Who killed the Electric Car?

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

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  1. swivel Sci-Fi Author Valued Senior Member

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    It doesn't matter if powerplants are more efficient, they aren't the weak link. The weak link is the electric cars, which are not effecient. Batteries lose too much energy from heat, especially for the cars and trucks that will be operated in cold climates. The waste is in the storage and transmission of the electricity, even within households.

    All of this waste must be made up with more coal and oil being burned, which means more oil and coal being transported.

    People have done the math on this, and it doesn't work out well at all. Unless we build more nuclear plants, and figure out a good plan for handling that waste, we will eventually hit a wall.
     
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  3. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2006
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  5. swivel Sci-Fi Author Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.manicore.com/anglais/documentation_a/electric_car.html

    http://www.culturechange.org/issue9/electriccarsno.html

    I can post links as well.

    I'm not making stuff up, you just haven't thought the issue through, or from both sides. No offense meant. Do some more reading. Even knowledgable environmentalists and conservationalists fear the move to electric cars. It will most likely lead to more coal burned in the U.S. which is worse for the environment than oil.

    I know you guys mean well, but you are making the same sort of mistakes that have been made in the past. You are rushing off for what seems to be a cure, when what you will really do is make things worse.
     
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  7. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    I don't give a shit about cars. I use the bicycle and public transport.

    Cars are silly.
     
  8. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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  9. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Check out the Tesla car. It gets 250 miles per battery charge ($3 of electricity at standard rates). It has a warmer to keep the batteries warm in cold climates.

    The real draw-back is the 3 hour full-charge time from drained to fully-charged. BUT, it does 0 to 60 in under six seconds! Great little electric motor, two speed transmission.

    I expect that if we can develop good capacitors, we might see batteries replaced by them. They should charge in minutes, not hours. This would change the entire equation of motor vehicles, bypassing Hydrogen, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Coal-to-Diesel, and the other alternatives to gasoline we're experimenting with.
     
  10. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    That's an interesting remark. Are there links?

    Spurious is right: power plants are more efficient. Using larger turbines maximizes efficiency - newer ones achieve around 70-80%. According to flunch electrical transmission losses still amount to more than 95% storage-to-motion efficiency, compared to the estimated 30-40% range for petrol. This has enormous implications.

    Battery waste has a good recycling program. In the long run, the switch to electric will save energy and money given the proper environment (no blood for oil, corporate pay-packs, tax-breaks, suppression of environmental laws, etc.).

    Then, in the far future, all the oil saved can be spent for space travel and space colonization to prevent our asses from being fried.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2006
  11. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    They've started using Korean-made supercapacitors to power some buses. It's interesting technology.

    The main advantage to supercapacitors in the future would be their cheapness, given better mass-production capabilities and advancements in nanotechnology. The basic truth still remains, however, that the highest sp. energy density wrt weight is found in batteries - supercapacitors are lie somewhere in between lead acid and lithium ion batteries for their weight - perhaps something comparable to a regular alkaline battery, if not too much under. There are other battery technologies, elaborated on printed literature and Wikipedia, that exceed lithium ion technology nowadays, which itself marks the ceiling yet to be reached for today's highest nanotech supercapacitors in terms of J/kg.

    My point is that in general, batteries have greater energy densities than capacitors for a given level of technology. But in the future, the cheaper cost of supercapacitors may make them competitive.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2006
  12. q0101 Registered Senior Member

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    You’re forgetting about the fact that the federal government in the U.S.A is not taking the necessary steps to eliminate the use of coal as source of electricity. All of the electricity in the U.S.A could be generated from environmental friendly methods (solar panels, wind turbines, hydro electricity) along with the existing nuclear power plants. 90% of the new cars on the roads in 2006 could be powered by hydrogen fuel cells, lithium ion batteries, a gasoline / ethanol combination, and of course a gasoline / lithium ion combination. Unfortunately the powers that be do not want to create an oil free environmentally friendly society in the near future.

    If a Democrat is elected to be president in the fall of 2007, he or she will have the power to make some major environmental changes. (I don’t think it is going to happen) The Democrats could begin by implementing a plan to make sure that at least 50% of the houses in the country have solar panels on their roofs by 2010. The federal and state governments could pay anywhere from 50% – 100% of the installation costs depending on the income of the homeowners. Most of the solar panels that exist today can reduce a person’s monthly electricity bill by 10% – 100 % depending on the season, their location, and of course the amount of energy that is used by the occupants of the house.

    An article about new solar panels that are cheaper and more efficient.

    http://www.relocalize.net/node/2442

    The federal government could also give more tax incentives to businesses that invest in environmentally friendly ways of generating energy.

    http://www.ifenergy.com/50226711/sunlight_not_just_for_drying_clothes.php

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/07/farming_the_sun.php

    I would also like the democrats to force automotive companies to make more new cars that are powered by lithium ion batteries and other environmentally friendly methods. I think new rules should be implemented that would force U.S citizens to pay a tax for some cars that are not fuel-efficient. (5% - 10% of the car's value) For example, the tax exemption for sedans could be cars that have an average of 30 miles per gallon or better. The tax exemption for SUV’s could be an average of 20 miles per gallon or better. Tax incentives could also be given to people that purchase cars that are powered by lithium ion batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. The federal government could compensate any financial losses that the automotive companies might have by reducing or eliminating their taxes for a couple of years.

    A link for those of you that think all electric cars are too slow.

    Scroll down to Zero-emissions, plenty of horsepower and Electricity and the Eliica.

    http://www.discoverychannel.ca/on_tv/car_video_list/index.shtml
     
  13. swivel Sci-Fi Author Valued Senior Member

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    q0101, you are making this a Democrat/Republican issue?

    The way I see it, the environmentalists have destroyed our ability to make eco-friendly power. They are the ones that equated nuclear power plants with "Nukes", and why we haven't built a new nuclear reactor in decades. I blame those morons, who are more worried about halting consumerism and production than they are about the environment.

    These are the morons that put up huge wind farms that slaughter bald eagles, and endangered species. They have no understanding of the principles involved, just reactionary, ideological, and politicized rhetoric.

    That's why one of the founders of Greenpeace left the movement, he saw a bunch of dumb hippies that wanted to smoke pot, listen to rock and roll, and go on marches. He didn't see anyone with an understanding of the issues. He helped start the movement of "conservationists" to separate themselves from the "environmentalists". And Al Gore has now stepped up as one of the leading thinkers and proponents of this movement. They understand that you can't stop progress and technology and consumerism, you just have to figure out how to make it as green as possible.

    And the solutions should come from the private sector, not the inneficient government. All of your points and links make it seem like the big government and our tax dollars should sort this out. That's insane. The private sector can do more with less, and that is where the solutions should come from.

    I bet you didn't know that our environment is much cleaner today than it was just 30 years ago, and much, much cleaner than it was 100 years ago. We have been able to increase productivity, and clean up the environment at the same time. All it took was an awareness of the damage we were doing, and public outcry. Now the heads of big corporations, like Ford, CARE about the environment. They care about the PR and increased sales that come from going Green as well. That is why BP has their current advertising push. If you support their cause, buy Ford and BP, the beauty of capitalism.

    But don't hold your breath waiting for a Democrat to come into office and magically make the situation better. They get lobbied by the same people.
     
  14. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    How many cases are we talking of here?
    (btw bald eagles are not exactly 'endangered')
     
  15. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    I honestly do not know whether a corporation has any sense of morality. However, I can only guess at what they want to do - to maximize profits.

    The beauty of capitalism is what swivel describes. However, that must assume the ideal political environment, a laissez-faire style government free of restrictions. The last time that condition was arguably best satisfied was before the Progressive Era of the first few decades of the 1900s, in the late 19th century, during the time of the railroad trusts and sweatshops. As swivel comments, this was probably one of the most polluted times in US history, but only in terms of visual pollution. The other 'peak' would occur sometime around the late 1980's and early 1990's, epitomized by the air quality in Los Angeles and the Exxon Valdez sexfight. Carbon dioxide and methane production, which are invisible, continue to rise in the present day.
     
  16. swivel Sci-Fi Author Valued Senior Member

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    Hmmm. :bugeye: Perhaps that is why I said "bald eagles, AND endangered species".

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-01-04-windmills-usat_x.htm

    "tens of thousands"

    There have been some studies done in other countries, like Denmark, that find no dead birds around their turbines. These make me laugh. Nobody is saying that all turbines kill birds. Especially not the turbines that exist where birds don't live!
     
  17. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Should not laugh as it is basically true that windows kill thousand of times more birds than wind turbines do on a per square meter basis. This is because birds are very sensitive to air currents - some can find very weak air currents and soar on them for hours. All wind machine create great drastic changes in the air currents both up-stream and down-stream from the machine. Even a blind bird can easily avoid them. Even humans, who are much less sensitive to the changes in air currents, can tell where the wind machine is with their eyes closed as amoung the changes that the the machnes make in air currents etc is what we call sound or noise.

    If a bird is killed, it is probably because he was very sick or genetically defective in the normal ability of birds to sense air currents. If a genetic defect, then a true bird lover should rejoice that wind machines may be able to selectively remove genetic defects from the bird's gene pool.

    Of course any true bird lover has already painted all his windows black.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2006
  18. swivel Sci-Fi Author Valued Senior Member

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    I wonder if that is because there are billions of times more glass structures and radio towers than there are wind generators? These are red herrings brought up by environmentalists that want it both ways.

    I think the good Senator Kennedy is on the correct side of this one, as usual.

    And my windows have a trough full of bird seed on them, so they know to halt flight and take a bite, not bite it in full flight.

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  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Read my post again, more carefully. I said "per square meter" or some such phrase. And I am refering to the area of the clear glass surface of the window and the area "swept" by the turning blades, if you do not understand "per square meter." Window are usually at least 1000 times more lethal to birds PER SQ. METER. (Yours with feeder may be only slightly more deadly per square meter as not all birds have been there before (In fact all have a "first time" visit and may fly into the glass during it.)

    I ran a wind mill test for US Coast guard on a beach with many sea gulls, and in several years not one was found dead below the wind mill. I shaired your concern until I understood why wind machines essentially never kill any, as the more extensive and systematic Danish study someone cited early also found to be the case.
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    I do not know about radio tower bird kill rate, but strongly believe if they kill some it will only be on windless days and then a distracted or very stupid bird or one with poor eyesight. I held a First Class FCC commercial transmitter engineer license (at age 14 - probably the youngest in US to ever have held one) and was employed by Radio WCHS. Once I did find a dead bird near one of the three towers, which allowed WCHS to radiate a directional pattern and use more power. I think it flew into one of the guy wires, but am not sure. Birds can fly thru a thicket of branches - this BTW is one of the reasons why I think many advanced creatures do make a Real time simulation* of reality as if one know anything about synaptic delay times, flying fast thru a thicket by only processing the retinal impulses to slightly later have a 3D representation of the external world would seem to be impossible.
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    *for more on my mental "real time simulation" theory read my paper on consciousness, free will, determinism, quantum mechanics, etc. Start about one display page down at bold text: Genuine Free Will is Possible in post:


    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?p=1031482#post1031482

    ("Genuine Free Will is Possible" paper explains how it can be consistent with physics.)

    ------------------------------------
    *My position is not the standard cognitive science one - quite the contrary, but it has great "explanatory powers" in many different areas of psychology, medicine, even anthropology (specifically, providing a new explanation for the "Out of Africa" event), etc.

    It is a "mental mechanism" that one would expect Darwinian evolution to produce. I particularly like it as, although it does not demonstrate free will is anything more than a very universal illusion, it does show how it can be real and yet consistent with the laws of physics that govern everything, including our brain processes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2006
  20. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    As the price of solar panels continues to drop, I believe the future will find more electric vehicles with solar panels to charge them up. Perhaps people will routinely have two cars, one charging and one in use, where now they might have only one.
     
  21. DaleSpam TANSTAAFL Registered Senior Member

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    Q: Who killed the electric car?
    A: The consumers.

    -Dale
     
  22. swivel Sci-Fi Author Valued Senior Member

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    Spot-on.
     
  23. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    Thought it was a misspelling of 'an' from 'and'. Turns out that it's a grammar mistake.
     
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