[LINK] Standards, please! The third coming of electric vehicles
kauer at biplane.com.au
Sat Apr 21 19:53:58 EST 2012
On Sat, 2012-04-21 at 01:51 +1000, Frank O'Connor wrote:
> - They don't do away with the problem of pollution
> and green house gases.
The primary driver behind most alternative liquid fuels is that oil is
> - Cost of production is as high, if not higher, than the current oil
> based alternatives ... and unlikely to shrink dramatically over the
> coming few decades.
Which will be irrelevant when the oil runs out :-)
> b) Electric also comes with its problems:
> - Generation of same still causes pollution ...
Not if it is generated from any of a dozen alternative sources such as
wind, sun, tide - and many of these are available right now.
> - It's marginally more efficient that internal combustion per power
> unit generated, but loses a heap of that advantage in the transmission
> of same.
Only if you transmit it. Local clean generation is possible *right now*.
> - Battery technology still sucks. Eight to ten hours for a complete
> refill on an e-car (four to five for an 80-90% refill), only storage
> of enough to travel a 100 - 150 Kms or so with any confidence, bulky
> and heavy enough to appreciably reduce the performance of the cars
> into which they are installed.
All vehicles must propel not only payload but also their propulsion
system, chassis and ancillary systems. In what way do you mean that
performance is reduced/ Or do you just mean that the weight of the
propulsion system is a greater proportion of the total weight of an EV
than it is with FFV?
> OK for short trips, not ideal for long ones ... and in Australia, the
> US and other big countries that is fatal for a general purpose motor
Sigh. No, it's not. It is *perceived* as fatal. For the *vast majority*
of trips undertaken by Australians, the range is ample. And it will in
any case increase with time. No-one is suggesting that EVs are suitable
for long trips, any more than they would suggest that a family sedan is
appropriate for, say, hauling wheat.
> - Electric engines (and the transmissions that serve same) aren't
> exactly the most efficient in design or operation at present. Gimmicks
> like turning the motor off when stationery, coasting and dual powered
> machines like the Prius and others that charge off the petrol motor
> are just that ... until electric can stand on its own. They are an
> interim approach with little to recommend them long term.
Electric engines don't *have* transmissions, except for forward and
reverse. There is no need for gears, because an electric motor develops
the same torque at any speed. As to which "gimmicks" will end up being
useful long-term - it's hard to say. Regenerative braking doesn't make
much sense to me, for example, but having a small auto-started
liquid-fuelled motor running at optimum revs to charge the batteries is
an idea that seems to have both advantages and disadvantages. Time will
> - Battery charging/replacement infrastructure is lacking ... as is a
> battery design that can easily and quickly be replaced at something
> like your local service station. Refuelling convenience is currently a
Recharging will happen at home or at common destinations like
workplaces, hotels, airports, train stations and so on. There really is
no point considering EVs for long-distance travel at the moment.
However, if the market is there for charging points I guess it could
> - Generation of electric is restricted at the moment to major power
No it's not! Anyone with a bit of roof space facing vaguely north can
get into power generation. And locally generated power gets rid of the
whole transmission losses thing. The single most energy efficient thing
we can possibly do is generate power near where it will be used.
Luckily you went on to say...
> - Electric can be supplemented by the consumer with improved solar and
> other technologies to power their vehicles ... and even a 10-15%
> supplement would appreciably reduce demand on the centralised sources.
> - It's so much quieter, cleaner and less intrusive than the roar of an
> internal combustion engine (especially on weekend mornings and the
> like when I want to sleep in). For that alone I would vote the Nobel
> Prize to anyone producing a viable electric car ...
There are already viable electric cars. There have been viable electric
cars since the seventies, it just depends on what you mean by "viable".
If you demand the exact same set of characteristics as you expect from a
FFV, then obviously you find no candidates to meet your exactin
criteria. If you want a car that will satisfy most requirements of most
urban dwellers and quite a few regional dwellers, then there are already
perfectly useful EVs.
And yes, cost is a bummer at the moment.
Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)
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