# Electric cars are a pipe dream

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Syzygys, May 20, 2010.

1. ### X-Man2We're under no illusions.Registered Senior Member

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403
I happened across a video yesterday which shows an experimental car from Japan which uses no earth metals.It uses a switched reluctance motor with an output of 50kW and is 95% plus efficient.Not bad for starters huh.

http://www.diginfo.tv/2011/07/25/11-0151-r-en.php

3. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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23,198
Thanks. A nice looking car in photo at your link and this in the text:

"There is a concern that noise and vibration might be problems when the motor is loaded into a vehicle."
That could be an advantage - No need to artificially generate noise to warn pedestrians the car is approaching.

5. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Well the September sales figures are in:

Chevrolet sold 723 Volts (up 421 over August, YTD = 3,895)
Nissan sold 1,031 LEAFs, (down 331 from August, YTD = 7,199)

This is probably reflective of the fact that while GM cut the 2012 Volt to $39,995 while Nissan raised the price of the 2012 Leaf to$36,050

Still the total of these two EV sales is averaging a paltry 1,232 per month so far this year, essentially the same as last month and at the current rate, by the end of the year sales look to be about 15,000 total units.

As tiny as the total sales figures are, the Federal Subsidy for these 15,000 cars will be about $112 Million. Arthur 6. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 7. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member Messages: 23,198 "... Toyota is planning to manufacture key components for its hybrid cars outside Japan for the first time, in a bid to boost sales. ... "Everybody recognises that China is going to be a very important market for all car manufacturers," Paul Nolsco, a spokesperson for Toyota, told the BBC. "Given the scale that we hope to achieve in China, it makes more financial sense to make these parts there," he added. The company said it is likely to manufacture electric motors and batteries at its Chinese facility, but a final decision was yet to be made. Rare earth factor? While boosting sales and capturing a larger share of the world's biggest car market is one of the main reasons behind Toyota's decision, analysts said other factors may have played a big role as well. China's restrictions on exports of rare earth elements is one of those factors. Some of the rare earth elements are key components hybrid car parts such as batteries. ... "Rare earths and concerns about their supplies could very well have played a role in this decision," Vivek Vaidya of Frost & Sullivan told the BBC. He explained that Toyota's move to start producing components in China may help counter these restrictions as it will be buying the elements to use within China. ..." From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14784031 Billy T comment: That is the same reason why Hitachi, world's leader in RE magnets is thinking about moving its production (and leading technology) to China. I noted this and the obvious impact on MolyCorp's sales of REs (No Westerners making RE magnets when they can buy them cheaper from China). In post 2060, this thread, I told MCP was way over priced when I bought some "way out of the money" puts on MCP as told here: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=2814913&postcount=78. I sold them last week when "in the money" for three times what I paid.$8.85 vs $2.95/ contract. MCP's stock has really dived, much more so than the market in general as others realized what I immediately did and posted here with Forbe's report of Hitachi's plans. It may go lower still but I did not want to be too greedy. Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2011 8. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member Messages: 7,829 Another EV will go on sale soon. The Mitusbishi MiEV It's a rear wheel drive car (why?) and the SE model (with the fast charge capability) retails for$31,125. With the federal tax credit and the car will be ~$23,625. The EPA gives it a rather low 62 mile range. 9. ### jpapplValued Senior Member Messages: 2,985 10. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member Messages: 23,198 BYD opens first US sales center in LA. Will employee 150 people (part of their >200,000 global work force). Not clear if their electric car is now for sale in US. Most of their global sales are conventional IC engine cars. (Few anywhere think the extra cost of the EV car is worth it.) More t: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/us/2011-10/25/content_13971207.htm 11. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member Messages: 7,829 As the article says, no car sales yet. BYD will focus on its electric buses for now, 12. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member Messages: 23,198 The cost will determine if they are a pipe dream, not better range batteries alone. The more likely to be important technology for the future of cars is already here - "Fracking" natural gas from shale is dramatically reducing the cost (13 down to less than 4 in three years) and increasing the number of decades of proven supply of Natural Gas. I bet electric cars are still, and for the foreseeable future, only a novelty compared to the surge up in the number of NG powered cars. (not to mention sugar cane alcohol powered cars.) 13. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member Messages: 23,198 Thanks - My quick skim was obviously too quick. 14. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member Messages: 7,829 The range is limited because the cost and weight per kWh of storage is so high, so IF batteries of the same weight could hold much more juice and not cost a fortune it would obviously make EVs much more attractive to a wider pool of buyers. Well use of the term "novelty" might be semantics, but I think we will see many more EVs in Urban fleet use over this coming decade. Cars which can recharge off the grid during the day (or swap batteries) and put in a lot of miles every day, but not any long trips are ripe for this technology, particulary in countries where taxes make the price of gasoline much higher than in the US. As to NG, I'm still skeptical about general consumer acceptance, but I do think that it will find increased use in vehicles where the much larger fuel tank and limited availability of fueling stations is not a consideration (buses and other fleet vehicles mainly). Arthur 15. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member Messages: 23,198 Do you have any data on two things: (1) Range per kilogram (of energy source) & (2) cost of energy source per kilometer traveled for Natural gas vs battery powered cars? I don't know but bet NG is at least three times better in range per kilogram of fuel system and some what better in economy per kilometer traveled (even with current prices of NG, which are rapidly falling, and KWH home charging costs, which are slowly rising) than batteries. Note the KWH cost of traveled per Km alone is not really correct. For example, if the batteries cost$15,000 and last 10 years that is $125 /per month or on the order of 13 cents per mile, just in amortization cost. The fact that you paid for it "up front" in the cost of the car, instead of slowly over the 10 years, just makes it worse - in lost earning you could have had on that tied up capital. Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2011 16. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member Messages: 7,829 Well the figures I've seen put the LEAF's battery at 660 lbs and 25 kWh capacity and an average range of 72 miles. So that's 9 lbs per mile. To put that in perspective, a gallon of gas weighs ~6 lbs and in a Prius will get you about 50 miles. But if you add in the weight of the 12 gallon gas tank and gas pump (20 lbs?) you get about .15 lbs per mile or MUCH better than EVs. I don't think so. Consider that in the only production car, the Civic GX, it loses half the trunk capacity to the tank (normally 12 cubic ft, but only 6 in the GX) and even so the range drops from 400-plus miles in the gas version to ~240 miles in the GX because CNG's volumetric energy density is ~25% of gasoline. Which is why you have this: Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Last edited: Oct 26, 2011 17. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member Messages: 7,829 I agree, that's why I think it will be more likely in high daily mileage urban fleet cars in places where the price of gasoline is high because of taxes so you get the payback much quicker. 18. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member Messages: 23,198 In both these post you are avoiding my question (2). I asked about "cost of energy source per kilometer traveled for Natural gas vs battery powered cars?" I am not interested in comparison with gasoline or even with trunk space. Long before the super batteries are on the market, if ever, the NG tanks will be in the rear seat or the walls of a two door car where the back doors are now - Perhaps only on the driver's side rear - like the new three door car.* There is lots of "empty space" in the body of cars. Also a multitude of long small diameter tanks could be in the roof or even be the roof. Few realize it, but it is easy to prove, that the material used in one big diameter tank is NOT less than in 20 smaller diameter ones** with the same total volume and max pressure limit. (If attentive, you will have noticed that the trucks hauling compressed gases often have 16 or so small diameter tanks instead of one big one. - many little tanks are cheaper to make, especially if extruded plastic.) Fact that the only NG car sold in US simply took a standard car and put a single large NG tank in half the trunk is not some law of physic. It could be 20 tanks as the roof if you make a new NG car design. *Hyundai's 2012 Veloster three-door coupe, starting at$18,060 for the six-speed manual ... {i.e. only one door on the driver's side, two doors on passenger side - a cheaper & stronger new design which Kia is now copying too.}

**Actually 20 small tanks require slightly less material when the fact that the ends can be more nearly flat than the curved ends of the big tank can be.

Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2011
19. ### jpapplValued Senior Member

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BillyT,

Exactly, and if this changes significantly then they can and will be competitive.

My point is there is so much that we are potentially missing in these arguments. Mainly that we don't know what the future of battery technological advances and innovation will hold. Will it come to and end or limit leaving it useless for all but short commute and fleet vehicles or will advances allow it to be more than competitive with other fuels.

Another thing to consider is the cost to retro-fit facilities to pump NG or Hydrogen. I can't imagine on a large scale retrofitting or adding charging stations would come close to the initial expenditure compared with NG or Hydrogen. I will research this.

Electricity is everywhere and can be created with a variety of sources. Again, where techonological advances will most likely improve how we create it both effeciently and clean.

So on the one hand we have the vehicle itself. I agree currently EV's don't compare. But on the other hand we have the cost to get, transport and store the fuel.

If we can improve the battery to allow for lower cost to purchase, quicker or much quicker re-charge time and longer range. Then, when we consider the many possibilities with even current technology in creating electricty, the electric car potentially wins. Consider the possible advances in both the battery tech and electrical production and we are far from declaring the electic car dead.

We need to invest in the electrical grid infrastructure anyway. So I don't look at that cost solely on the back of electric vehicle needs.

20. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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To Jpappl:

Most of your quote in post 2097 assigned to me is from adoucette's post 2093. Only the first sentence did I post. PLEASE CORRECT.

21. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Well Billy, if it was significantly less they would probably be selling more CNG cars. But the total sales in the US are 1/5th the EV sales, so that has to mean something don't you think?

The fuel is cheaper, but the tanks and plumbing are much more expensive.
And take up a lot of space. A bunch of smaller tanks, though you think a good idea, has it's own set of problems, as in higher over-all cost which is why there aren't any out there with your solution.

22. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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7,829
If you've read this thread don't you realize you are simply stating the obvious?

23. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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I certainly am not interested in H2 distribution unless it is in NH3, but NG distribution is well developed for ~90% of US population:

“…The {high pressure large diameter} natural gas pipeline grid comprises:

• More than 210 natural gas pipeline systems.
• 305,000 miles of interstate and intrastate transmission pipelines (see mileage table).
• More than 1,400 compressor stations that maintain pressure on the natural gas pipeline network and assure continuous forward movement of supplies (see map).
• More than 11,000 delivery points, 5,000 receipt points, and 1,400 interconnection points that provide for the transfer of natural gas throughout the United States.
• 24 hubs or market centers that provide additional interconnections (see map).
• 400 underground natural gas storage facilities (see map).
• 49 locations where natural gas can be imported/exported via pipelines (see map).
• 8 LNG (liquefied natural gas) import facilities and 100 LNG peaking facilities (see map). …”
From: http://205.254.135.24/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/analysis_publications/ngpipeline/index.html (US government Energy Information Administration)

SUMMARY: The natural gas distribution grid already is very large and rapidly growing.

I'll mention it again: More than 35 years ago one of the lab techs in my APL group who drove more than 100 miles to work each way, converted his car to NG using the home NG he cooked with, etc and paid zero road taxes for his car fuel and greatly reduced his trip costs.

Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2011