Electric cars are a pipe dream

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

  1. heytogi Registered Member

    Messages:
    38
    Electric cars=no solution

    I say this is a possibility, if we could use nuclear power. But not too profitable for our government, plus
    a little dangerous to play with it! But what a ride for a little piece, you'd need to change the battery once
    every 20 years!
    Like you said, dream on....
     
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  3. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Wrong on two counts: (1) the battery life does not depend on what is the source of electric power used to charge it - that depends upon the number of deep discharge cycles, mainly. - the type even hybrid EVs typically make.
    (2) any adequately shielded for humans to be near nuclear reactor would weigh more than 5 times more that cars do. It was quite a technological accomplishment to reduce them in size and weight so they could power submarines - and that was possible only by enriching the U235 percent to more than twice what a water moderated power plant requires - much more costly fuel as cost of enrichment increases faster than linearly with the percentage enrichment.
     
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  5. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    624
    I think he was talking about a nuclear "battery" not an electro-chemical one.
    There has been a recent claim that a new technology can produce electricity from nuclear reactions with little need for shielding. It doesn't use fission/neutrons but some sort of laser induced alpha decay, IIRC. You can shield alpha with tinfoil.
    I don't think the purported technology has been demonstrated yet.
     
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  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Non-battery electric looks better now:
    Need more details on how the H2 will be stored.
     
  8. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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  9. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

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    856
    I apologise for not reading the thread, and you can yell at me if it's been covered, but how practical would solar panels be if they were fitted to the roof? I'm think ME and N Africa, maybe California. Worst case they could save petrol by powering the aircon, and charge the batteries while parked. Shouldn't add much if anything to the weight and free once installed. Not a game changer but a help.
     
  10. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    It's not cost effective for what you get out of it or it would be available.
     
  11. elte Valued Senior Member

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    1,253
    I think I could do okay with a car that had solar panels on the roof because I drive unoften and short range, and having a small, light weight car would be okay for me. The batteries wouldn't drain very much and have a lot of time to charge up between uses.
     
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    With very un-usually low* annual energy requirement, that might some day be more economical than plugging in to the power line while you sleep but probably not yet.

    * I'm too lazy to compute, but guess that when car is not used for a few sunny days and the battery is fully charged up that solar enery colleted is not stored, so in the annual energy collection can not be counted. Like wise when car is in low sun (certainly more than 12 hours per day, the self discharge energy loss should be subtracted form the annual amount of energy collected. So I'll guess that a car roof (1.5meter squared at best) will collect annually the energy, which can later be used to drive the car equal to the energy content of ~ 30 gallons of gasoline or is worth at most $100. If you invested at 5% gain, $2000 you would earn that $100. So unless the cost of the 1.5meter squared solar cell is less than $2000, you are losing money - would have been better to just buy $100 of gasoline per year. I.e. the low rate of car use, cuts both ways. Your main economic loss is in the capital tied up in the car - not earning any interest.

    So to really come out way ahead don't own a car - use taxi for the limited car travel you do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2014
  13. elte Valued Senior Member

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    1,253
    A type of electric car like I would want should be simpler than a similar gasoline version because engines need so much emissions control and they're also just much more mechanically complex than an electric motor. The maintenance should be overall less and easier to self-do on a simple electric. Never felt comfortable about taxis though.:bugeye:
     
  14. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    856
    What would the unit cost of the roof be if the volume went up to say 10 million units a year? Much less or not? And then there are the environmental issues of petrol (gasoline) versus clean energy.
     
  15. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    23,198
    Why do you even want a battery powered car? You do so little driving that your contribution to CO2 release is small - plant a couple of trees to off set it. Problem is if your don't have all that IC engine complexity, I. e. the car only runs only on battery power, the batteries need to be sized for the longest trip you plan to ever make - they are costly.

    How much do you pay for car insurance and licence fees annually? I bet that would pay for quite a few short taxi trips. (A bike is even cheaper and better for your health.)
     
  16. elte Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,253
    My longest rare trip is just about ten miles, and usually under five, and IC engines are also costly, and costly to maintain. Sorry, I don't like taxis or buses, including waiting for them.
     
  17. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    23,198
    Perhaps you can cut a deal with seller of the all electric car to save a more than $1000 by tell him to keep ~85% of the batteries it normally comes with. If you do, plan on never selling it as few buyers would be interested in that very limited range vehicle.
     
  18. elte Valued Senior Member

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    1,253
    I can only afford used cars and then use them until they are toast. It might be cool if I could buy a used electric and put my own batteries in it.

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  19. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

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    1,876
    Electric cars you can buy today have up to 250 mile range. If charged by wind or sun they have no continuing carbon footprint. They currently cost about twice what a normal car would cost up front, but they can be fueled for nothing, or very little(if charged on offpeak hours the "fillup" can cost you less than $2.00)and gives you 250 miles. This is due to the efficiency that is 2-3 times that of gasoline engines and an energy source much cheaper than the $3.50 per gallon we are currently paying. Let's see you move a normal car at less than one cent per mile traveled.
     
  20. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    I keep wanting to buy myself something like a Vespa, rip the guts out of it, replace the motor with an equivalently sized electric one and set up a solar recharging station with the panels on the roof of my garage.
     
  21. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

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    624
    You might be able to run the fan with them, and maybe the power steering pump, things on that order.

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  22. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

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    624
    Just to make things clear...
     
  23. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

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    624
    You can buy equivalent vehicles on the market today. Wish granted!
     

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