Who killed the Electric Car?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by moementum7, Aug 10, 2006.

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  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Wouldn't it stretch electrical resources?
     
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  3. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    Do combustion engine cars not stretch fossil fuel resources?
     
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, just wondering how far we could cope with the increased requirements. Could we get enough from the "green" and "brown" sources? Seems to me it would mean dependence on nuclear energy i.e. more nuclear waste.
     
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  7. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    What killed the electric car is the fact that you could buy a regular car and drive 1000 miles/month for a decade and even with the high price of gas still end up paying less than you did for your elecric car. Yeah, gas is expensive, but when you are looking at tens of thousands of dollars in extra costs to buy an electric car there really aren't any cost savings.

    Oh, and in addition to costing less the regular car will also have four seats (the EV-1 only had 2 seats), will be able to travel 250+ miles without refueling (the EV-1 could only go 80) and you can refuel in minutes (instead of hours).

    I really don't see why anyone is surprised about why a car company "killed" a car that costs a lot more and does a lot less. I'm sure that there were a small number of die-hard environmentalists who would be willing to pay the extra money and put up with the hassles, but most people probably wouldn't want one once they seriously looked at the costs and benefits.
     
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    I have heard of a generator built into a trailer for long trips, a sort of hybrid. I would be worried about overtaxing the electrical grid, which sometimes breaks during heat waves, especially on the East Coast (US).

    "I would like to live in a world where walking to work was the norm. It just doesn't happen anymore in most cases."
    That's largely due to our society being built around the car, less so in cities, completely so in suburbia.
     
  9. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

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    I think what they killed was a car that did as much and cost less.
     
  10. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Moementum7, do you drive a Prius then?
     
  11. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    HA! I've just had a look for electric cars online. Yes, there are some models that offer spectacular performance like the Tesla Roadster, and the Lexus 2054, but at unrealistic, non mass market prices.

    At realistic prices, let's compare the G-Wiz at £7,000;

    http://www.goingreen.co.uk/store/buynew/

    to the Ford Ka, also at £7000;

    http://www.ford.co.uk/ie/ka/ka_overview/ka_ka/-/-/-/556590

    So, the G-Wiz is pretty useless, isn't it? Two seats, 40 miles range, it's going to get you to the supermarket and back, maybe to work and back, but possibly not both without a recharge in between (of eight frikking hours!)

    Also, the G-Wiz is marketed at the London driver, where there is a congestion charge to pay on petrol vehicles, and free parking offered in various places to electric ones. Here you would have to get lucky and work near a place that offered free parking and charging, because unless you have off street parking (In London?) you cannot plug your car into the mains while it stands on the street. I don't have offstreet parking myself. So your car would get charged while you were at work, but would be depleted on your drive home. Not a great way to leave your car for the weekend.

    So, anyone want to spend £7000 on a car that can only go 40 odd miles?
     
  12. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    A very important thing for people to keep in mind is that car companies are not oil companies. Car companies are concerned with making as much money as possible. If a company could make a car that got much better gas mileage they would happily build it and steal customers away from their competitors.
     
  13. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    In some countries 40 miles is a lot.
     
  14. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

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    It's a 20 mile round trip to work for me, and groceries are on the way. That 7000 pounds isn't all that much to spend on a new vehicle. Around here in this part of America it's all too easy to spend something like that on a crappy used gas guzzler.

    A 40 mile range is damned restrictive. I would think a good backyard engineer could get that much range by fitting a used car with an electric motor and four to six car batteries.
     
  15. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    To make sure you got then and weren't pushing the last hundred yards, you'd have to buy the version that had a 48 mile range, just in case your batteries weren't 100% charged. That's another £1000 on top.

    I agree, for a car, £7k is cheap. But what you get for £7k is a crappy two seater with a lousy range.

    If I only had to travel a short distance to work, and was environmentally conscious, I'd just go buy a 125cc moped for less than £1k. Ridiculous mpg, good range, fast enough, easy to park, cheap, and reliable, and nearly as much carrying capacity as that stupid electric car! For shorter journeys, you could get an electric moped for about £300.
     
  16. wsionynw Master Queef Valued Senior Member

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    Depends on where you live and what you use your car for.
     
  17. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

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    I said a 20 mile ROUND TRIP. That leaves a 20 mile margin.

    I think that a 40 mile range can be had with relatively inexpensive technology and can be retrofitted to most used cars. Usually it's the engine and transmission that are worth more than the entire car, either unit. I am also painfully aware that it's hard to make the adaptation, but it needs to be looked at. Why waste used cars anyway?
     
  18. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    You would be surprised. Lead-acid car batteries have an energy density of around 100 kj/kg, which means that if you wanted to run a motor at 20 horsepower for 40 minutes it would take around 360 kg of car batteries. Most modern electric cars use lithium ion batteries, which can get around 750 kj/kg, but are much much more expensive.

    It's hard to compete with gasoline, which has an energy density of around 45 megajoules /kg.

    A big problem with electric cars is that the only people who are likely to put up with long recharge times and limited ranges - people who don't have to drive far each day - are the very people who are the least impacted by high gas prices. You have to drive a lot before an electric car makes economic sense, and if you have to drive that much then you probably won't be able to tolerate the limited range and long recharge times.
     
  19. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    Big Oil is subsidized plentifully by the government. Waging war to protect oil reserves is wholly paid by the government. These reflect the unrealistically low prices we pay in the US compared to the rest of the world. But this would be the ripoff package, b/c of the war part.

    It's better for the government to subsidize and finance electrical recharging stations, much like how it built such an extensive freeway system.
     
  20. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    Ever seen the EV's shaped like minivans and SUVs? Those have much longer range than just 40 miles.
     
  21. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    News from India.

    http://www.revaindia.com/aboutevs.htm

    The REVA

    Easy to charge:
    It runs on batteries and as compared to other Electric Vehicles has an onboard charger to facilitate easy charging which can be carried out by plugging into any 15 Amp socket at home or work. As simple as charging a mobile phone!

    A full battery charge takes less than seven hours and gives a range of * 80km . In quick-charge mode (two-and-a-half hours) 80% charge is attained, good enough for 65km. A full charge consumes just about 9 units of electricity.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    The lady isn't an extra

    High efficiency and reliability:
    It is twice as efficient as a petrol driven vehicle and has an operating cost as low as 40 paise / km.

    Low maintenance / easy serviceability:
    REVA requires extremely low maintenance because of the minimum number of moving parts.



    Nissan:

    http://www.evuk.co.uk/hotwires/rawstuff/art9.html

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    A car like the Nissan Altra EV, in fact. The new sate-of-the-art model has been built to prove electric vehicles can be equally as practical as everyday runarounds. It is as big as a proper car - about the same size as a very tall Primera estate - with four seats and a spacious boot, has a top speed of 75 mph and a 14 seconds 0-60 mph time. Its range is still rather more limited than the average petrol car at around 120 miles, but when it costs only '£1.50' to fill up who's complaining?

    This major advance has been made possible by using the battery technology which has seen laptop computers and mobile phones shrink in size. Nissan claims the pack should last at least 100,000 miles of charges before it starts to deteriorate, and even then it will keep going, although performance levels will be less.

    The Altra EV is so practical it does not seem like a stereotypical electric vehicle. It behaves more like a normal car which happens to be powered by electricity. It has the performance to keep up with most traffic, a decent range and is easy to drive
     
  22. swivel Sci-Fi Author Valued Senior Member

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    Doesn't matter if we all drive electric cars if we are still burning coal and oil in order to provide the electricity to them.

    Until we build a few hundred more nulcear power plants, the dream of electric cars is just a dream of passing the buck along, not of saving oil or saving money.
     
  23. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    It matters because powerplants are more effecient.
     
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