Classic Cars & Electrification
ZHP Sparky - the 5th last edited by ZHP Sparky - the 5th
I've always enjoyed Harry Metcalfe's content and Harry's Garage has been no disappointment. Doesn't have the pizazz of many YouTube channels, but the content is stellar.
As an EV lessee, lover of older cars, someone who cares about the environmental impact of our actions, etc. this piece was super informative and hit home with some of the internal debates/thoughts I've always had on this topic.
Please, no intent to make this political. If you actually watch the video you'll see that Harry himself faithfully covers this topic from every reasonable angle as well. In short, electrification is a good thing for everyday use but there is a lot that needs to continue to improve - from power generation to the vehicle manufacture and lifecycles themselves. This is not mutually exclusive from classic car ownership and appreciation which makes up a miniscule fraction of motoring miles and associated emissions. Especially loved the comparison with the emissions associated with say a flight from LHR-LAX per person, roughly being equivalent to the emissions tied to mileage he would put on his Lotus in a 10 year period.
Manwich last edited by Manwich
Well the thing is, the ban is related to the sale of new cars. Existing cars only need to be compliant for the year they were made.
And I've the same point as was discussed about 4 min into the video. Even if 100% all new cars were electric starting tomorrow, it would take at least a decade of sales before you'd have BEVs making up the majority of the cars in actual use.
As for electrifying classic cars, I don't want to see Lambos and Ferraris converted to BEVs. I want to see old Rolls Royces, Cadillacs, Lincolns and other old luxury cars converted to BEVs.
As for concerns about how the power is generated, the thing is, as more solar panels, wind turbines and other cleaner sources of power generation get implemented, the electric cars in use by extension also get cleaner.
Also, he's right about needing local generation, but not for the reasons he thinks. The bigger reason for local generation is that it's more efficient because the less distance the electricity needs to travel, the less energy gets lost due resistance in power transmission lines. And thus, makes things more efficient overall.
As for things like battery replacement, well classic cars might not need a large battery pack replaced, but there is a whole lot of other shit that is needed to keep an old mechanical car going. It's not like new/refurbished engines, transmissions and various parts come into existence magically without any CO2 emissions or cost.
I also disagree that electric cars need to be one-dimensional. Just drive a FWD Nissan Leaf and then drive a Tesla Model 3. They're both electric, but both quite different.
And synthetic fuels... they are not new. The Germans were making synthetic fuels derived from coal back in WWII. It's not a new idea... and frankly it's a dead end for the same reason hydrogen is a dead end... cost.
Disclaimer: I did not watch the video, and definitely need to! That said, I'm all for electric anything if it means keeping the cars on the road. And they rock for 95% of car stuff-seems like it should be possible to keep options open or expand networks to fill in a lot of the remaining 5%. Electric classics would be a great way to have said classics running well 50 years from now.
The one thing I think is important to remember is it's hard to make progress towards cleaner, healthier ANYTHING without a bit of people being willing to compromise. Like no, you're not going to be able to randomly go 2000 miles on a whim, and a full "tank" is gonna probably always take more time than the two minutes it does for dino fuel. But those seem like small prices to pay for the positive environmental impact.
@manwich I don't see that much disagreement between you and what Harry is saying. Your point is exactly what he was trying to say with local generation as far as I can tell - that you lose a lot of that electricity if you're making it travel long distances.
As for the BEVs being boring topic - I'm with you, they can be completely different animals. I think all he was trying to say is that there is certainly a lesser extent of variation, at least in what we imagine as BEVs today, who knows what the future might bring. With ICE vehicles there's engine placement, design, transmission setup, torque bands etc...with BEVs its a lot more pre-defined and there are only a few variables you can play with. But the benefits certainly far outweigh those concerns, at least for a daily driver especially for most people who view vehicles as appliances.
Yeah I'm not a fan of electrification of classics either. As he stated, and I agree with, classic ICE cars only make up a tiny fraction of driving miles...let them be. If anything as ICE gets phased out fuels may become more expensive and become a niche commodity at some point in time - which will further lessen its usage even more. It's a non-factor in the environmental sacrifices we need to be making, at least at this point.
SilentbutnotreallyDeadly last edited by
@zhp-sparky-the-5th Electrifying a classic car would be an exercise is foolishness.
Whilst they were made for some often heroic drivelines (equally often not but given them anyway) they were never engineered or packaged for electric power both in terms of how it fits in the car and how it impacts the characteristics of the car. Even the redistribution of the driveline mass could create a whole host of otherwise unforseen dramas. Especially in a sports oriented car.
The demise of the ICE in new cars between now and 2030 is both a good and bad thing but we'll all deal with it in our own inimical fashion...some of us better than others. Huey knows which side of that ledger I'm going to fall on though...
Agreed and even for those 2000 miles or NOTHING! folks there are PHEVs. They should capture a huge majority of regular driving on battery juice, and have that engine as backup if you are adamant about having it. Having a 250+ mile BEV I can attest that I really feel like that all that battery capacity is a waste for my use case. If it wasn't for the deal I got on the car I would've been perfectly happy with a low range BEV (getting harder to find actually at a decent price, RIP Spark EV) or a PHEV that would've been a true all rounder.
spacekraken last edited by spacekraken
@zhp-sparky-the-5th My exact thoughts. If I didn't have lots of trouble with my Niro, it would've been the perfect PHEV daily. As it is with WFH I'm fine having a gas not-really-daily and can borrow the family e-golf for short trips so the two cars we have function a lot like a PHEV. Or just bike!
Agreed also on range-I find I either need 30mi of range or 200-400, so not much use for the extra, though it would make Mt Hood easier to do EV. I might buy off my dad's e-golf eventually and keep a gas fun car, but my ideal one car garage is V60 Polestar PHEV any day haha!
@spacekraken Wait are you out here in OR as well? The Niro is a great car and I like all the flavors it comes in...I'm glad to see the Koreans upping their PHEV game with their upcoming models too. Hopefully will push the rest of the market to go along or be left out too. But again comes down to the whole battery cost and supplies issue.
@zhp-sparky-the-5th Yes indeed! Bit south of portland. I know there's a few of us, we should really do an oppo cruise post pandemic.
The Niro was a great car... except mine literally would not shift gears in a safe and controlled manner. Seems to be specific to a couple months of production in '18-19 though. But still, the honda serial PHEVs or toyota/GM torque split hybrids feel light years ahead in driving, unfortunately for the niro since it's the nicest looking and most practical (hatchback) shape of those all.
@spacekraken Interesting, haven't actually driven a Kia/Hyundai hybrid to know how differently they behave - but likely will next time we're in the market.
Agreed on a local gathering at some point after we get out of this current situation. I'm on the south end of things as well, technically Portland still off I-5 & Barbur Blvd.
@zhp-sparky-the-5th Yeah it was a major bummer since the car was so good otherwise. You also don't get the normal torque fill of a hybrid since the (one) motor is on the engine side of the transmission, so no acceleration while it's struggling to find gears or the engine is out of the powerband. A shame really, but it seems like the GTE (what it sounds like, GTI PHEV) might come here in a year or two so I might have to look at those.
Haha I'm at the Tigard border on I-5! Will definitely be fun when we can, there's some great cruises to be found. It's a bit of a haul but I recently drove hwy 53 from 26 to Manzanita/Wheeler and it's a truly awesome little stretch of road. Super sharp corners, and lots of good coastal roads near there as well.
rctothefuture last edited by
EV classics are a weird thing to hate on. Folks don't get mad when a classic Camaro gets a new Vortec engine from a truck, but get all up in arms when a battery and Tesla motor are swapped in?
I get it, engines that burn fuel are much more interesting and fun then the "foot down, go fast" type of experience with an EV. I think fans of the ICE are afraid of a future without them. That thousands spent on a built engine can get wiped from the track by a guy with some batteries and an electric motor. The joy of starting an engine you rebuilt, the sounds it makes when you press the throttle, the smell of the exhaust and the music it produces are an all encompassing experience. I don't want that experience to go away.
If folks want to convert their cars to EV's, by all means I say let them and let the new age of hot rodding begin. I think we're going to see some amazing builds over the next 10-20 years with EV's and I am excited to see them. I know that most EV's will beat me off the line in 10 years no matter what I'm driving. But I'll be happier, shifting gears and hearing my exhaust as I go through a canyon road. Allowing me to have that experience, that's what I care about.
Let the world go by, I'd like to spend sometime in the past. If just for a drive.
@spacekraken That sounds like a great drive - I haven't done much exploring lately, too little time somehow even with nowhere to go. Hopefully can get some chill Oppo activity going by summertime or so.