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Old 01-28-08, 04:05 PM   #1
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[rant] what part of ELECTRIC VEHICLE don't politicians get...

...instead we have crap compromises like hybrids, bio-fuels that cost more in lost food production and extra transport than the fuel they're replacing, fuel cells which are soooo efficient...not, etc.

Why are EVs not top of the R&D pile?

Not that I really care about "The Environment" but, having come from a third world country, I'm looking forward to watching more bio fuel production than food production wrecking the already shaky agriculture and, possibly, economies as well.[/rant]

...and here's a random picture to lighten the tone.

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Old 01-28-08, 04:07 PM   #2
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The politicians are owned by oil interests.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:09 PM   #3
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Hydrogen's next. Pretty sure R&D dept's are over the whole EV thing.

Electric vehicles, from something I read once, actually cost more to produce and 'fuel up' at EV recharging stations than other cars....not to mention the impact on the environment after the batteries have lived their useful lives.

Electricity is generated by burning coal about 70% of the time.

Water cars are probably next (ie: hydrogen)...but someone somewhere is scrambling to find a way to sell it and make it profitable.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:17 PM   #4
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Electric vehicles, from something I read once, actually cost more to produce and 'fuel up' at EV recharging stations than other cars....not to mention the impact on the environment after the batteries have lived their useful lives.

Electricity is generated by burning coal about 70% of the time.
That too.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:21 PM   #5
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The politicians are owned by oil interests.
and it took you how long to figure that out?
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Old 01-28-08, 04:22 PM   #6
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Lessee..... the first warnings happened in 1974....
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Old 01-28-08, 04:23 PM   #7
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A lot of people can't look past a list of far-fetched what-ifs. "I can't buy a [small|hybrid|electric|fun] car! What if I need to tow a yacht through the Rubicon while hauling seven of my closest friends and their luggage?!" Or, not quite as extreme, a situation that may come up once or twice a year, if that. You'd think it would never occur to people that it's possible to have more than one car for different uses, or even to rent a more specialized vehicle for occasional tasks. In any case, they see the 120 mile range, and instantly disregard it.

Beyond that, manufacturers are reluctant to bother with anything that isn't going to be The Best Selling Car Five Years Running, or anything that is Outside The Core. Look at Toyota. They used to sell all kinds of different cars, including no fewer than three different sports cars. Now it's all minivans/SUVs, trucks, and sedans.

Also, keep in mind that GM did sell (well, lease) a fully electric vehicle at one point. The EV1 was well-liked by its drivers, but then GM axed the EV1 project and destroyed all of the cars, and I don't think they've ever really said why.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:31 PM   #8
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who killed the electric car, the movie

doesn't explain much, if anything, but is entertaining in a "popular science" kind of way

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...80948273722203
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Old 01-28-08, 04:32 PM   #9
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The politicians are owned by oil interests.
Even worse in some cases: The politicians own the oil interests.
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Old 01-28-08, 04:40 PM   #10
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...instead we have crap compromises like hybrids, bio-fuels that cost more in lost food production and extra transport than the fuel they're replacing, fuel cells which are soooo efficient...not, etc.

Why are EVs not top of the R&D pile?

Not that I really care about "The Environment" but, having come from a third world country, I'm looking forward to watching more bio fuel production than food production wrecking the already shaky agriculture and, possibly, economies as well.[/rant]


...and here's a random picture to lighten the tone.

looks familiar.

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Old 01-28-08, 04:54 PM   #11
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looks familiar.

[.IMG]http://www.thai-blogs.com/images/richard/ayutthaya_005.jpg[/IMG]
yeah, it's from Angkor Boike....................................ddddddrrrrrmmmmmtish
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Old 01-28-08, 05:01 PM   #12
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P&R but...electric cars aren't the solution folks. It takes coal to generate the majority of our electricity, how is that a solution?
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Old 01-28-08, 05:03 PM   #13
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Energy.

Patent a battery that can hold 1/10 the energy of gasoline per unit weight and/or volume, takes ten times as long to refuel as gasoline, and has 100 times the initial cost of gasoline, and you'll be the world's richest man.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:04 PM   #14
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That's another thing. In order for anything to gain traction, it has to be "the solution". Not a solution, or something that would help, it has to magically fix everything.

"Ethanol isn't the answer! We can't make enough to fuel all hundred million cars in this country!"

There's no reason there can't be cars running on gasoline, diesel/biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, and dog vomit, all at the same time. It's not an all-or-nothing kind of thing.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:05 PM   #15
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P&R but...electric cars aren't the solution folks. It takes coal to generate the majority of our electricity, how is that a solution?
(Power Plant Efficiency)*(grid transport/storage efficiency)*(electric motor efficiency) *(transmission efficiency)>> (conventional gasoline efficiency)*(transmission efficiency)
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Old 01-28-08, 05:06 PM   #16
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That's another thing. In order for anything to gain traction, it has to be "the solution". Not a solution, or something that would help, it has to magically fix everything.

"Ethanol isn't the answer! We can't make enough to fuel all hundred million cars in this country!"

There's no reason there can't be cars running on gasoline, diesel/biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, and dog vomit, all at the same time. It's not an all-or-nothing kind of thing.
Thank you.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:15 PM   #17
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Also, keep in mind that GM did sell (well, lease) a fully electric vehicle at one point. The EV1 was well-liked by its drivers, but then GM axed the EV1 project and destroyed all of the cars, and I don't think they've ever really said why.
Some people stole them at the end of the lease. It was quite common in Kali. I actually saw one in Ohio last year and my jaw about hit the pavement.

I know I always say it, but I'll do it again anyway. If you hook a hydraulic accumulator to an exhaust pipe you can use the compressed air to run the car. My favorite method of doing this is to have an all wheel drive car, the motor powering the front wheels, and the compressed gas powering the rear wheels for the most part. With that system, the engine is usually off and you run on exhaust pressure. If you have a regular engine and nothing else fancy about it, you could get about 70 mpg with a 2 ton car. If you added this system to a long stroke diesel hybrid, you could be looking at 300 mpg with a larger sized sedan. Add in a 80 mile range rechargeable battery, and you have a hell of a car.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:19 PM   #18
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Hydrogen's next. Pretty sure R&D dept's are over the whole EV thing.

Electric vehicles, from something I read once, actually cost more to produce and 'fuel up' at EV recharging stations than other cars....not to mention the impact on the environment after the batteries have lived their useful lives.

Electricity is generated by burning coal about 70% of the time.

Water cars are probably next (ie: hydrogen)...but someone somewhere is scrambling to find a way to sell it and make it profitable.
We need to throw out our old coal powerplants and go nuclear and also further develop fusion.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:26 PM   #19
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We need to throw out our old coal powerplants and go nuclear and also further develop fusion.
It's not a case of further developing Fusion.....

We don't even have a working model of a fusion plant that generates excess power on a scale that is commercially feasible. Europe has a planned Fusion Plant that MIGHT come online in 2040....

Princeton has a TOKOMAK generator that could produce enough power for 3000 homes, but the front end fixed technology costs make it nonfeasible at this time.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:28 PM   #20
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I can see some things that keep electric cars from becoming mainstream, but the barriers are slowly eroding:

1: Looks. People didn't want to be snickered at by their neighbors for owning a Herbie clone. However this is becoming less of an issue. The Tesla cures this for roadsters.
2: Battery energy per pound. Supercaps are helping in this department, with a 10-100 fold in energy density, not to mention a capacitor charges in seconds (energy in a capacitor is stored by a physical process, not chemical as in regular batteries.)
3: Infrastructure. This wouldn't be too hard to fix -- stick 120VAC outlets in a parking lot.
4: Drivetrain. In the big trucks that haul rocks on quarries, they already use electric motors for each wheel, being powered by a gasoline generator (the torque requirement is so large that using a driveshaft is infeasible). There is already a lot of work done on scaling this down, so each wheel would have its own motor. Already there is work on getting drivetrains built around electric motors (which have a distinctly different power band than gasoline engines.) This gives not just good 4WD, but easy to add regenerative braking.
5: Acceptance. People would accept an electric vehicle if it looked the same (or similar) as their existing cars/trucks.
6: Cost. Hopefully the USG can chuck in some subsidies to make people more willing to make this tech to sell to the unwashed masses.

All and all, I love the idea of electric cars. Here in Austin, the majority of the electricity comes from wind and solar (though some does come from coal and nuclear.) So, using an electric car doesn't move the pollution from the gasoline engine to a metropolitan generator, it lessons it altogether.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:47 PM   #21
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That's another thing. In order for anything to gain traction, it has to be "the solution". Not a solution, or something that would help, it has to magically fix everything.

"Ethanol isn't the answer! We can't make enough to fuel all hundred million cars in this country!"

There's no reason there can't be cars running on gasoline, diesel/biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, and dog vomit, all at the same time. It's not an all-or-nothing kind of thing.
Thank you.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:53 PM   #22
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I like the notion of electric cars. But I think the problem was hit upon earlier in the thread: there is no such thing as a one vehicle that fits all solutions. Need to move 8 people? Don't look for 50mpg. Etc. Proper tool for the job.

Electric could be nice, if we overlook the issue of power capacity and grid limitations for a moment. Efficiency could be much higher than internal combustion. New battery types (and supercaps) might make such cars very good for short jaunts across town. Let's face it: we have become a country where families do own two cars. What's wrong with a short distance commuter, and a long distance, larger vehicle? I guess the issue is that not everyone thinks the same: we all want our "ideal" vehicle all the time, and won't accept less as a compromise. The wife and I already have reasonably good mpg cars: one gets 37, the other 46--I'm guessing that's because we value high mpg and practicality (or maybe because we nutso people).

I like biofuels, but I think our gov't knows too little about it, and is too easily swayed by the lobbies. And screwing it up in the process. But certainly, adding just 5% or 10% biofuels to our petrofuels is going to make a dent in the problem--and help pave the way to future answers.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:54 PM   #23
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I should add, I have yet to buy into the "hydrogen future". That I don't see the efficiency in just yet--biofuels are a much better solution than that.
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Old 01-28-08, 05:54 PM   #24
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It's an Evil Oil Company plot. Oh yes.
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Old 01-28-08, 06:07 PM   #25
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I should add, I have yet to buy into the "hydrogen future". That I don't see the efficiency in just yet--biofuels are a much better solution than that.
I'm leery of both hydrogen and biofuels.

So far, biofuels have done little to reduce the price of gasoline at the pump, but have done lots in raising food prices, forcing some families to have to resort to local food banks.

Hydrogen seems to be more of the same. Its an expensive process to electrolyze water and break it up. It requires dedicated refueling stations. It just seems to me like more of the same. On the other hand, electric cars can be recharged anywhere (provided the outlet has the right voltage/amperage), and requires less energy to be put into a battery.
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