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Best EV for Saudi Arabia

So my Saudi professor friend and I finally got a big research grant funded to study aspects of EV charging and integration. Part of the money in this massive Saudi government funded proposal is to buy two EVs and ship them there. You read that right, I'm going to use Saudi oil money is going to purchase EVs, ship them there, and study them. Irony much? Yes. We originally planned on Leafs when we wrote the proposal, but without active battery temperature management, they'll die in the 120 F heat that they get in Dhahran. Tesla's are sadly too expensive for the budget, since we want two. So I was thinking Ford Focus Electric. Does anyone else have any ideas?
 

Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,509
10,013
Drammen, Norway
So my Saudi professor friend and I finally got a big research grant funded to study aspects of EV charging and integration. Part of the money in this massive Saudi government funded proposal is to buy two EVs and ship them there. You read that right, I'm going to use Saudi oil money is going to purchase EVs, ship them there, and study them. Irony much? Yes. We originally planned on Leafs when we wrote the proposal, but without active battery temperature management, they'll die in the 120 F heat that they get in Dhahran. Tesla's are sadly too expensive for the budget, since we want two. So I was thinking Ford Focus Electric. Does anyone else have any ideas?

e-Golf is quite an accomplished car. Can be sourced rather cheaply in Europe.

Another pretty nice option would be the Kia Soul EV - it's a very nice EV but not sure about the thermal management.
 

GSP

Member
Supporting Member
Dec 28, 2007
2,587
836
The BMW i3 would be great since it has cooling directly by expansion of the A/C refrigerant, instead of by cooled liquid (water ethylene glycol). This is less expensive, lighter weight, and safer than liquid cooling, with no chance of a coolant leak shorting out the cells. The Chevy Bolt will also use direct expansion to cool it's battery.

I would not be surprised to see all EVs move to this method in the future, so it would be perfect for study in Saudi Arabia.

GSP
 
Get a certified pre-owned Tesla. I strongly recommend you get a 2012 or 2013 85 kwh battery for Saudi and you definitely need a Tesla. You can cross the border to Jordan to assess their superchargers.

Not from Dharhan, it's on the eastern coast on the Gulf of Arabia. It also is the headquarters of Aramco.

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The BMW i3 would be great since it has cooling directly by expansion of the A/C refrigerant, instead of by cooled liquid (water ethylene glycol). This is less expensive, lighter weight, and safer than liquid cooling, with no chance of a coolant leak shorting out the cells. The Chevy Bolt will also use direct expansion to cool it's battery.

I would not be surprised to see all EVs move to this method in the future, so it would be perfect for study in Saudi Arabia.

GSP

The i-3 starts at $42,000 the Focus Electric at $29,000 and CPO Model S at around $50,000. Model S is clearly out, though maybe we can get one i-3 and one Focus Electric or an E Golf. Cars are actually cheaper to buy in the US and ship there than to buy in Europe.

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Can't you apply for more money so you can get two Model S's? This is Saudi Arabia after all(!)...

Isn't the The Model S the only current tech that's really worth evaluating?

Well we have a pretty large equipment budget, but we're trying to spend a lot of it on lab equipment to build the facilities. The evaluation isn't on the car itself per se, but rather how car charging can impact the grid and how to mitigate it. I'm liking the idea, though, of getting two different ones with different thermal management techniques to evaluate how they hold up in such extreme temperatures.
 
I really have no idea how these things work, so these are just wild-ass guesses:


Sweden recently ‘kind of’ shafted Saudi Arabia on an arms factory:

Sweden cancels military deal after Saudi human rights snub | FINANCIAL TIMES

Project Simoom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Therefore, maybe some Swedish Research Foundation would be willing to pitch in as some sort of compensation[SUP]1[/SUP]…

Here’s the biggest I know of (The family behind the weapons manufacturer SAAB Group… (I think)):

KNUT AND ALICE WALLENBERG FOUNDATION


Here’s another one (The family behind IKEA…):

In English - The Kamprad Family Foundation


Or maybe a grant for EV research from some Swedes would be viewed by the Saudis as further insult?...


Or maybe the Gates Foundation or Zuckerberg (Facebook) could spare some $$$?


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EDIT:

[SUP]1[/SUP]And maybe they could pitch in fast if someone in Saudi Arabia could 'pull some kind of strings'. As I understand it the Swedish-Saudi relations might still be a little – should we say – butt hurt... :rolleyes:
 
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Discoducky

P100DL, 2021 M3, 4 CT reservations and counting
Supporting Member
Dec 25, 2011
4,475
16,988
My mountain
Get a certified pre-owned Tesla. I strongly recommend you get a 2012 or 2013 85 kwh battery for Saudi and you definitely need a Tesla. You can cross the border to Jordan to assess their superchargers.
Nailed it! You'll find the value of the Model S will supersede the need for anything else. There are too many positives of fast charging, available kWh's (rated range) and unparalleled BMS thermal management.

Really should consider CPO
 
Take a close look at the specifications before the testing. Heat is bad for batteries.

That's why I need one with active thermal management. When we wrote the proposal, the budget was for two Leafs, but it was before the massive battery degradation in Arizona came out. Now that we're fully funded, I know a leaf won't work, but if we want two cars for testing, they've got to cost around 30k each. I know Tesla has the best, but where can you get a CPO Model S for 30k? Plus I'm not sure how we'd get it serviced if something went wrong. There are Ford and VW service centers there, nothing from Tesla.

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Therefore, maybe some Swedish Research Foundation would be willing to pitch in as some sort of compensation[SUP]1[/SUP]…

Here’s the biggest I know of (The family behind the weapons manufacturer SAAB Group… (I think)):

KNUT AND ALICE WALLENBERG FOUNDATION


Here’s another one (The family behind IKEA…):

In English - The Kamprad Family Foundation


Or maybe a grant for EV research from some Swedes would be viewed by the Saudis as further insult?...


Or maybe the Gates Foundation or Zuckerberg (Facebook) could spare some $$$?

I seriously doubt any of them would just give some researchers more money so they could buy a Tesla over another electric car in an effort to save the Saudis money. If we're wishing, why not ask Elon to give me a brand new P90DL so we can show all of the rich oil sheiks what they should be driving.
 
If there are Ford and VW service centers that would service their EV's then it would be best to go with Ford as it looks like they went with liquid thermal cooling.

NOTE: This link is 5 years old: Ford Focus Electric Will Get Liquid-Cooled Battery System to "Maximize Range" | PluginCars.com

This one is recent and still says liquid cooled battery.

https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/products/hybrids---evs/focus-electric/2016-focus-electric.html
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
7,189
7,146
Los Altos, CA
VW had e-Golf prototypes with liquid cooling, but they axed it from the production version. I would expect that fast charging would be severely curtailed in desert heat. A European owner already showed that highway driving and repeated fast charging for a full day resulted in severely curtailed charging rate and even reduced driving power. That was in moderate Northern European temperatures. I have an e-Golf and really like it, but I would not recommend it for a Saudi deployment.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
12,009
7,791
No one threw out this suggestion, but wouldn't the Spark EV also qualify since it is also liquid cooled?

The RAV4 EV or B-Class electric would be closest to a Tesla, but then the servicing issue will be similar (RAV4 EV can't be serviced without Tesla help, B-Class might be similar).
 
What's the range requirements? Perhaps you could hack the LEAF BMS and make it think ~70% SOC is 100% SOC... that might help it survive the heat a bit... I've also heard that the new batteries are much more resilient to heat than the 1st generation...

Range is secondary, they need to be able to drive around the Dharhan area. From King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals to the airport and back, occasional trips to Bahrain. We aren't going to be doing any BMS tinkering, especially since that could change its charging behavior which is really what we care about.

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No one threw out this suggestion, but wouldn't the Spark EV also qualify since it is also liquid cooled?

I'll look into that.
 

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