# Electric cars are a pipe dream

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

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The point is the electric cars of 100 years past are competitive today. If you put LiPos in a 1910 electric car, you can go 100 miles, drive it around town, etc. You can put a fuel cell in it and drive it between major cities (but bring goggles).

Batteries have evolved. Electric and methanol/hydrogen fuel-cell car is coming for all of us.

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3. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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And that is the sad thing. You can actually go 400-700 miles, since that's how much the juice power improved...But that also means the power we gained by battery improvement got all used up by speed, weight and other features...

I forgot if I mentioned yet, but if energy gets to be rare/expensive, we are going to have a society breakdown nice Mad Max style, so for those times, gasoline cars are more useful. Imagine Mad Max hooking up to a generator his electric car.

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Last edited: Jun 6, 2010

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I'm trying to say that electric cars, boats, trains have always been all around us. Now that we can package a few kilowatt-hours (undreamed of in 1910) into a small car, things are going to change.

Now that we can collect power with these if we have sunshine, these if rain and make it into portable energy with and upgraded one of these and charge these. It's all here.

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7. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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..and the point of this whole thread is, that it is still FUTURE tense. (and the last 10 years saw no practical improvement)

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10. ### ElectricFetusSanity going, going, goneValued Senior Member

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How about this, we have more electric cars today then any other time in history and the rate of electric car market growth today is very rapidly. Might as well as told us in 2000 that hybrid cars would never take off.

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I just mowed my lawn with a battery-powered mower, as I've been doing for a couple of years. It's already easier and more pleasant to move beyond the petroleum daze.

12. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member

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Well, since we have at least 10 times more people than 100 years ago, this means very little.

But for a challenge I raise your city commuting electric golfcart device with:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tata_Nano

This is hardly a car, just a dirt cheap commuting device for the masses, but:

1. Its price is only 10% of today's EVs. It is less than $3000. It is so cheap, that one can buy a new one in every 3-4 years, thus changing major components is a non-issue... 2. Its range is 2-3 times bigger, 240 miles on highway...(61 mpg on highway, 52 in city with a 4 gallon tank) Sure, they gave up lots of safety and comfort, but we are talking about a solution for the masses. Maybe that is the way, giving up certain features. Somebody earlier suggested speed limit for city driving as a way of helping EVs. Well, why can't we help the Nano the same way??? Rush hour traffic is seldom bigger than 30 MPH anyway.... Last edited: Jun 7, 2010 13. ### ElectricFetusSanity going, going, goneValued Senior Member Messages: 18,523 And when oil prices go up several times it will be worthless. 14. ### SkepticalRegistered Senior Member Messages: 1,449 I think this thread has reached its 'use by' date. Syzygys is no longer insisting that evs will never be practical - just that it is a decade or three till they become as common or more common than fossil fuel propelled cars. This, to me, is a realistic approach. I think we have demonstrated that electric cars are not a pipe dream, and syzygys has demonstrated that it will not happen, except on a small scale for some years to come. Can we all agree on that? 15. ### hypewadersSave ChangesRegistered Senior Member Messages: 12,061 No, I expect sales of new electromotive cars will outstrip the sales of new smokers (ICE cars) in less than a decade. 16. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member Messages: 12,671 Really? Let's do the math! Let's say oilprice triple at$9 a gallon. Mind you at this point the American economy would come to a scratching halt, but let's just assume this won't happen.

Let's say the commuter drives 25-25 miles a day, car is useful for 5 years, after that you will need to spend major expenses like a new battery and such.

So 50 miles a day for 5 times 250 times. 62500 miles That costs 62500/50=1250 gallon x 9$= 11250$ for gas. Let's throw in 1000$for oilchanges and the price of car of$3000.

That is 15250$which is exactly HALF of the current EVs' prices... So you tell me a low cost, low mileage gasoline car is not competitive with current EVs. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! I understand your frustration, it is basicly impossible to compete a cheap Indian or Chinese made small, economic car. I would bet Americans also could make a cheapo 8K car, but there is not much profit in doing so... Last edited: Jun 7, 2010 17. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member Messages: 12,671 I will bet you on that. Unless you can force automakers somehow to abandon ICEs, they will make hybrids first, then cheapo small cars and when everything else failed, they will start to make EVs in the millions. Mind you right now NOBODY is making them in huge quantities. I am sorry, but making 30K cars a year is not huge by any measure. Oh yeah, just to piss off EF and throw in a little history, there were 32K electric cars 100 years ago. I seriously doubt we have 320K nowadays. If we adjust for population, there were actually MORE EVs 100 years ago then now! Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Oh, analysts predict between 2-10% EV marketshare in 2020, fairly far away from 51%: http://gas2.org/2010/05/14/so-how-m...e-be-in-2020-analysts-are-all-over-the-place/ Last edited: Jun 7, 2010 18. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member Messages: 12,671 Out of curiosity I looked up the currently cheapest American ICE: It is the Chevrolet Aveo MSRP:$10,235 - $12,020 Fuel Economy: 34 mpg Hwy/24 mpg City So running the above math again, it uses 2500 gallons in 5 years, what costs 22500$ ($9 per gallon) throwing in the cost of the car and oilchanges we get pretty much the same price as today's EVs. Thus the bottomline is, gasprice has to triple (mind you that is not the same as oilprice) so the EV would be the same overall cost as the cheapest American car...(I know I simplified it a bit, but you get the picture) One could make the Mad Max argument, that you will get economic halt and social unrest before the EVs take over... 19. ### hypewadersSave ChangesRegistered Senior Member Messages: 12,061 OK if it hasn't happened (electromotive parity over gas diesel and hybrid cars combined) then show me this post and I'll by you 1 KwH on 02-02, 2020. But if it has happened, then you owe me for the market monetary equivalent of a KwH. Deal? Last edited: Jun 7, 2010 20. ### SyzygysAs a mother, I am telling youValued Senior Member Messages: 12,671 Well, suddenly you threw in hybrids too, but sure for fun, deal... By the way one thing that brought down oilprices from$140 per barrel was that the world simply couldn't pay that much for gas, otherwise known as demand destruction.
It could and probably will happen again, that as gas prices increase, the demand's drop for it will limit the price going above a certain level. It will reach a certain equilibrium where cars will be used only for the absolute necessities, like work and food transfer...
But that will also slow down the spread of EVs...

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I threw out hybrids (from my side) because I expect they will all be considered smoker junk too in 10 years- anything with a tailpipe belching stuff we can't breathe or drink. I'm keeping fuel cells on my side of the bet, because they are in effect chemical batteries, charged with sustainably-produced pressurized gas. If you want to rule out CO emitters, I'll have to extend the bet. But simply that a majority of private (not public, that's too soon/easy) ground transportation will be electromotive by 2020, that's my bet with you.

If you have a lawn, buy a cordless electric mower and you will understand how much less a PITA it is, and how much cheaper, to just plug in torquey workhorse things instead of filling them up with pricey, smelly, hazardous, toxic liquid gasoline. It's a no-brainer now, and in 10 years... well, "duh".

Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
22. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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The question is not whether electric cars will ever become common, standard vehicles on the road.

The more interesting question is: if not, why not. They have several important advantages over IC vehicles (and even over theoretical EC hybrids, an ideal employment of Stirling cycle engines), and if these advantages cannot find their market, that's worth asking about.