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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 10:36 PM   #1
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Electric Car = Bad Idea

Is it just me or are electric cars a bad idea; I mean plug in the wall fully electric cars like GM is pursuing...think it's called the volt. This car does have the ability to charge on fuel but cann plug into a 110-volt outlet.

With energy crisis an everyday phrase, how is this anywhere near a good idea? Will it actually offset the cost of refining fuel if people are using less fuel? Doubt it, doubt it woud make a dent in fuel consumption unless all vehicles on the road make this change... NA GA HAP EN!

Discuss amongst yourselves, I'm veklempt...
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 11:23 PM   #2
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The issue is that reducing fuel consumption does not always mean an environmentally friendly car. For example regular batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid. The more exotic batteries, required by an all electric car, are even more poisonous. Even a hybrid totes around a LOT of batteries. A car that runs entirely on battery power requires even more of them. Whatever; the owner can expect a huge bill when the time comes to replace those battery banks.
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 11:42 PM   #3
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Current battery tech is designed around 15 year battery packs ( basically the life of the car ) with a strong closed cycle aspect ( gets turned back into the manufacturing facility ).

Electric Vehicle Battery Primer: A Conversation with John Voelcker « Earth2Tech

Compared to the savings in carbon emissions- it's a very minor aspect.

It's early yet - I'll let you know when I get mine

Ah $3 fillups - can't wait.



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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 12:46 AM   #4
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Ah $3 fillups - can't wait.
Somebody somewhere will make sure....that does not happen.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #5
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Somebody somewhere will make sure....that does not happen.
Sure. The government won't rest until they put a 900% tax on it.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 01:34 AM   #6
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I think it was MAD Magazine who (very sagely, and not for the first time) said "Solar power will never take off because nobody owns the sun, and the government can't tax the sun."

(not the exact quote, I'm afraid -- I read this about 30 years ago, the last time solar power was touted as a solution to oil dependency.)

I'd love to get excited about electric cars, but more electricity (with present technology) means more coal-fired plants (or more nuclear), more air or radiation pollution, and no net gain on carbon reductions, at least from what I've read so far.

I think the real innovations are going to be more fundamental, ie better conductivity, fission research, solar (yes, solar in selected uses), steam and wind.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #7
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I think it was MAD Magazine who (very sagely, and not for the first time) said "Solar power will never take off because nobody owns the sun, and the government can't tax the sun."
Nice quote, but governments can certainly tax the technology and/or the equipment.

The 'little guy' will always get the shaft...and I don't mean the one on a wind turbine.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 02:08 AM   #8
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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.

But mostly -- electricity is a delivery mechanism for energy. Gasoline is a delivery mechanism for energy, so are coal, diesel and hydrogen. They all have different efficiencies and losses -- for example even if you burn oil it is much easier to generate electricity efficiently at a central powerplant and control emissions, than it is to generate an equivalent amount of power in 100,000 individual car engines and control emissions. -- I simply don't buy the 'no net gains' argument against electric. 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.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 03:36 AM   #9
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.....Even a hybrid totes around a LOT of batteries.....
Two isn't really that many...
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 03:45 AM   #10
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Is it just me or are electric cars a bad idea; I mean plug in the wall fully electric cars like GM is pursuing...think it's called the volt. This car does have the ability to charge on fuel but cann plug into a 110-volt outlet.

With energy crisis an everyday phrase, how is this anywhere near a good idea? Will it actually offset the cost of refining fuel if people are using less fuel? Doubt it, doubt it woud make a dent in fuel consumption unless all vehicles on the road make this change... NA GA HAP EN!

Discuss amongst yourselves, I'm veklempt...
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I'm not sure what it says if you use less gasoline but end up using more electricity, likely produced at coal firing plants. That's my beef about the proposed mandatory use of CFC's actually—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?
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