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Electric Car Review Talking Points

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:25 am
by JoeS
I thought I'd share the elements of my response on one of the electric vehicle news forums about yet another inane review of a new electric car that ignores many of the BEV distinguishing features, other than the usual of the reviewer being gobsmacked by the electric car's acceleration. Here's what I'd like to see (these I quickly put-together off the top of my head) -

1. What regeneration options are there? Is there also a zero-regen setting?
2. Can the car come to a complete stop using regeneration (i.e., one-pedal driving)?
3. Is there a regen paddle and is it simply a switch or does it provide the ability to modulate regen?
4. Can creep be enabled/disabled?
5. What is its maximum deceleration rate using regen?
6. How about some standardized energy-consumption figures in terms of Wh/mile if Monroney is not yet available?
7. Can charging current be adjusted from within the car (maximum/minimum at what voltages)?
8. Can charging times be controlled from within the car?
9. Can the maximum charging State of Charge be set and what range of that is offered?
10. What type of graphics are employed to display the car's energy utilization?
11. What variables are considered in the car's Range Remaining algorithm?
12. Tester's experience with the car's Range Remaining predictions (and tracking) during 'normal' driving?
13. A discussion of the car's battery, power electronics, and motor thermal management systems?
Finally, for any car review, it's always nice to see a number for the vehicle's coefficient of drag.

Add to that is the absence of a standardized charging-speed metric, such as 20% to 80% SoC, at L1, L2, and DCQC voltages, recognizing that 0-100%SoC is unrealistic.

</rant> :ugeek:

Anyone care to add any other parameters that are a BEV-specific?

Re: Electric Car Review Talking Points

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:50 pm
by Don
Until publications get some reviewers who cut their teeth on EV's, and actually know what they're looking for, there's not much hope, I fear. If his/her credentials are that they've reviewed 50 or 100 ICE's in their career, I think we can just forget about anything he/she may have to say about any new BEV they 'review' - We're not going to get much useful information, if any, from any of them


Re: Electric Car Review Talking Points

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:26 pm
by wmcbrine
Related: When looking at used EVs on, etc., the number one thing I want to know (for models where it varies) is: Does it have DCFC? How often this is answered in the ad: approximately 0% of the time. Instead, the listings are full of copy enumerating such amazing and unexpected features as air conditioning.

Re: Electric Car Review Talking Points

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:24 pm
by JoeS
Thought of another one:

Does the vehicle display the 'fuel gauge' as a State of Charge number in percent and not just a bunch of 'bars'?

Sorry, but I'm not happy that some vehicles are displaying a battery capacity number in terms of distance (e.g., Bolt), with Tesla at least offering the option of distance or %energy. Funny, the Bolt's app does show %SoC, but the dashboard display is distance and one of the screens on the center console shows 20 bars. From both Bolt and Tesla owners all I hear is how inaccurate that 'distance' number is! OTOH, when a destination is programmed on the Tesla, the end SoC is incredibly accurate ... or, at least, it used to be as there is some suspicion that they've now made it conservative to compensate for the leadfoot newbies. On my recent trip, I'd arrive with a SoC that was invariably significantly higher than initially predicted, which differs from my past two years' and 50K+miles experience.

Re: Electric Car Review Talking Points

Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:02 pm
by JoeS
wmcbrine wrote:Related: When looking at used EVs on, etc., the number one thing I want to know (for models where it varies) is: Does it have DCFC?...
Agree, and along that line, I want to know what maximum DCFC power the battery pack can absorb.

Re: Electric Car Review Talking Points

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:42 pm
by JoeS
Sorry to be ragging on this, as it's developing into a wish list. What I'll do is compile everyone's ideas and then go back and do a serious organized update to the original list.

Getting into the modern age, we'd like to have the ability to remotely read the EV's pertinent information and be able to remotely control some of a BEV's functions, using a smartphone, since stand-alone Remotes such as we have for our i-MiEV are perhaps dated nowadays.

Battery Monitoring and Charging
* Read State of Charge and battery temperatures
* Charging voltage and control over charging current
* Set SoC limits
* Multiply-programmable charging start and stop times (recognizing TOU needs)
* Predict time of charging completion at those settings
* Remotely open/close charge port

Heating/Cooling, whether or not the vehicle is plugged in
* Set interior temperature and/or pre-set timing of this activation
* Control seat and steering wheel heating remotely
* Control defrosting front/side/rear widows remotely

Other safety and security items such as vehicle location and speed/direction of travel, alarms, live onboard camera feeds, control over some vehicle functions, etc., are not BEV-unique so I won't go there.

Re: Electric Car Review Talking Points

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:00 pm
by Zelenec
I'd add heating pump option

Re: Electric Car Review Talking Points

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:33 am
by JoeS
Zelenec wrote:I'd add heating pump option
Very good suggestion! The Hyundai Kona, which has a heat pump in its European version, for cost reasons evidently will not have this in the USA version. :evil:

Re: Electric Car Review Talking Points

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:22 pm
by JoeS
Speaking of heat pumps, I see over on the Hyundai Kona EV forum that Zelenec now has a Kona EV with one -

Back on topic - based on our i-MiEV experience with the ridiculously high-cost of modules such as the OBC, I'm wondering if replacement costs for some of these things shouldn't be part of any car reviews nowadays?

My bubble has popped, previously believing that automotive electronics were properly designed for high-reliability, with serious component deratings, superb thermal management, and bulletproof packaging, and I never ever expected the issue we are now having with the i-MiEV OBC. I remember once reading an article that both mil-spec and automotive designs were some of the most robust in the world (not to mention out-of-this world designs for Space).

Re: Electric Car Review Talking Points

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:30 pm
by JoeS
Adding to the talking points:

Service requirements - real or 'make-work'? What, what intervals, and at what cost?

Warranty -
Standard covers what and for how long?
Battery only or motor+drivetrain, and for how many years?
Battery percentage degradation or only outright failure?