Electric cars

plug
electrical-wiring

#1

(Is it not true that some years ago, GM, Honda, Toyota, created and sent out to the public, plug in electric cars that worked well(Tom Hanks, in a recent letter to the New Yorker magazine, says he still has one that has lasted ten years)?

If this is true, why does it appear that the manufacturers are saying they are “working” on figuring out how to do it, if they already have done it once and it worked, they worked, they got rave reviews?

Also, personally, I have owned an eGo Vehicles electric sit down scooter(vespa-ish in looks but not quite), a company that has been in business for years, and it runs competitively (except for range) with the smaller under 30mph gas scooters. I have never had trouble with it. I use it all around Chapel Hill, going to work and errands. Use it everyday, even in the rain.

So, what is the holdup on electric plug-ins, that seem to already have been made and the technology seems to be there?

Thanks.


#2

There are several problems with all electric cars. At this time they are just not practical.

The cars need greater range. As they are now they generally are only useful for short neighborhood trips.

The need a nationwide recharge ability and it needs to be fast. Not many people are willing to stop every hour or so and wait for 30 minutes to an hour for a recharge. A standardized battery pack that could be replaced rather than recharge might work, but we still need infrastructure that does not exist.

Longer lasting or really cheap batteries are needed.  

We also would soon need more power grid capacity as well as generation capacity. 

As it is, there are some uses where they would be practical, especially in areas like LA where smog is a large problem.  

As with so many other ideas, there is promise there, but it is not really ready to go YET.  

I would not want the government to pick any of the possible solutions at the expense of the others.  The selection process should proceed much as it is, by allowing the market place to drive the process.  I would suggest that government should work to offer incentives or dis-incentives for those factors like pollution that the consumer would not otherwise consider when making a choice.

This is much the same as in the early days of cars when steam, electric and gasoline were all on the market.

#3

The biggest problem with electric cars is that they satisfy a “nitch” in our commuter needs very well, but don’t do well in non hybrid form for high load and extended use. Americans are NOT willing to admit, that as a less than 100 mile commuter car for use by more than half of the US, they would be near perfect.

If it were accepted, it would mean a death blow to the automobile industry which makes much of their profits, not in sales but in parts and service of the ICE.

NO ONE will talk about that and the need for a car that can fill our needs, last a life time but needs to cost twice as much as an ICE car to make a profit and will put millions of autoworkers and suppliers out of work.

We are afraid to talk about it here as are the politicians. Heaven forbid they have an engineer as their spokesperson. China has and will continue to take the lead in this area. We will import our non hybrid EVs from they, Mexico and who knows where, and sell them at Walmart. They will need as much service as a refrigerator/washer and Detroit and the American worker will be left behind again.

We have an electric rover on Mars that has lived many years past it’s service life and still going strong. Not much is asked of it range and speed wise…but look at the potential we have “squandered” in the name on full employment, and the American dream. A conundrum that isn’t easily solved and saying they are not ready for prime time when they are, for limited use by ALL, is not the answer.

I have enjoyed the work performed and time saving of all my ICE devices, but could easily learn to love an EV too.


#4

You’re probably referring the the EV-1, which was produced and leased on a limited basis by GM. Watch the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car?” for (biased) information about this vehicle.

Most of the people who leased and drove them loved them, but as cars they had significant drawbacks. Their range was very limited, and as with all pure electrics, using lights, heater, etc, shortened the range even more. You needed to have a special charging hook-up installed in your house, too, which was not cheap.

They were also extremely expensive to produce and did not earn a profit for GM. The EV-1 should be considered an experimental vehicle, just like the Honda Clarity currently available in California (if you qualify).

Electric vehicle technology continues to evolve. The EV-1 was a prototype. The closest thing today is probably the Tesla roadster. If you don’t mind the price it might be right up your alley.


#5

EV1s were killed because of their non profitability. Range, with Nickel Hydride battery was a reasonable 120+ miles regardless of cold weather. Their technology was simple and easily replicated. a quick charge in 45 min to 80% capacity. Any house is a filling station.
Top speed was electronically governed to 80 mph, ostensibly for safety reasons. However, the EV1 was capable of much more. A test car without the governor has done 183 mph. It’s QUICK! 0-30 in 3 seconds, 0-60 in 8 seconds.
Production cost considered…electric motors, and batteries are cheaper to mass produce compared to ICEs and transmissions.
Again…they are more than functional but a threat to long term profitability (no parts or service). Production of the nickel hydride battery is limited by it’s patent holder, not it’s cost or functionality.

Of course “Who killed the electric car” is biased. Biased by the drivers who had to live with them, not profit motivated industries who try to sell cars. Aren’t the owners (on lease) MORE believable ?
Who would you trust to give you the real skinny on a car; previous owners ( like CU polls) or the car maker ?


#6

The all-electric Tesla is the only one currently available with sufficient range for daily use. However, it’s to early to tell how the battery packs will hold up over the years. And the Tesla is a sports car…period. It brings with it the compromises in comfort and utility that any tiny high performance sports car brings with it.

Still, it’s one heck of a start.

There still remain a number of challanges for all electric vehicles.

  1. longevity of the battery pack…still an unknown.
  2. range
  3. cost
  4. convenience…ability to refuel anywhere for long trips

Tesla is designed as a collector’s sports car. The GMs and Hondas of the world have to operate reliably daily drivers day after day after day for many years. And they need to be able to be driven cross-country if need be.

I’m optimistic that there will eventually be a breakthrough in energy storage technology and that gas stations will eventually have metered charging stations where you can plug in and “top off” while stopping for lunch, but we’re not there yet.


#7

WE DON"T NEED a breakthrough in energy storage to make EVs functionally capable of contributing significantly to our energy/environmental needs. 60 to 80 mile range; well within the capability of deep cycle lead acid and nickel hydrides here now…
NO AUTO COMPANY has any interest in building an all electric car.


#8

The Tesla 4 door sedan was recently unveiled, and reportedly, a huge number of deposits have already been accepted for delivery in…?

The reported 300 mile range, the rapid acceleration, and the 7 passenger capacity certainly make it sound appealing for those who can pay the $50k that they will be charging (no pun intended) for the vehicle.

Take a look at:


#9

NO AUTO COMPANY has any interest in building an all electric car

Frankly I believe you will find that they are interesed, or were until they did market serveys and found out that few customers were really interested in buying a car with a 60 mile range.


#10

Tesla sells the sports car for over $100,000. I doubt that the sedan costs half of that to produce. How can they make money on the sedan?


#11

These are two videos from Top Gear. One is reviewing the Tesla, and one is reviewing the Honda FCX Clarity Hydrogen Vehicle. The Tesla is obviously more fun to drive, but it has problems. It takes a long time to recharge, and that 200 mile range doesn’t work when driven hard. The FCX Clarity can be filled up as quickly as a gas car, and supports the driving lifestyle of freedom. You don’t have to wait hours for it to recharge, it can be refueled at a station.


#12

I didn’t say the EV-1 drivers weren’t believable, I just said the movie was biased. I think it was really stupid of GM to crush those cars. Very bad publicity move! But we’re talking about GM, and they owned the cars, so it was up to them.

There will be more, and better, electric cars as time goes on. I think battery technology is the key.


#13

“EV1s were killed because of their non profitability.”

Isn’t that another way of saying they are expensive?

“Top speed was electronically governed to 80 mph, ostensibly for safety reasons. However, the EV1 was capable of much more. A test car without the governor has done 183 mph. It’s QUICK! 0-30 in 3 seconds, 0-60 in 8 seconds.”

I bet it did, right before the motors smoked and the battery electrolite started boiling. Make a habit of doing 8 second zero to 60 and I doubt you will see a 60 mile range.

“Aren’t the owners (on lease) MORE believable ?”

NO


#14

The FCX Clarity can be filled up as quickly as a gas car, and supports the driving lifestyle of freedom. You don’t have to wait hours for it to recharge, it can be refueled at a station.

Of course that will only work if you have hydrogen stations where you want to go. When was the last time you say a hydrogen pump at a station along the freeway?

The idea has merit and if the cost of the fuel per mile can be competitive with gasoline. Don’t forget to factor in equal taxes because we will still need to pay for new roads and road maintenance.

As I have said many times, we are in the early stages of the process of finding the best solution. Today we have the today’s equal to the Stanley Steamer, the electric and and that dangerous gasoline engine thing, with only a few places where you can buy fuel.


#15

Tesla is the perfect example of why there’s a long way to go for EVs. More than $100k for a 2 seater is not a realistic option. This shows how difficult it is to make an EV that is a true replacement for modern cars.


#16

Ford has signed an agreement with Magna International, the giant parts maker, to develop an electric car. Magna has working arrangements all over the worlds, and the batteries will likely come from China.

The car market will eventually divide itself into local runabouts; small cars that are mostly electric and long distance vehicle which will be plug-in hybrids, or in the distant future, hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles.

Americans pride themselves on their adaptablility; I’m sure the future car fleet will look very different from today’s dysfunctional behemoths!

By 2016 the new car sales will already be starkly different as a result of Obama adopting California’s schedule for the 35 mpg standard.


#17

Of course that will only work if you have hydrogen stations where you want to go. When was the last time you say a hydrogen pump at a station along the freeway?

And I hope never…another umbilical cord tied to energy companies purse strings.
Ever thought about a seal failure… hate to think the vapor from LH leak would hit my face, cause third degree burns and loss of vision…just another safety hazard. Great, a fuel you can’t even survive near if it leaks and much more volatile than gasoline . And we want these pumps on every neighborhood so Exxon can profiteer on EVs ? I’ll say it’s ready when the proponents are pumping their own instead of using Californian’s as a guinea pigs.


#18

“I’m sure the future car fleet will look very different from today’s dysfunctional behemoths!”

Maybe not. In 10 years or so cars and trucks of similar size to those on the road today may meet the CAFE regulations but with new power plants. I think that people will be more willing to trade power plants for equivalent size. But that may be what you meant by “look different”.


#19

Autos like the Clarity will likely be found in large cities, like LA; that’s where the Shell station with hydrogen was in the Top Gear video. Using a car like this or an electric as a commuter/short haul vehicle could reduce gasoline use dramatically. Coal and oil use at the power plant may go up, but emissions are easier to corral at a large single source than millions of small sources in the same area.


#20

Lighting, heating, air conditioning, defrosting, wipers, DESTROY the range of electrics. The EV-1 CLAIMED to have a 100 mile range, and under test conditions, that MIGHT have been possible. But in the real world, they were lucky to go 50 miles and that just didn’t cut it. Also, pulling the battery down to 10% charge means very short battery life, a factor with even the new batteries…Consumers will expect that battery to last 10 years. Good Luck…