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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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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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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 :D

Ah $3 fillups - can't wait.
 

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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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Tritium Glow
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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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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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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...
The Progressive Conservative Party is neithr progressive nor is it conservative nor is it a party…discuss. ;)

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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why don't you buy a pretty little scooter and ride it around town with your girlfriends eh?
 

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Electrically powered personal transportation has a LONG way to go before pronouncing it wholly environmentally friendly. Currently, the technology is only a nice thought and somewhat of a consumer level money saver.

The potential for alternate fuel vehicles is unlimited. A concerted effort could have delivered products which are environmentally friendly and economical, easily by now. Everyone could have been driving energy efficient, low cost, maintenance free personal transportation today!

Until the last drop of oil is squeezed from this rock, it's all a pipe dream.
 

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Electrically powered personal transportation has a LONG way to go before pronouncing it wholly environmentally friendly. Currently, the technology is only a nice thought and somewhat of a consumer level money saver.

The potential for alternate fuel vehicles is unlimited. A concerted effort could have delivered products which are environmentally friendly and economical, easily by now. Everyone could have been driving energy efficient, low cost, maintenance free personal transportation today!

Until the last drop of oil is squeezed from this rock, it's all a pipe dream.
There were electric cars developed by GM about 10 years ago in the US but because of political problems in Washington they all got pulled from the market. I think they were only sold on the West cost.
 

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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 :D

Ah $3 fillups - can't wait.
Couple of thoughts. First these are recent technology batteries. The Energizer NiMH batteries I use in my camera claim thousands of cycles and 20+year life spans. However after about 30 cycles the charge holds about 10 days instead of 6 weeks. Are the 15 year life spans similarly exaggerated?

I assume the recycling will take place in India or China or some overseas location that offers no oversight, no environmental protection and no guarantee that recycling will take place at all. Nor will there be any guarantee that the workers handling these products are not being poisoned due to inadequate equipment or training. Actually how do we know the batteries won't be dumped into the ocean as soon as the captain is sure his ship is not being watched by the coast guard?

A key aspect to a successful electric vehicle is a solar powered charge system (probably on the roof of the garage). To be really useful this needs to drop in price from $10/watt to about 50¢/watt for the initial installation. A small wind generator could also do the trick in some areas. But either way the most efficient use will be local commuting for someone that works at night.
 

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I assume the recycling will take place in India or China or some overseas location that offers no oversight, no environmental protection and no guarantee that recycling will take place at all. Nor will there be any guarantee that the workers handling these products are not being poisoned due to inadequate equipment or training. Actually how do we know the batteries won't be dumped into the ocean as soon as the captain is sure his ship is not being watched by the coast guard?
Good points, eMacMan. I suspect we are often quite content to accept the term "environmentally friendly" at face value and are ill-inclined to dig up the particulars.
 

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There were electric cars developed by GM about 10 years ago in the US but because of political problems in Washington they all got pulled from the market. I think they were only sold on the West cost.
Ah, yes... the EV1 of "Who Killed the Electric Car" fame. Plenty of unanswered questions regarding its demise/withdrawal/death. Undoubtedly, it was "too good" for the masses. ;)
 

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Against polluting the atmosphere battery recycle issues are a bit of red herring. Even now 95%+ of lead acid batteries are recycled.
Information on Recycling Lead-Acid/Automotive Batteries

a) solar is completely immaterial - a fillup with grid power is $3 - who cares :rolleyes:

Long term battery packs for vehicles are expensive assemblies and to be cost effective for the companies will mandate factory replacement just as the Prius does now.

Toyota even pays scrap yards that handle damaged Prius for the battery packs. They pay $200 for a Prius - you can imagine what a full EV pack is worth.

Comparing a camera battery pack with a vehicle is like chatting about a wind up rubber band plane and a airworthiness certified aircraft...utter tripe. :rolleyes:

One the major keys to EV is battery pack life cycle cost - they are NOT a throwaway item.

A large aspect of this is getting weight down with composites. Most people drive short distances and that's where EVs will make big inroads. But having to cope with major highway driving in the same vehicle presents a problem in getting weight under control.
hell most people could do a lot of run about in a golf cart ( and do in sunny areas ). That's how Friendly Cars got started.

It's the major road issue that is tricky.

A week of driving locally for $3 bucks in electricity is available NOW if some of the gov barriers get sorted out.

Volt's approach is a serious mass market - usable under a wide range of conditions and geared for major roads.

No gas locally and yet a 600 mile range...that's a magic combination.

Plug in Prius is near and so is a Honda EV.

These guys are coming to North America this year

Home - Think



city

TH!NK city demands very little of you. In fact, not much more than a mobile phone. Just an overnight power top-up, and it’s ready to go in the morning. It can travel up to 200 kilometres (124 miles) in city driving on a fully charged battery, with a top speed of 100km/h. It is fun, clean and simple.

Think City EV
With its award-winning focus on clean lines and clever details, Think City is an example of the best Norwegian design. Well-defined wheel arches, ample width and strongly defined shoulders are indicative of good road-holding and excellent handling. Luckily it not only wins design prizes; it also wins hearts.

Available in Europe in the first half of 2008; available in the US in 2009)
EnerDel puts a lithium-ion pack in a Th!nk City EV

Posted Jun 9th 2008 at 5:09PM by Sebastian Blanco



EnerDel, the li-ion battery subsidiary of Ener1, announce today that a "fully functional lithium-ion battery pack" is currently operational in a Th!nk City electric vehicle in Indianapolis.

Ener1 has a large and growing facility in Indianapolis, and it's no secret that Norwegian company Th!nk will soon build cars in North America, with an eye to selling up to 50,000 units here each year.

Ener1 sent out an email to investors today that says that the installation of the li-ion pack, "indicates that EnerDel is on schedule to meet the year-end timetable for volume production under its supply agreement with Think Global." It seems like the battery pack is a 27 kWh pack, just like the three EnerDel sent to Think Global earlier this year. The potential success of companies like EnerDel and Th!nk are good not only for drivers - who might see hybrid premium paytimes of as little as two years if they're not into the pure EVs - but also for the venture capitalists who have been standing behind Th!nk.
It's here now.....lots more to come...

Galleries for Th!nk here

Th!nk City - AutoblogGreen

This the one I like - slated for 2011 from the same company


KickingTires: Think Ox Concept
 

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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."
Well, they are not far from it...they are taxing carbon now. XX)
 

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Electric sounds cool but how do you plug it in to charge up?

I don't think some of you have thought things out. The bulk of the people living in the city, who are most inclined to want an electric car, have no driveway and no way of charging.

Another thing to ponder. How well do these all electric cars keep a charge at -30 C for a couple of weeks when they are parked outside 24/7 ?

As neat as an all electric car sounds I don't see any practicality in them. Hybrid is the way to go, IMO.
 
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