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Electric cars off to a big start in the wrong direction. IMHO

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Seasoned Oak, Nov 6, 2010.

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  1. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Iv been following electric car development for 15 years. Im very pleased that almost every auto Manufacturer is jumping on the bandwagon with their version. Only problem is i think it would make sense to electrify the vehicles that use the most gasoline not the least. Electrify the pickups and the suvs, the 10 -14 mpg fleet, not the compact sedans getting 25-40 mpg already. I know they have to start somewhere but start plugging the dam at the biggest hole. Perhaps more attention should be on conversions until battery tech improves and prices come down to include bigger vehicles from new. Check out raser Ind at http://www.rasertech.com is doing that starting with the hummer and also doing suvs and pickup trucks getting some good results. I see a converted pickup truck in my future.

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  2. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I don't know. My wife's Camry hybrid is no lightweight. I find it faster than the V6 and it gets half again the gas mileage. Not sure I would replace my 10 year old 3/4 ton Suburban with a hybrid version even if they made one. I wish I had bought the diesel though.
  3. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    The main design premise for electric vehicles, including conversions, is to use the lightest possible vehicle, for the longest range possible. This has been the case for decades now, nothing new at all. If YOU need or want a heavy vehicle, go ahead and convert one.

    By the way, battery tech is pretty phenomonal NOW. Costs are high, and will continue so, until mass marketing is acheived.
  4. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Id love to convert my silverado 2500HD to electric with a range extender generator. I like the diesel version but i make a lot of short trips so electric would be ideal and diesel not so ideal for short trips.
    Problem with car companies is they want to sell you a brand new electrified vehicle so the cost of a new car or truck is built in to going that route. Im sure a lot of people would pay 10-15G to convert their already paid for truck vs to buy new electric truck for perhaps 40-50G. RIght now the govt is throwing in $7500 tax credit to buy even a foreign imported nissan leaf,would we not be better served with that money paying for an american made conversion?
  5. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    "The main design premise for electric vehicles, including conversions, is to use the lightest possible vehicle, for the longest range possible."
    This is true for the car companies but not the conversion company at the website that i referred to,they are going for the most gas guzzling largest vehicles probably cuz the need is great and they will have little competition in that area. they seem to be shooting for 40 mile AER, also by converting existing trucks you solve a huge expense issue of combining expensive batteries with a new truck cost. The gas saving will be much greater here cuz trucks and suvs simply use more gas.
  6. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    I have a GMC 3500. The eight years I have owned it I average under 2000 miles per year. My wifes car is driven upwards of 20,000 miles per year. Her car uses aproximately half as much gas per mile as my truck. Which vehicle should I replace with electric first, to save the most gas?

    In spite of what I say above, I agree that light and medium duty trucks are good targets for conversion. I also agree that it would be great to be able to apply the $7500 rebate to existing vehicle conversions, especialy since the write off applies to foriegn built vehicles as well as domestic.
    I think you have to agree though, that for now, the low hanging fruit is in getting as many internal combustion cars off the road as soon as possible.
    Don't get me wrong, I think we are many years delayed in the process. Oil comapnies have done a fantastic job in delaying the availability of an affordable all-electric fleet.
    Electric cars are particularly reprehensible to "conservatives" since the owners can produce their own fuel; no sale, and no taxes on the sale either. For this reason alone, one would think liberterians would be their biggest proponents.
  7. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Dune
    I consider myself a conservative but im also a democrat so that my be a contradiction in terms,but im all for the concept of being Off the grid and independent in as many ways as possible.
    I m also very excited about the electric cars coming out.(I check the GM volt website daily) ,even though none of them meet my needs,they will meet a lot of commuters needs and shine a path to domestic energy production and less petroleum use overall. Im hoping all this new technology will trickle down to the van and truck market eventually. Cant think of a better setup than an electric car or truck in a garage whose roof is covered by solar panels.
  8. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    My wife drives 7 miles to work, after a detour to drop my daughter off. She is the ideal candidate for an electric vehicle. I have a 2500HD van and drive anywhere between 2 and 400 miles in day. Sometimes I carry very little, and sometimes I carry over 1,000lbs in equipment. Even with these requirements I think 99% of the time I could get away with a plug-in hybrid because I could run the generator to charge the batteries in between stops.

    Sooooo, if I'm not driving on the road could I use an on-board diesel generator to charge batteries and be using off-road diesel? Huge loss of jobs and tax revenue when electric vehicles get real.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    For light duty trucks, pure electric makes sense for utility vehicles that run a defined route and local distance daily. Smaller UPS and Fed Ex vans are examples. For medium weight trucks and the more varied use and distance requirements of an average SUV, a well designed hybrid may be more practical at this time.
  10. jayd65

    jayd65 New Member

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    You can not make an electric car that you just plug in that is saves anything, you are just robbing peter to pay paul. Unless you are using clean energy to make the elctricity, such as nuclear, hydro, or wind, then you are just sweeping the dirt under the carpet. Until then electric cars will not make a lot of sense.
  11. elijah

    elijah Member

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    USA - Chevy Volt - range with electric power - 25-50 miles.
    Japan - Nissan Leaf - range with electric power - 65-125 miles.

    Just saying...
  12. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Does your theory take into acount the fact that electric motors are 90% efficient versus 20-30% for internal combustion engines? Electric cars use half the energy of gas models. Additonaly the U.S. produces most of our electricity from domestic sources (national security).

    Finaly, many of us could produce our own electricity, gasoline is a little more difficult to manufacture at home.
  13. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Ford Focus electric, range 100 miles (USA)

    Coda electric sedan, range 100 miles (USA)

    Tesla Roadster and Model S, range 150 or 300 miles (USA)

    What were you saying...?
  14. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    How are you going to go about making all of that electricity? I'd bet that the production, transmission losses and then converting it to DC for your car is going to be much less efficient than you think.

    Matt
  15. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Making the electricity is easy. Power plants are mostly idle during the hours when most cars would be charged.

    As to converting to DC, you would have a point, if transformer technology was still prevalent for charging purposes. Fortunately, it is not, having been replaced with highly efficient inverter tech.
  16. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Sorry, must not have been clear with my point. The power plant most of us would be using is probably burning coal and probably isn't exactly "green". I just did a google search and a site suggested the average coal plant's efficiency is only 31%. (I hope they are a bit more efficient than that.) Then from there there would be losses from the power going down the line all the way to my house (the charging station), and converting the power will still not be a clean changeover... It will still take energy to do it. Then an electric car, using the numbers in post #11 (yours), has a motor that is 90% efficient. I have to wonder if the process is any more efficient than an internal combustion engine that is 20-30% efficient. I think what is happening is marketers are doing an excellent job of telling people half of the story. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing. They are paid to sell the product.

    I'm not saying that electric cars or hybrids are bad. I agree with the above post that suggests pickups are a good place to start. There is an awful lot of area under the bed that could be used to store a battery. The same area with an 18 wheeler. I think the torque that the electric motor could do wonders in getting a heavy load moving from a dead stop... the hardest job an engine has and where the most fuel is used. One only has to look to diesel/electric trains for motivation.

    Matt
  17. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Average US coal fired electric plant is about 30% efficient, and the most advanced coal fired plants (super critical) get close to 50%, which is about the theoretical maximum efficiency for converting one energy source to another. If the plant also provides heat from the cooling/waste water to industrial, commercial or residential users, the overall efficiency goes up, but very few coal/electric plants are situated to permit this. From that base efficiency, line loss (10-15%) must be deducted, and further deductions for the energy, labor, overhead, profit and distribution cost to get the coal to the generating plant. Then upon arrival at the end user, further deductions in most cases for wasted heat. In the end, net energy efficiency of coal/electric is abysmally poor, probably approaching 2% or so on the down side and maybe 10% on the upside. Finally, add in the hidden societal costs of CO2, acid rain, mercury, and other pollutants, and I wouldn't be surprised if in the long term coal has a substantial negative "efficiency."
  18. elijah

    elijah Member

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    The only realistic competitor to the Leaf could be the 'global' Focus.

    Magna International, HQ in Canada, took a Focus and converted it to an all electric design on their own time and presented it to Ford in '08 and Ford said 'We'll take it!' Ford did nothing to invent this. Price to be announced but is supposed to be competitive with the Leaf's $33,000 price tag. This same EV technology and design from Magna is being sought by other manufacturers as well.

    Coda sedan - base price 45,000 bucks!

    Tesla roadster - base price 101,000 dollars! Are you serious? Lots of transmission problems (definitely the coolest looking of the lot, but not realistic in mass numbers)
  19. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Right, because there is no polution from gas cars.
  20. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Chevy Volt, Hybrid, electric and gas, apple

    Nissan Leaf, electric only, orange
  21. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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  22. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I don't think the Feds are going to let an all-electric vehicle on the road. Period. There's no way they can control it. There's no way you can tax it to pay for the roads (if indeed that's really where the money's going).
  23. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    The feds are already on board with the 100% imported all electric nissan leaf car that qualifies for their $7500(taxpayer funded) tax credit. Not only are they allowing it ,they are paying for it. Same with the cash for clunkers $4500 rebate, it too went to many imported foreign cars ,instead of american produced vehicles were it could have added to our GDP instead of our trade imbalance.
  24. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Id still prefer american made coal produced electricity over saudi arabia or Venezuela or Iranian produced oil as a national security policy as well as an economic security polic
  25. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Although i would probably not buy a toyota they did make a very good electric version of the RAV 4 called the RAV4-EV . THe ones that survived the buy back are still in use today with 125 mile range using a NIMH battery. Not bad for an SUV. THen chevron (AN oil company) bought the patent for the battery and effectively killed this electric SUV. Still cant believe that was legal. Now that li-ion batteries have come along toyota has once again announced they will start producing this model. No production date as of yet.
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