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MG TD TF 1500 - Slightly off topic future of motoring

Perhaps someone from the States or Oz can let us know what is going on locally with eco issues. Our Audi is now three years old and normally we would have replaced it with a new one by now. The problem is many car manufactures in the UK are stopping making petrol or diesel cars but there aren't many recharging points for electric vehicles. We had considered a Range Rover Evoque diesel but the very day we visited the showroom Rover announced they are stopping making fossil fueled cars! We have decided to keep the Audi and run it into the ground. Now that it is out of guarantee I will service it myself, why pay £300 for a simple inspection service! I have found a company that sells a full Audi Service Kit. They send you an invoice quoting your registration number and car mileage so you can show the car has been properly looked after. I was wondering what the situation is outside the UK.

Jan T
J Targosz

I haven't been in the new car market for 6 or 7 years but it is scary. The "market" demand automatic everything (including replacement of the driver with a computer) and a big computer screen in the middle of the dashboard to ensure that you never actually look out the windshield. (As I write this my computer has burped. I hope the computers driving cars are better than this one) I do think electric will be the wave of the future with hybrids filling the gap during the transition. I'm generally in favor of electric cars and, were I still commuting, I'd have one but, as you say, the infrastructure for them just does not yet exist. I won't miss the 1980 - 2030 cars but I am concerned that by 2030 when my heirs try to drive my MGs they won't be able to get fuel for them. It's also gotten pretty hard to buy buggy whips.
Fortunately, I am old enough that it probably doesn't matter to me. We have 2015 and 2016 non-hybrid Toyotas for daily driving and I suspect they will be the last new cars that we buy. I've just spent two days trying to buy a rebuild kit for the Holley 2bbs carb on my bought-new '77 F-100 302 V-8. It's a real dinosaur and I think I've found a store that can order the kit. The age of carburetors has long since passed and I suspect the age of petrol powered cars is nearly passed. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.

J K Chapin

Outwardly, there isn't much evidence that internal combustion is on its way out around here. I don't even know of a public electric charging station within 50 miles. There probably are, but the point is that they aren't common or well advertised. That could change as more electric cars are sold, but new gasoline-powered cars are still selling well. I don't think there will be any shortage of liquid fuel availability in the USA in the next 20 years. But things are changing so fast that no one can do anything but guess what will happen. I did find it encouraging that two people I work with sold their Teslas and bought hybrids instead. In my opinion, that's the best technology to pursue for future vehicles. But that's coming from a guy who still daily drives an MG.

Ok, just before I submitted this post, I looked up charging stations in my area. There are ten within a few miles. They are pay sites of course. I guess if you buy an electric car then the first thing you do is find out where they are.
Steve Simmons

Hybrids are neither one thing nor the other. A plug-in hybrid has a large battery, but its still dead weight if you need the car for long journeys. A self-charging hybrid has a small battery that barely gets you out of town. I frequently drive from the UK to my holiday home in the South of France which is over 800miles. This journey can't be done in an electric car without 2 or 3 stops at least and the consequent time delay is unacceptable. A hybrid would do it but far less economically and with more emissions than my Audi Ultra Clean diesel. I too will be sticking with that for as long as possible. Ican almost do the entire journey on one tank of fuel.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Hybrids are neither one thing nor the other. A plug-in hybrid has a large battery, but its still dead weight if you need the car for long journeys. A self-charging hybrid has a small battery that barely gets you out of town. I frequently drive from the UK to my holiday home in the South of France which is over 800miles. This journey can't be done in an electric car without 2 or 3 stops at least and the consequent time delay is unacceptable. A hybrid would do it but far less economically and with more emissions than my Audi Ultra Clean diesel. I too will be sticking with that for as long as possible.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Iíll be very curious how California which is at the forefront of electric vehicle usage is going to charge all these purely electric vehicles. They canít supply sufficient energy during peak loads for normal commercial and residential use.
They have no game plan on the table to increase its own energy production. No expansion of hydro-electric plants no building of dams to increase water storage to feed existing plants. Nuclear energy is all but out. I donít think we have an operating nuclear plant in CA now. Environmentalist shut down our private utilities nuclear power plant back in the 70ís just as they had gotten most of the bugs work out her. But CA has lofty goals of no new fossil fueled car sales by 2028.
W A Chasser

It's always fun to here the cogniziti talking about "zero emission" cars. Sure, no tail pipe gases but that electricity comes from somewhere. And hybrids, unless you plug them into your rooftop solar panels, you're burning old dinosaurs to charge up that battery.

First Law Of Thermodynamics: There ain't no free lunch.

I have a Zoom meting at 7 so I'll step down off my soapbox now.

J K Chapin

I own a Tesla Model 3. We have had it now for 4 months. I charge it about once every 2 weeks. I use a 30 Amp 220 Volt line I have in the garage for my welder. Normally it takes about 4 hours to go from 150 Miles range to 300 Miles range. The Model 3 has a full range of 355 miles.

I have yet to use charging station although there are 3 within 3 miles of the house.

That will change soon. We are going to a wedding using wedding cars tonbridge in FL. (Thats a NJ to FL trip.) The Tesla navigation, shows all the Tesla charging stations and tells you when you should pull in. I understand that if i follow their instructions I will need to spend only abut 10 minutes at the charging station.

On the way down I plan to use the Amtrak "Car train". The navigation app says I will need one charge stop around Baltimore. About where I would normally stop in a Petrol powered vehicle.

On the way back we plan to drive all the way, with overnight stops in Savanah and somewhere in VA, south of Richmond. I tend to use Hilton hotels, and they claim they support EV charging. We will see.

As mentioned the car will take over. When driving the TD you need to not only stay on it every minute, you need to plan ahead for the next downshift.

With the Tesla, It warns you to be alert. While we have the dual motor, I did not get the auto drive. Thats a $10K addition I don't need or can afford, although it would be nice to be able to call the car and have it pick you up in inclement weather.

JA Benjamin

We have a 2015 Prius that will turn over 50,000 miles in a couple of weeks. Expect it to be the last new car that we'll buy. I'll turn over 86 years next week. I've driven to my (older) brother's in Texas, about 850 miles from here (pre-Covid). It's a hybrid and gets about 50 m/p/g. On the Texas trip I'll fill the tank once (~10 gallons) and have a wee bit left when we get there (or, home). It has a large hi-voltage bank of rechargeable cells to power the drivetrain and a standard 12v auto battery to power the computer system. Ultra reliable/economical machine. Bud
Bud Krueger

"I donít think we have an operating nuclear plant in CA now".

Actually Diablo Canyon nuclear plant is operating with PG&E ownership but the large plant in San Onofre just south of San Clemente and Los Angeles is closed. It was operated by Southern California Edison. To my knowledge there are no new nuclear plants proposed in California.
John Quilter (TD8986)

Wind and solar are here and growing. After watching the news from Japan, I am VERY glad the nukes are going away!!! ď...had gotten most of the bugs out...Ē when referring to nuclear power is pretty scary.

Fossil fuels will be harder and harder to find..just like buggy whips...

Regards, Tom
tm peterson

Hello from NORWAY. I have an Idea. change your engine to a elektric motor.there is plenty of
space in the front. Place the battery in the
fueltank. The sound of a MG on aCD and a player
behind the facia panel.
Thoralf NORWAY TD 4490. I am 83+ years and the
MG 71 so I give the idea to a younger gay to
develop this.
Thoralf Sorensen (TD4490)

Iíve been off air for a while as I am somewhat busy with my EV conversion! I still enjoy driving the TF regularly but I have long been fascinated by the idea of a classic EV conversion. In the end I think I have avoided the ire of some purists by obtaining an unfinished restoration of a 72 super beetle. They are not exactly in short supply and still have a fair bit of character to them.
The plan is to use the rear motor from a Lexus hybrid which can output about 50kW - slightly more than the original 1600 engine. 3 phase current will be provided by a battery from a Nissan Leaf via the inverter/converter from a Toyota Prius.
I currently have excess power generated from my solar panels and my daughter is planning on using it as her daily commuter when she can escape from lockdown in London and return to Aus. Even if it occasionally needs to be recharged from fossil fuel generated electricity that is still much more environmentally friendly than the 30% or so efficiency that we get from our ICEs.
Not for everyone but what could possibly top rebuilding a TF?
C I Twidle

This might work! LOL A little humor.

PJ Jennings

Emissions? You could drive a gross polluter for 10 years and do less damage to the environment than building one new car. The idea that any car is "zero emissions" is akin to burying one's head in the sand. Just because you can't see the emissions, resources used, diesel ships, aircraft, coal burned, toxic chemicals, etc to build a car doesn't mean it isn't there. Too many people buy into the "good for the planet" thing. There is nothing humans do that is good for the planet. Every time you buy a new toaster, you damage the environment.

The best thing anyone can do to reduce emissions is to keep their current vehicle until it can no longer be repaired.
Steve Simmons

That is so true. The real problem is that there are just too many people on this earth and we demand too must stuff and create too much difficult to reuse waste. The classic car community is doing the world a favour.
Dave H
Dave Hill

Steve Simmons, "Emissions? You could drive a gross polluter for 10 years and do less damage to the environment than building one new car".

That's why I have this window sticker on both my Morris Minors.

John Quilter (TD8986)

I always maintained that the Model T was the most eco-friendly car ever made. A single manufacture lasting over 100 years, using all natural ingredients - wood, leather, iron and aluminum. No toxic plastics or PCB boards. :)
Steve Simmons

Consider the number of cars refilling at your local station, or along a busy interstate. To go all electric, many square miles of earth would have to be converted into massive charging stations. The entire electric grid would have to be massively expanded. Also, studies estimate 17-50% lower EV range with AC and heat on full respectively. My family could do fine with one EV, but not both cars as we do frequent long trips. As far as usability, I drove a Tesla Dual Motor 3 that was like your brain is directly controlled to the amazing and silent thrust! If that was my daily driver, my license would be in serious danger. Consider a modern Maxima is 300HP, and gets 30+ MPG on the highway. I see a gradual increase in EV sales and use, but really think the internal combustion engine will be around for decades longer than I will be! George
George Butz III

There are serious problems with electric cars.

The time it akes to charge and the shortage and location of charging points.
The cost of the replacement batteries is apparently high. I have heard of cases where it seems to be cheaper to buy a new car than batteries.
There are rumours of electric cars catching fire. Is this true?
China produces the bulk of the rare earths used in the batteries and make 80% of the car batteries. Is it sensible to depend upon such a nation?
Rare earths are by definition rare and vast quantities of overburden and other material has to be extracted to produce them rare earth. Is this environmentally good?
Rare earths are pollutants and it is not economic to recover them from used batteries. What will they do with them?
The better solution is hydrogen powered cars and JCB are building prototype excavators so powered.

Bob Marshall
R J Marshall

RJ, your post brings to mind the pile of non-functional battery powered drills in my shop. All the drill motors are perfectly good but all the batteries have dies. In every case it's cheaper to buy a whole new system than to buy new batteries. I have a hard time tossing the "good" drill motors so they just pile up. In addition, I don't think tossing the dead batteries in the local landfill is a good idea.

I keep hearing about hydrogen powered cars and would like to know more. Although H is reportedly the most abundant element in the universe, around here most of it is bound up in water and organics. Where to H proponents propose to get the energy to free up the H from those molecules so that it can be used to power cars? Just wondering.

J K Chapin

Hydrogen can be generated from water by electrolysis or from water gas or natural gas. All these processes require energy., and some of them generate global warming gases, depending on the process and source of energy. That's not the worst of it, at present to store the gas it has to be pumped up to an incredible pressure as it doesn't tuen to liquid readily. This requires a lot of energy too. Then it has to be transported, as unlike electricity it doesn't travel down a cable. This requires a lot of energy as well. It could go down a pipe, but there is no infrastructure there, and forget about putting it down existing gas pipes, they aren't suitable. Then when it gets to where its dispensed into a vehicle it has to be stored in a very high pressure cylinder (safety issues). After all that the energy conversion efficiency is less than electricity. Its a solution that would work but at considerable cost and risk of introducing other issues.
Dave H
Dave Hill

I drove a Tesla Dual Motor 3 that was like your brain is directly controlled to the amazing and silent thrust! If that was my daily driver, my license would be in serious danger.
End Quote:


But the thing i find most different is that it is (almost) a one pedal car. The regenerative braking is like putting on the brakes with even the slightest removal of accelerator pedal force.
One quickly learns how to modulate the one pedal so that the brakes are almost never used.
I am not sure if this is good or bad. After driving the Tesla for several weeks I climbed into the F-150 and I almost forget how to stop.
JA Benjamin

My TD is a hybrid. It starts on electricity and runs on gas.
Bruce Cunha

I guess I can weigh in a bit on this topic. It is very complex and there are few simple answers that apply to everyone and most of the technology and social acceptance is far from perfect or applicable for most in my opinion, at the present time.

My background here is that I have a Tesla Model X we bought new back in early 2016. We have a fairly large charger at home (can charge the car fully from 0 100 100% in about 5 hours). Note that would be a rare situation. Mostly I charge nightly from about 25% to 90%. I am also on a special utility rate plan that has very low rates for EV charging but super high rates if I use power during peak periods. The car is set to charge between the hours of midnight as 6am as needed.

I also have 10 kW of solar at home and 23 kWh of battery storage. My house has electric heating. We do have propane for water heating and the stove.

Most of my energy is either for the car or heating. AC in the summer is the biggest draw then but is small compared to the car and home heating. The solar production is nowhere near my winter consumption but in total can put a significant dent in our total yearly consumption. But that is a different beast logically because when you need power you need power. But complex rate plans help smooth the costs out over the year. Another factor that is evolving in this giant experiment.

As was pointed out by others above, driving an electric car is different than any gas car I have ever driven. The torque and power is amazing. You do have to be careful that you don't try to power your way out of every problem. In situations where you brake (i.e. city driving) the regen braking is a big component of their efficiency. But even beyond that most EVs get between 50 to 75 mpg equivalent or even more. So they are on the high side of efficiency.

I truly believe EVs will make up the bulk of cars in the future but the transition will take many decades to switch infrastructure and optimize the vehicles for various uses. Initially I think you will see most use them as commuting cars and daily drivers (where one overnight charge is all you need per day). The other big use will be companies that can also charge once per day. This would be service workers, USPS, Amazon, UPS ...

So if you fit the sweet spot for how they can be utilized today they will probably prove to be very popular. If you need a long haul vehicle or cannot charge economically at home or work, it may take awhile before these cars are ready for you.
Christopher Couper

This looks like itís state of the art H storage technology but still well short of anything you could build a car around in terms of cost and the scary 35bar pressure.
C I Twidle

Well we are on our final leg of our trip from NJ to FL and back in a Tesla Model 3
Initially I was concerned about letting the range go under 150 mi.
I have been using the Tesla GPS which integrates Tesla
Superchargers into the route as needed with between 100 and 150 miles of range left. Today we are at a motel, just north of Richmond VA with 80 mi of range and a 20 position charger 1 mile away.
Our full range is 345 mi. But charging is exponential. Charging from 100 to 300 mi of range takes about 30 min. Enough to get relieved and have a cupa. Charging the additional 45 mi of range, adds another 15 min. Today we started in Savanna and drove about 500 miles to the motel here.
Tesla charging stations are located in unusual places and are not well signed. At 11:00 it was in a motel with a very nice restaurant in Santana, GA. At 3:00 pm a Sheetz in NC. Not so good.
Many are at WAWAís
I am beginning to calm down and trust the trip computer.
All in all itís not quite so convenient as IC
But not so bad either.
JA Benjamin

This thread was discussed between 16/03/2021 and 05/04/2021

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