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Why does an electric car needs so many more chips than an IC car?


TheVat
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I would say that sensei has raised a serious concern about the safety of electric batteries that should be addressed by proper engineering considerations by the designers.

Battery technology is progressing so fast I can't keep up with it.

So I am forced to look at indirect measures.

In several towns in the UK trials of electric scooters are taking place and results of the trials are now available.
Amongst these results has been the observation of a high incidence of impact accidents including severe damage.
However no fires have been reported as a result of any of these impacts.

I repeat that proper engineers would have looked into the fire safety of impacts.

If anyone knows for sure I would be interested to hear their views.

Meanwhile the whole business of safety and reliability is surely off topic in a thread about chips ?

I am starting a spin off thread to discuss something that occurred to me recently as a result of the storms in the UK in relation to these issues.

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I'm with Peterkin, in an earlier post, about the planned redundancy that manufacturers put into their cars. Chips are an excellent oportunity for planning the forced scrapping at a later date. But there are lots of other methods. I recently scrapped my Renault Espace, that I had had for four years, because of a failed hydraulic seal on the clutch pedal line. Years ago, you would just replace it in half an hour with a few simple tools. In the Espace, the clutch master and slave cylinders are a sealed-for-life unit, that has to be replaced in one unit, and cannot be repaired. OK, so bite the bullet and replace it all? Yes,but, to do that, you have to remove virtually the entire dashboard of the car, involving very many hours of work for an exerienced mechanic, and certainly not something an amateur would be able to do. So a perfectly good car gets scrapped for the failure of a bit of rubber seal.

They also design in totally unnecessary features, that need special tools to service, so that only their own dealers will get the business, when things go wrong. 

You might think that the public would rebel against these practices by not buying. But not a bit of it. The people who buy new cars have no incentive to favour cars without the built-in redundancy. Because they get a fairly substantial warranty when they buy, and most of the inbuilt problems are designed to pop up after a certain mileage. New car buyers are fairly protected from the planned redundancy, and only lose out when they trade in their cars for a new one, and find that they have devalued greatly due to the inbuilt redundancy. 

Fifty years ago, cars were extremely rust-prone, so there was no need to build in redundancy. Nowadays, rust is much less of a problem, so new methods are being employed. 

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27 minutes ago, mistermack said:

Fifty years ago, cars were extremely rust-prone,

Because of the indiscriminate, unlimited use of salt - everywhere, on every surface, all winter long. And those cars didn't just rust; they spilled oil and used way too much fuel, the tires blew out and the wheels came off.... Systems operate as a reciprocal unit: when we're collectively stupid, we're stupid about a lot of things all at the same time. Next time period, we're stupid about a whole new set of things that work, and break down, together.  

Edited by Peterkin
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2 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Because of the indiscriminate, unlimited use of salt

Rustproofing was rudimentary. Salt might have been a minor contributor, but it was really just primitive systmes and materials in the field of rust-proofing. I can remember reports of brand-new cars coming off the production lines at British-Leyland, with rust bubbles already forming, and needing re-finishing. No salt involved. 

I don't remember salt being any more intensively used years ago. It's used more efficiently these days. It's a wet salt/brine spray now, it used to be dry salt that would fly around in the wind, most of it missing the road surface. 

Fifty years ago, there was very little salt used on Irish roads, but the cars rusted just the same as the English ones, so I can't blame the salt. 

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3 hours ago, studiot said:

If anyone knows for sure I would be interested to hear their views.

 

I believe the answer is that no one knows for sure.

Quote

The simple answer to the question of whether EVs are more likely to catch on fire than gas cars appears to be no, according to Battelle, a nonprofit research and development company that works in association with the NHTSA. The group studied lithium-ion batteries, as those are the most common types in modern EVs, including cars made by Tesla and GM. 

“The main conclusion from that study: the propensity and severity of fires and explosions from the accidental ignition of flammable electrolytic solvents used in Li-ion battery systems are anticipated to be somewhat comparable to or perhaps slightly less than those for gasoline or diesel vehicular fuels,” Battelle wrote in 2018.

“Given [the] relatively small share of [electric] vehicles on U.S. roadways currently and the small sample size of EVs involved in crashes, the agency is unable to make conclusions, at this time, on the relative rate of crash-related vehicle fires between electric and gas-powered vehicles,” the spokesperson told InsideHook. “NHTSA continues to monitor its data systems and conducts special crash investigations of electric vehicle fire incidents to better understand the circumstances and consequences of vehicle fires. Because only about five percent of vehicle fires are crash related, NHTSA is working with other agencies to collect more comprehensive data on all vehicle fires.”

https://www.insidehook.com/article/vehicles/electric-cars-more-likely-catch-fire

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There is also a potential of death due to electrocution in the event of a crash. Not just for the occupants, but for the emergency services. (I'm deducing that from what I've heard on the commentary to formula one races. There has to be special procedures to handle crashed cars, now that they have hybrid power).

Not that I know any details, but when you have batteries capable of powering cars, they can certainly fry a human body. Especially if there are fluids around.

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6 minutes ago, mistermack said:

There is also a potential of death due to electrocution in the event of a crash. Not just for the occupants, but for the emergency services. (I'm deducing that from what I've heard on the commentary to formula one races. There has to be special procedures to handle crashed cars, now that they have hybrid power).

Not that I know any details, but when you have batteries capable of powering cars, they can certainly fry a human body. Especially if there are fluids around.

 I couldn't find any examples of electrocution from EV accidents but I would be surprised if there none and, yes, I expect vehicle repair and emergency services people to have training, as they should for dealing with ICE fires. Like the fire hazard claim I'd like to see evidence of overall heightened risks.

1 hour ago, mistermack said:

Chips are an excellent oportunity for planning the forced scrapping at a later date.

Any evidence of manufacturers doing this, on purpose? Manufacturers considering (say) 10 years as sufficient working life - and possibly an achievement - but failing to do what it takes to make that 20 doesn't look like planned obsolescence to me. As far as vehicle life goes, surely Teslas are up there and it doesn't look like chip failures, planned or unplanned are proving a problem, irrespective of how many chips they use.

Leaving aside technological progress that comes with turnover of vehicle stocks, whether it is overall better and more cost effective to build endlessly repairable cars or endlessly replaceable ones could be a question for another thread...

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2 hours ago, mistermack said:

Chips are an excellent oportunity for planning the forced scrapping at a later date.

It seems unlikely that making bad products on purpose is a sustainable business model.

 

2 hours ago, mistermack said:

The people who buy new cars have no incentive to favour cars without the built-in redundancy.

And why would they? Built-in redundancy is a favored engineering concept for safe and efficient products when the cost of failure is high.

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2 hours ago, mistermack said:

I don't remember salt being any more intensively used years ago.

I guess it depends on where you live. In Canada and some of the northern US states, it was. Now that it's become scarce and expensive, they're trying alternatives, but there is still lots of salt. They've cut backs substantially, substituted more efficient spreaders when it's unavoidable (freezing rain and black ice), and use sand, which is quite adequate for snow, where possible.  It's a whole lot better for the vegetation and ground-water! As well as the roads, cars, boots and the poor dogs' foot-pads.

2 hours ago, mistermack said:

Salt might have been a minor contributor

In Ireland, possibly, as the temperature is more moderate and equable than in Canada. Of course, it's also wetter, which isn't great for cars, though it's terrific for human skin. What used to happen here is: the car would come in off the cold road, its underside coated with salty, frozen slush, wheel-wells choked with the crud. Then, in a heated garage, all that stuff would melt and eat away at the exposed metal. I agree that rust-proofing has improved over time, but it's still not foolproof.

They used to put a lot more steel in cars, so they were heavy (bad), didn't break so easily (good) so when the shells were made thinner, better passenger protection was devised. 

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9 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

Like the fire hazard claim I'd like to see evidence of overall heightened risks.

I didn't claim heightened risk, I was just pointing to a new risk. Whether the overall risk is higher or lower is a different matter. The only evidence that I've seen is the special procedure that they used in formula one. Of course, in a car worth millions, and in the gaze of millions, they can't afford to fry a track marshall and they have the budget to deal with the hazard. 

Maybe something as simple as surge protection in each cell would be enough to keep things safe. I haven't seen any info on the subject.

9 hours ago, zapatos said:

It seems unlikely that making bad products on purpose is a sustainable business model.

I've dealt in cars all my life. Years ago, you would go to a breakers yard, and the cars would be rotted out, worn out, and beyond repair. Even then, there would be extensive welding and repairing done, to keep cars on the road. Today, as I mentioned with my Espace, a simple rubber seal failure can make a car uneconomic to repair. Go to a breakers yard, and you will see cars that look virtually new, in excellent condition inside and out. They are being scrapped because of the cost of repairing some part or other. 

The main one is the cam belt in the engine. The majority of cars have a rubber cam belt that wears out after about 80,000 miles or perishes after 8 to 10 years. When it fails, the engine is damaged beyond economic repair. So the manufacturers are in a win/win situation. They get the business replacing the cam belt, (which they make difficult) or replacing the engine when it fails, or the car gets scrapped, supporting the demand for new cars. 

Cam belts can be long lasting cam chains, they could even be gear driven for longer life. But that's just one example. The modern car is full of stuff designed to fail, or designed to need special service tools, and designed to be near impossible for the owner to service. 

Even expensive cars are not immune. My brother-in-law had the cams go on his big Mercedes. Not a high mileage car, but it was a full engine replacement out of warranty. 

Probably more than 50% of cars in breakers yards are there because of cam belt failure. But it can cost thousands to change a simple rubber belt, with some cars you have to remove the engine to change it. 

With the improved rust prevention, the manufacturers need some other way to ensure that the supply of used cars doesn't swamp the market. Planned redundancy is it.

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3 hours ago, mistermack said:

I didn't claim heightened risk

Yes, I know. But you said "The people who buy new cars have no incentive to favour cars without the built-in redundancy." Can you explain what you meant by that? You make it sound like built-in redundancy is somehow a bad thing. 

On the one hand it appears you don't like built-in redundancy, but then you follow that up by saying entire cars have to be scrapped due to a simple failure. Wouldn't built-in redundancy eliminate or reduce the need to scrap entire cars due to a simple failure?

3 hours ago, mistermack said:

The modern car is full of stuff designed to fail, or designed to need special service tools, and designed to be near impossible for the owner to service. 

I don't believe it.

I mean, a lot of parts on a car ARE designed to wear out (brake pads for instance), but I don't believe manufacturers are purposely making crappy cars so you'll buy more of them. There is a reason people quit buying so many American cars and started buying Japanese car in the '70s and '80s. It was because American cars were crappy and Japanese cars were good. What kind of dope is going to tell their engineers that next year's goal is a 10% reduction in reliability? And what kind of dope is going to buy the same crappy car they just had to junk because 'simple rubber seals' fail? Over the years, automotive reliability has INCREASED.

Your claim doesn't pass the smell test.

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I agree with zapatos. People won’t buy cars that are known to break down. Manufacturers have a vested interest in some level of reliability. You can get that with quality control, and also with redundancy. If a part shows that it’s near end-of-life then you don’t need redundancy (tire tread, for example) If it’s life-preserving, often you do (brakes on more than one wheel)

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Just now, swansont said:

Point taken. I was thinking in terms of a market economy.

I'm suprised Wiki thinks they were reliable.

They were the butt of jokes galore in the rest of Europe, including the UK.

And of course the demise of the UK's own car industry amply demonstrates at least some truth in your statement.

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Trabants were made of bad quality plastics (recycled wastes)..

11 minutes ago, studiot said:

I'm suprised Wiki thinks they were reliable.

???

4th paragraph on Wiki "The Trabant's build quality was poor,[13] reliability was terrible,[10][11][14] and it was loud, slow, and poorly designed.[3]"

 

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This is all moot, since I was talking about manufacturers (plural) in competition for market share. You can compete on quality or price or possibly intangibles (prestige). But it’s predicated on competition.

Even so, selling just 3 million over 25 years means most people were not buying this car. 

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10 hours ago, zapatos said:

What kind of dope is going to tell their engineers that next year's goal is a 10% reduction in reliability? And what kind of dope is going to buy the same crappy car they just had to junk because 'simple rubber seals' fail?

I'm not getting my point across then. What I'm saying is that new cars are designed for new car buyers. Those people on average keep a new car for six years. The components are designed to outlast six years of average mileage. So the new car buyers are not really influenced by the redundancy designed into them. The only way that they are affected is in the devaluation when trading in, or selling their car. People tend to just accept that as a fact of life, as most brands are affected equally. 

So long as the manufacturer produces a car that lasts until the first owner trades it in, they won't damage their reputation. 

New car owners also tend to use the manufacturer's main dealers for servicing as well. So designing the requirement for special tools into the car doesn't really affect that market. It's an ongoing process. Year on year, the cars are becoming more specialised so that only main dealers have the ability to service them. 

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54 minutes ago, mistermack said:

The components are designed to outlast six years of average mileage.

Can you please provide a citation for this claim?

54 minutes ago, mistermack said:

So long as the manufacturer produces a car that lasts until the first owner trades it in, they won't damage their reputation. 

 

Why? Don't people who buy used cars have an opinion? Are used-car buyers not allowed to fill out surveys for Consumer Reports?

56 minutes ago, mistermack said:

New car owners also tend to use the manufacturer's main dealers for servicing as well.

Citation? What I found said 

Quote

According to Cox Automotive’s 2016 Maintenance and Repair Study, “After buying a car, 72% of customers are opting for third-party mechanics.

 

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21 minutes ago, zapatos said:

I asked five questions. Do you intend to answer any of them?

To be honest, zapatos, I don't detect any intention from you to engage in a meaningful way, so the answer is no. If someone doesn't want to know, then I'd rather not waste my time.

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3 minutes ago, mistermack said:

To be honest, zapatos, I don't detect any intention from you to engage in a meaningful way, so the answer is no. If someone doesn't want to know, then I'd rather not waste my time.

It would be helpful to engage in a meaningful way if you would quit making things up and instead discussed things that were not pulled out of your lower orifice.

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