My Urban Car

Video Pairs-Why does it matter so much that EVs are efficient?

In this video pair we look at what happens if you build an EV that is much more or much less efficient than a Tesla Model 3
Of the current ways to power a car efficiency matters to a different degree in each.

Petrol – vehicle efficiency quite important

Petrol engines were pretty good at powering efficient vehicles that were up to the size of a VW Passat and smaller with good performance and economy. However, if you ask petrol engines to lug around something inefficient like a heavy SUV shaped like a brick with an inefficient 4×4 transmission, petrol engines leave their efficient 4 cylinder 1L to 2L sweet spot. To move something heavy with a petrol engine you end up with 3L, 4L or even 5L engines with 6, 8 or even 12 cylinders & shockingly poor fuel economy and massive running costs.

Diesel – vehicle efficiency not in the least bit important

If you wanted to throw away 40 years of progress in aerodynamic and vehicle efficiency and add 50% to weight at the same time diesel is the way to go. If you can get away with the fallacy that replacing someones petrol Golf with a diesel Audi Q5 or Q7 reduces their CO2 then you’re onto a dieselgate winner with affordable running costs on supersized vehicles. Buyers queued up like people who couldn’t say no to eating every cake in the shop. At least until buyers realised their CO2 flew up not down in this 3 cups trick, while the diesel engines powering these leviathans produced up to 25x as much toxic air pollution as that petrol Golf.

Electric – Vehicle efficiency is absolutely vital

If you hitch an overweight inefficient vehicle to an electric powertrain you end up with a lose lose effect on range, performance and efficiency. If you try and make up for it by adding loads more batteries you end up with more weight, even lower efficiency, higher cost, poorer handling and longer charging times.

That is why cars like a Polestar 2, Jaguar i-Pace, Mercedes GLC or Audi e-tron can’t match the range of a Hyundai Kona or Tesla Model 3, despite having bigger batteries. That is why, eventually, Electric cars will reverse the “would you like large fries with that” trend in car sales. There will still be practical SUVs but they should return to a more normal European car size.

Video 1 – Now you know – Aptera beats Tesla

Elon Musk is widely regarded as having a laser like focus ensuring Tesla cars are the most efficient EVs out there. So what happens if some engineers follow that same focus, but throw away conventions about what a car looks like and start with a clean slate. So..what are the advantages of an EV that beats the efficiency of a Tesla Model 3? Thats what this video about Aptera is all about

Video 2 – We drove a Polestar 2 and a Tesla Model 3 Performance & Standard Range+ till they died! By Mat Watson from Carwow

Mat and his crew drove these 3 cars round the M25 on a winter day until they ran out of battery. So where does the Polestar fit between the shorter range base model 3 Tesla and the faster Performance variant with the same sized batteries?

David Nicholson

David Nicholson Is the founder of Rivergecko Ltd & MyUrbanCar which provide consultancy and advice for drivers and fleets to speed the transition from dirty fossil fuel transport to clean vehicles powered by renewable energy on land water and air.

The @MyUrbanCar twitter feed is a source of news & reviews of electric & plugin cars and vans in the UK.
The @rivergecko twitter feed & websites bring news and opinion on cleantech transport including cars, vans, buses, trucks, shipping, rail & aviation as well as autonomous vehicles & renewable energy, air pollution & motor industry news.

David Nicholson has worked as an underwriter at Lloyd's of London since the 1980's. His interest in technology goes back many years including interactive mapping, apps, green tech, boats, solar and cars.