Article much shorter than I expected. Would like to have heard some words about how it handled, accelerated, stopped, etc. But it makes little difference, I drive 42 miles one way to work and I will drive my 94 minivan till the wheels fall off. It only has 238,000 miles on it.
It seems cars like these are for the smarmy better-than-you crowd anyway because they ain't affordable to buy or repair. You need a 2nd mortgage to put batteries in them.
Maybe I'm missing something: 3.3KW charger, 1HP = 750W so allowing for conversion losses, just add a 5HP wankel engine (about the size of a toolbox) and you have a hybrid. Hybrids DONT need the IC engine involved in the power train, just use them to top up the battery as your'e driving. A wankel that size should run 5-6 hours on a gallon of fuel. Just go down to any camping store and look at portable gennies - they use, frankly, primitive engine tech, produce 10-15KW, I've carried smaller suitcases.
My Audi has a 250BHP Diesel, I average 40MPG (British gallons) but for 95% of my driving, I guess I'm using about 10HP.
We need to break the mental link between maximum power output (at full RPM) and acceleration.
Well, maybe if you calculated the savings from significantly reducing our dependence on fossil fuels you would realize that it could help us meaningfully to reduce our debt. Just a thought for all budget cutters who are against any type of spending or government investment in our future.
Unfortunately, that is the way it is with H2 powered vehicles. The base facts:
1. There are no H2 wells, you have to get it from something else. If you reform it from hydrocarbons, you waste the carbon as CO2, and you might as well have burned it in the first place. If you want to disassociate water, then you take a huge loss in usable energy just to get the hydrogen.
2. There is no good way to store H2 for a vehicle. High pressure tanks are a probable menace, LH2 is problematic at best, with limited shelf life, and it takes considerable energy to take STP hydrogen, and get it to either of these storable states.
3. Once you have hydrogen, you need to be able to use it. Fuel cells are extremely expensive (makes the Lithium batteries look cheap!) and require very exotic materials and temperatures. Just burning it makes very little sense.
So, you have a triple threat to ever getting these things out for actual use by the public besides green PR campaigns!
According to Zipcar's PR
"According to a Frost & Sullivan report, depending on total distance driven, a car-sharing program can save members up to 70 percent of their total transportation costs. In addition to cost benefits, the same report found that on average in North America, each car shared replaces 15 cars on the road. Because vehicle miles traveled per driver is reduced almost 50 percent when car owners switch to car sharing, the change reduces CO2 emissions and resulted in 482,000 fewer tons emitted in 2009 alone."
Not good enough, I don't think. Who wants to be stopping at the very least one time each hour, on a trip, to do something as cumbersome as swapping a large, heavy battery? In fact, look where the batteries are typically installed, to keep the car stable. Low and centerline. What a chore!
If electric cars are going to make a dent, they have to be convenient and multipurpose. Otherwise, we'll be repeating the Segway hype. A niche product.
Nissan gets a gold star for doing what everyone "thinks" is ideal and ignoring the nay-sayers. I know plenty of people who could easily handle the mileage limits but I'm not one of them! Perhaps it's possible to put a gas powered generator in the trunk to charge the battery whilst driving!!! Or you could mount it on the roof!