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G-CPTN
28th Aug 2010, 08:34
BBC News - Electric cars 'may be costlier than petrol vehicles' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11112820)

sitigeltfel
28th Aug 2010, 08:45
The car makers are scrambling to get these things onto the roads at the behest of governments who are trying to force "green" thinking into the population. At the same time no extra electricity production is being implemented to charge the vehicles up.

As to the true environmental impact, the technology, especially the batteries in the drivetrain, are highly toxic and will pose many problems when they reach the end of their lives.

Any joined up thinking going on, or is it all part of the green "con"?

tony draper
28th Aug 2010, 08:54
Road deaths will increase drastically as well unless they can figure out a way of making them emit some sound as they approach.
:uhoh:

G-CPTN
28th Aug 2010, 08:58
More bad news for electric car buyers: they'll plummet in value - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/columnists/mike-rutherford/7811423/More-bad-news-for-electric-car-buyers-theyll-plummet-in-value.html)

"Typically, batteries for electric vehicles will cost some £8,000 to replace.''
Glass's served formal notice on consumers that the electric cars they're considering purchasing could depreciate by around 90 per cent in just five years.

UniFoxOs
28th Aug 2010, 09:00
Already thought of that, Tony, thought I could make an electronic soundmaker device, coupled to the accelerator to regulate it's frequency, and drivers could pick their choice of sound - Ferrari, Aston Martin, MG, Tractor, steam engine etc.

A bit of googling soon showed me that they were already available.

Oh well...

UFO

G-CPTN
28th Aug 2010, 09:06
Won't any device that uses electricity to produce sound consume precious energy?

hellsbrink
28th Aug 2010, 09:15
A thought about using something on a leccy car that makes a noise, so people can hear you coming, is that wouldn't said device be in breach of the rules on construction of motor vehicles, especially the bit covering noise, horns, etc? Surely they would fail an MOT over such a device as well......

Maybe there's something in the regs for leccy cars, but I doubt it and can't be bothered looking as these things will never be a mass seller anyway.

Martin Barclay
28th Aug 2010, 09:47
Absolutely right.

The electric car promoters are part of the green con to increase car production and prop up the industry.

The principle issue is that cars produced in the last 10 - 20 years are far more reliable and acceptable than their predecessors and some way had to be found to get them off the road and get people to buy unneccessary new cars.

I own a 1994 Saab 9000. It has acceptable performance, it is very reliable and comfortable. It has an air bag, safety door bars and a survival cell. It also has a catalytic converter and does over the 30 to the gallon, better on a run. Cruise, climate, heated seats, what more do you want. Cost me £500 just under 3 years ago. This beautiful car was pilloried earlier this year by the 'green mafia' as a gas guzzling clunker to convince me to have it crushed and take a £2000 bribe to buy a car which had been newly manufactured at great cost to the environment. I don't think so.

Where do these people think the electricity comes from to charge electric cars? Obviously from fossil fuel burning power stations! The losses while transmitting the power to the end user totally outweigh any efficiency savings in power production. Hybrids aren't any more efficient than a good diesel.

It is time for the debate to move onto a realistic level. Stop trying to con the people with bogus scrappage schemes and technology which was discredited long ago. The research should be into ways of harvesting hydrogen which is the fuel of the future, although they were using it on the Apollo missions so maybe not that futuristic! Currently harvesting hydrogen costs more energy than it generates. If we can 'crack' the problem then we get a fuel which can be stored and used like petrol or LPG and produces water as a combustion by product. Hydrogen fuel cells can power the electric cars. Hydrogen can also be burned like a regular fuel saving many of the cars from being scrapped, cutting car production which would be good for the environment, but not good for the manufacturers which brings us back to the root of the problem! Propping up the industry!

Martin

Bruce Wayne
28th Aug 2010, 09:47
A thought about using something on a leccy car that makes a noise,


playing cards in the spokes ?

S78
28th Aug 2010, 09:52
Credibility? self-respect? Do you really want to be seen driving one of these?

http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/g-wiz-1.jpg

henry crun
28th Aug 2010, 09:53
Rather than making electric vehicles noisier how about this.
Insist that pedestrians look both ways before stepping onto the road, but that will probably cause screams of outrage from those who will be looking for someone else to blame when they get knocked over.

Tankertrashnav
28th Aug 2010, 10:10
Making a noise wont use up a lot of juice but what about heaters? I can imagine a typical cold wet British winter's day (or summer's day this year) with the wipers going full belt and the heater and rear screen heater on, the batteries are going to take a caning. Or don't these things have heaters? Aircon's out, I take it.

OFSO
28th Aug 2010, 11:32
playing cards in the spokes ?

Dammit Bruce, I was just going to suggest that myself. Worked well when we were young, converting our push-bikes to motorbikes (at least in our own minds).

Cacophonix
28th Aug 2010, 11:39
There is something terribly depressing about the idea of electric cars...

I am posting this clip of a noisy, dirty but perfect diesel dragster as an antidote to the anodyne electric car!

Listen to that, pure aural poetry. ;)

yM1xoxNBEOo

Fareastdriver
28th Aug 2010, 11:46
with the wipers going full belt and the heater and rear screen heater on

You forgot the headlights, and the foglights, and the CD/MP3 player, and the seatbackheaters and its got to charge the mobile in its cradle as well.

You will need a fossile fuel driven generator to keep the batteries charged up. With a little bit of modification and installing a transmission system it can be used to propell the vehicle along as well.

Astral_Flyer
28th Aug 2010, 11:56
Already thought of that, Tony, thought I could make an electronic soundmaker device, coupled to the accelerator to regulate it's frequency, and drivers could pick their choice of sound - Ferrari, Aston Martin, MG, Tractor, steam engine etc. A bit of googling soon showed me that they were already available.
Already done for the Prius ---> Prius (http://www2.toyota.co.jp/jp/news/10/08/image/pri_souti_1008_03.asx)

From what I have heard it costs around £100.

Astral

Lon More
28th Aug 2010, 11:57
unless they can figure out a way of making them emit some sound as they approach. or a bloke with a red flag walking in front of them.

Therer was a report about a couple of years ago claiming that the total energy footprint created by a Prius, from mining the raw material to eventually disposing of the remains, was as great as a Hummer's IIRC. Can't find it now, the Green Maffia has probably been at work.

Unfortunately NambiFox the greens are even trying to muscle in there
v/a2JkMCzjTVE?fs=1&amp;hl=nl_NL"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/a2JkMCzjTVE?fs=1&amp;hl=nl_NL" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

Cacophonix
28th Aug 2010, 12:10
the greens are even trying to muscle in there The Killer Cycle is probably aptly named. Any connection with that battery and the rider would vanish in a blinding arc.

Look at this poor mechanic being shocked by a KERS.

Here's What Being Electrocuted By A Formula One Race Car KER System Looks Like (http://jalopnik.com/399510/heres-what-being-electrocuted-by-a-formula-one-race-car-ker-system-looks-like)

I love the smell of nitro in the morning, smells like victory. ;)

Lon More
28th Aug 2010, 12:14
Nambi IIRC there was an American biker back in the 1960s/70s with an electric drag bike, Name escapes me now, Stone?

Cacophonix
28th Aug 2010, 12:19
This is even more depressing than the Killacycle Lon.

2_ukLgsGEzs

Scalextric is more fun.

Nerdra, er I mean Nedra...

National Electric Drag Racing Association - NEDRA Handbook (http://www.nedra.com/class_rules.html)

vulcanised
28th Aug 2010, 13:02
playing cards in the spokes


Time was when you could use cigarette cards (probably worth lots now).

ShyTorque
28th Aug 2010, 13:06
The problem of a vehicle being too quiet for pedestrians to hear? Just fit one of these:

(I shouldn't laugh, but I did...)

BGYcnYLK_50&NR=1

rotornut
28th Aug 2010, 15:05
Does anyone know what the replacement batteries cost on a Prius?

tony draper
28th Aug 2010, 15:42
Putting ideas into prunner's heads there Mr Torque,hmmm, 2K PA Power Amp couple of power horns.:rolleyes:
Get yer collar felt for doing that in the UK.

BillS
28th Aug 2010, 15:47
Electric cars need not always look like a green nightmare:
http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/large-960/San_Diego1.jpg
They can look quite reasonable:
http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/large-960/lifestyle7.jpg
And with 0-60 times of 3.7 seconds or with ranges of 300 miles between (£5) charges, they become quite interesting.
Coupled with the concept of exchangeable battery packs and 45 minute charge times they become feasible.

We should not judge their future potential based upon some of the "green" rubbish currently produced - who would expect air transport to grow from seeing a Wright Flyer?

Tesla :ok: (http://www.teslamotors.com/roadster/technology)

spekesoftly
28th Aug 2010, 15:48
Does anyone know what the replacement batteries cost on a Prius?A quick search suggests about 3000 dollars in the USA. First and second generation Prius taxis in Canada are reported to have travelled more than 200,000 miles without any battery problems. It is of course a hybrid vehicle, not pure electric.

(Top Gear 25/07/2010 - When Jeremy Clarkson discovered that Cameron Diaz drives a Prius, he claimed that it was his favourite car! ;))

Pugilistic Animus
28th Aug 2010, 18:50
Google Image Result for http://www.finnmoller.dk/rail-usa/loco-guide/emd-gp30.jpg (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.finnmoller.dk/rail-usa/loco-guide/emd-gp30.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.finnmoller.dk/rail-usa/loco-guide/index.htm&h=325&w=500&sz=55&tbnid=b8AN6EbnuoCfTM:&tbnh=85&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Demd%2Bgp30&zoom=1&usg=__YiMinVxFneoAsxFeNedTqGP8Glw=&sa=X&ei=-0t5TMfwCoL58AaE1omZCA&ved=0CBkQ9QEwAA)

edit: funny reactions from the loco horn:}

hellsbrink
28th Aug 2010, 20:42
Whoever thinks the Tesla is a "good thing" obviously never saw the test on Top Gear.

Oh, and the "fast" charge time is only achieved with a VERY high power supply as the Tesla specs state that you need a 90 (NINETY!!) Ampere supply to safely allow the 70 (SEVENTY!!) Ampere current required. Apart from the cost of installing that ($1950 PLUS installation), you'll also need your local leccy provider to actually allow such a supply and/or upgrade the whole supply to your house since most have a main supply fuse (before the meter, not the big red switch in your fusebox!) of only 80A. Also, if you don't have a garage, where the hell are you going to fit that Tesla connection unit!

And there, ladies and gentlepeeps, we come to the biggest issue with leccy cars. Charging the buggers. Unless you have a garage/driveway, you're shafted since you will have to run a power cable out into the street and you know what the chances of it being there in the morning are unless you live in a sleepy village or out in the sticks. That's before we start on the small matter of range, and since no normally-powered vehicle can realistically match the range quoted by the manufacturers then the chances of the Tesla, or any other EV, being able to come close to the stated figures are the same as finding rocking horse poop, as was demonstrated on Top Gear. Also, and be honest here, even if enough chargers are put in at mmotorway services, etc, how many of us are going to spend 4 hours in one of these cackholes?

Sorry, an EV is fine when it's a milk float or a forklift. But as a means of transport for the general public it's a non-starter unless someone spends the dosh on a proper charging infrastructure and you have the space at your house for a driveway/garage.

Unless, of course, you take the EREV route, like the Chevy Volt, which has an engine which gets used purely as a generator so you can have the range you need AND you use less fuel than that flawed concept called the Prius (or any other Toyota "hybrid").

sea oxen
29th Aug 2010, 04:29
Martin

Where do these people think

Now, that's where you've gone wrong.

SO

hellsbrink
29th Aug 2010, 09:11
PS.

BillS, which hat are you pulling the "45 minute charge time" from? The same one that said Saddam could launch chem/bio attacks in 45 mins? Tesla don't even make that claim, and, in all honesty, since something as small as a GSM cannot do that there is no way you are going to get all the battery packs in a car charged in that time without an incredibly heavy power supply pushing an extremely high current and that brings in some serious issues like heat (especially since Lithium Ion batteries do kinda explode when the heat goes above a certain level) as well as the sort of cabling you would need to be able to supply that level of current and the small matter of the whole electrical infrastructure to homes, etc, needing to be fully replaced with heavier cabling to actually be able to carry that current in more and more homes.

BillS
29th Aug 2010, 19:45
BillS, which hat are you pulling the "45 minute charge time" from? The same one that said Saddam could launch chem/bio attacks in 45 mins? Tesla don't even make that claim
Actually Tesla do: here. (http://www.teslamotors.com/models/specs) :ok:
They also mention a 1 min. battery swap.
Charging at those rates would certainly require an industrial supply - but we already go to fuel stations to "recharge" our existing vehicles.

And then there are Planar Energy batteries. (http://green.autoblog.com/2010/07/27/planar-energy-to-begin-small-scale-production-of-solid-state-bat/)

Four times the range for the same weight as the Li-ion used in the current Tesla designs. That could be over 1000 miles between charges (or power pack swop).

The rate of change in electric car technology is similar to the changes in aircraft technology 40-50 years ago.

Perhaps not there yet - but give it a few years. It is the future potential that we should recognise.

BombayDuck
29th Aug 2010, 20:53
Martin Barclay:

The electric car promoters are part of the green con to increase car production and prop up the industry.

That makes everything a con :)

The principle issue is that cars produced in the last 10 - 20 years are far more reliable and acceptable than their predecessors and some way had to be found to get them off the road and get people to buy unneccessary new cars.

And electric cars are getting better and better too.

I own a 1994 Saab 9000. It has acceptable performance, it is very reliable and comfortable. It has an air bag, safety door bars and a survival cell. It also has a catalytic converter and does over the 30 to the gallon, better on a run. Cruise, climate, heated seats, what more do you want. Cost me £500 just under 3 years ago. This beautiful car was pilloried earlier this year by the 'green mafia' as a gas guzzling clunker to convince me to have it crushed and take a £2000 bribe to buy a car which had been newly manufactured at great cost to the environment. I don't think so.

So you didn't buy something that you did not need? You did the right thing. And those who were putting off buying a vehicle for the longest time and were driving 10 mpg bought a new ones. Hooray.

Where do these people think the electricity comes from to charge electric cars? Obviously from fossil fuel burning power stations! The losses while transmitting the power to the end user totally outweigh any efficiency savings in power production. Hybrids aren't any more efficient than a good diesel.

I would love to see your figures for this. T&D losses are 6.5% in the US (http://www.eia.doe.gov/ask/electricity_faqs.asp#electric_rates2). Petrol engines have a theoretical maximum efficiency of 35% (and 45 for diesel, G-CPTN or someone will back me on this/slap me if I'm wrong :)). Plus, you have to burn fuel to get the fuel to your petrol station.

On the other hand, you can sequester and scrub ALL your pollution at one location - the power plant. So even if you're using coal, you're not polluting in a million different places and you can control the output. It's a bonus if your power comes from nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal or tidal sources.

It is time for the debate to move onto a realistic level. Stop trying to con the people with bogus scrappage schemes and technology which was discredited long ago.

What, exactly, has been discredited and by whom?

The research should be into ways of harvesting hydrogen which is the fuel of the future, although they were using it on the Apollo missions so maybe not that futuristic! Currently harvesting hydrogen costs more energy than it generates. If we can 'crack' the problem then we get a fuel which can be stored and used like petrol or LPG and produces water as a combustion by product. Hydrogen fuel cells can power the electric cars. Hydrogen can also be burned like a regular fuel saving many of the cars from being scrapped, cutting car production which would be good for the environment, but not good for the manufacturers which brings us back to the root of the problem! Propping up the industry!

Just what makes you think that since this is literally the Holy Grail of personal transportation, no one is conducting research into it? Just because you haven't heard of any results yet? Every bio/chemical research university worth their salt is doing this. They're experimenting with sound, with algae, with all sort of chemicals, with membranes (fuel cells!)... anything to get water to give up that stubborn pair of hydrogen atoms.

Look, I'm no fan of the scrappage scheme, and especially what with the eventual fate of a lot of perfectly serviceable vehicles. But to dump all the research that has been done on electric cars (and the improvements over the years) into some sort of evil conspiracy by the greens makes you come across as a loon.

If it's not the choice for you - and honestly, I can't see why anyone would buy a 100-mile-limited car for anything other than intra-city hopping - you don't buy it. Simples.

---------

I love the concept of the Chevy Volt, with its series-hybrid (the locomotive industry says Hello!) drive and regenerative braking (a la Prius) conserving power. I would love to see how well it performs.

I don't like the argument in the article about depreciation - a brand new concept car will obviously lose value faster than an established brand (let alone the Fiat 500, a wonderful little thing). How about comparing it to, say, an Alfa Romeo?

hellsbrink
29th Aug 2010, 20:55
Actually Tesla do: here. (http://www.teslamotors.com/models/specs) http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/thumbs.gif
They also mention a 1 min. battery swap.
Charging at those rates would certainly require an industrial supply - but we already go to fuel stations to "recharge" our existing vehicles.

And then there are Planar Energy batteries. (http://green.autoblog.com/2010/07/27/planar-energy-to-begin-small-scale-production-of-solid-state-bat/)

Four times the range for the same weight as the Li-ion used in the current Tesla designs. That could be over 1000 miles between charges (or power pack swop).

The rate of change in electric car technology is similar to the changes in aircraft technology 40-50 years ago.

Perhaps not there yet - but give it a few years. It is the future potential that we should recognise.

Gee, where will I start.......

Ok, I'll take your "45 minutes" and raise you a need for a THREE PHASE SUPPLY (what was that about upgrading the leccy supply to your house again?). So, we go to gas stations and, guess what, for ONE charging station they would need to upgrade their whole main supply as that "45 minute" charge needs a supply that can carry 233A!!!! You do realise the numbers we are talking about here, don't you. You do realise that the cable to supply the charger must be at LEAST 95mm² PER PHASE and you do realise the costs involved, don't you? You do realise that the supply to a gas station is based on the loading that the original design stated and that there is no way that they will have said "Let's have it capable of carrying another 250A, just for the hell of it", so where is all the infrastructure to do these super-fast charges (remember that i am just talking about ONE charging point with these figures) coming from? Also, how many different chargers will they need for different manufacturers as, surprise surprise, they're all different! Oh, and are you going to stand there like an eejit for the best part of an hour waiting for your battery to charge? Thought not.............


This is where battery swapping falls down, who is going to be able to keep a supply of all the different designs of battery pack since, guess what, no manufacturer is going to redesign their car to suit a "standard" pack! So who is going to be willing to have "X" quantity of "Y" packs JUST IN CASE someone with the latest Itchicrutchi Whizzo Silent GoMobile comes along needing a recharge? NOBODY! Nobody will pay the vast sums of money to install the infrastructure to charge gawd knows how many different types of EV with enough charging points (250A 3-Phase minimum PER CHARGER) to suit all the needs of a population changing to EV's, and I would hate to think of the effect that turning on only a few hundred of these high draw chargers would have on the leccy grid in most countries, never mind only the UK. The heat generated would be phenomenal too, and that is also a worry when you have a few of these things close together as if ONE battery goes "bang" the chain reaction could be frightening.

Now, to new tech. Guess what, it ain't here yet and that is what we are talking about in this thread. Also, you will still have the same issues with charging, no matter what the battery type is as the current draw necessary is still going to be frightening. So where is the infrastructure and when are they going to start installing it? You see, the same problem is always going to be there!

One last point. When you think of gas stations having charge points, do you REALLY think you'll pay the same for leccy used as they pay? Of course not, the price will at LEAST quadruple (partly to pay for all the modifications and installation necessary for ONE charging point) so you'll end up with electricity at a ridiculous price, at least similar to filling up and LPG car.

I'll say it again, EV's are a non starter, as far as the general population goes, for the reasons already stated. Only the gullible and easily fooled would think that such a thing would somehow "work" as they do not think of the equipment and infrastructure necessary. It is purely pie-in-the-sky technology, and that will not change.

BlueWolf
29th Aug 2010, 23:17
What does running the heater or air conditioning off the batteries do to speed and range?

I sold tractors in a previous life, one of our brands had air-cooled motors, consequently they didn't have a radiator to provide heat for the cab, so were fitted with a second alternator instead, to provide power to run a heat pump for heating and air con.

The system never really worked all that well, it was under powered and noisy, and the tractor cabs were too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer and the demisters never did a good job.

I ask because I presume someone has thought about the connotations of electric cars + winter.

And summer.

BombayDuck
29th Aug 2010, 23:17
hellsbrink: I'm with you on the quick-charge bit. It's a silly piece of propaganda which (today) has not practical value. But companies (and governments) are working on a common battery standard with shape and electrical commonality (and on a modular basis - larger car? more of the same type). Tokyo is already trying out a proof-of-concept with their taxis. So battery-swapping isn't too much of a pipe dream. You keep one battery, and charge it overnight (off-peak loads, so does not stress the power grid) at your cost, or go to a station, swap it and pay for the power they used to charge it. China already deployed buses with swappable batteries for the 2008 Olympics.

Again... it's not for everyone, but doesn't mean it's for no one!

bearfoil
29th Aug 2010, 23:28
San Francisco's Buses used to have huge flywheels to gain and supply energy on the Hills. We also got to see Chrysler's Turbine car, both gone now. Pity.

Look, Electric cars at one time looked good. At least to me, I even offered to serve on the Board at a small start up. It's gone. In California, where we are already Solar, Electricity is not associated with smoke stacks or turbine tailpipes. There is NO FREE LUNCH, and Petroleum is absolutely the best solution we have. It's premade, premixed, and some of it is pressurized so you can catch it when the Boss isn't busy at a Yacht race, and the rig blows up.

Outside California, It's pissin' in the wind. I can't believe I nibbled at the baited hook.

They say Al Gore is Corpulent, Flatulent, and mental. He drools, or so they say.
He's buying pencils now because they have graphite in them, he spends his long days trying to prise out the Graphite (Carbon) with expensive Dental tools, a gift from George Soros.

bear

Keef
30th Aug 2010, 00:23
Back in the dark ages when I worked in the motor industry there was much research into electric vehicles, and I'm sure there still is. The "gotchas" back then were:

1. Electric drive doesn't save pollution - it moves it: from the street to the power station. Cue all the debate on nuclear energy, wind energy, solar energy, etc. Most still comes from burning fossil fuel, and power stations didn't have the holy grail of super efficiency last time I checked.

2. Battery capacity and charging.

Battery technology is improving by leaps and bounds, but the charging issues remain - as others have mentioned above. My present car (petrol, but I'm going back to Diesel next time around) has max power of 220BHP, probably uses around 50BHP on average driving, and has a range of about 500 miles on a tankful. If I've got my sums right, that means a tank contains roughly 250kWh of power.

To charge a battery with the same amount means a shade over 1100amp hours at UK mains voltage. Since the mains supply in our rural area is limited to 60 amps, that means that if nothing else is being charged, then I can refill my car battery in about 18 hours without blowing the main fuse. With the rest of life going on, say 24 - 30 hours.

At the price I pay for electricity right now, that full charge will cost me something over £30, assuming no added tax on electricity used for cars. That's about half what I pay for the equivalent petrol, but most of the petrol price is tax so I can see the government wanting to tax automotive electricity quite highly once it gets going. It needs the revenue to pay off all the loans it ran up.

If I'm on a long journey, I can replenish the fuel tank in a few minutes and drive on. With an electric car, I've got to stop for as long as it takes to recharge. Not exactly highly practical.

The obvious solution is hybrid cars - with a conventional engine plus electric, like the Prius. That doesn't save pollution, it just moves it to wherever the engine runs to recharge the batteries, with a partial offset when it is "regenerating" during braking.

I think the answer is nuclear powered electric cars, with a little plutonium battery that will produce all the power it needs for several years. Just don't short-circuit the battery!

Pugilistic Animus
30th Aug 2010, 00:37
Oh nothing at all beats electric motors with acceleration---endurance and range will suffer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zZhoE9GGJg

YouTube - Teste dos pneus do Airbus A380 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zZhoE9GGJg) :rolleyes:

MG23
30th Aug 2010, 07:38
This is where battery swapping falls down, who is going to be able to keep a supply of all the different designs of battery pack since, guess what, no manufacturer is going to redesign their car to suit a "standard" pack! So who is going to be willing to have "X" quantity of "Y" packs JUST IN CASE someone with the latest Itchicrutchi Whizzo Silent GoMobile comes along needing a recharge? NOBODY!

Don't forget that batteries degrade, so you might drive into the 'battery swapping station' with a nearly-new battery that's good for 100 miles and drive out with an ancient battery whose maximum capacity is only good for 10 miles even though you paid for 100. The whole idea is even less sensible than 'fast charging'.

MG23
30th Aug 2010, 07:45
Currently harvesting hydrogen costs more energy than it generates. If we can 'crack' the problem then we get a fuel which can be stored and used like petrol or LPG and produces water as a combustion by product.

There's no way to 'crack' that problem, because here on Earth hydrogen exists almost entirely in combination with other atoms and has to be separated, which requires energy. What you can do is generate hydrogen at a solar or wind plant and then use it as a storage medium for renewable energy, though the best places for solar power (e.g. deserts) tend not to be good places for a ready supply of water to break down into hydrogen and oxygen.

But in addition, hydrogen is a long way from being able to be 'stored and used like petrol or LPG'. To store petrol you just build a tank and tip it in, and I believe LPG is pretty much the same. Hydrogen in a vehicle has to be stored cryogenically or in a high pressure gas tank which would be seriously dangerous if it failed, or in some exotic form such as metal hydrides; and even in liquid form the energy density is significantly lower than petrol.

I'm sure it will find uses, but we're a long way from being able to turn hydrogen into a fossil fuel replacement.

BillS
30th Aug 2010, 09:14
45 years ago I worked with computers. Had to dress up in cloth hat and overshoes to go near them. And then you could hardly hear yourself think due to the air-conditioning blowers to keep the machine cool!
Those computers had less power than I now carry around on my wrist - but we used them to design nuclear power stations (amongst other things)

Please forgive me when I say: I've heard it all before - many times!

Back then when I flew it was in a tubular metal framed cloth seat but not long after we had the Comet then a few years later the 747.

It's still very early days in the development of energy production and storage.

BombayDuck
30th Aug 2010, 09:30
MG23 - Prius batteries have lasted hundreds of thousands of miles without needing to be replaced, the car has been on the road for over 12 years now.

hellsbrink
30th Aug 2010, 09:30
The obvious solution is hybrid cars - with a conventional engine plus electric, like the Prius. That doesn't save pollution, it just moves it to wherever the engine runs to recharge the batteries, with a partial offset when it is "regenerating" during braking.


I disagree, the solution is to go down the EREV route where a small petrol/oil burner/lpg/whatever-type-of-internal-combustion engine is used purely as a generator to provide a charge to the batteries when necessary. Emissions are very low, not "zero" and a tank of fuel lasts a considerable time. Obviously, since the engine is smaller and so is the fuel tank, the "dead weight" is lower than that of the Prius and it's ilk and that helps improve the range on batteries. The drivetrain is simpler, again meaning dead weight is lower. Add in simpler electronics, as there is not the same switching between electric and conventional drive, and the car itself has less to go wrong. Also, the styling can be improved due to not having to have a space for that big lump Toyota call their drivetrain.

If Leccy vehicles are going to be useful to the general population then the EREV route is the only one that makes sense

Martin Barclay
30th Aug 2010, 12:35
MG23

I'm sure it will find uses, but we're a long way from being able to turn hydrogen into a fossil fuel replacement.
Well there is the Honda FCX Clarity? In production (albeit limited) and approved of by Captain Slow some time ago on TG.

OFSO
30th Aug 2010, 14:47
Prius batteries have lasted hundreds of thousands of miles without needing to be replaced, the car has been on the road for over 12 years now

How often does one have to repeat it: the Prius is a petrol-powered car. Some of the energy derived from petrol is stored in the battery for use later, but it's still PETROL-POWERED. As the car comes from Toyota the battery cannot be charged from an external source, other than by using PETROL. "Hybrid" suggests it can be powered by two or more sources of energy. Toyota lie !

MG23
30th Aug 2010, 15:56
Well there is the Honda FCX Clarity? In production (albeit limited) and approved of by Captain Slow some time ago on TG.

There's a big difference between running a tiny number of cars as a research project, and putting hundreds of millions on the road with the infrastructure to support them.

G-CPTN
30th Aug 2010, 16:11
I believe that there is a handful of steam-driven cars still in existence.

Otherwise there appears to be nothing that has challenged the infernal combustion engine apart from electric milk floats.

What about compressed air?
Engineair’s Ultra-Efficient Rotary Compressed-Air Motor (http://pesn.com/2006/05/11/9500269_Engineair_Compressed-Air_Motor/)

BombayDuck
30th Aug 2010, 16:24
"Hybrid" suggests it can be powered by two or more sources of energy. Toyota lie !

What? :confused:

Where did you get that definition?!

And whether it is a petrol powered car or not, the point was about the batteries. The batteries are always undergoing charge and discharge cycles - this means that they have been in use for 12 years since the launch of the Prius. Why the hell would whether it is a 'true' hybrid or not matter?

11Fan
30th Aug 2010, 16:40
Nicked from elsewhere.

http://www.hybridcenter.org/hybridcenter/images/hybrid_table3.gif

Source: Hybrid Center :: How Hybrid Cars work :: under the hood (http://www.hybridcenter.org/hybrid-center-how-hybrid-cars-work-under-the-hood.html)

Not a "hybrid" guy myself. Just adding to the discussion.

G-CPTN
30th Aug 2010, 16:41
dissatisfied with lithium-ion batteries. In addition to taking eight hours to recharge, they would need to be replaced in only three to four years, at a considerable cost amounting to the price of a whole new motor vehicle.
From:- Engineair’s Ultra-Efficient Rotary Compressed-Air Motor (http://pesn.com/2006/05/11/9500269_Engineair_Compressed-Air_Motor/)

Loose rivets
30th Aug 2010, 18:23
What will happen. (According to Rivets )

All motors will not only be at the wheels, but will be part of the wheel.

There will be no mechanical drivetrain whatsoever.

There will however be a small generator with enough power to charge a top up, or limp out of danger, or even home. This can be removed - with its fuel tank - so that it is not a deadweight when driven locally.

Long journeys will be undertaken on drive-on, drive-off trains, and charging will be provided during transit.


They don't pollute while stationary. And that's the big saving right now. Just imagine London traffic with no energy use while being held up.

bearfoil
30th Aug 2010, 18:32
Loose Rivets

LithiumIon is officially yesterday, Now, (and not that new, really) is LiPoly. The Lithium is the Anode, the Poly is the Cathode. Get this, the Poly is basically plastic, and can be molded into many shapes. Like a body? yes. Fuselage? yes. So too can new thin film Photovoltaics. Roll it up into a ball and plug it in, it works in any shape you give it, no more heavy, expensive panels. Well Thin film is still pricey, but WalMart will find a way, those decisions are out of my expertise.

The bottom line is still petrol is too hard to beat. My old KarmannGhia gets 40mpg, and if I added a small power pac, well, I'll wait, I'm too busy mixing foul smelling chemicals into Industrial sculptures. (I see you've peeped the Mini with Hubwheels, no drivetrain, the motors are the wheels, etc.) 150 horsepower at each wheel, for a total of six hundred. Range is not bad, It weighs less than the Sunday Chronicle, so there's room for a gassy chargey thingey.

What a time to be alive, Eh?

hellsbrink
30th Aug 2010, 19:16
So, LR, apart from the "remove engine and fuel tank" bit (hmmm, the thought of many of the people on the roads today, who are so practical they seem to have an issue with farting and walking at the same time, removing a FUEL TANK is frightening) you endorse the EREV-type vehicle I was talking about?

Martin Barclay
30th Aug 2010, 20:36
MG23

There's a big difference between running a tiny number of cars as a research project, and putting hundreds of millions on the road with the infrastructure to support them.

As I am sure someone said in the 1890's about petrol.

hellsbrink
30th Aug 2010, 21:05
As I am sure someone said in the 1890's about petrol.

Except petrol was being used for other purposes across the world before the advent of the automobile. Nowadays you are talking about a MASSIVE upgrade of the entire grid system and the generation capabilities of a country to be able to supply the power necessary to have the majority of the the "masses" all driving an EV.

It ain't going to happen, not in our lifetimes.

BombayDuck
30th Aug 2010, 21:43
Except petrol was being used for other purposes across the world before the advent of the automobile.

Unlike batteries and electric power, which no one has ever used till now! :ok:

hellsbrink
30th Aug 2010, 22:09
Well, old boy, you have to remember that before the car was invented there was a distrbution network of some kind for petrol. Now, there wasn't anything like we need today and that gave an advatage after the infernal combustion engine came into popular use, the distribution network we now know had to be created from scratch.

The difference with electric cars and batteries is that although the distribution network for electricity is there now, it will not be capable of supplying the needs of too many leccy cars. As pointed out, who will pay for the upgrades needed to supply the power to fast-charge multiple cars at gas stations (even then it will still take an hour or so, and we peepul will not hang around their local garage for that amount of time) and if you pay the costs wanted for a true EV like the Tesla then you won't be keen on paying another several thousand for an upgraded supply to fast charge it at home! Looking towards motorway services, do you think it'll be easy for them to provide the charging points, and all the upgrades they'll need to get the power there? No, it won't, it'll cost an absolute fortune and with no real demand there will be no investment because the costs are going to be so high because you have to alter a system instead of starting from scratch.

Let's go back to home charging. If you don't have a garage or driveway, do you think you'll be running an extension cable across the pavement IF you can get parked outside your house (And what about people in apartments, or even tower blocks)? No, you won't because you know some neddy boy will unplug you for the hell of it, and even if someone doesn't trip over the cable and sue your ass off the local council will have you in court for causing a trip hazard. Oh, do you think the council will spend the money to put in slow-charge points all over the place to cope with the POSSIBILITY of people buying leccy cars when they can't even empty your bin on a weekly basis or fix the holes in the road? Think again.

So, simply, because of the charging issues and the fact that nobody is going to put a charging network into operation there will be no real use for electric cars as a means of replacing the internal combustion engine, it will always be something for a niche market, for the pretentious to claim they have cut their carbon footprint whilst ignoring the fact that the very leccy they use comes from something that causes more pollution "per mile" than their petrol/diesel car did and whilst ignoring how much pollution is caused by the production of the damned "green car" in the first case.

BlueWolf
30th Aug 2010, 22:33
Well the plastic battery thing sounds fascinating, but will someone please tell me how the heater is going to work? :{

747 jock
30th Aug 2010, 22:38
Even if by some remote chance the Government does manage to get a good percentage of the population to buy electric vehicles, and they do invest billions in getting the infrastructure in place for charging all of these, where is the extra electricity going to come from?

It certainly won't be from our existing generating plants which are running close to their limits now, and it won't be from new nuclear plants as these will take an estimated 12 to 15 years to build and commission (and judging by previous over runs, probably far longer).

vulcanised
30th Aug 2010, 22:39
I think "neddy boy" will be more interested in nicking the heavy gauge copper cable than simply unplugging it.

hellsbrink
30th Aug 2010, 22:42
Naah,

"neddy boy" unplugs it for a laugh

"pikey boy" nicks the cable

"scouser boy" nicks the car

bnt
31st Aug 2010, 00:39
Well, I suppose there's a reason why it's called "Jet Blast": lots of hot air heading our way at high speed. :}

Things I don't see working:
- hydrogen: too difficult to work with. It is the most volatile gas on the planet, you have to cool it to near absolute zero just to get it to in a for you can store
- super-fast charging. Why bother? It increases the risk of damage to the batteries. Swappable battery packs are the way to go. Yes, there's a chance you could get a dodgy one: if that garage wants customers, they'll work to avoid that, as any good business does.

But the thing that concerns me most is not the cars, it's the roads. Electric cars will have to be lighter, and thus flimsier, because weight really is the enemy here. Batteries are heavy - even lithium batteries - so range will be limited too. I can only see them working if they are limited to suburban journeys, and never go on motorways. They couldn't co-exist with 18-wheelers going 80mph - not for long, at least.

In other words, I don't think they are going to replace everything that current cars can do. I think we're going to see the end of the "all-purpose" car - the one that can take you to the shops one day, then across the country with four kids and luggage the next day. Long journeys will need a bigger car, like today's cars. Or (more likely) public transport, then rent a small car to cover the last miles to your final destination.

G-CPTN
31st Aug 2010, 00:53
If electric cars had been adopted when motoring first evolved, speeds of 30mph would have been acceptable.

Nowadays we expect to be able to travel at 80mph in order to complete journeys in reasonable time (I drove 300 miles before breakfast yesterday and then 300 miles back after tea). In a decade or so (assuming development equivalent to the last few decades) 80mph might seem as futile as 30mph seems today (who would attempt to drive 600 miles in a day if it was to take 20 hours?).

The major limitation of current electric vehicles is the range (which is adversely affected by the cruising speed - with power required increasing as the square of the speed).

11Fan
31st Aug 2010, 01:35
Just about five years ago, I seriously considered going with a hybrid SUV. Ford had the Escape Hybrid available and I gave it a test drive. It wasn't bad, but since I was going to be using it primarily for 200 mile drives twice a week, it just didn't have the comfort that I wanted. I would up buying a "crossover", basically a station wagon disguised as an SUV. It's called the Freestyle, and although no longer available, it was about the same interior size as the most popular Ford; the Explorer.

That said, besides the fact that the Freestyle was a six passenger vehicle, weighed more, the difference in "highway" mileage was only 5 miles per gallon (26 versus 31) City margins were better with the Escape, but that wasn't my intended purpose. Also, the price differential was around $5000.00. It would have taken me close to ten years to cover the extra cost, even at $4.00 a gallon.

Loose rivets
31st Aug 2010, 05:44
will someone please tell me how the heater is going to work?

Well, Mr Wolf. Heat is easy. Quite a few petrol twin aircraft have a dedicated heater running on the main fuel. It's the air conditioning, that will be the problem.


Apropos the Mini. I seem to remember the motors were still adjacent to the wheels, not part of them. I visualize the outer part of the wheel being the stator, odd as that might seem. 400v chopped input sounds about right. Sad thing about that is the reclaimed energy would have to be put through a dedicated and quite expensive circuit.

Having seen a very modest American car, with the engine removed and one electric motor between the back wheels - out perform ethanol powered dragsters, I believe electrickery is the way forward. (and backwards, when R is selected.):}

Solid sate electronics have come a long way. My pal showed me a 6" cube box that controls the 3 phase motor on his old Progress drill. The speed changing pulleys were virtually obsolete with a knob that made the motor almost continuously variable. Plus, it could reverse. Oh, by the way, the input was single phase.

crippen
31st Aug 2010, 05:59
Liquid electricity for cars of the future (http://cobbers.com/liquid-electricity-for-cars-of-the-future/)

"Just pump the spent electrolyte out and pump in freshly charged electrolyte — literally, liquid electricity. This would take little more time than filling up with fossil fuel and the spent electrolyte can be recharged and re-sold: you would pay for the difference in electric charge."
:ok:

North Shore
31st Aug 2010, 06:17
^Ingenious, them Dutch...

BlueWolf
31st Aug 2010, 07:41
Well, Mr Wolf. Heat is easy. Quite a few petrol twin aircraft have a dedicated heater running on the main fuel. It's the air conditioning, that will be the problem.

I am disgruntled, Dr Rivets, and your reply fails to gruntle me. If I was allowed to use petrol to heat my electric car I would be happy; but I suspect I am not. If I have even a 100hp car then by simple mathematics I have roughly 75kW of gasoline horses sweating heat into my radiator, the warmth of which I may happily duct into the cabin of said automobile to clear the mist from the windscreen and ward off the -15° chill of the winter's day outside.

But if my carriage is electrically powered, from whence do I source the required equine perspiration to heat it with? My house has heat pumps which serve sufficient in Spring and autumn, but they consume 6kW apiece and don't really work at all when the ambient temperature outside is much below about 0 or -1°C.

The alternator on my vehicle mentioned above generates about 0.6kW at best, all of it siphoned ultimately from the body heat of my aforementioned hydrocarbon nags, and I am all too painfully aware that there are no free lunches at the Kilowatt Cafe.

So if I dedicate 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6kW of energy from my lead/lithium/plastic batteries with exchangable electrolyte to running a regular two-bar heater or two for the inside of the car, what does this do to my achieveable range and performance?

I just don't think anyone has actually thought about it, and I want to be told.
:{

chuks
31st Aug 2010, 12:35
Trust me on this one because I am a pilot: Petrol was originally a waste product from oil refining, carefully disposed of by dumping it into the nearest river.

How about we change our lifestyle to eliminate much of this commuting we now do?

I was hanging out in McLean, Virginia in the spring when we had a woodchuck crisis. Marmota monax had dug a den in the rich man's lawn so that a live trap was set. Next morning there was one big, fat woodchuck, looking rather unhappy with life.

I asked Jerry the handyman how he planned to take it from there, when he said he would take this creature home and release it there. I asked him if it might not make its way back, obeying some homing instinct. (If coconuts can migrate, why not woodchucks?)

Jerry laughed and told me that he lived in West Virginia, about 110 miles away! So here was a fellow driving 220 miles a day, in a pickup truck of course, not atypical I guess.

hellsbrink
31st Aug 2010, 13:15
Well Chuks, it depends on the "commute". For example, did "Jerry" only work there or did he have other jobs too? It may be that his 100+ mile trip would be mitigated by him going to various other places as well (you don't tell us that, you see) so he is more of a "mobile handyman" and not just a "handyman".

Of course, at the other end of the scale is a certain Mr Pachauri who insists on taking a chauffeur-driven vehicle on his "commute" of a bloody mile, which anyone would agree is ludicrous, especially for someone with his remit! And there is the sort of thing I say is unnecessary commuting, the same sort of thing that you see when people drive their kids a half mile to school or drive a mile to a newspaper store. They should walk, there's no excuse for what they are doing.

Then we come to other "commuters". Now, I can speak for how things are in London after living there for a long enough time. The public transport there can be a total nightmare as it's epensive, overovercrowded and unreliable. Also some people from outside London do not even have any public transport (or it's not suitable for commuting) so they have to use a car. After all, you can only work where the work is, and you can't live closer if you cannot afford to! And then we come to rail station car parks which ain't big enough to cope with the volume of traffic and you also have the small er of security (these places are a thief's paradise) and you see why people will still use a car even if they preferred to use some sort of public transport. The same can be said for the US too, and I guess it goes for every other "civilised" country too.

So there we have a problem. Without massive investment in the public transport network and prices low enough to encourage people to get out of their cars to go to work then commuting by car will still be at the high level it is.

Loose rivets
31st Aug 2010, 13:39
Almost all commuting needs to be abolished. Having gone from driving half the night for a day or so at home, and having my office in the next bedroom, I can tell you which is better. Bloody airplanes. Such a waste.

I'd earned a wage before I'd got me trousies on some mornings.

bnt
31st Aug 2010, 14:08
I agree that most commuting should be abolished - and most can be abolished. We're already able to do "telepresence", set people in different locations around a virtual table for a meeting, it's just a question of details and bandwidth.

One quick addendum: I don't like the idea of a motor in a car wheel, because it would be shaken about, and because it's unnecessary unsprung mass. For suspension to work most effectively, you minimise the unsprung mass of the wheel. That's why they use magnesium alloys today, because they're light and strong.

bearfoil
31st Aug 2010, 14:25
bnt

The beating it takes is definitely a consideration, but there are advantages. The motive weight is low, and concentrated, stability is excellent. On a good road. That's the rub.
The body (MiniCooper) is unevolved, weight savings are still available, though with a total power rating of 600 bhp, the weight is probably an advantage at this point. The total weight of the motor and wheel is fifty pounds. I know, hard to imagine, but there are pictures of this oddity, it is exhilarating!!

bear

OFSO
31st Aug 2010, 15:06
Hybrid - Where did you get that definition?!

My dictionary defines hybrid thus:

- The offspring of genetically dissimilar parents or stock.

- Something of mixed origin.

- A word whose elements are derived from diferent languages.

To call a vehicle which turns a petrochemical fuel into (a) movement and (b) electricity to be stored for use at a later time, a "hybrid", is a devious use of the word. As is "Prius", when it wasn't.

Pedantic mode off.

hellsbrink
31st Aug 2010, 15:14
Well, I've changed my mind. I want a "hybrid".

Porsche AG - Press releases - About Porsche - Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG (http://www21.porsche.com/usa/aboutporsche/pressreleases/pag/?pool=international-de&id=2010-03-02)

http://www21.porsche.com/filestore.aspx/zoom.jpg?pool=germany&type=image&id=2010-03-02-zoom-02&lang=none&filetype=zoom&version=1

OFSO
1st Sep 2010, 13:10
Diesels greener than battery cars, says Swiss gov report


Get a TDi estate not an EV, and save the planet!