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Bert22306
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re: Culture shock: Driving an electric car
Bert22306   4/8/2011 11:20:16 PM
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Batman, thanks for the pointer, but not quite. In the post your are referring to, I agree that I wasn't clear enough. An H2 tank would seem to be enough to be rid of the battery. But in a previous post, I mentioned having a hydrogen separator on board, and a regular fuel tank. The problems with using stored H2 as fuel are that there is no distribution network and that H2 is really hard to store. For that matter, it's also hard to transport. It requires high pressure tanks, and it will find its way out of them before too long. Simply because H2 molecules are as small as they come. So, just like the car in this story started out with a dead battery, let the H2 car sit a while and you'll find yourself with an empty H2 tank. A really nice scheme, instead, would use some kind of liquid fuel, and perhaps a steam reformer. Or some other way of separating H2 from the fuel, right on board the car. Then from there on, it's like a hydrogen fuel cell car.

DrQuine
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re: Culture shock: Driving an electric car
DrQuine   4/8/2011 10:27:53 PM
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An interesting review - and the second one in a row I've read that started with a dead battery. I guess the first thing that journalists and family members will need to learn is to charge the car before handing it over.

Brad Pierce
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re: Culture shock: Driving an electric car
Brad Pierce   4/8/2011 6:05:29 PM
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Battery swapping at gas stations would be a solution for range anxiety http://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/advanced-cars/ev-battery-swappings-first-real-test if there were a standard.

Batman0
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re: Culture shock: Driving an electric car
Batman0   4/8/2011 2:53:33 PM
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Bert22306, the car you want already exists, the Honda FCX Clarity: http://automobiles.honda.com/fcx-clarity/drive-fcx-clarity.aspx Now, that's a car I could probably use as primary mean of transportation.

anon9303122
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re: Culture shock: Driving an electric car
anon9303122   4/7/2011 10:06:56 PM
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Simply confirms for me that electric cars will supply a niche market in densely populated areas. My base model '05 Jetta (Mk IV) cost me $15,500 out the door taxes, tag, title, etc. I've driven it just over 100K miles. Changed the oil every 5K miles and put on one set of Michelin HydroEdge tires. That's it for maintenance. If I were driving a LEAF, I'd be into a new battery pack by now. Ouch. That won't be cheap. I have purchased 3,525.395 gallons of gasoline for $9,408.60 and driven 102,719 miles as of the last fill-up. That is a lifetime average of 29.1 miles. Not too shabby. Given the price of a LEAF or a Prius or Volt or whatever, I've been driving for FREE, no in fact, my car is paying me to drive it.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Culture shock: Driving an electric car
old account Frank Eory   4/7/2011 9:34:47 PM
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Bert that's a good one! I just had a mental image of dozens of EVs driving around with extension cords dragging behind them for those quick trips to the corner store. I don't know how big the trunk is, but perhaps you could fit several hundred yards of heavy-duty cable in there :)

Bert22306
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re: Culture shock: Driving an electric car
Bert22306   4/7/2011 9:00:07 PM
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I would love to have a car with electric drivetrain, but I can't get very excited at all about battery electrics. And share schemes, like zipcar, except for the most urban of city dwellers, who otherwise would be taking public transportation or the occasional taxi anyway, I don't think would be a solution with significant impact. I just don't see Americans latch on to that in a big way. We should start a campaign: "Get the battery out of electrics!" Do that, as Toyota tried years ago, and I'll start to salivate.

Rick DeMeis
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re: Culture shock: Driving an electric car
Rick DeMeis   4/7/2011 8:53:43 PM
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The 220V dock DBG uses (see his comment above) for his Leaf goes a long way in relieving the "range anxiety" caused by the long time to charge with the trickle charger. You're right about city parkers needing access to a charge as being a concern in many places.

Bert22306
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re: Culture shock: Driving an electric car
Bert22306   4/7/2011 8:52:26 PM
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Actually, 230V is also common in US homes. It is used in all the heavy appliances, like electric stoves, clothes driers, and water heaters. We have 230V available in the garage too. Hefty 3-prong connectors. But that leads to another problem. Apartment dwellers have no place to plug these in, unless apartment complexes install electric distribution systems throughout their garages and outside parking areas.

Bert22306
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re: Culture shock: Driving an electric car
Bert22306   4/7/2011 8:48:04 PM
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What a shame. I was already planning to be able to run to the closest 7/11 store, with a long extension cord trailing behind, connected to my garage outlet. Save my battery charge that way. Hey! I did that with my electric mower!

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