Thread: Electric cars are a pipe dream

  1. #321
    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricFetus View Post
    Its a matter of mass production, its like your asking if we could afore a CD player back in 1990.
    Yes. Had one. Your point?

    Early adopters will buy up these EVs bring down the price as infrastructure grows to allow for higher and higher production rates.
    No. Petrol cars are cheaper, so people will carry on buying cheaper petrol vehicles until they are no longer available. Early adopters will just suffer pain of ownership until petrol runs out, and everybody else is forced to buy something else. Assuming it's electric.

    See, the comparison to CDs is telling. For most people, CD was an improvement of quality, and it didn't degrade like vinyl records do through scratching, and offered seamless, sideless play, and playlists across auto-changers. IE, it was worth paying the extra for. Electric vehicles cost more, don't go as fast, or as far, and take an age to recharge.

    Heck Nissan is just going straight to reasonable priced EVs (Leaf).
    £28.990 is not a reasonable price. In fact, it sucks. A car of similar performance could be had for less than a third of the price. That means it's got to make £20,000 of savings over it's life AND do everything the petrol car could do. Oh, sorry, it can't, 'cos it's got limited range, crap performance, and takes an age to recharge.


    Other Car companies are starting out with hybrids, now plug in hybrids as the batteries get larger for the same price.
    Hybrids aren't the solution either. OK around town, on short journeys, but over long journeys, on fast motorways, the benefits are lost.

  2. #322
    Quote Originally Posted by Syzygys View Post
    Name those other countries with battery changing stations. They don't exist...
    Hell, we considered an LPG vehicle to save money, except LPG gas stations aren't prevalent enough meaning journeys have to be really well planned. But Electric charging points?

    HAhhahahaha, OK according to this web site:

    http://www.ev-network.org.uk/

    There is just ONE Electric charging place in my city, inside a multi-storey car park. 13A sockets are available to charge electric vehicles, although I've never noticed one.

    I just wish the pro camp would wake up to the real life limitations. Must be all that Patchouli overpowering the smell of coffee.

  3. #323
    Quote Originally Posted by phlogistician View Post
    Utopian naivety.

    I'll still be surfing in 10 years. Unless I've moved closer to the sea, I'll still need to do the miles and have the towing capacity. What you seem to implying, is that I won't be able to do so with an electric vehicle. So I shan't buy one.




    You are free to do that. Us Brits will keep our fuel vehicles meanwhile.
    No, I'm implying that the real implications of peak oil are a collapsed economy, failure to maintain roads, gas shortages, job loss, and a general restructuring of modern life. If you don't live near the sea, you probably won't be doing much surfing.

  4. #324
    Quote Originally Posted by phlogistician View Post
    But electric vehicles, with current battery limitations, are not the future.

    Where was the insult btw? Unless you're some damn hippie who reeks of patchouli, there was none. That would make you a hippie. Oh dear.
    Correct, electric vehicles are not any kind of solution. They require a manufacturing base and an existing robust economy which is presently based on cheap oil. They cannot currently compete with gas vehicles either. In the future, both will be largely absent from the landscape apart from a few rich enclaves.

    The insult was that hippies are associated with electric vehicle technology, which is ridiculous.

  5. #325
    Valued Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by syg
    When I can do a US cross country trip under 4-5 days with an EV fully loaded with 4 people and luggage, give me a call.
    When you have driven to work and back for years, at highway speeds and in quiet comfort, without doing a lick of maintenance or paying a mechanic a nickel for anything - not even gassing up, or cleaning grease and oil off the floor of your driveway or garage - your only hassle maybe washer fluid or wiper blades, if you went cheap on them,

    and at half the fuel cost, possibly less,

    without a single cold start problem, overheating concern, air cleaner question,

    your standards of usefulness and convenience may modify themselves a bit.

    You may just rent that vacation car - heck, make it a camper.
    Not with the Tesla. Try mass producing Porsche and see how much its price comes down
    A truly mass produced Porsche, on the scale of a Toyota Corolla, would cost much less.

    And the currently handbuilt Tesla would benefit much, much more - at a marginal cost in performance, possibly, but little loss of comparative advantage.
    Last edited by iceaura; 09-22-10 at 02:10 PM.

  6. #326
    As a mother, I am telling you Syzygys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    When you
    ...show me an EV that has been running without problems in the Arizona heat and the Michigan winter for the last 5 years, (and let's throw in the Rockies for mountains) I will consider buying...

    I read from users that anytime when they hit a hill, their gauge went down like the Titanic. Also for some reason the tires wore off quite frequently...

    Anyhow, don't preach, just show me the advancement...

  7. #327
    The best electric vehicles that exist today are bicycles (or trikes). The best gas-powered vehicles that exist today in terms of mileage are motorized bicycles.

  8. #328
    As a mother, I am telling you Syzygys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricFetus View Post
    Yeah you got me on there, I mean the Leaf and Volt are only going to start physically selling in December for $30k so that technically is the future.
    I think the government (basicly the taxpayer) helps with 6K. As earlier it was pointed out, if a similar gascar can be had for 15K less, the EV has to save at least that much during its lifetime, and more and we still have to put up with the convenience.

    Spidergoat is right, once peakoil can not be denied, there will be major changes to people's lifestyles. Also let's mention that trucking is still going to be done by petrol based trucks >> increases the price of everything...

  9. #329
    As a mother, I am telling you Syzygys's Avatar
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    Here is a solution from the McLaren team, it is still a gas car, but costs around 9K:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...ethical-living



    600kg, 80 mph speed and 450 miles range

    It has no doors, it opens up the top goingforward. 3 people (not Americans) can sit in it...

  10. #330
    Quote Originally Posted by spidergoat View Post
    No, I'm implying that the real implications of peak oil are a collapsed economy, failure to maintain roads, gas shortages, job loss, and a general restructuring of modern life. If you don't live near the sea, you probably won't be doing much surfing.
    Doomsday Bullshit.

  11. #331
    Rulers are for measuring.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syzygys View Post
    >range –100 miles/charge based upon US EPA LA4 City cycle2

    I would like to see this thing making 100 miles on the highway with 4 adult passengers doing 60 MHP at least. 2 things kill the battery most, speeding up often and maintaining high speed.

    I didn't see the charging time, but I assume it is at least 4 hours. Again, this is not really a car but a city commuting vehicle...

    Oh yeah, you can buy a similar small car for 18-20K, or even less...What is the cost per mile, not counting the purchase price? Here is a quick cost for the average car:

    annual average miles: 8000
    average miles per gallon: 25
    average gas usage annually: 320 gallons
    cost $4 per gallon: 1280$

    Not let's assume the cost of the electricity annually is 280$ for the EV. Then because the 10K extra price it takes 10 years to make it as cheap as a normal car...Here I am assuming everything else (repair and such) are the same....
    Before I get further in this thread I will make a prediction that there will be a lot of WTF?

    A) In town commuter trips aren't on the freeway.
    B) Repairs to electric cars are much less simply because there are less moving parts.
    C) Goalposts that are movable make lousy targets.

    Now, on to the rest of the thread.

    Thanks for starting it btw.
    C)

  12. #332
    I'm just going for a walk... ElectricFetus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phlogistician View Post
    No. Petrol cars are cheaper, so people will carry on buying cheaper petrol vehicles until they are no longer available. Early adopters will just suffer pain of ownership until petrol runs out, and everybody else is forced to buy something else. Assuming it's electric.
    I didn't hear early CD buyers complaining.

    £28.990 is not a reasonable price. In fact, it sucks. A car of similar performance could be had for less than a third of the price. That means it's got to make £20,000 of savings over it's life AND do everything the petrol car could do. Oh, sorry, it can't, 'cos it's got limited range, crap performance, and takes an age to recharge.
    Lets see a Nissan Leaf will cost $32,780 here in the states, but you get a $7,500 federal rebate, so that is $25,280, then depending on the state you can get another $5,000 off, so that's $20,280 in the end.

    Also lets check that performance you say is so bad. An equivalent to the Nissan Leaf is the Nissan Sentra ($16,270 to $20,830), the Sentra can do 0-60 mph in 7-9.5 sec depending on model, the Leaf can do 0-60 in 9 sec.

    That maybe surprising for a 80 kw motor, compared to the 102-152 kw sentra engines could put out, but not surprising when considering the difference between electric motor and internal combustion engines. The leaf's motor puts out 233 Nm of torque, while the sentra engines can only put out 199-244 Nm at near max rpms. Electrics motors put out full torque at 0 rpm and maintain that torque roughly steady up to certain max rpm before degrading. ICE puts no torque at 0 rpm and has no steady torque profile, that why it needs multiple gear speed transmissions to try to average the torque and keep the rpms low as it accelerates, losing time in switching gears and grinding clutch. An electric car only needs one set gear and no clutch, its acceleration is constant and uninterrupted from 0-60.

    As for range, the average driver only drives ~30 miles a day, 100 miles range will satisfy 98% of your driving needs, and if you need longer just get a PHEV. Considering charge times the Leaf can be rapidly charged at a charging station in 30 minutes. Slow charging has it advantages, you can charge at home, using off-peak power at night, assuming you do your daily commutes of less then 100 miles you will never need to see a gas station again! With the Leaf you will be paying less then 2 cents per mile, compared with 10 cents per mile minimum with the Sentra (at $3 per gallon, 34 mpg). Assuming 15000 miles per year that <$250 per year on the Leaf, >$1,324 with the Sentra. Considering the final price difference between the Leaf and Sentra (with all rebates) is -$550, you already made a profit from day one and will save $1074 per year on fueling. Add in that the Leaf has no motor oil, oil filter, fuel filters, clutch, spark plugs, fuel injector, air filters, etc, the maintenance costs will be much lower as well.

    Hybrids aren't the solution either. OK around town, on short journeys, but over long journeys, on fast motorways, the benefits are lost.
    Lets see a Civic Honda gets 36 mpg Highway and its hybrid gets 52 mpg Highway, something I'm missed? Its true that the planetary gear transmissions and CVT aren't as efficient as a good old manual transmission doing continuously 60 mph. A PHEV will easily do 50 mpg and higher considering the efficiency of its small generator at fix rpms, so its highway driving will be awesome.

  13. #333
    I'm just going for a walk... ElectricFetus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syzygys View Post
    Spidergoat is right, once peakoil can not be denied, there will be major changes to people's lifestyles. Also let's mention that trucking is still going to be done by petrol based trucks >> increases the price of everything...
    We could see a shift back to more rail transport of cargo, as well as implementation of diesel electric trucks. Heck UPS is already buying all electric trucks for distribution within cities
    Last edited by ElectricFetus; 09-22-10 at 07:04 PM.

  14. #334
    Quote Originally Posted by phlogistician View Post
    Doomsday Bullshit.
    It won't be doom, but it will suck, and it is coming sooner than you think. It already started.

  15. #335
    Valued Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by syg
    Anyhow, don't preach, just show me the advancement...
    Advancement in what - the vehicles? the support infrastructure?

    Superior performance, fuel cost, and low hassle/cost convenience of ownership of the vehicles have been shown. Lack of range and deficient variety of models is acknowledged.

    Reduction of reliance on intercontinentally imported fuel has been shown, along with lower pollution burdens and lower quantities of emitted hazardous waste. The societal disadvantages - lack of charging facilities, lack of mass production efficiencies, and the like - are acknowledged.

    Alternatives act to exclude. The entire society has been set up to handle the problems with the cars we have (from a huge investment in facilities and training for the continual minor repairs and maintenance, to widespread piping and manufacture and transport and storage of the huge quantities of toxic fuel needed everywhere, to costly building codes for safe parking etc - we even have detached garages, which lower one's house insurance rates due to their isolation of the family gas engines from the expensive living quarters). This overhead cost is largely sunk, and seems to be the major obstacle to an otherwise timely and beneficial transition.

  16. #336
    Registered Senior Member Skeptical's Avatar
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    If we allow for a 20 year time frame to get the technology and the number of electric vehicles up to speed, the picture becomes very different.

    For example : the whole issue of range limitation becomes moot if we can recharge the batteries fast enough. An electric vehicle can be designed and built with a simple electric cord and plug that pulls out and plugs into a simple socket. If recharge took only minutes, then no problem.

    Researchers already are chasing that one down.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...s-supercharged
    An electric vehicle that recharges in less than 10 minutes is almost a certainty given time.

    So, in 20 years, you are off on vacation in your electric camper van. You know that, for safety reasons, you the driver, should stop for a break at least every two hours. You drive for two hours and the batteries are getting low. No problem. It is time for a safety break anyway. Pull in to a suitable recharge site, and plug in. Use your credit card to pay, at a cost ridiculously cheap compared to petrol. Have a cup of coffee and visit the toilet. In 10 minutes, both car and driver are fully recharged and ready to go.

    The coffee you bought cost more than the recharge.

    Allowing 20 years to develop, and $$$ to be made, you can guarantee that lots of recharge places, with attached cafe, will be available.

  17. #337
    The HUGE new market in motorized personal vehicles is in China and India...neither they or other large markets....Brazil, indonesia, Japan, Germany, Russia, etc. are 'going electric'.

    Electric car technology has fizzled... a dead end side show. A billion invested in a more efficicient carbon burning engine is a billion far better spent.

    This is a science forum. There is no 'magic ' solution with batteries. The physics just doesn't work to make a battery operated vehicle do the job of an internal combustion engine.

    Only about 3% of the North American car market is made up of the most efficient carbon based automobiles. 97% of buyers don't choose the most efficiency NOW given the choice of internal combustion engines....they are certinly not going to choose an battery operated vehicle when it is even less practical.

    More expensive, less practical....ain't going to happen.

  18. #338
    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricFetus View Post
    I didn't hear early CD buyers complaining.
    I was one of them. I think you missed my point.


    Lets see a Nissan Leaf will cost $32,780 here in the states, but you get a $7,500 federal rebate, so that is $25,280, then depending on the state you can get another $5,000 off, so that's $20,280 in the end.
    We don't get discounts on EVs in the UK, so I really have no interest in those numbers. It's gonna cost the best part of £30k over here, and that makes it too expensive.

    Also lets check that performance you say is so bad. (pointless numbers deleted)
    Top speed of 87mph. That means you'll be amongst the slowest things on the UK motorway.

    As for range, the average driver only drives ~30 miles a day, 100 miles range will satisfy 98% of your driving needs, and if you need longer just get a PHEV.
    My daily drive? Zero. I work from home. I don't feel the need to be a tree hugger at the weekends, when I've had zero carbon emissions throughout the week for travel. Most people in the UK travel around 4 miles to work. Fuck, they could cycle. You need to be advocating cycling.

    Can a PHEV pull a1000kg caravan?

    Considering charge times the Leaf can be rapidly charged at a charging station in 30 minutes.
    Using 480 V DC 125 amps. Yeah right, maybe you missed the bit where I said there was just ONE location with 240v 13A sockets available in my City. Early adopters here will not have a fast charge option.

    Slow charging has it advantages, you can charge at home, using off-peak power at night,
    Sorry bub, it's on street parking around here. I think the neighbours might get a little upset if I trail a power cable across the pavement to an EV. Seen, EV's have limitations, like that.

    With the Leaf you will be paying less then 2 cents per mile, compared with 10 cents per mile minimum with the Sentra (at $3 per gallon, 34 mpg). Assuming 15000 miles per year that <$250 per year on the Leaf, >$1,324 with the Sentra.
    Well, we don't get the rebate, and why only compare to the Sentra? For 1/3 of the cost of the Leaf, I can get a car with the same performance, so we need to save £20k. Got that? Plus, average UK mileage for a car is 10k miles, you are 50% over your estimate.


    So, let's recap. I can't recharge an EV at my current residence because we have on street parking. EVs work for short commutes, and I don't commute. EVs can't pull loads, and I need that capability several times per year. EVs cost three times more than the last vehicle we bought (admittedly 2nd hand, but it's a customised Japanese import) and only hit the price/performance figures quoted _if the batteries last as stated_ Given that it can get pretty cold here in winter, and pretty warm in summer, that is yet to be seen. Oh, and the Leaf is slow. Most people in the UK drive at about 80mph on the motorway, and the top speed is 87, and I presume that is unloaded. Add a family, and top box full of the kid's stuff, it's going to be a long tedious journey to the seaside.

    You know what, ... I think biofuel is better alternative. I'll put my money on that.

  19. #339
    Registered Senior Member Skeptical's Avatar
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    As I read the objections to electric vehicles, it seems to me they are all based on the assumption that ev's will not improve. That is like looking at a 1960's 12 inch TV and saying it will never get any better!

    I have said that it will take 20 years before ev's make a big impact on the private motor vehicle market. I stick to that. Over that 20 year period, prices will tumble. All the arguments about expensive Tesla's and the like will be about as valid as saying that you cannot buy a flat screen TV because it costs $20,000! Which the first ones did.

    Lithium battery technology is improving all the time. I pointed out a new approach which will permit recharging a car in 10 minutes or less. Not much longer than refilling a petrol car. Capacity is also improving. In 20 years, the range will not be 150 kms, but 500 kms.

    Sure, today's electric cars have drawbacks. In 20 years, the average ev will be seen as far more desirable than a petrol car. No emissions. Minimal maintenance and repair. Very low running cost.

    How about being a bit more forward looking, guys? The whole history of technology over the past 100 years shows continuous and massive improvement for consumer goods.

  20. #340
    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptical View Post
    As I read the objections to electric vehicles, it seems to me they are all based on the assumption that ev's will not improve. That is like looking at a 1960's 12 inch TV and saying it will never get any better!

    .
    Actually no.

    Your 'assumption' is a false logic that doesn't apply to science. One that links two unrelated events to give support to the second one. The improvement in 1960's TVs has zilch to do with the potential of EVs or not. It neither adds or subtracts from the potential.

    'We can do it if we put our mind to it' is not based on the properties of physics and, even when possible, often not based in the reality of choosing rationally between alternatives.

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