Why I will never buy an electric car


The energy used to compress the hydrogen can be recovered however, or at least some of it can. Many gas utilities are now using turbines turning generators to recover some of the energy used to compress natural gas in gas pipelines when they lower the gas pressure to distribution line pressures.
I can imagine a hydrogen powered car that is partially powered by a gas expansion engine that recovers some of the energy used to compress the gas.


Three phase AC only needs about 86.6% of the copper to transmit a given power at a given voltage and at a given transmission efficiency compared to both DC and single phase AC. That’s because the currents in the three hot lines cancel each other and there is no need for a ground return line.


DC is making inroads:


While an AC line has charging current, due to capacitance between the wires, this current really consumes no power other than the I^2*R losses from the current through the conductor.
It’s like the valve springs in an engine, it takes energy to compress them, but they return the energy when they decompress.
The same with piston inertia, it takes energy to accelerate a piston but the piston returns that energy to the crankshaft when it decelerates at the end of the stroke.
It takes energy to charge a capacitor, but the capacitor returns that energy to the system when it discharges.


@Steve_K1. AC would still be used on the distribution network, thats the network from the substation to the end users (customers). Nothing changes there. Only change is the long haul transmission lines. AC and DC are affected equally by Ohms Law so transporting high voltage DC is not different than transporting high voltage AC, the losses are the same. But DC doesn’t have the issues with phase shift so it is more efficient when there are multiple sources of power feeding a major substation.

BTW, there are several long haul DC transmission lines already in use in the US, all built in the last 30 years.

Here are a couple of links if you are interested.



Keith, thanks, new to me and something I’ll be looking into.


Sometimes technology is not the best solution. In 1974 when I was installing irrigation systems we were using schedule 40 PVC pipe with “saddle” tees which snapped over the pipe avoiding cutting pipe to install conventional tees. It then required drilling into the pipe with a 3/8s inch spade bit. There were some situations where 120V AC was not available to run the drills (no cordless drills then). The boss solved the problem by spending money to have a 12V DC to 120V AC inverter installed in one of our work vans. At a weekend swap meet I noticed a brace and bit. It was not an antique as the knob and handle were plastic and it had a standard keyed chuck which contained a 3/8 inch spade bit! I bought it for $2 and showed it to the boss Monday morning. He could not believe he had not thought of it since he had one. It reminds me of the urban legend where NASA supposedly spent a million dollars developing a zero gravity ball point pen while the Russians simply used pencils.


Yeah I inherited one of those braces and its hanging in the shop. Never used it though but I’ll think about it.


They could of course be handy during a power outage. I have a inherited Craftsman “speed wrench” which works on the same principle. Great for spinning in bolts or spinning on lug nuts which of course still had to be tightened/torqued. I went to the swap meet (Rose Bowl) looking for large water pump pliers which I still have (16 inch). I also found my 200mm metric crescent wrench which I later gave to my buddy who always joked about not having one to work on foreign cars.


Someday I’d really like to live in a community where I do most of my driving in an electric golf cart. Most of those communities don’t allow motorcycles though, so it will have to be after I’ve given up riding due to slowing reflexes.

I’m not a golfer, but I do like the simplicity of golf cart maintenance over full fledged car maintenance.


I have a brother-in-law that lives in one of those communities in Georgia. Everything you need is in reach via the golf-cart…Grocery store, mall, hospital, Veterinarian hospital…


I feel your pain. My first motorcycle was a 1965 Honda 305 Scrambler at age 16. My second was a 1966 Triumph 650 Bonneville at age 19. My final motorcycle was a 1981 Yamaha 650 at age 33 which was like the Triumph being my 1966 MGB verses my new 1996 Mazda Miata. I have also adjusted my driving due to age. I still enjoy carving the curves and clipping the perfect apex at much slower speeds but cannot understand why a driver of a giant motor home can stop at a stop sign, look directly at your motorcycle with headlight on then pull out! Right of way always goes to the biggest vehicle syndrome?


According to Wikipedia, the P-51 Mustang had a range of 1,650 mi with external tanks. Total fuel capacity was 419 US gal (a little under 4 MPG, btw) and a cruise speed of 362 mph, ceiling of 41,900 ft and a cost $50,985 in 1945 US dollars or $712,628 in 2018 US dollars.

Other differences are the need for specialized fuel, sometimes 150 octane, Mustang held only one passenger/driver, and needed specialized “parking spots” both starting a trip and ending one (safely), aka landing strips. Since no plans are announced to use a Tesla in a James Bond film, no need to compare ammo, rockets, or bombs. Suffice it to say, a P-51 could kill a lot of people.

So the point being made? Use the right vehicle for the trip intended. I would not (could not…) “drive” a P-51, but I might own something like a Tesla when my 2007 Prius wears out…if ever! But most probably not a Tesla per se, as I disagree with a lot of Musk’s politics, though I do appreciate his willingness to push the envelope on electrics. Remember, there were very few “gas stations” in 1909, so careful trip planning was needed then too, without an “internet” onboard.


Me, I cannot RIDE for 16 hours, never mind drive even half that. Never liked long drives, get tired/bored easily, so not a safe situation. An electric might be a good “excuse” for taking it slower!

Knowing your limits is a smart thing.


Let’s talk a little economics here people, since anything to do with safety seems to be so low on our radar.

My state has a decommissioned plant, Maine Yankee, in Wiscasset, with an array of 64 “dry cask canisters” that hold the spent nuclear fuel rods and other radioactive materials.

This article states ( http://new.bangordailynews.com/2011/03/16/politics/lepage-administration-still-eyeing-nuclear-despite-japan-crisis/ ):

“…ratepayers pick up the estimated $6 million to $8 million annual tab to store and monitor the radioactive fuel…” from the Wiscasset plant. Since 1996, that is an average of $7 million x 22 years = $154 million. And it produced NO electricity for us in those 22 years, just cost us money.

Well, since there is no other option for storing this poison, and it needs to be kept secure for the next 25,000 years… let’s do the arithmetic…that is $175,000,000,000, not counting for inflation. $175 Billion just in storage costs.

That is just one plant, that produced electricity from 1972 to 1996, a real short 24 years…

How many of those plants are there? 100 working ones in the US, a good percentage of which are near earthquake zones, BTW.

I would rather see all of a large wind turbine farm blow over in a monster storm. Imagine: some twisted steel to haul out, several dozen trees knocked over, some soil erosion to repair—-versus-—thousands of cancer deaths, for decades and decades, hundreds of square miles as no-go zones, food supplies contaminated, etc. for a nuke plant.

Real nuclear costs include the waste problem!


You also gotta remember that this is 1940’s technology. Charles Lindberg flew 3500 miles across the Atlantic with a custom built Ryan monoplane in 1927 and Burt Rutan with Jeana Yeager as a copilot flew around the world in a specially built airplane that was essentially a flying gas tank, the plane weighed over 4 times as much full of fuel as it did empty.
Today, a Boeing 747 can fly from LAX to Sydney and it’s not even a stunt.

The problem with electric cars and range is that the Tesla model S is already approaching the point of being a “battery on wheels”. Putting a larger battery in it increases the weight of the car and the additional weight partially offsets the additional range. In other words, twice as much battery does not equal twice the range.
Today, a gasoline powered car can be driven from coast to coast on the route of the driver’s choice and it’s not even considered a stunt.
To do it with a Tesla requires careful route planning and is still a borderline stunt. Maybe that will change as more charging stations are built.


It will and it won’t. It helps ease the anxiety a lot, but charging time is still an issue. You can get a boost at the supercharger stations but it doesn’t give a complete charge and is still longer than a gas stop.

Agree completely on diminishing returns of larger and larger batteries. You want the smallest you can tolerate on a day-to-day basis with some extra for those unexpected delays and travel.


I believe there is someone who is planning to recreate Lindberg’s trans Atlantic flight in a EV, but the plans include jettisoning depleted batteries to lighten the plane during flight. The depleted batteries would be guided to pickup points by GPS guided parachutes.


Wind turbine farms kill LOTS of birds, including eagles, every year

There is no easy answer


Most companies know how to do “Life Cycle Costing” which includes the overall cost over time to own and operate an asset.

However, usually only the internal costs related to the activity are counted; external costs such as environment degradation, health effects, carbon ejected, and other are usually excluded.

I have yet to see a total external and internal costing study for electric cars vs the traditional fossil fuelled version.

A relative of mine was quite surprised that owning an electric car in a region that relies on coal for all its electric generation had no net benefit in carbon reduction!!! The visible benefit of course is less urban air pollution, since the air pollution is generated far away at the power station and better controlled…

Only in a region that has virtually all its power generated by Hydro-electric is there a sizable reduction in Carbon (green house gasses) emitted. I hope the new EPA does more life cycle evaluations to help energy strategy planning.

Nuclear power is clean and affordable, but the “end of life” dismantling and waste disposal is usually not counted in the life cycle cost.