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Old Sep 27, 2012, 12:16 PM
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An interesting article here, and the picture!

http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/20...000-slideshow/

Anyway there's too much emphasis on price which more incentives could negate anyway. The point is for everyone to be driving hybrid/EV, powered by renewable energy, to clean the atmosphere the hell up. Also other alternatives: urban reorganization, advanced public transport, etc...
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Agree, however, most people make decisions based upon economics and alternatives to fossil fuel burning vehicles have an extremely large gap to bridge before they become attractive to the average Joe.

Even if the cost to the consumer were comparable today, mass adoption of all-electric vehicles would be absolutely devastating to large metropolitan areas as the 'refueling' infrastructure simply does not exist. The populous Northeast and Southwest US are subject to rolling blackouts during heatwaves to alleviate strain on the aging and overloaded grid. Adding a large number electricity sucking e-vehicles to the mix would be catastrophic.

As one can easily see, there are many many decades of work to do before electric vehicles become anything more of a niche or curiosity.

Mark
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 02:18 PM
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I don't buy it. The infrastructure is power transmission and it already exists. Most people will charge overnight, so it may have little effect. It can be all be done pretty quickly if we wanted to, seeing as 50 million (or whatever) people in the petroleum industry are going to be out of a job. They could install & maintain 80,000 offshore wind turbines in 6 months if we wanted to. (Made up those numbers). But we *don't* want to. My point was that Tesla shows that it's all pretty much here, now. We just don't want to actually do it in N. America. Other countries are, & they're much smarter for it.
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 02:42 PM
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According to the federal energy information administration
http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/r...lectricity.cfm
only 13% of the energy produced in the US in 2011 was by renewable sources. In contrast, 42% was produced by coal, so your "clean" electric vehicle will in actuality be powered largely by coal. Before the energy can get from the coal generating facility to your wheels, it has to go through several stages of transmission and conversion, each one having significant losses. I don't know the actual numbers, but that coal generating facility might have to produce 2 or 3 kilowatt hours for every kilowatt hour you actually use.

If you watch the commercials for plug in hybrids, you get the impression that they don't cost anything to fuel up, as long as you don't have to buy gas, but of course that's not true. I did some investigating to find out what it would do to my electric bill. I found that at the rates I was paying (summer rates) it would triple my bill, going from about $50.00/month to about $150.00 a month. That would be roughly the same monthly cost as a 40 mpg ICE car.

IMHO as the availability of petroleum goes down, and the price of gas goes up, and the availability of renewable energy sources goes up, and the electric vehicle technology improves, there will come a time when electric vehicles make sense. That time has not come.

Dan
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrforsyth View Post
The populous Northeast and Southwest US are subject to rolling blackouts during heatwaves to alleviate strain on the aging and overloaded grid. Adding a large number electricity sucking e-vehicles to the mix would be catastrophic.

As one can easily see, there are many many decades of work to do before electric vehicles become anything more of a niche or curiosity.

Mark
I've lived in the Northeast for 40+ years and we have never had rolling blackouts. Where are you getting your facts? I agree there's lots of infrastructure work that will need to be done, but you need to understand that that infrastructure work is not going to get done until it's needed. You can play the chicken and egg game all you want. Eventually it will come. Large scale technology change is not doing to happen overnight, however, I don't it's going to be many decades before electric vehicles become more of niche or curiosity.
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 02:55 PM
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I don't buy it.
You don't need to buy it. Unfortunately, those of us living in Los Angeles don't have the same luxury. Peak electrical usage (and resultant grid stress) in the summer months is in the evening hours when people arrive home from work and turn on their air conditioners, and would also presumably be plugging in their cars, which consume far more power than most air conditioners. Compounding this truth is the fact that the excess demand for air conditioners is nearly always addressed by burning coal, a fossil fuel!

Personally, I would much prefer to have an electric powered vehicle vs. gasoline powered. However, I've done the math and for me personally it would be colossally foolish, at least for the foreseeable future.

Incidentally, here's one of the vehicles that I researched and also had a very engaging conversation with their technical leadership: http://www.codaautomotive.com/. IMO, the fact that they're targeting the real-world individual rather than catering to the upscale wealthy with disturbing amounts of disposable income is very admirable.

Mark
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ohmic View Post
I've lived in the Northeast for 40+ years and we have never had rolling blackouts. Where are you getting your facts?
My apologies. The preferred term for the NE is 'brownout'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_blackout

Mark
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mrforsyth View Post
My apologies. The preferred term for the NE is 'brownout'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_blackout

Mark
So now you have the process and term correct, but do you have any data on the frequency and duration of these brownouts?

The bottom line is that there will never be a perfect time for a large scale new technology rollout. The power infrastructure will never be upgraded with the anticipation of EVs. The system will only be upgraded after there are enough EVs to cause a serious strain to the infrastructure. It's simple economics, the utilities are not going to want to have to pay for something until it's absolutely necessary.

Being a pioneer and living on the bleeding edge is not for everyone. This country did not get where it is today by everyone waiting until the cost benefit analysis was 100% in their favor in order to make a technology jump. Just look at all the folks who upgrade their iPhone every time a new model comes out. It's certainly not cost effective, but people do it and I don't understand it. On the bright side it puts a used iPhone in someone's hand who might not be able to afford one otherwise.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 03:47 AM
3JJ
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When thinking of government funding, we should always look at the big picture. Not just pick individual failures and point how much taxpayers money has been wasted. Also here in Finland the media likes to dig the failures, they make good headlines. Nobody talks about the success stories, how taxpayers money was well spent. Not to mention overall statistics over all companies that received government funding.

Speaking of EVs, The new Prius PHEV looks good to me at least. It has bigger battery pack and the ability to charge the pack at home using normal wall socket in 1,5 hours. The pack gives 25km (~16mi) range, that would take me to work and back, and also cover most of the random needs for everyday driving. Unfortunately it works only at city speeds, but still when you exit the highway you could switch to electricity. Of course there are still the usual questions, what is the range with A/C on, what is the range in winter, but looks good on paper. The only bad thing is that I live in a country where a car sales tax is out of this world, and Prius PHV would cost nearly 40000€ (~51000 USD)...
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrforsyth View Post
Agree, however, most people make decisions based upon economics and alternatives to fossil fuel burning vehicles have an extremely large gap to bridge before they become attractive to the average Joe.

Even if the cost to the consumer were comparable today, mass adoption of all-electric vehicles would be absolutely devastating to large metropolitan areas as the 'refueling' infrastructure simply does not exist. The populous Northeast and Southwest US are subject to rolling blackouts during heatwaves to alleviate strain on the aging and overloaded grid. Adding a large number electricity sucking e-vehicles to the mix would be catastrophic.

As one can easily see, there are many many decades of work to do before electric vehicles become anything more of a niche or curiosity.

Mark
I do not think that electric cars put a critical strain on the electric grid. In fact, the opposite might be closer to the truth.

One advantage of Electric cars is that they make sense considering the smart grid. Basically, when charging at home, one could allow the electric energy companies to remotely control the charge rates of the cars, and get a discount in exchange. If a load spike occurs, the charge rate is temporarily reduced, and if there is more electricity than is needed, the charge rate is increased. This levels the load on the grid, and makes power stations much more efficient. Compensating the fluctuating loads we have today is a small nightmare for the electric suppliers. Instead of adjusting power stations to the load, which is a complex process with all kinds of disadvantages like inefficiency and a reduced lifespan of the hardware (turbines, reactors, etc) involved, the smart grid has practically no disadvantages.
This way, one of the main problems of renewable energies like wind or solar power, which is a high fluctuation of the energy prodiction, can be bypassed.
In case of a black out, one could even reverse the charge process and let the cars power the grid for a short time (vehicle to grid, v2g)
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 05:54 AM
A man with too many toys
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Winter Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrforsyth View Post
All-electric vehicles are littered throughout Southern California, where the weather is near-perfect all of the time. IMO, owning an electric-only vehicle in other market that has extreme temperatures (desert heat or sub-zero freezing) would be foolish and self-indulgent.

Mark

Thatís a very big problem. If thatís true the potential customer base is very restrictive. I really donít see how itís a smart business decision to make a product that excludes most of the world.

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Old Sep 28, 2012, 06:35 AM
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Haralson County GA. USA
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Quote:
my Insight the AC costs about 1-2 MPG. Not as much as a standard car.
Back when I comuted75 to 90 miles per day working over the years I averaged 32 MPG weith a Chev. caviliar, 26 MPH and with a Dodge D-50 . Thus were averaged ove 100,000 miles plu for each vech. I log gas purchases date,gallons,cost for each fill up mhave for over 30 years. I check milage for a tank full every feew months and from time to time for over a 10 to 20 tank range.

I have never seen any difference in milage with AC on or off. AC does not require that many HP to run. What eats fuel is setting at a stop on the interstate because other fools can not drive side by side without wrecking.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by everydayflyer View Post

I have never seen any difference in milage with AC on or off. AC does not require that many HP to run.
You must not be measuring very accurately. Running that compressor is simply not energy free. Period. This is why Prius uses the electric AC to help mileage figures.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 08:39 AM
jrb
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RE: AC; it's not the windows open versus AC mpg argument.

Energy is consumed when using the AC; where's come from and how does that affect range (EV) mpg (Hyb).

Guessing the Prius AC compressor is powered by E so it the same unit as an EV; and arguably it's could off and go a few miles w/AC on only using battery.

Does it use electric heater(s) too?

EV @ 150mph: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage...at-150mph.html -- a Million+ bucks!
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 08:45 AM
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I see a difference in my very low HP Insight with AC on VS off. That 88hp gas and 13hp electric have work to do to run the AC. I also syspect on a 300+ HP muscle car the mileage difference might be very small.

But there is no question it makes a MPG difference. The computer in my Insight helps to minimize the MPG difference. On really hot days here in TX (many of those) and I turn the economy setting off and AC runs full (as does the gas engine) it drops my mileage between 1-3mpg. It is easily noticeable with the Insight - less so on more powerful cars.

I don't run with the windows down much - can't offer an opinion - but they guys on Car Talk have discussed windows VS AC.


Mike
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