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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. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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  2. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    This is the one thing you have posted lately that I agree with. This massive loophole is a gift from the feds, IF one buys an electric car AND generates their own electricity.

    It is a partial escape hatch from present day economic slavery, for those that choose to use it. Partial freedom is within our grasp. Make the choice!
  3. spirilis

    spirilis Minister of Fire

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    Well when putting the efficiency of coal-fired power into perspective, the idea of burning anthracite at home doesn't seem far-fetched at all to me. Not that I'm looking for a new stove (and mine burn wood) but I'm thinking a lot more about recommending them to folks around here who hate their obnoxious heat pumps. The power around here mostly comes from coal power in WV/PA transmitted over long distances through the mountains.
  4. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2759/are-electric-cars-really-more-energy-efficient

    This is one of many, many articles debunking the myth that electric cars use more energy or polute more than gas cars. These rumors are always self serving, serving those interests that would profit from the elimination of electric cars.

    Please folks, google it yourselves if you are unsure. Inspite of the ineffiencies of power generation, transportation and battery charging, electric cars save about half the energy.
  5. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Good point about how we're going to pay for roads. Alternative ways to pay road "taxes" are already in the works. One scenario, and one I like, makes those that use the road the most pay the most. This means heavy users (weight and mileage) like trucks, will pay much more than the average commuter. It follows that the cost of transported goods, like motor fuel, will also cost more.

    Yes this requires electronic tracking though and the "big brother" issue that many worry about. I can tell you its coming anyway in the form of OEM and government supported safety programs like IntelliDrive.

    Also, if the Smart Grid becomes a reality, users may be taxed extra for electricity that goes to charging vehicle batteries as opposed to household use.
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    What comments here and the link above tell me is that we'd be a lot better off if we generated our power locally or even regionally instead of going it three states away. Imagine if PVs or other alternatives were cheap enough that every house had them.

    This would address most of the negative issues brought up here (transmission losses, coal combustion pollutions, national security, wear and tear on roadways, etc.) and hopefully without creation of other negative issues.
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I see a nuclear future. We're mostly hydro here in the NW anyway.
  8. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Agreed. Think of all the schools, and public buildings, and other flat topped buildings that could house solar panels on their roofs. When Edison was pushind DC, he was using mighty small engines to turn his generators. I believe neighborhoods or towns could do the same fairly easily.

    From another post I think that burning coal to directly heat houses is another good idea.

    Matt
  9. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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  10. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Too bad Tesla isn't around
  11. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I don't know... He was a pretty dangerous fellow. I recall he browned out a good portion of the city with one of his experiments. I'm not sure I'd want to be around when he was trying to transfer power through the air.
  12. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Another thing to consider WRT local (household) power generation is that most of it is originally direct current electricity. Many household appliances (computers, TVs, heaters, pumps, etc) could easily operate on DC, in fact many do and have AC to DC power supplies to handle the AC provided from utilities. The relative efficiency of many appliances could probably be improved if they operated on DC instead of AC. Local generation would help with that also. I can envision where homes will be built with both AC and DC outlets and appliances will be configured to operate on either.
  13. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    i think anytime you push the frontiers of new technology there's bound to be some danger, and Tesla was pushing really hard. To think, when his initial efforts in sending electricity through the air didn't work as predicted he said "well, we just need to build it bigger". I think I would have enjoyed hanging with Nikola.
  14. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I read an anecdote of him and Mark Twain. They used to take x-rays of themselves, at levels so high they claimed it heated them up.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    DC lost to AC due to transmission losses. There were relatively small generating stations and many of them. Transmission losses meant that the power source had to be close by, meaning many generating stations and motors powering them. This was inefficient and polluting.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    On Sunday I get to test drive a Nissan Leaf for a couple hours. I don't really intend to buy one, but am curious about how good a job they've done. Stylewise, the car is a turn-off to me. Looks like a car sucking on a cod. But we'll see how it compares to the Prius for drivability.
  17. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    My point in another post in this thread (and what brought up Mr. Tesla) is that AC is better when generation is further from usage like you say, line losses etc. However, if we're generating DC at a local (rooftop) level, maybe we should reconsider the whole AC/DC thing. Its less efficient to invert the DC to AC and then send it back into the grid than it is to use it as DC at home in appliances that can run on either source.

    You know Edison used to electrocute animals to demonstrate how dangerous AC was compared to DC.
  18. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I believe he cooked an elephant at one time.


    Matt
  19. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    He also invented flouresent light bulbs, three phase electricity, radio, x ray, vacum tubes,coils, the tessla turbine and developed AC.

    We really wouldn't be very far along with out him.
  20. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    Dont you worry about taxes on these electric cars. They will find the tax money somewhere. Say rediculous registry fees for everyone, another tax on electricity, another tax for permission to use the roads.

    In taxachoosetts they would happily tax the air you breath if they could hire enough college professors to figure out everyones daily air consumption rates.

    But I digress.

    I will only buy an electric car if I can get one for less than 10k, with awd, and I can fix myself. Oh well, guess I am not getting one.
  21. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I think they should continue to road tax imported fuels,and temporarily exempt home grown energy to affect the transition,if and when electric cars hit a predetermined market penetration say 50% (this figure is low considering our imported oil % is way above this figure) then figure out some sort of usage tax based on Miles driven and vehicle weight.
  22. kinshipknight

    kinshipknight New Member

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    I'm also intrigued about what the road taxes are going to look like. Do vehicle taxes skyrocket? Does electricity get taxed?
  23. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    funny how when I was in school they told us Marconi invented the radio......with only 17 or so of Tesla's patents (another one of those "you just can't believe everything you read" things). I think we have a lot to thank him for. That whole Niagara Falls thing has worked out pretty well I'd say.
  24. SteveKG

    SteveKG Minister of Fire

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    Here in Colorado, the State decided, couple yr. ago, that they didn't have enough $$$ coming if for road maintenance and related other stuff such as bridges, etc. So, the state legislature added $60 to each auto's annual registration fee. It is much higher for trucks, etc. So, all our registrations shot up in one smooth move. It is not stretch to figure that, should EVs take off here, the state will simply jack up registrations again. This increase is permanent, by the way.

    We have significant excess electricity being generated by our PV system. We could charge an EV. If it were so set up, the vehicle. However, we also must drive the Interstate to get to most stores, jobs, etc. from the mountains and foothills up here to some place such as Denver. It isn't gonna be less than 40 to 50 miles each way, plus any running around down there. Plus, steep hills running in six mile stretches along the highway, which eats up battery power. Long ranges for EV. Plus, we need a bit higher vehicle clearance from the road surface for those snowy days, and 4 wheel drive to get around on numerous days. I need a small pickup truck for hauling firewood, etc. Put it all together, [higher profile car with more drag, 4 wd which consumes more power] we are not even close to getting a reasonable EV that will fullfill all those requirements. Maybe some day, don't know about in my lifetime.

    Of course, there are many more people living in cities and suburbs who could use a different, EV, car.
  25. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

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    The biggest obstacle to electric cars (like most green tech) is price. Only a handful of wealthy elites are going to buy an electric car that costs far more than a competitive, high efficiency gasoline car. Just as with a flashy roadster, they are doing it for show.

    Most people without money to burn are going to keep their present cars, or buy an efficient gasoline car.

    Unless Green products can compete economically, they are just trendy fashion.
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