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E-car's future doesn't hinge on batteries

9/9/2010 04:25 PM EDT
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Jack.L
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re: E-car's future doesn't hinge on batteries
Jack.L   10/15/2010 4:13:55 PM
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We are way too early in the innovation cycle for batteries I think to "force" a standard though there is nothing stopping battery companies from getting together with car companies and doing that.

markogts
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re: E-car's future doesn't hinge on batteries
markogts   10/13/2010 11:45:43 AM
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I don't care much for leasing vs. buying, but the idea of a standard battery is the key. Hey, I have two batteries for my camera, don't you think I should have more than one for the car either? Quick swapping would allow for daytime charging with PV panels, would increase range etc. This is the typical case where "better" is the enemy of "good": it's time to sit down and define a standard *now*, before EV start to be bought by masses.

Haven Wildcat
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re: E-car's future doesn't hinge on batteries
Haven Wildcat   10/12/2010 1:47:44 PM
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No wonder we're in such a financial mess! Only a couple of posts question the idea that leasing a battery is going to somehow make it cheaper! What magical source of funds is Fukutake planning on tapping into to make up the difference?

ssco00
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re: E-car's future doesn't hinge on batteries
ssco00   10/8/2010 6:48:03 PM
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I have two problems with in wheel motors on a car. First the increase in unsprung weight will affect handling and ride. Also in the north, where I lived most of my life, winter driving would mean bathing the electric motor in salt water. That is usually not healthy. For me, the current drawbacks to electrics are price for one with sufficient range for driving in a large metro area where nearly every trip is 50 to 80 miles by the time I get home. With summer temperatures above 110 degrees, air conditioning is a must and most of the alleged range numbers are not likely to reflect that driving condition.

selinz
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re: E-car's future doesn't hinge on batteries
selinz   9/30/2010 1:06:56 AM
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The question is not if electric will take over, it's when. The key is finding energy storage that works, as has been pointed out by many above. Wikipedia say Hydrogen can be converted, stored, and burned at 93% efficiency. I doubt that, but if it's true, that's pretty good. Cars will have to be lighter and people will have to SLOW DOWN. Those latter two will be tough to institute quickly. All of this will be accelerated "naturally" if the price of gas doubles or quadruples.

Jack.L
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re: E-car's future doesn't hinge on batteries
Jack.L   9/21/2010 5:11:48 PM
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aefrgqergqwergqe ... Lots of great comments speckled with ranting that was not completely accurate. Cold weather for a battery can be solved to some degree with insulation and self heating. Not completely, but it can significantly increase capacity. Arizona is an issue for battery life for many technologies, but LiFePO4 does not have as bad of high temp degradation as other technologies such as Lithium-Cobalt and basic Lead-Acid. Even in America, the average commute is still not as large as one would think. Many could do most of their trips (not all) with limited range vehicles. But to your point, if it is highway driving, then hauling weight does not matter. Air drag does not go up. Rolling resistance will some, but acceleration and deceleration of the mass is significantly recovered in an electric vehicle. Your buddy design electric controllers. That does not make him a fuel cell expert. They are not great, but there is a good chance they will be. Many technologies were not great but through improvement now are. Most of the electronic things we use currently could be considered that.

Jack.L
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re: E-car's future doesn't hinge on batteries
Jack.L   9/21/2010 5:02:17 PM
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No offence to the guy, but building a fortune on language instruction does not a car person make. I make great power supplies, solar power systems, and LED lights. I would not know where to start on language instruction. This is at best a minor improvement. In fact, it is not even really new. Range + Cost + Refueling: All three must be solved. This effectively solves none of those issues. Not one. Leasing a battery does not magically make it cheaper. In fact, since you will have more hands in the pot, I could argue that it must make it more expensive.... sort of like my leased cable box which I could have bought by now. Instant replacement packs are interesting as they solve the refueling issue. In terms of recycling, I am not remotely concerned. We are talking about something currently in the hundreds of kilograms. You do not just put that out with the trash. There will be no choice but to dispose of it properly. I would guarantee regulations on the matter unless the industry solves on its own (See PVCYCLE for solar). Which gets us back to range. Battery technology still needs to improve 3x before somewhat mass adoption occurs. It is great that I can get back and forth to work, but what if I want to take a side trip, see friends, etc. I think in the short term, the Chevy Volt has the right idea. Battery when you can ... which people will use since electricity will be much cheaper. Range extending engine when needed or when I forget to change the battery. I forgot to plug my car in is not going to go over to well with the boss. What we need in the short term is a very efficient and small generator that can sustain enough power to push a mid-size car at reasonable highway speeds. Acceleration can always be handled by the electric system. Shame that fuel cells are not there yet. A fuel-cell electric hybrid would be a good next 20 year solution.

aefrgqergqwergqerg
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re: E-car's future doesn't hinge on batteries
aefrgqergqwergqerg   9/17/2010 9:02:45 PM
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(Continued) The simple fact is that it does not make sense to haul around 300 pounds of batteries that cost $10,000 when you drive in America, a country with a large proportion of high-speed freeway driving. If you have a cab, maybe. Trains use diesel-electric hybrids since they need a lot of smooth torque at low speeds and they operate at a fixed speed. Airplanes use jets since they operate at constant speed at high altitude. I was an automotive engineer for ten years. We tried to put a small turbine motor in a city bus in 1972. It had way too much fuel consumption, jets don't like to idle. Electric cars are a at best a marketing ploy and at worse a hoax. There will be micro-hybrids that use a bigger (lead acid) battery and a starter-generator so the engine stops when the car stops, but that is about it. As that Tesla engineer told me, batteries improve at 8% a year, not 100% like semiconductors, so don't expect a pure electric car as a primary family vehicle for a long time. There are some electric dirt bikes and electric scooters that work pretty well, so if you want to be conspicuous green, hum around in one of those and give up the safety, convenience, and passenger and cargo space. Golf carts are great too, although Yamaha sells both gas and electric carts and implies sensible golf course owners should buy the gas ones. The electric motor was invented by Faraday in 1830. The internal combustion engine was the great new technology that replaced it around 1900. Get over it. I built an electric car 10 years ago and guess what? They sucked back then and they will suck for as long as batteries cost a fortune and weigh a lot. Look at a Kelly Blue Book. A used car with electric windows sells for less than one with manual windows. Wait till you see the price penalty that the market will put on a ten-year-old electric car. And I sure hope you don't think these battery packs will work in a Minnesota winter or an Arizona summer.

aefrgqergqwergqerg
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re: E-car's future doesn't hinge on batteries
aefrgqergqwergqerg   9/17/2010 9:02:09 PM
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There are so many fallacies in this thread it is hard to know where to begin. Leasing an absurdly expensive component will not change the fact that it makes the car impractical. It might remove the inherent liability and reliability problems of a battery, but it does not change the cost structure, it makes it worse. Experienced auto people know that leases are for fools with more money than sense, who like to pay hundreds of dollars a month to end up with no principal or hard equity. My buddy designs electric car controllers and he calls fuel cells "fool's cells". He tells me the only thing stupider is hydrogen. They are both promoted by scientists, who don't have to care about cost. He calls these scientists "silver-tongued grant suckers". Talk to some automotive engineers, not the politician marketing dorks but the real line-level folks that have to get this hype-fest crap working. See you at SAE Convergence next month. Hub motors are great for bicycles, but an electric motor has a torque and power and efficiency curve just like a gasoline engine, and you need a transmission, at least two speeds, to keep it in it's sweet spot. Hub motors also cause horrific handling since they add so much to the unsprung weight. They are also bad for NVH (noise, vibration, and handling). To say the auto business is not innovative is to ignore the mind-boggling improvements in pollution, safety, convenience, and performance, all done will small cost increases and all done in an environment that needs the temperature range and vibration resistance of a military or aviation design.

fb36
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re: E-car's future doesn't hinge on batteries
fb36   9/15/2010 4:29:37 AM
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I know that gears that transfer power from engine to wheels are a big cause of inefficiency in all types of vehicles. And since in-wheel electric motors transfer power to the wheels directly, they should be more efficient than other electric vehicles, also lighter. Also another advantage would be if one wheel motor fails it still would be possible to continue driving the vehicle, unlike other electric cars.

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