. Reduce friction, Rain, dark, cold; the three horsemen of the
reduce battery drain (reviving GCSE physics is yet chargepocalypse. Each sliced away at the battery, a
another unexpected benefit of electric car ownership). I deluge of rain and each hill seemed like a mountain to
just needed to find something larger to follow. I felt like climb. Yet still we soldiered on. We thought we knew the
REGULAR GUEST
CONTRIBUTOR

route and our faith in electric was strong until I missed 7-miles remaining, then very low battery charge blared
a turn. out the car, perhaps to lighten our mood. As we reached
Rerouting, reported my phone and reroute we did. the motorway the on-board gauge abandoned us and
After twenty minutes quiet driving, I began to become politely advised finding a charger as soon as possible.
concerned as the road became ever less familiar. The Cold and shaken we limped into the service station.
roads got darker, hillier, narrower and more remote.
I began to focus intently on our remaining charge, 25
miles, 23, 20, 17, then 13. The numbers flashed by and
we still had not found our way back to the motorway.
I was forced to stop and review our location. We were
on a route to the motorway, but we had to cross a river.
And that river had no bridge.
The term, range anxiety does not begin to cover the
gamut of emotions I experienced, while shakily deleting
the Apple Maps route and plugging in the destination Twenty or so minutes later we had a fully charged
of the nearest rapid charger to the cars satnav. Just car and we wearily continued our journey, occasionally
13-miles range remained to cover 11 miles plus a series treating ourselves with blasts of heating when things
of hills to the charger and with outside temperatures got too cold. However, even our miserly use of heating
now below -3C. It would be close. badly impacted range and we made it home with just six
miles to spare.
Electric cars are great so long as you dont rely on
them in the dark, rain or the cold and especially not
when all three are present.
Im very glad its now summer.

What would have been a slight inconvenience in a


petrol car had turned to disaster for the Leaf. We did
what we could to reduce unnecessary battery drain;
windows up, heating and electrics off. I took our two
picnic blankets and gave one to my daughter and the
other to my wife. Luckily, I had a thick coat on and so it
was only my hands that really felt cold.
With each minute the battery grew weaker. 13, 11, 10,
A wide scale EV presence is not only an
environmental measure but is now also a
broader infrastructure requirement.
STEPHEN IRISH
Stephen Irish is a founding and Managing Director Commercial, Hyperdrive Innovation, and
has substantial experience in technology development and product delivery. His degree thesis was
on electric and hybrid vehicle technology almost 20 years ago.

A
mass rollout of electric vehicles (EVs) was that it plans for more than 3,100 of them to be hybrids
once a futuristic fantasy. But today, advances by the year after.
in technology combined with commercial These commendable strides are being complemented
developments indicate that this reality isnt by a newly flourishing EV ecosystem, comprised of
too far away. companies seeking to capitalise on the trend. ZapMap,
The resounding voice of EV industry players was that for example, allows owners of EVs to locate and navigate
without the right charging infrastructure, EVs will never to charging points. Moreover, it has never been easier to
truly realise their potential. But there are signs that this hire an EV with companies like Hertz, Green Motion and
is changing. Transport for London (TfL), for example, has Sixt all offering an impressive range. Finally, the recent
appointed a consortium of suppliers who will provide launch of the Bluecity electric car sharing scheme which
rapid charging points around London, whilst also being is modelled on Paris-based Autolib, delivers the reality
responsible for their operations and maintenance. of electric cars being available anywhere at any time,
Then there is Pod Point who recently announced its and is an exciting addition to the multi-stakeholder EV
partnership with Savills to install charging points across universe.
its managed retail parks and shopping centres around To add to this, from a consumer perspective, the cost
the country. of purchasing an EV is expected to go down. A Public
This notable increase in supply of charging points Attitudes Tracker poll, conducted by the Department for
correlates well with the appetite for electric vehicles, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), of 2,180
despite the impact of recent government cuts to people found that nearly 50 per cent of those who had
subsidies for green cars which saw sales of EVs and thought about buying an EV but had not yet done so
hybrids fall for the first time in almost four years. due to the cost.
However, if we look at the overall growth of EV uptake But now the supply chain is maturing and costs are
over the past few years, there is a sunnier outlook. falling, especially of lithium, one of the main components
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers of EV battery packs. Technological breakthroughs and
and Traders (SMMT), in 2013, only 3,500 of the newly sheer economies of scale mean more and more battery
registered cars in the UK were plug-in full EVs or hybrids. capacity is being built into vehicles so drivers can go
By the end of May this year, the number is more than much further before needing to recharge. This opens
100,000 with over 40 models available on the current up the market further to those drivers who either must
market. Furthermore, UK car sales hit a record high of have or prefer to have longer range.
2.69 million vehicles last year. Of this, alternative fuel Collaborative partnerships are the key enabler of
models, mainly plug-in EVs and hybrids, demonstrated such progression. For example, Hyperdrive Innovation,
faster growth than conventional cars. a technology developer of industry leading lithium-ion
But it isnt just consumer vehicles that are following energy solutions, has this year secured a global supply
this trend of electrification. The London Metropolitan agreement with Nissan to incorporate its li-ion battery
Police is working to introduce around 250 EVs and cell technology into its new universal battery packs. It
hybrids into its fleet with the aim to replace 700 vehicles is providing a high-performance, modular technology
over the year. There are 120 electric and 2,000 hybrid platform to accelerate the electrification of off-highway
buses operating in London 20 per cent of the whole and municipal vehicle fleets, such as street sweepers,
fleet. Furthermore, TfL has announced that from 2018, construction machines and airport ground equipment.
it will stop buying diesel-only double decker buses and In city centres both the public and private sectors must

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 25


address vehicle emissions and Islington Council in A wide scale EV presence is not only an environmental
London, for example, recently announced that it will be measure but is now also a broader infrastructure
trialling all-electric street sweepers. requirement. This is because our energy networks
It appears that the public sector is more plugged in their current state simply do not have the capacity
in to EVs than ever before with fleet EV purchases to accommodate the countrys growing demand for
accounting for approximately two-thirds of the energy. A report by the Green Alliance claims that
market. Go Ultra Low have introduced an initiative that the UKs current energy networks pose a recipe for
recognises public and private organisations adopting disaster should no changes be implemented to deal
EVs, and vowing to use even more before 2020. Since its with the growing popularity of EVs. To demonstrate,
launch in July 2016, over 100 organisations have signed just six electric cars charging close to each other at peak
up to the scheme including local councils, universities, times would overload the grid and disrupt local power
public bodies and emergency services such as London supplies.
Fire Brigade, Nottingham City Council and Cornwall NHS In summary, the current conditions are ripe for a
Trust. blossoming EV landscape in the UK. The growing EV
There are of course still further steps that can be community must keep its foot on the pedal to pressure
taken to catalyse the rollout of EVs en masse in the the government to support the infrastructure needed
UK. We may not have the tenacity to follow in Chinas for the mass rollout of EVs outside of London, and
footsteps with new regulation calling for 8 per cent of suppliers and manufacturers must remain committed
all car sales to be EVs as early as next year. However, to commercialise EV-related products and services
the result is that this is incentivising companies to pay by sharing skills and expertise. Combined with the
greater attention to developing their electric fleet. appropriate regulations and institutional frameworks,
General Motors (GM), for example, plans to launch the UK can build on its successes and grow our
ten EVs in China by 2020. With the company poised to EV economy at the same time as addressing our
become the first manufacturer to make profit from EVs, environmental obligations.
it is setting a valuable precedent. @HyperdriveTech

RIGHT
Hyperdrive
Innovation
incorporates the
Nissan-developed,
UK-made new
& used battery
modules in its new
intelligent battery
systems which can
be deployed to power
electric and hybrid
vehicles, as well
as provide off-grid
and back-up energy
storage.

26 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


Paper editions with next day delivery from

www.autovolt-magazine.com/print
Long Term Test Living with a
Kia Optima PHEV

I
n case youve not been following Nonetheless, Im keen to point
our weekly updates on our long Weeks 6 & 7 out that my average weekly journeys
term test - I recommend heading may not be quite as average as
to our website (see link on next Beyond EV Range most, with a low mileage of just
page) to play catch up. In short, the Since having Optima Prime on 12-miles per day.
Optima PHEV, or Optima Prime as long term test, its purpose has Needless to say, some longer
we call it, has proved an excellent been - quite simply - to replace my journeys are in order and - thankfully
and capable machine to live with. daily driver. And it has done this - Im pleased to report that the Kia
It has surprised us on many levels. remarkably well. To date, Ive not hasnt disappointed in this regard
Its equipment list is second to none, yet had to visit the petrol forecourt either. First of all, a 100-mile round
its electric drive is rewarding and its to fill her up, thanks to its highly trip up the M1 at motorway speed
been returning more than 99.9mpg usable 30-mile range. While other to Milton Keynes and back via
consistently throughout our time plug-in hybrids fib about their Bedford and the A1 before heading
with it. range, thanks to bizarre NEDC test along the old A1 through Hitchin
results, I feel sorry for Kia whos and Codicote.
NEDC electric range for the Optima Starting off with the average fuel
PHEV is uncannily accurate. consumption reading a healthy
Its a small wonder other 99.9mpg - still my pet hate that it
manufacturers are able to get away doesnt read higher than this - and
with this, while Kia happily accepts leaving with only 23-miles electric
what the NEDC verdict says and gets range (not a full battery) I arrived
on with things. in Milton Keynes having put the car

28 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


To follow our weekly long term Kia Optima PHEV updates, visit:
http://www.autovolt-magazine.com/kia-optima-phev-long-term-test/

into HEV mode when setting off. Having still have 67% battery remaining, as
parked and turned the car off, a brief it hadnt dipped into it much, if at all.
display appears on the dash to tell me the Having watched the powertrain graphic
route summary, including fuel economy like a hawk too, I suspect it could have
for that particular journey. The result? been better, as the petrol engine was
46.7mpg - not too bad considering this is frequently used to top-up the battery to
a large and heavy car with a 2.0-litre four- maintain its charge and, as we all know, ABOVE
pot powering it along. The other upside paying petrol prices for electricity doesnt Plug-in details on the sides are
of this, was the electric range that I set off make a whole lot of sense. a legal requirement, but also
with had been saved, rather than used My conclusion therefore, is that the distinguish the PHEV from other,
up. Using it up would have been more Kia lacks any sort of e-Save mode that lesser, Optimas.
fuel efficient, but youd be surprised at can be activated or deactivated. It would
how frequently the EV light on the dash have improved my fuel consumption
flickers on, even when in HEV mode. no end by introducing 23-electric miles
Having finished my meeting, I headed (what I had available when I set off).
home via the A1. Having returned home Likewise, saving the battery charge
the scenic route, including some town may also have hindered performance, as
driving through Hitchin and villages like the car would have been lugging its dead
Codicote, the readout this time read weight about needlessly rather than
100-miles and 51.9mpg. This was, of making use of it on acceleration.
course, a total including the journey to And, to prove the point, heading into
Milton Keynes, not some strange 100- London and around the North Circular ABOVE
mile detour to get home. to The National Archives at Kew, but A trip to the National Archives
So, 51.9mpg in HEV mode and it this time using all the electric range provided an opportunity to test
before dipping into petrol power, the the Optima PHEV around Londons
BELOW fuel economy returned was more than North Circular. It excelled and even
Plugged in at home to my 7kW Chargemaster socket, 75mpg. made it a pleasant trip.
the Optima PHEV takes only a couple of hours to All that said, 51.9mpg on a 100-mile
charge to 100%. journey is still an impressive figure for
a large 2.0-litre petrol car. Many diesels
fare worse than this, for example my Specification
other halfs dad has a 2014-plate Passat 2017 Kia optima PHeV
2.0-tdi yep, it was affected by Dieselgate Max speed: 119 (75 EV) mph
and yes, I did impress on him the benefits 0-62 mph: 9.1 secs
of a plug-in hybrid and electric car and EV Range: 33 miles
he gets 45mpg on average. Drive: 2.0l petrol + e-motor
Theres no doubting then that the Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Kia is a fine plug-in hybrid and now that Power: 202 (154+66) bhp hybrid
my mpg average now states 94.4mpg, Torque: 375 (189+205) Nm
Im keen to spend more time dawdling CO2: 37 g/km
about in EV mode along my 12-mile Economy: 176.6mpg avg.
commute to increase it once again. Battery: 9.8kWh Li-ion
Thats the purpose of these cars, to offer Charging:
excellent economy on short journeys so Weight: 1,780 kg
that longer journeys dont impact your Price: 31,495 inc. PICG
average too much. Insurance quote: 470

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 29


Review

BMW
C EVOLUTION
Maxi-Scooter

WORDS: Paul Blezard & PHOTOS: Bernard Zieja & BMW

Paul Blezard gets to grips with the technology of the BMW i3 in a


traffic-busting two-wheeled package, with scorching acceleration.

I
wonder how many Autovolt exceeded a bakers dozen. In Paris,
readers are aware that BMW on the other hand, helped by the
have been selling an all-electric more lenient French licensing
super scooter for more than rules, the C evolution was out-
three years? Not many, Ill wager, at selling BMWs ton-up 650cc petrol-
least in the UK, because BMW UK has powered maxi-scooters that year
done precious little to promote the and out-accelerating them from the
C evolution, as it is called. It uses the traffic lights with a 0-50kph time of
same technology as the i3 in a much 2.8 seconds and 0-100kph in 6.2.
smaller package, but with the same Yet even at a 2014 launch price
addictive advantages of electric of 13,500 in the UK the C evolution
power neck-jerking acceleration had two completely unpublicised
thanks to maximum torque from attributes which should have been
zero revs. Yet even when BMW helping to boost sales: it was, and
had no fewer than nine of these remains, the only BMW you can ride
machines carrying marshals in the alone on L-plates with nothing more
2015 London Marathon none of than a one-day Compulsory Basic
the millions watching realised that
they were seeing the most powerful RIGHT (CREDIT: Bernard Zieja)
electric scooter that money could The C evolution makes light work
buy gliding silently alongside the of Richmond Parks steepest hill,
elite runners, and UK sales barely even in Eco mode.

30 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


Many thanks to Vines of Guildford for the
loan of their C evolution Plus demonstrator.

www.vinesguildfordmotorrad.co.uk

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 31


Specification Training (CBT) assessment. And (due to a arm-jerking acceleration. While the C
2017 Bmw c evolution weird quirk in the EUs EV legislation) evolution weighs as much as a lot of
|| Plus (Long range) it actually has more than three times the touring motorcycles, it also accelerates
Max speed: 75 || 80 mph power of any petrol-powered learner- just as quickly and handles just as well
0-62 mph: 7.0 || 6.8 secs legal two-wheeler available! and gets through the traffic a lot better,
Range: 62 || 99 miles Now, in 2017, theres more good news. especially if you fold the mirrors in for
Drive: Liquid-cooled e-motor After six years of lobbying, and a lot of ultimate slimness to squeeze between
Power: 11 || 19 kW continuous, 35 frustrating delays, the government has the trucks and cars. And Vespas dont
|| 35 kW peak. finally implemented the long-promised have a reverse gear, but the C evo has
Torque: 72 || 72 Nm Plug-In Motorcycle Grant, (analogous and it comes in very handy when parking!
Battery: 3kWh air-cooled Li-ion to the electric car grant which has been In the ten days and 400 miles that I
Charging: 3:10h || 4.30h @ 12Amp, running since 2011). This reduces the had the C evo I rode it in a wide variety of
3:00h || 4:10h @ 16Amp (to 100%) price of approved electric motorcycles conditions, from fighting my way through
Weight: 275kg unladen, road ready and scooters by 1,500 or 20% (whichever the baking hot centre of grid-locked
Price: 10,850 || 12,140 inc. PIMG is less). London, to pouring rain on the motorway
And best of all, BMW has released a and swooping with relish through some
second, upgraded version of this electric of my favourite country road corners in
RIGHT superscoot called the C evolution Plus, the dry.
There are two variants: Basic and with nearly double the range of the I also took it to two low carbon vehicle
Plus (Long Range). Basic offers original machine and a slightly higher top conferences, with strangely contrasting
11kW continuous power, meaning speed. Yet thanks to the new grant its receptions. As I said to one lady who
it can be ridden on L-plates with more than a thousand pounds cheaper asked me about it, Its like a magic
nothing more than a one-day than the original version, which now carpet ride!. The C evo comes with ABS
Compulsory Basic Training (CBT). costs 2,600 less than it did three years and traction control as standard, both of
ago! which work fine in most circumstances
The C evolution Plus (Long Range) has but when riding spiritedly I was slightly
benefited from the same refinements in irritated by the way the ABS started to
battery technology that have improved operate prematurely on good, dry tarmac
the range of BMWs i3 94Ah car, without with plenty of grip the C1 used to do
requiring any more space. BMW now exactly the same thing (the safer scooter
claim a 100-mile range for the Plus version with a roof and seat belts which could be
and the continuous power rating is up ridden without a helmet, see pic).
from 11kW to 19kW, although the peak On the other hand, one of the things I
power remains the same, at a claimed really like about the C evo is how relaxing
35kW. The restricted top speed has been it is to ride slowly and gently. You can
raised from 75 to 80mph, which is useful just cruise around in EcoPro mode and
on a motorway, (albeit still 13mph down thanks to the regenerative braking when
on the i3), and the only penalty is a 10kg you shut the throttle you hardly ever have
increase in weight, from 265 to 275kg, to touch the brakes. This not only saves
which increases the 0-62mph time to your brake pads but puts juice back into
6.8 seconds but thats still quicker than your battery. Im sure the performance
an i3 the C evo has a better power to of EcoPro mode has been improved from
weight ratio than the carbon-bodied car. the Mk1 version; it used to really crawl
If 275kg sounds heavy for a scooter, it away from the lights whereas now you
is the C evo is nearly three times the can still leave all the cars behind and run
weight of a traditional Vespa 125 and right up to 70mph, but you do need to
nearly double the weight of a modern use bigger handfuls of throttle than in
Vespa GTS 300 which is capable of a the other modes. For some reason the
similar top speed but lacks the BMWs default Road mode doesnt provide as
Continued on page 32
32 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com
A brief summary of BMWs electric scooter history

2009: The electric c1...


The C evolution is not BMWs first electric scooter, far from it. Way back in
2009, the company built a prototype C1E with a roof and seat belts which
looked like a lighter, sleeker version of the petrol-powered C1, the safer-
scooter produced between 2000 and 2003, which was so protective of the
rider that it was exempt from the need to wear a helmet. BMW produced
a video of a young woman riding one of these prototypes, helmetless,
around Munich. In reality the C1E was based on the running gear of the
American/Polish Vectrix maxi-scooter which was a great machine, but
hampered by the poor range offered by its Ni-MH batteries.

2010: The mod-styled Bmw mInI electric scooter


For reasons best known to themselves, BMW dropped the whole idea
of a rider-protective electric two-wheeler and went back to the drawing
board. Their next electric two-wheeler looked much more like a traditional
scooter and was launched in a London nightclub with MINI branding. The
funky-looking e-scoot was full of clever electronic gizmos and was shown
at the 2010 Paris Automobile show, but then seemed to disappear.

2012: c evolution prototypes at the London olympics


In August 2012, BMW presented six fully operational and road-legal
prototype versions of the C evolution to coincide with the London Olympics,
with a seventh for display only. Riding one in the Kent countryside, my
stand-out memory was how smooth and quiet the electric machine was
and how well-balanced at very slow speeds, with superb throttle response
and control in stark contrast to the on or off throttles found on the
cheap-and-cheerful Chinese electric scooters Id previously ridden. My
favourable impression was vigorously confirmed when we rode BMWs
newly-released petrol-powered 650s back into London they felt so noisy
and vibratory after the electric ones, without being any quicker.

2014: The c evolution goes on sale throughout europe


The production version of the C evolution went on sale in the Spring of
2014 and within a year several European police forces were using them,
most notably the Guardia Urbana in Barcelona, who took delivery of a
fleet of 30 suitably-modified machines in March 2015. Even the Sardinian
police bought a fleet of 15.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 33


much regen as either EcoPro or the sportyist Dynamic
mode, so I tended to swap between those two extremes.
There is also a fourth mode called Sail which provides
no regen at all, which I found frankly disconcerting and
never used again once Id tried it.
Passengers commented on how pleasant it was,
especially in town, when its near-silent running enables
conversation without the need for an intercom. My
friend Mary remarked on how smooth it was and how
its acceleration surprised her. It would be even better
for a passenger with the optional top box to lean
against and if I owned a C evo I would regard a large top
box as essential, because theres so little boot space
compared to most maxi-scooters. Theres barely room
for an open face helmet as it has to share the space with
the standard charge cable and its bulky dashboard.
But experience has taught me never to venture forth
without an extension lead and now theres the extra bulk
of the new electric car-type recharge cable to squeeze in ABOVE (CREDIT: Bernard Zieja)
as well, assuming you choose to pay the 560 for this A brace of electric BMWs charging
optional extra and youd be a fool not to. (To be fair, for free at Sainsburys.
there is also a cubby hole in the front fairing which can
accommodate the standard charge cable).
So, lets answer the question everyone asks: Never Optional Extras
mind the manufacturers claims, how far does the C evo The optional so-called AC quick-charging cable
go on a charge in real world driving? Well, Im pleased doesnt actually charge much quicker than the
to report that it really will do a hundred miles in and 3-pin domestic plug cable 4 hours 10 minutes
around town, without driving like an old lady and still from empty instead of 4 hours 30 but it enables
including some sections of urban motorway and 40mph you to charge in so many more places, and often
dual carriageway. for free, at places like Sainsburys, while doing
On my final afternoon with the BMW, I wanted your shopping. It also enabled me to become
to see what the beast would manage with a decent the first electric two-wheeler to charge at the Ace
amount of out-of-town riding thrown into the Caf, Londons world famous petrolhead haunt
mix before returning it to Vines of Guildford. A on the old North Circular. Source London put in
journey around the North Circular to Hanger Lane, onto a pair of Chargemaster sockets back in January
the A40, up to the nearest Zero motorcycle dealership in 2014 when the Ace was used as the venue for
Ruislip, back on the A40, then cross-country to Windsor Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (remember
and eventually down to Farnham via Bracknell and the him?) to launch the coalition governments Go
M3. By that point Id covered 56 miles and still had 33% Ultra Low campaign, complete with five different
left with only ten miles to get back to Vines. So, I headed electric cars (but no electric motorcycles or
west instead and after five miles of open road thrashing scooters!).
was down to 22%. By the time Id ridden the five miles Other options include heated handlebar grips,
back to Farnham I was having the first twitches of range a taller screen and a dedicated holder for BMWs
anxiety so kept the speed below the 60mph limit on SatNav system. There should also be a tunnel
the A31 until reaching the top of Guildford Hill, where bag option, to put between your legs, as available
I knew I could then relax. The odometer clicked over to for the petrol scooters, although I just slung my
80 miles as I pulled into the Vines forecourt with 3% and rucksack there, hanging from the handlebars,
2 miles showing on the indicator. Phew! And not a bad and that worked very well!
range for such a mix of going, Id say.

34 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


RIGHT (CREDIT: Bernard Zieja)
The C evolution is slim enough
to squeeze in-between traffic. If
things get tight, you can fold in
one or both mirrors, as shown. The
scooter is under 1-metre wide.

BELOW
Paul Blezard & Mark Wilsmore
with the first two-wheeler to
charge at the Ace Cafs electric
chargepoint, since being installed
in 2014.

Conclusion
I was amused that one publication described the i3
car as the ultimate commuting machine. Nonsense, of
course it isnt nothing six feet wide could ever be! But
the C evo Plus certainly has a serious claim to that title
from what is currently available so long as you kit it
out with a large top box. Its definitely worth spending
ABOVE, RIGHT & BELOW a day getting your Compulsory Basic Training certificate
Intuitive dash display shows range in order to ride the standard version but just be warned;
& battery percentage: note overall once youve done that, theres a serious risk youll be
estimate of 111-miles (35 + 76). infected by the electric two-wheeler bug and feel the
Reassuring graphic says Plugged need to get your full motorcycle licence to enjoy the
in and charging, (complete with extended range of the Plus version.
time to full charge). Ive been riding all kinds of motorcycles for four
Plug-in charging up to 16Amps. decades now and the C evolution Plus is one of the most
Under seat storage. enjoyable I have ever ridden. If I had a daily commute
into town of anything up to 50 miles each way, I would
buy one like a shot.
Its not perfect, of course. My ideal electric two-
wheeler would combine the rider protection of the
C1 with the compactness of the Toyota iRoad and the
aerodynamics and performance of the 200bhp Peraves
Monotracer and the fast charging of a Tesla and
thats not as fanciful as you might think.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 35


Review

HYUNDAI
IONIQ
ELECTRIC

WORDS: Jonathan Musk & PHOTOS: Lucy Hargrave

I
nterested electric car buyers rejoice. that managed to raise the hybrid game Specification
Having to choose between the ever- against the likes of Toyota, so the main 2017 Hyundai Ioniq electric
popular Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Kia Soul question on our minds was whether Premium se
EV, Volkswagen e-Golf and others they had managed to do the same for Max speed: 103 mph
just became more difficult. Enter the the Electric variant when compared 0-62 mph: 10.2 secs (9.9 Sport)
Hyundai Ioniq Electric. Up until now, to mainstay competition including the Range: 174 miles (NEDC)
Hyundai has been keen to pursue its Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf, Kia Soul Drive: AUTO, single speed, FWD
own version of electrification, with the EV and BMW i3. Motor: Electric, AC, 88kW
hydrogen powered ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle Power (BHP): 118
(FCV). However, the growing realisation Design Battery: Li-Po, 28 kWh, 360V
that battery electric cars are showing Externally, the Ioniq Electric is little Kerb weight: 1,420-1,475kg
increasing market promise could not be different from the Hybrid or new Plug-in Warranty: 5 year/unlimited miles +
ignored and while sister company, Kia, Hybrid variant, with only a large awkward 8 year/125,000 HV battery
had the Soul EV, Hyundai had nothing. looking grey plastic bumper in place of a Price: 24,995 from, inc. PICG
Fast forward a couple of years and more conventional air intake on the nose. Price: 26,795 as tested, inc. PICG
the hype about electric cars has almost Internally, things are little more defined.
reached fever pitch. The electric version sports a fancy copper
Enter the Ioniq, a car with hybrid, plug- trim detail throughout the cabin and
in hybrid and battery electric powertrains several EV-only subtle modifiers that
representing Hyundais answer to the mark the car out, but thats all.
competition. With this car, Hyundai Theres a strange push-button gear
added all three major powertrains selection in place of a more conventional
to their repertoire in one fell swoop. stick, and paddle shifters adorn the RIGHT
However, to stand any chance of success steering wheel that alter the strength of Plenty of range
each model needed to be world class to regenerative braking. The latter ensures makes the Ioniq
beat established brand names like Prius, a more involved drive than most EVs Electric ideal for
GTE and Leaf. We were impressed by more on this later. exploration out of
the Ioniq Hybrid (reviewed in issue 17) Aside from this, the cabin remains the town.

36 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 37
same as in the other Ioniqs, which is a bit of
a shame considering it has no petrol engine.
It would have been nice, for example, to see
a Tesla style frunk/froot, but the front wheel
drive powertrain prohibits this. Nevertheless,
the interior is a successful blend of [mostly]
quality plastics with comfortable seating
and a definite premium feel. Rear occupants
will be grateful for the ample legroom, as
will shoppers who discover the abundant
350-litre boot capacity. The interior is easily
more premium than a Leaf, but doesnt quite
manage the aura of the i3, or the quality of
the e-Golf.
In typical Hyundai fashion and like the Soul
EV, the Ioniq Electric comes fully equipped
as standard. Our car, a Premium SE model,
included Android Auto & Apple CarPlay
connectivity, heated and cooled front seats,
heated rear seats and everything in-between.
LED lights, sat-nav, adaptive cruise control
you name it, it has it. Premium SE only adds
leather trim and the aforementioned heated
and cooled seats with memory function over
standard Premium trim. With this in mind, the
Ioniq EV is squarely aimed at the top-spec Leaf
and resultantly is priced to compare at that
end of the spectrum.

Driving
This is where the Ioniq Electric really excels.
Theres a sense of fun about this car, which
offers outstanding performance and driver
involvement uncommon in most EVs. The Leaf
and Zoe both offer fixed driving modes and
only an Eco button to satisfy drivers whims,
whereas the four-level (three + off) regen
adjustments using the paddle shifters on the
Ioniq is a genuine joy. The archetypal linear
ABOVE RIGHT electric acceleration is powerful enough to
Superb infotainment Handsome looks wheel-spin on demand and the cars throttle
layout and quality from the rear, but response would embarrass many so-called
materials have been little aside from a sports-cars. After a week with the car, the
used. subtle badge to tell controls all fell to hand and the adjustable
Terrible gear it apart from other regenerative braking was sorely missed once
change buttons, but Ioniq. LED lights are the car had been returned. Stepping into
functional. standard. another EV without it has become like getting
Dash display gets into a boat without a rudder. It makes a huge
copper hue in Sport. difference to the overall enjoyment and

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www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 39
40 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com
flexibility of the EV experience. While the BMW
i3s standard maximum regen setting works
in practice, having an easy to operate paddle
to alter regen strength makes a lot of sense
and we hope other manufacturers adopt this
approach.
Three modes are available from a drive
selector too; Eco, Normal and, Sport.
For traffic or low-on-range driving Eco mode
proved useful, while Normal offered a good
blend of responsiveness and enjoyment, yet
appeared not to impact range too much.
Sport unleashes huge fun, and enables max-
power 119bhp and 295Nm of torque, as well
as changing the dials to match the copper trim
cabin highlights. However, this will also see
your range diminish significantly, as it is very
very addictive.
At 100 per cent charge, range was indicated
as 122-miles, which we found easily achievable
from the 28kWh Lithium-ion Polymer battery.
Like the Kia Soul EV, Hyundai has nailed the
calculator on the head and what you see is what
you get, meaning theres every confidence
in the car and zero range anxiety. In fact,
although we drove the car in unseasonably
sunny weather, its safe to assume the car
can travel further than 122-miles and several
proud owners contacted us to verify as much,
with one stating 130-miles at motorway speed
from a single charge.
Unfortunately, not everything is rose tinted.
The ride, while good, is a little harsh over
bumps, and the actual gear change buttons
are bizarre. They let the interior down and feel
like theyve been pinched from a cheap stereo
and even after a week with the car, pressing
the wrong one proved all-too common. They
may be functional, but they look like an
afterthought.
Compared to a Leaf, the Ioniq is similarly
adept at dealing with traffic, better suited on
motorways and offers more fun if you fancy
the occasional copper-hued blast. While the
two cars offer similar performance on paper, LEFT ABOVE, FROM TOP
the Ioniq has the edge, perhaps thanks to its Ioniq is huge fun to Public charging is CCS rapid charge
adjustable braking rather than acceleration drive and surprisingly useful. ability offers 0-80%
time. 0-62mph takes 10.2 seconds, in case you addictive. 350-litre boot is charge in 30 minutes.
were wondering. fantastic.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 41


Conclusion trump card left to play - a five-year nose to tail warranty
The Ioniq Electric is a remarkable car for the South that should keep 2017 customers at ease until 2022.
Koreans and proves theyre capable of dethroning the Unfortunately, marring this review somewhat is a
current electric King and its not even a dedicated supply shortage of batteries that has forced delivery
electric design. Of course, it must be noted that the times to be almost supercar exotic.
Nissan Leaf undercuts the Ioniq by quite some margin Whether Hyundai has been unable to make Ioniq EVs
and, perhaps more importantly, is due for imminent quick enough or theyre just unable to gather enough
retirement and replacement. batteries to equip them isnt entirely clear.
Nissan are guarding details of the next generation Some customers were initially told to expect delivery
Leaf like a state secret, so its difficult to know whether between 4-6 months have since had their orders
the Hyundai has enough of the right stuff to maintain delayed, been offered alternatives like the new Plug-in
its favourable position in the longer term. However, its Hybrid Ioniq or have had their deposits returned and
not too difficult to state the obvious; that the brand new bought something else. It is therefore worth asking
Ioniq is better than the ageing seven-year old Leaf. your local dealer about expected delivery times before
Nevertheless, the Ioniq doesnt quite match the deciding. Despite this, we thoroughly recommend the
quality or drivability offered by the latest generation of Ioniq EV, as its not just a car to match the competition
e-Golf, but it comes a close second. Yet, it does have one but one that genuinely beats it.

ABOVE RIGHT
The Ioniqs heart. Only the front grey
Looks similar to a bumper distinguish
traditional engine, the Electric from
but theres no petrol. other Ioniqs.

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www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 43
All issues remain available in both print (Amazon,
MagCloud) and digital (Readly, Magzter).
www.autovolt-magazine.com/autovolt-back-issues

PRINT DIGITAL
Feature

WORDS & PHOTOS: Jonathan Musk

DRONE
RACING
Welcome to drone racing, where first-person-view guided
flying machines dart through fields and forests at speeds of
up to 70 mph. This impressive sport brings to life Star Wars
inspired scenes of flying through woods or other scenery. It
may come to your home sooner than you think too, as both
the BBC and Sky are considering televising race series. And
the best bit? Its a sport that anyone can enter.

46 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


MAIN
A 180 QX HD RTF
quadcopter drone flies
through a forest.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 47


W
hen we think of electric
racing, Formula E is Drone Dos & Donts
king of the electric
racing series. There
are, of course, plenty of other series d ont fly near airports or airfields
too including the e-Miglia rally, newly
formed Electric GT Championship r emember to stay below 400ft (120m)
and Trophy Andros. Theres also a
forthcoming electric rallycross series o bserve your drone at all times - stay 150ft
(50m) away from people and property
named E/RACING, which will feature
670hp all-wheel drive purpose built n ever fly near aircraft
machines.
Slightly more obscure and always e njoy responsibly
making progress are the beautifully
designed Roborace cars that are set
to provide robotic support racing at
Formula E events. But theyre a little
way off yet.
The one major problem with all
these series is that theyre not for the
everyman to enter. Drivers are hand-
picked from elite drivers clubs the
world over. Participation is not likely
for most of us.
Enter drone racing. This relatively
new phenomenon is picking up pace,
with its exciting blend of virtual reality,
quadcopters and pylon racing. If youve
ever watched Star Wars: The Return MAIN
of the Jedi and enjoyed the Imperial A popular DJI Phantom
Speedsters racing through the woods, drone. Great for
youll love this or perhaps Pod Racing photography, not so
from Episode I. much for racing.
While all that may sound tantalising,
camera drones can be very expensive
with top DJI models costing more than
a thousand pounds. However, racing
drones are a different beast with three The Law
aims; to fly fast, be manoeuvrable and Before we get into the racing, the law is an important thing to
provide a live view to the pilot. understand with regard to drones, which fall under the category
Theyre typically smaller and less of, Small Unmanned Aircraft. Racing drones are flown within
expensive than other camera drones, sight and not above 120 metres, meaning participants dont
as they dont require gimbal mounted require a CAA permission to fly. Drones must be flown at least 50
4K cameras or need mile-long range metres away from people or property and 150 metres away from
either. However, they do require costly crowds and built up areas. You are legally responsible when
first person view (FPV) goggles. In using your drone and failure to do fly responsibly can result in
addition, many racing drones can be criminal prosecution. If you fly near an airport or a plane, you
built in kit form, whereas others are could face up to five years in prison.
known as RTF (Ready to Fly).

48 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


RIGHT
The official Drone
Code, with thanks THE
to the CAA for DRONE
CODE
For further information
republishing
please visit dronesafe.uk
permission.

BE DRONE SAFE

Always keep your drone in sight Stay below 400ft (120m)


to comply with the dronecode

400ft (120m)

This means you can see and avoid other things while flying This reduces the likelihood of a conflict with manned aircraft

BE DRONE AWARE

Every time you fly your drone you must Keep the right distance from
follow the manufacturers instructions people and property

150m

50m

People and properties 150ft (50m)


Keep your drone, and the people around you, safe
Crowds and built up areas 500ft (150m) and dont overfly

BE DRONE LEGAL
You are responsible for each flight Stay well away from aircraft,
airports and airfields

Legal responsibility lies with you If your drone endangers the safety of an aircraft
Failure to fly responsibly could result in criminal prosecution it is a criminal offence and you could go to prison for five years

The UK Dronecode is published by the Civil Aviation Authority to assist drone users in flying safely.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 49


Anatomy of a Typical Racing Drone
Most racing drones are quadcopters, but some may
have three or six rotors. Generally, the more rotors
the better a craft is able to lift or speed along, but
at the expense of battery life. Most racing drones
Pilot
should meet fixed requirements, which have been Camera
chosen to offer a compromise between decent
performance, price and weight.

250 class multirotor (3, 4 or 6)


No minimum size, but maximum frame size
must be under 330mm, motor to motor.
Maximum 45 lithium polymer battery
Front
Maximum 150mm propellers
Pilot camera
Video transmitter
Authorised timing system transponder emitter
Pilots should have first person view goggles

Motor
Shaft

Propeller Motor
Main
Body

50 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


Video
Transmitter

Battery

Back

LED
Light
Array
www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 51
Racing
Races tend to be held in fields and usually comprise of four
drone racers in each heat going around a course set out
using pylons. There are two main classes for quad drone
racing; Spec class for beginners and Open class for more
advanced pilots. Spec class has more restrictions on quad
type that can be used to keep racing equal, much like
Formula E. Open class is more like an unlimited class, where
the more money you have the better, as anything goes. Some
of these flying machines are capable of more than 70mph!
Because the sport is relatively new, finding places to race can
be more challenging than the race itself. Fortunately, there
are several resources in the UK that can help. Firstly, theres
FPV Racing World, which offers a map of both interested
members and clubs with links.
How Racing Works
Traditional style racing is called Rotorcross, whereby drone
pilots race flat-out against one another around a predefined
course. As with most racing, the winner is the first to cross
the line after a set number of laps. The advantage to this type
of racing is that drones can be raced without expensive FPV
goggles.
In addition to old-school racing is drag racing for drones. As
you might imagine, this is simply a case of racing a drone
from a standing start across a 100 metre dash. First across
the line, wins. As we EV drivers know, the electric torque
apparent in our cars is what makes this exciting and drones
can take off with immediacy. Naturally, as with cars, these
races favour drones that have a fast discharge battery pack
and racing propellers. At the end of the drag strip, many
events stipulate the drone must be landed (not crashed) to
complete the course.
The last type of racing is known as Time Trial. This type of
racing favours those more skilled in the art of flying and
necessitate special timing transmitters attached to your
drone. The winner, of course, is the one who can complete a
set course in the quickest time.
Essentially, only a few key ingredients are required to setup a
drone racing stage. First and foremost is a venue. Traditional
RC plane and helicopter pilots have needed the same type
of land for many years, so theres plenty about from private
land like farmers fields to common areas where flying is
permitted. Of course, risk assessment and safety should be
a priority and cordoning off an area allowing for the CAAs
Drone Safe guidelines should be a priority. Essentially thats
about it, aside from some organisation, interested pilots and,
typically, flags to mark out a course.

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www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 53
Review
WORDS: Jonathan Musk & PHOTOS: Lucy Hargrave

TOYOTAS
PLUGGED-IN
PRIUS
Toyotas latest plug-in hybrid seemed to answer all the shortcomings raised by
its predecessor, although its not without compromise. Four seats and a small
boot mean this car will likely only suit business buyers more than interested
families. However, thats not to suggest it isnt without merit, since its high level of
technology, refinement and economy is hard to beat.

MAIN
Theres more to Toyotas
latest plug-in than meets
the eye.

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www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 55
W
hen I first had the chance to drive the aided the car in masking other engine noises. Smooth
new Prius Plug-in around the Catalonian Catalonian tarmac, ironically, highlights sounds a British
coastline (Issue 17), I was immediately driver would never notice.
impressed at how good it was as an
electric car. It has more torque than virtually any other Driving
plug-in hybrid in its price range, which meant tackling Although economy will take a hit when travelling
the busy Barcelona streets was a doddle. beyond electric range of 30-real-world miles, the Prius
Travelling out of town, the electric range all-but ran Plug-in is a delight along motorways. Toyota has spent
out, consequently starting the engine. Its whisper a lot of effort tinkering with suspension and sound
quiet. Toyotas now infamous electric CVT despite all insulation, which has paid off. The current generation
its faults offers a charismatically smooth operation non-plug-in Prius is a great relaxing drive too, but the
that beggars belief. Its genuinely difficult to tell when Plug-in bests it in almost every regard, apart from
the engine has turned on thanks to a seamless hybrid cornering, thanks to improved wind resistance and
transition, until you come to a stop. improved interior acoustics.
At this point, pressing the throttle pedal results in Around bends, the battery weight can be felt and
a lack of response, when compared to electric mode. theres no point hurrying the car, which quickly loses
Likewise, acceleration is accompanied by the familiar its footing. It is sportier than previous Prius, but its
sound of an Atkinson cycle four-pot singing its heart out, still no hybrid racer. The car provides a luxury relaxed
while the car inches forwards at an altogether different and cossetting ride, but unlike a Bentley it doesnt have
pace. That may be slightly overdramatising the point, bags of power in reserve. Sport mode is best avoided,
but the hilly route from Barcelona to northern Catalonia although if youre in a rush it improves throttle response
meant the engine was perhaps more audible than on and combines the engine with the dual electric motors
flatter ground. to provide some semblance of hybrid power.
Back in the UK and with the car for a week, I was keen EV City mode, on the other hand, works well and
to find out how it fared on British roads. Im happy to helps keep the car in an electric-only drive and lowers
report that it felt better, as our pot-holed roads actually the power output, which is perfect for city driving where

LEFT
EV and drive mode buttons live
beside the lollipop gear stick.

Specification
2017 toyota Prius Plug-in
Business edition +
Max speed: 112 mph
0-62 mph: 11.4 secs
EV Range: 30+ miles
Drive: Hybrid Synergy Drive
Engine: 1.8l 4-cylinder
CO2: 22 g/km
eMPG: 283
Motors: 22.5kW + 53kW
Power: 120BHP (system)
Battery: Li-ion, 8.8kWh, 351.5V
Kerb weight: 1,500kg
Warranty: 5 year/100,000 miles
Price: 29,195 inc. PICG
Price: 31,740, as tested

56 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


After one week with the Prius Plug-
in, nearly 300-miles were travelled
at an average of 120 mpg.

ABOVE & RIGHT


Unfortunately, this
family might not
be interested in
the Prius Plug-in,
due to its two main
shortcomings
Rear seating is
provided for two
persons only.
The boot is miserly
and even struggles to
store cables.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 57


CLOCKWISE
FROM TOP LEFT
After 200-miles Id
managed 150mpg.
Comfortable cabin
very similar to
non-plug-in Prius.
Carbon-fibre boot
lid. Huge flap hides
tiny charge socket.
Solar roof is sadly a
gimmick.

RIGHT
Futuristic design
stands out at a tudor
mill pond.

30 mph is typically the upper limit. Im disappointed to really hard to fault, aside from a distinct lack of power
report that Toyotas Road Sign Assist recognition system up hills when the engine sings and it feels as though
has failed once again. On several occasions it informed fuel economy plummets. However, the figures speak for
me that I was in a 40mph zone, when I was in a 30mph themselves.
area. Its best ignored and the stored sat nav speeds are
far more reliable, in our experience. Economy
Instrumentation is improved over other Prius models, In a nutshell, the claimed 283 mpg official combined
which makes it less tiring to use too. And the 8-inch fuel economy figure is likely to be nonsense for many
infotainment system works well, up to a point, but it has drivers, unless the vast majority of journeys are on
an outdated design that could be vastly improved with electric power alone within its 30-mile range. The reality
a new user interface. Sadly, the same is true of the sat is the petrol engine will be employed at times; why
nav, which even on this brand new car was out of date else would you be interested in a plug-in hybrid rather
around Hertfordshire and its not like we get many than a battery electric car like the Nissan Leaf? Its fair
roads built around here very often! to assume then, that the petrol engine will burn some
Overall, the Prius is a surprisingly excellent companion fuel. Thankfully, when it does, decent fuel economy is
on long journeys and an even better electric car. Its still attainable from mixed driving. After one week with

58 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


the Prius Plug-in, nearly 300-miles were travelled at an cannot be equipped with leather trim but it does come
average of 120 mpg. Earlier in the week, at 200-miles, with a solar roof. Arent solar panels inefficient, I hear
the car had nearly achieved 150mpg. The cars overall you ask? To answer this, lets take a look at Toyotas
average was 100mpg, impressive in itself after some estimations. They reckon the car soaks up the London
1,000 miles total since new. Despite what you might read sun to the tune of 679-EV-miles each year. With that
in mainstream automotive media, plug-in hybrids are figure, the solar panel doesnt seem too shabby, but the
genuinely capable of superb real-world economy, but truth is its an expensive gimmick. Put simply, 679-EV-
only if theyre plugged in regularly to eke the most from miles divided by 30-miles (a true approximation of
their electric ability. Plugging in for free at supermarkets possible electric range, without trying too hard) is 22.6
and other services is also possible and worth doing if times. Ecotricitys standard price-per-unit of electricity
you can. Electric driving can also be done all the way up is 16 pence, meaning the Toyotas 8.8kWh battery costs
to 84 mph, which further emphasises my earlier point 31.82 to provide the same 679-miles. Thats a whole
about this being a great EV. lot cheaper than the 1,500 price tag the solar roof
commands. However, if bragging rights at the pub are
The Solar Panel important to you, then its still a curious addition to
This is the Business Edition + model, which means it an interesting car. And, as stated when we first drove

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 59


LEFT
Thin slot of storage is
awkward and barely
fits the 3-pin and
16Amp cables within.
A demonstration of
the small boot size;
a regular freezer bag
proved too tall for the
boot cover.

the Prius Plug-in, the point of it is that the technology Conclusion


is merely a first step toward Toyotas quest to reduce If you dont have a requirement for luggage
global CO2 emissions by 90%, by 2050. However, if you or passengers, then the Prius Plug-in is the most
have a spare 1,500 you may wish to opt for the more economical plug-in hybrid on the market today. Its a
plush Excel model, which comes equipped with leather credit to Toyotas engineers that theyve been able to
seats, a premium JBL stereo and improved parking achieve this, at a time when so many other brands have
sensors. entered the hybrid game. However, their on-paper win
has come at the expense of some pretty useful features
Compromise youd usually expect from any car. Namely, the ability to
The four seats and small boot really are a chink in carry people and their luggage.
the Prius armour. The boot could have been forgiven, You can buy this car with your head if you look at the
had there been five seats. And these compromises numbers plugged-in economy is exceptional, as is the
are the Plug-ins Achilles heel, as its unable to easily low CO2 tax bracket, but its hard to buy this car with
accommodate suitcases, prams, pushchairs and even your heart.
shopping. On one trip to Sainsburys, our not overly tall And then theres the competition. While the Prius
M&S freezer bag was too high for the boots roller cover Plug-in is deservedly top-spot on specification alone, its
without potentially damaging it. The boot floor has been not the most exciting drive. The similarly priced Golf or
raised to house the battery, but I cant help believing more expensive Passat GTE both offer a more rewarding
the engineers could have done better. Volkswagens experience and dont have the drawbacks of four seats
Golf and Passat GTE have flat floors. Even Kias Optima or small boots. They dont offer as much electric range
PHEV estate (coming soon) has a flat floor, despite the or economy, but what they lack in those areas, they
saloon variant having a large encumbrance in the boot. more than make up for in others. I would be remiss
Its not the end of the world and smaller overhead-cabin of not to mention the Kia Optima PHEV too, which is
suitcases fit with ease, but hold-size dont. also comparably priced and offers a more upmarket
Likewise, the very purpose of this car is to be plugged yet conventional design. It offers similar performance
in and the cable storage flap at the rear of the boot is a and economy too, but is the better car to drive has five
design faux-pas. The flap comes off rather than hinging seats. Next, theres Hyundais new Ioniq PHEV. This is
neatly, and cables are stored in a long thin slot that a car Ive not yet tested, but it looks to be a promising
demands much concentration to tuck them away - and alternative to the Prius Plug-in, just as the hybrid version
even then theres not really enough room for both the is to the non-plug-in Prius. Whichever you prefer will
3-pin and 16Amp cables. largely depend on personal taste, price and individual
The four-seat cabin is comfortable and spacious requirement, not numbers on a page and for this
enough too, but anyone in the back wont be won over reason the Prius is difficult to recommend over others.
with luxurious toys or other paraphernalia. Instead, It might be the best on paper in terms of economy, but
they have to put up with a pair of cup holders and a 12V its certainly not the best car. Does it do enough for me
socket. The latter is a useful touch, but theres nothing to recommend it over its competitors? Yes, if youre
here to shout about, sadly. Toyota has definitely missed after the best economy, but its compromises dont win
a trick. it any favours.

60 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 61
Review

62 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


MERCEDES-BENZ

E 350 e
PLUG-IN HYBRID

WORDS & PHOTOS: Jonathan Musk

LEFT
Mercedes-Benz E-Class
sports a sleek and elegant
design. Little to show this
is a plug-in hybrid.

T
his is Mercedes-Benzs attempt to make a in the cabin has a soft touch to it, which sadly gives the
petrol plug-in hybrid more economical than its feeling that its fragile and about to break. For example,
more popular diesels, using the now tried and the large and heavy doors are opened with a softly
tested 2.0-litre direct injection petrol engine sprung door handle. The drivers information screens
with an electric motor via an automatic gearbox. The are controlled by two thumb sensors like youd find on
aim is to provide luxurious electric drive in towns and a Blackberry phone. Theyre a neat idea in theory and
cities to reduce pollution (and tax), while retaining the while the cars stationary, but on a vaguely bumpy road
usual E business-class refinement, opulent trim and its all too easy to change a setting by accident or end
power that Mercedes customers demand. up with an option you didnt want. Then theres the
Stepping into the big car for the first time, a laptop-like mouse controller, which provides a touch
welcoming display of gentle lighting, plush leather, sensitive area to navigate between menus on the non-
aluminium detailing and massive screens fills me with a touch screen. Again, its fine when stationary, but on the
real sense of satisfaction. This is a quality looking cabin move its difficult to master with any degree of accuracy.
that certainly has the wow factor. Because it sticks up in the air, its also a nuisance and
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the hides important mode buttons from the driver that are
experience. While appearances are certainly very good, mounted on the far side of it. All that said, one could
the quality feels only skin deep. Its more about show argue that the controls are all very refined. No effort
rather than longevity and sure enough on this particular in terms of strength or power is required to operate
car that has covered just a few thousand miles from anything at all and that, I imagine, is what Mercedes
new, it was already starting to show wear. Every control were aiming for. In a word; effortless.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 63


Theres more bad news when it comes to the rest of the 9-speed automatic gearbox is forever in the wrong
the cabin. Despite being able to move in every direction gear and changes constantly, making for a slightly jerky
known to man, the front seats feel cramped and are ride. Likewise, the massive brakes are a nuisance in
difficult to position in relation to the steering wheel traffic where the car ought to excel. The car is slow off
and pedals. Find a comfy spot and youll find it hard to the mark even in electric mode, thanks to being in the
reach the pedals. Reach the pedals and youll find your wrong gear and when stopping, the brakes dont operate
head is in the headlining. I am 62. The rear seats are unless you stamped on, for which they reward you with
surprisingly cramped too, considering the external size a groan or squeal. Get some heat into them and theyre
of the vehicle and boot space has been hampered by better, but reward you by being overly sharp.
the battery to the tune of a 2-inch step. Out on the open road, youd expect things to be
Nevertheless, in electric mode the E 350 e is better and youd be right. The petrol engine is keen to
astonishingly silent. Its ample carpeting and sound chip in and play its part and if in Eco or Comfort modes
insulation provides an exceptionally rewarding it does this rewardingly smoothly and without so much
experience. Unfortunately, this feeling is short lived as as a cough. The massive brakes begin to make sense

64 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


LEFT
Blue detailing marks
the plug-in E-Class
out from the rest.
Massive AMG 19
wheels dominate,
but show off blue
callipers beneath.

Specification
2017 mercedes-Benz e 350 e
amg Line saloon
Max speed: 155 mph (limited)
0-62 mph: 6.2 secs
EV Range: 21 miles (NEDC)
Drive: 9-Speed Auto
Engine: 2.0l 4-cyl petrol
CO2: 57 g/km (AMG 19 wheels)
eMPG: 113 (AMG 19 wheels)
Motors: 65kW
Power: 286BHP (system)
Torque: 350Nm
Battery: Li-ion, 6.4kWh
Kerb weight: 1,925kg
Warranty: 3 year/unlimited miles
Price: 45,555 inc. PICG
Price: 50,685 as tested, inc. PICG

too, especially if Sport or Sport+ modes are chosen. problem. The thing is, the point of having the plug-in
These also stiffen the steering and suspension as well aspect of this car is that it should offer world-saving fuel
as provide a more responsive throttle. The latter offers economy, or at least an improvement over the petrol
haptic feedback to the driver, indicating when the electric engine. Unfortunately, because so few electric miles are
mode will end and the petrol engine kicks in. Likewise, it available the maths doesnt add up. Using Ecotricitys
also double-taps on the drivers foot to indicate they can 16 pence per unit (kW) and a range of just 8-miles, it
back off the throttle to be more fuel efficient. actually costs more to travel 8-electric miles than it
The 6.4kWh li-ion battery supposedly offers 21-miles does to travel 8-petrol powered miles in the Mercedes.
of NEDC electric range and, coming from the likes of Thats a real disappointment. Once the car has run out
the more honest Kia Optima PHEV, which works on a of electric power and operates in a regular non-plug-in
similar powertrain setup, I expected it to provide this. hybrid mode, 45mpg are attainable but you can see that
Instead, the gauges read a lowly 16-miles and when figure drop if youre heavy footed or employ either of
testing the car only 8 to 10 miles were possible before the sport modes often. Likewise, if you fancy recharging
relying on petrol power. And this causes a bit of a the battery using the engine in E-charge mode, youll

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 65


be looking at little more than 25mpg. As with all plug-in there are just too many gears. 9-speeds would usually
hybrids, its generally not advisable to recharge the car equate to a smooth and refined drive, but in Sport mode
using petrol unless you really have to. its irritating and doesnt need them, particularly as the
So what is this car good at? Well, the best way to look electric torque fills in the petrol power-band gaps. In Eco
at it is if comparing it to other Mercedes-Benz E-Class. mode its a relaxing drive but fraught with annoyances
As the 350 nameplate suggests, this car is comparable too, when compared to other plug-in vehicles e.g. short
to the 350 d diesel in terms of price, performance electric range, annoying gear-changes and sharp brakes.
and fuel economy and with low-ish VED tax too. For Nonetheless, and despite all its criticism, the Mercedes
drivers who spend their time in London, its conceivable E 350 e is a special car to be in. Once you get over its
that the electric range will be adequate to cover local idiosyncrasies, there are very few cars that can provide
journeys, and the petrol engine offers the flexibility to the same sense of prestige - when stationary at least.
conveniently venture further afield without stopping. On the move, its a mixed bag and, sadly, an incoherent
In Sport+ mode, the car is a bit of an animal, offering plug-in experience that feels like Mercedes had no
low-down electric torque assisted petrol driving thats clear goal and instead tried to compromise between
fun and fairly rewarding. The car is no slouch along a performance and luxury. The result is something in-
straight, but a little heavy-footed around corners. And between and, disappointingly, a master of neither.

CLOCKWISE
FROM TOP LEFT
Interior looks better
than it feels. Rear
occupants are looked
after but more
cramped than youd
imagine. Plug socket
is in an odd position,
which gets dirty.
Boot space restricted
by a 2-inch step.

RIGHT
Style over substance.
Controls are fussy
and illogically placed.

66 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 67
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Handy eV guides
With so much technology, electric
and hybrid vehicles can be a
daunting but exciting new field.
Weve created the following pages
to help guide you through the
basics of each technology and
provide an understanding of
common terms and phrases used
throughout this publication and
others.
Our handy guides in the next
few pages, include our tongue-
in-cheek The Daily Myth
newspaper and genuinely useful
glossary of terms. Youll be able
to out boffin even the most
seasoned EV or hybrid pro and
gain a good grounding for the
future of automobiles in the
process.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 69


What is an EV?
The inner workings of an electric vehicle

Electric
Power
Steering.
The power steering
mechanism is usually
unchanged in an electric car
when compared to an ICE
Vehicle vehicle, using both electric
Control Unit. and hydraulic power to
The VCU is a lot like a assist the driver.
conventional ECU (electronic
control unit) except that in
an electric car the priorities are
different. The VCU is a computer
that manages the energy from the
battery and information from the
driver such as throttle position.
The system ensures the best
possible use of power to
maximise range.

High
Voltage Electric
A/C Compressor.
With no engine warmth to
provide heating to occupants,
electric power is instead used. The
plus side is that it is more efficient
and can usually be programmed in
advance so that, for example, the
vehicle may be cooled or heated
using a remote application on
a smartphone.

Brakes.
More or less
unchanged from a
conventional vehicle.
An electric vacuum
pump is used to give Wheels
power assistance & Tyres.
to the driver. Many electric vehicles
have specially developed
low rolling resistance tyres,
meaning the vehicle is more able
to roll freely with lower drag,
therefore increasing range.
The tyres shown here offer
great grip despite their
narrow profile.

70 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


Chassis Motor
Design. Controller and
As components are Inverter.
more flexibly moved around Charging The motor controllers
the design, chassis designers and Electronics. monitor the motors position,
are able to make better use Converting mains AC speed, power, consumption and
of space. The i3 shown here power to DC for the battery temperature. Using this information
has an aluminium chassis is usually done on-board and the throttle command by the
with a carbon fibre the vehicle. To obtain a 12V driver, the motor controller and
superstructure for the system for lighting and radios inverter convert the DC voltage
occupants. etc. a DC-DC converter is supplied by the battery to three
used. precisely timed signals
used to drive the
motor.

Electric
Coolant Heater
and Control.
Heating systems are specially
designed for electric vehicle
applications as there is no heat
generated from the engine which
is usually used to provide warmth to
occupants. Instead, the system works in a
similar way to a kettle, with a submerged
element that heats a liquid. This is
passed through a matrix which has
the interior blower fans waft air
over them and into the cabin.

Electric
Motor &
Gearbox.
The electric motor converts
electrical power to mechanical
power. Electric motors are up to three
Electric times more efficient than a standard
Water Pump. petrol engine. Using near instant torque
The electric drive to their advantage, gearboxes are often
water pump circulates single speed but with different design
Battery considerations to a conventional ICE.
coolant for the traction
Pack and Battery motor, inverters and The emphasis is usually on silent
Cells. heater. operation and a need to cope
The battery pack is the electric with higher RPM due to the
storage centre for any BEV. As electric motor.
the system is more flexible than
liquid fuel, batteries packs containing
hundreds of cells are often spread
around the vehicle to distribute weight
more evenly. They usually include a Weve used BMWs great little electric car, the i3, to
Battery Monitoring System (BMS)
that manages the temperature illustrate the usual elements you might expect to find
and state of charge of each in an electric vehicle. Due to the flexible positioning of
individual cell.
electric car components, locations vary wildly. In the
BMW i3 example, it is a rear wheel drive electric car
and as such has a rear bias of components. A front
wheel drive electric car, like the Nissan LEAF, houses
many components under the bonnet, giving greater
rear luggage space.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 71


What is a HYBRID?
The inner workings of a hybrid vehicle
Electric
Inverter. Ancillaries.
As the ICE unit Stop As the emphasis is on
runs, it produces & Start. efficiency, hybrids often
power which is converted As the ICE stops feature electric systems,
to electrical power through and starts often in a replacing conventional
the inverter to charge the hybrid, there is a Stop & mechanical ones. For example, Fuel
batteries. These in turn charge Start system which often the Toyota Prius shown Tank & 12V
the 12V system which replaces the starter here has an electric water
motor with a belt pump, adding extra
System.
powers ancillaries such as
Of course, the ICE unit
lighting systems. driven device. efficiency.
requires fuel. Most hybrids are
petrol but there are some diesel
hybrids in existence. The ICE also
requires a 12V system to run
things like the spark plugs,
and this piggy backs off the
main battery charge.

Engine
& Motor.
An internal combustion
engine is used to both drive
the wheels and provide power to
charge the batteries. The electric
motor is often fitted between the Styling.
engine and gearbox. The engines are Car companies
slightly different to conventional aimed to make
ICEs as they are often an hybrids appeal to a
Atkinson cycle engine, new market, so the
designed for optimum styling often stands out Battery.
efficiency. from conventional Wheels As in electric
vehicles. & Tyres. vehicles, hybrids have
As in electric cars, a battery pack for EV only
many hybrids feature mode. It is charged by the ICE.
There are several iterations of hybrid but all work narrower profile tyres Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV) have the
to minimise rolling ability to take a charge from a
on similar principles. Electric motors aid an internal resistance and aid mains or EV charging socket.
combustion engine and usually provide an EV only economy. These usually feature larger
batteries than non PHEVs,
mode, whereby the vehicle runs only on electric
giving extended EV only
power. The Toyota Prius seen here is the best selling range.
hybrid vehicle in the world.

72 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


Large
Engine.
Although a hybrid,
this Porsche was
definitely not designed
to save the planet
with its large
capacity ICE.

Plug-
in Electric
Hybrid.
The Porsche shown
here is a PHEV as it can be
plugged into an EV or mains
socket. This tends to give
an extended range over
a non PHEV hybrid.

Racing hybrids fall into different categories despite the powered Audi to Le Mans history as the first ever
overall title of hybrid. The Porsche Panamera S Hybrid hybrid vehicle to win outright at the historic circuit.
above for example, has a system designed to cater The technology works by taking energy that would
more for outright performance over economy. otherwise be lost when braking and storing that
This is achieved by simply making the electric motor energy both into a flywheel and electric system.
add to the overall power, rather than aim for it to be The energy is then re-released back into the
economical. However, cars like this do usually have an powertrain to provide a power boost. This helps the
EV only mode enabling them to be just as economical internal combustion engine as it does not need to
(in theory) as a Toyota Prius when driving, for instance, work quite as hard as it otherwise would and thus
in stop/start traffic. increases economy. The electric flywheel system in
Racing hybrids, like the Audi R18 e-tron quattro shown the R18 e-tron quattro is just one example of many
below, often use alternative means of power to obtain cars classed as hybrids, including Formula One which
hybrid status. uses an electric kinetic energy recovery system (KERS)
In the example of the Audi, it uses a Williams and other vehicles which use a mechanical flywheel to
developed electric flywheel system which, in 2012, store energy without any electronics at all.

Independent
Systems.
As you can see from this
cutaway picture, hybrid
systems do not have to be
integrated. In this example,
the electric flywheel takes
care of the front and the
rear is conventional
ICE power.
Flywheel
ERS.
A small flywheel is
spun to enormous RPM
from energy collected
when braking. This is then
released directly back into
the forward drive when
next accelerating.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 73


THE
daILy mytH
ELECTRIC AND HYBRID MYTHS UNCOVERED.

WHAT IS EVS
THE TRUTH POLLUTE
ABOUT EV MORE THAN
BATTERIES? FOSSIL FUEL
It is often claimed that All vehicles generate
electric and hybrid vehicle pollution during their
batteries are no good and manufacture, use and then
will only last ten years disposal.
before needing to be LA JAMAIS CONTENTE, DRIVEN BY BELGIAN, CAMILLE JENATZY It is true the creation

ALL EVS ARE AS SLOW AS


replaced at great expense. of certain components
While there is some truth for electric cars

MILK FLOATS!
to the fact that batteries do is not particularly
degrade after a time, most environmentally friendly,
tests suggest that batteries such as batteries, but things
will far outlive the life-span Electric motors develop In fact, many of the first are changing fast.
of an electrified vehicle. maximum torque from zero land speed records were set Lithium batteries are
In the case of a few older revs. In plain English this by electric vehicles, such increasingly being made
hybrid models, which have means they are very quick as the famous La Jamais using renewable energy, as
been around more than ten off the mark. Performance Contente (French for, is aluminium.
years, owners are seeing a car manufacturers, such as Never Satisfied, pictured Electric motors too are
decrease in electric range by McLaren, are increasingly above). It was the first car, much more energy efficient
some 20%. In reality this is using electric motors of any type, to reach 62mph than internal combustion
no worse than the reduction alongside petrol or diesel (100 kmh) - and this was in engines.
in efficiency from a petrol engines as they are able to 1899! The argument that power
or diesel powered car, even provide much more torque Since then, electric cars stations creating electricity
if it has been maintained. than a traditional engine is have been getting faster and for electric cars is bad
These older hybrids also able to by itself. faster. Tesla Motors Model only has some merit since
used Ni-MH batteries rather Over one hundred years S is a saloon car that rivals in certain places, such
than the more advanced Li- ago, electric vehicles have highly regarded sports as Norway, most of their
ion in use by most today. been leading, not trailing, cars such as BMWs M5 power is from wind and
Battery technology is petrol and diesel engines in for performance. EVs are hydro electric power.
advancing all the time the performance stakes. anything but slow.
too, and better battery
management which actively

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74 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


ELECTRIFIED CARS ARE A THERE IS EVS WILL
FIRE RISK NOWHERE NEVER
Firstly, some electric cars questioned about fire risk, TO CHARGE BE MASS
MARKET
have caught fire during some was rated by the NHTSA as
extreme events whereby the their safest car ever tested, Infrastructure is one of
batteries were breached in 2013. the key issues with electric
and the chemicals created a Due to the design of the vehicles and the lengthy (in Although in the past,
localised fire - nobody has battery cells and electrical comparison to petrol/diesel electric car attempts to
been hurt to date by one of equipment in cars, the risks fill up) times to charge a car infiltrate the car market
these incidents. are minimised for fires as can be annoying. were met with equal
The NHTSA, Americas much as possible, using Charging infrastructure amounts of laughter and
equivalent to the Euro special compartments to has increased dramatically scepticism, electric cars of
NCAP crash testing contain a fire should one in recent years, with several today are being produced
organisation, have tested to break out during the event rapid charge networks by most of the worlds
destruction many electric of a crash, for example. having been installed across largest and most established
cars and in none of their Electric and hybrid cars Europe. vehicle manufacturers.
tests were they able to are no less safe than having In the UK alone, there are Likewise, hybrids are
create a fire risk situation. a tank of flammable liquid more than 10,000 charge becoming ever more
The Tesla Model S, in your vehicle; which is points, with over 1,500 in popular with global sales in
which is the car most have more likely to catch fire. London. their millions.

ELECTRIC CARS ARE NOT


SUITABLE FOR LONG TRIPS
Most current electric cars to Edinburgh in around
have a range of around 10 hours proving that it is
100 miles but they can be possible.
recharged at a rapid charge New metal-air batteries
station en-route. Several are able to give 1,000
people have completed mile range and should be
ALCOA-PHINERGY 1,000 MILE RANGE ELECTRIC CAR long trips from London available as soon as 2017.

EVS WORK IN THE RAIN? NO MAINTENANCE IS


It is well known that weather. The answer lies REqUIRED WITH EVS
electricity and water dont mainly in the construction
mix so it is only natural to be methods used when dealing EVs still require tyres, Due to things like
slightly apprehensive about with electrical components. wheel bearings and so on. regenerative braking, where
the long term prospects Much like a kettle, EVs However, they require far the motor acts like a brake,
of owning an electric car have circuit breakers to less maintenance as there is there is also less wear to the
with our very British wet ensure nobody gets a shock. less to wear out. brake pads and discs too.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 75


Glossary There are many confusing acronyms, abbreviations
and jargon in life - none more so than in the world of
technology and electric vehicles.

EVTerms
Like most of us, youll have likely forgotten your school
of physics and need a little reminder. The glossary below
aims to explain most of the more common terms used
when talking about EVs and Hybrids.

ac: Alternating Current. Electricity with a battery or capacitor. In effect, it is a transfer of energy from
current that changes direction at regular intervals. See Electric the electricity grid to a depleted energy storage device.
Motor. cng: Compressed Natural Gas.
afV: Alternate Fuel Vehicle. co2: Carbon Dioxide is a naturally occurring
amp: A measurement of electric current. gas. It is one of many harmful greenhouse gasses.
Bar: See Pressure. current: The flow of electric charge through a
Battery: A chemical based electricity storage device, medium. It is a description of the flow of electrons from one
which uses one or many electrochemical cells. These cells place to another which requires a circuit.
convert chemical energy to electrical energy. dc: Direct Current. Electric current of constant
BeV: Battery Electric Vehicle. The most common direction. See Electric Motor.
type of pure electric vehicle. Batteries are used to store energy discharge: The opposite to charging. In an electric
which is then used by the electric motors to give motion. vehicle battery, it is the transfer of chemical energy to
BHP: Brake Horsepower is the power output of an electrical energy, thus depleting the battery.
engine before losses from drivetrain are taken into account. e-reV: Extended Range Electric Vehicles use
See Power. permanent electric motor drive, but have an internal
Bms: Battery Management System - a computer combustion engine purely for recharging the batteries while
often built into electric vehicles to monitor the batteries. on the move.
Brushed motor: Brushed electric motors have brushes in the ebike: An electric motorbike, bicycle or scooter.
commutator to make a connection. They are the original type electric motor: The engine for all electric cars. They work
of electric motor, having been in use since 1832. in various ways, but there are two main types, AC and DC.
Brushless motor: Brushless motors are also known as electromagnet: An electrically induced magnetic field is
electronically commutated motors since their commutator is created in a coil of wire as current passes through it. Similarly,
electric rather than using direct contact using brushes. when the current stops so does the magnetic field.
capacitor: Similar to a battery in that its primary eLV: An electric light vehicle that weighs less
purpose is to store energy. However, unlike a battery, than 250 kilos.
capacitors dont use a chemical reaction to store energy. emPg: Similar to Miles per Gallon (MPG) but
ccId: Charge Circuit Interrupting Device - a including an EV only mode of driving which increases the
safety device that disables power to an EV charger in the event amount of miles a gallon of fuel allows a hybrid or PHEV
of a loss of isolation being detected. vehicle to travel.
ccs: Combined Charging System is a DC rapid ers: Energy Recovery System.
charging standard, capable of delivering up to 100kW. eV: Electric Vehicle - a broad term that
cHademo: The trade name of a rapid charging method incorporates anything from a battery powered vehicle to a
and electrical connector, capable of supplying 62.5 kW DC hybrid and even a fuel cell powered vehicle too.
electricity. fast charge: A Fast Charger is any charger able to deliver
charge Point: An electric vehicle recharging point. more current than a domestic supply (usually around 3kW).
charge time: The time it takes to charge a battery, usually fcV: Fuel Cell Vehicle - Usually powered by
stated as being from empty to 100% full. This is affected by Hydrogen. The fuel cell acts like an electricity power station to
the supply Current, and Capacity of the battery - measured in power the motors that drive the vehicles wheels. Also FCEV.
kWh. flywheel: Flywheels are rotating devices which store
charging: The act of storing energy in a depleted rotational energy. They are often used to provide continuous

76 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


energy when attached to a discontinuous source, such as an Photovoltaic cells:PV Cells are used on solar panels which
ICE where the torque varies. convert the suns radiation into electricity. As these work with
H: Hydrogen, the simplest element on the radiation, they are not reliant on direct sunlight.
Periodic Table. Considered a gas, but can react like many Power: A measurement of power output (not
reactive metals too due to its unique properties. input) from a motor. Pferdestrke (PS) is a metric equivalent
Hcu: Home Charging Unit. to Horsepower (hp) that is used in mainland Europe and
HeV: Hybrid Electric Vehicle. See Hybrid. increasingly in the UK too. Watts (W) are used for power
HP: Horsepower. See Power. output of electric motors particularly. 1 hp = 746 Watts.
Hybrid: An electric motor is combined with an Pressure: A measurement of continuous force exerted
internal combustion engine to power a single vehicle. This on or against an object by something in contact with it. For
combination of the two provides fuel saving benefits in most example, air pressure within a tyre. Measured in Bar and PSI.
driving circumstances. Often referred to as a mild-hybrid Ps: Pferdestrke. See Power.
when there is no plug-in facility. PsI: Pounds per Square Inch. See Pressure.
Ice: The Internal Combustion Engine works by range anxiety: The feeling that your vehicle is not going to
burning fuel and air in a cylinder to produce gas which moves have adequate range for you to complete a journey.
pistons that turn a crankshaft. This gives rotational energy. range: The range of a vehicle is defined by the
Kers: Kinetic Energy Recovery System. amount of power it requires to run and is able to hold.
kw: One thousand Watts, or a kilo Watt. rapid charge: Rapid charging is considered faster than
kwh: Energy measured by both power in kilo- fast charging. When this term is used, it generally applies to
Watts and time in hours. currents in excess of 20kW.
lb ft: Pound feet. See Torque. rBs: Regenerative Braking System or regen is a
Lead acid: An old type of battery still very much in use method of braking in which energy is extracted from the parts
in most conventional cars. See Battery. braked, to be stored and reused.
Li-fe: Lithium Iron. See Battery. rPm: Revolutions per Minute - a measure of how
Li-ion: Lithium-ion. See Battery. many times something turns completely in exactly 60 seconds.
Li-s: Lithium Sulphur. See Battery. sae J-1772: An American design standard that was
Licoo2: Lithium Cobalt Oxide. See Battery. widely adopted as the defacto electric vehicle basic charging
LifePo4: Lithium Iron Phosphate. See Battery. method. Fast being replaced by Mennekes. See Type 1 Socket.
LiPo: Lithium Polymer. See Battery. Three-Phase: Three-phase is a technical term for a type of
magnet: A magnet produces a magnetic field AC electricity. It is most often associated with machine tools
which either attracts of repels other magnets and certain and engineering equipment, but is used by AC electric motors
ferromagnetic metals. too.
mennekes: A seven-pin electric vehicle charging plug/ torque: Torque is usually measured in pounds
socket made by a German company of the same name. per foot (lb ft) or Newton metre (Nm). In basic, torque is a
mPg: Miles per Gallon is a measurement of how measure of the turning force on an object such as a wheel nut
many miles a vehicle is able to travel, given a gallon of fuel. or a flywheel.
national grid: The National Grid in the UK is a network of type 1: (Plug/Socket) A three-pin normal plug/
energy sources which combine to power the entire country. socket for charging an electric vehicle. Popularised in the
ncm: Nano Crystalline Motor. These are electric USA.
motors with an alternative core to Iron and are approximately type 2: (Plug/Socket) An alternative connection
10 times more efficient. that allows for power from three-phase electricity.
nicd: Nickel Cadmium. See Battery. type 2 mode 3: (Plug/Socket) This is the same as a
nimH: Nickel Metal Hydride. See Battery. Mennekes type socket. See Mennekes.
nm: Newton metre. See Torque. uLeV: Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle.
ohms Law: Ohms law states that the current through a V2g: Vehicle to Grid is a term used to describe
conductor between two points is directly proportional to the an electric vehicle that is plugged into the National Grid to
potential difference across the two points. See Current. provide power to it, rather than the other way around.
PHeV: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles combine w: Watt. See Power.
BEV and ICE technologies, providing two vehicles in one. zeV: Zero Emissions Vehicle.

www.autovolt-magazine.com | JUL-AUG 2017 77


REAR VIEW Send your questions to:
by Lucy Hargrave lucy@autovolt-magazine.com

What is biofuel?

O
ver the past couple of weeks my newsfeed effect of clearing land to produce biofuel would be so
has featured several articles about promising far-reaching it is difficult to comprehend.
start-ups piloting new and potentially One of the greatest negatives about fossil fuel is the
revolutionary biofuels. First was a London emissions they produce when burnt and at first glance
company, called Biobean, aiming to deliver coffee biofuel seems like a god send, as in theory they can be
fuelled buses to the streets of our polluted capital. carbon neutral farmer grows crops, CO2 absorbed
Next was a Scottish company, Celtic Renewables Ltd, by crops, biofuel made from crops, biofuel is burnt
who are pioneering fuel made from whisky residue. So, producing CO2, which is then reabsorbed by new crops
whether it is a caffeine induced car or a slight woozy - a perfect circle. However, theory is one thing and
one, what is a biofuel and are they any good? getting that 1:1 ratio is incredibly difficult, as energy has
The grand plan for biofuels is to replace petrol and to come from somewhere to grow the first crop.
diesel fossil fuels, which, as we all know, are derived On the other hand, there are definite advantages
from animal and plant matter that died millions of years to biofuels especially those derived from either by-
ago and the burning of it is killing our planet. Biofuels, products or algae. Recycling makes sense, although
on the other hand, are most commonly harvested there simply arent enough coffee granules to deliver
plants and at present consist three types of biofuel: 1. our fuel needs alone.
Fuel from food crops (e.g. corn, wheat and sugar); 2. Another positive for biofuels is that they are similar
Redundant by-products (e.g. coffee granules, whisky in consistency to fossil fuels. They are easy to transport
residue); 3. Algae. Each has the potential to deliver real and use, but biofuels tend to be less economical and
advantages over mineral fuels, but for some there are efficient, meaning more is required to offer the same
potentially disastrous consequences. energy total. However, biofuel is not a radical change
One of the major claims against biofuels is that they from fossil fuel, meaning we can easily adapt existing
are unethical and could have a devastating impact on engine technology to run on them.
the worlds food supply. At present theres insufficient And finally they are renewable, depending on what
food to feed our growing population, but what would the biofuel is and so long as they are grown and
happen if all the corn, wheat and sugar farmers decided harvested sensibly.
that their crop was destined for fuel not food? Food Whilst most of the points above are not overly
prices could sky-rocket and in turn this may lead to negative toward biofuels, especially those derived
increased famine. from waste, they dont move humanity on as much as
Furthermore, as fuel crops can produce a greater renewable energy can. The idea of running our vehicles
income than food, would more people may turn to on waste is potentially a great form of recycling, but
farming and rainforests could suffer from greater I wonder how much waste we would need to do this
deforestation. If it did, this would be catastrophic and without any mineral oil. Is it practical or even possible?
already palm-oil crops are decimating the worlds great Perhaps, but arguably we shouldnt be creating waste in
forests including Indonesia and Brazil. The knock-on the first place, let alone become reliant on it.

78 JUL-AUG 2017 | www.autovolt-magazine.com


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