Hybrid is but a bridge technology, Marg. Good while there's still oil around that's not too expensive to tap. We have to think beyond that step, however useful and practical it's becoming.
But I agree with your observation about electrics and city parking. I don't have a driveway myself, merely a permit to park on my street. And yes, how does this coming battery tech behave in the coldest winter months?
if incandescent bulbs have 90% of their energy in the form of heat, isn't that less natural gas we'd need to heat our homes as a result?
If you were needing heat at the ceiling level of that particular room.
If it isn't summer and you're not consuming MORE power on AC to remove the excess heat. (Huge problem in the southern US)
If you're not in an office building where machinery and bodies already generate more heat than is needed.
Some lithium battery types perform very well in the cold but that is an issue as well providing cabin heat.
We used to have plug-in block heater stations - these will likely now transform to battery stations.
The advantage is that you're getting power not just heat to warm the block.
No question EV is more suited to warmer climes but Toronto and Vancouver would be no great issue.
Eventually we might see swappable standard battery packs with little AAA trucks running around for stranded motorists.
Parking meters might have "for pay" power outlets for a top up.
Covered with solar panels it's a nice little income generator and shades the vehicles.
Lots of opportunity.
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Couple of things
Electric is inherently more efficient in stop and go driving... no idling.
They produce less heat -- somewhere over 60% of gasoline energy is wasted as tailpipe and radiator heat that has to be dissipated. Electric's challenge is of course efficient batteries.
Right, thanks. I should have mentioned that the concept of electric cars is great, it's just that present wide-use technology isn't quite up to the task. For the all-electric car to work, we'd need a less expensive and more-replaceable battery technology as well as more efficient batteries.
But mostly -- electricity is a delivery mechanism for energy. Gasoline is a delivery mechanism for energy, so are coal, diesel and hydrogen.
Once you have fleets of electic on the road you have options -- you can bring on new technologies in solar wind and tidal and phase out the fossil fuel plants without changing the autos.
The stuff that Tesla is doing is pretty darned cool, and I think they have a really good strategy. First, they shattered the stereotype of electric autos (slow, unexciting, bland styling). The technology is still expensive, so a high-performance (and high cost) car is a great way to advance the technology and learn how to mass-produce it. The next step is to make a more "normal" car with a decent price tag, which they are already doing preliminary work on.
Their car uses thousands of small lithium-ion rechargeables, and the engineering put into their battery pack is amazing. It's thermally controlled for optimum performance and durability. It's designed to be safer in a collision. And they claim a lifespan of 100000 miles.
As for the questions regarding cold temperatures, Tesla claims that the roadster will work down to an ambient temperature of -20C. The batteries have to be above 0C to charge, but that's where the thermal control of the battery pack comes in.
EVs will only be a cost saver for individuals as long as very few people have them. @ $3 a fill up to your electric utility, the govt. will be getting no road tax. OK for a few cars, but if many or most cars go EV expect a per km tax of something like 5-7 cents per km each year when you register.
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