"There is a superior battery for EV but Chevron - an oil company - bought the patent on NiMH technology from GM. T.... Chevron refuses to license NiMH for large enough format to power an EV"
I thought you were a typical nutcase conspiracy theorist, but cursory glancing around the web shows that there may actually be truth to this. Anyone else know about the Chevron NiMH patents for car batteries?
There is a superior battery for EV but Chevron - an oil company - bought the patent on NiMH technology from GM. Toyota made an EV using NiMH in 1995 and Chevron sued the EV out of existence. Chevron refuses to license NiMH for large enough format to power an EV, they hold the patent soley to keep EVs out of the market and to perpetuate their oil profits. A fine example of our patent system at work. The patent expires in 2014.
When doing the sums for figuring out the travel costs, don't forget to amortize the cost of a replacement battery. Depending on various factors this will typically be far more than the cost of the electricity.
Somewhere around 60% of car owning households have two cars and around 35% have three or more (Experian Automotive). This sets the stage for a pretty large market potential for all-electrics. The problem comes in when you start with the subtractions.
Apartment dwellers and big city dwellers without easy access to recharging: Someday, perhaps charging stations will be wide-spread enough, but until then, these folks don't really have the option. Unfortunately, big cities are an ideal spot for small electric cars.
People with long commutes are out. Stop and go traffic doesn't eat up fuel while idling as an ICE does, but past a certain commute distance, the uncertainties of range eliminates these folks. If there are sufficient chargers at the work location, this can be mitigated a bit, but currently, supply of chargers is too slim to be practical.
Then you have households where the second and third cars are used by new drivers. This is the prime used car market here. Purchases are primarily driven based on cost of the car. That takes a good portion of these folks out of the picture.
The end result of all of that is that the current and near future market for pure EVs is not all that large. The good news is that will help get EVs out in the hands of early adopters without all of the infrastructure challenges that hold back wide-spread adoption of EVs.
"a consumer driving this car has to do a fair amount of planning"
That is certainly a key problem with EVs. The automobile has given us two generations of suburban-living people because it provides freedom to do anything any time you want. EVs come with so many constraints that it is hard to see them ever becoming mainstream.
Just as well too. Power generation and supply can cope with tiny numbers of EVs, but if, say, 20% of households were to use EVs that would add a huge load to the grid. There just would not be enough supply to charge large numbers of EVs overnight and there would be many people waking up to a flat battery.
Simon...when artificial subsidies are used dislocations in the economy are created. This is not natural market forces at work and usually results in destruction to the economy.
You do not reduce debt by adding more debt. I don't think that ever happens.
In this case it might be good for Nissan and its stockholders but bad for the American taxpayer.
After doing considerable development on the Myers NmG, I find myself on a Vectrix Maxi-scooter. The NmG (Sparrow) on lead-acid was viable perhaps only in the northeast and west coast high density areas. When we went to Li-ion (now a few years on the road, in customer's hands) it suddenly became very viable transportation for south east surburban sprawl. Unfortunately my youngest daughter outgrew the trunk by middle of first grade! My search for a two seat electric finally lead, this February, to the Vectrix - perhaps the most polished EV yet delivered. My daughter, now in middle school, is thrilled to come and go on the bike. After twenty years away from motorcycles, I'm also having a blast. I retain the option of driving the truck on rainy days but have huge incentive not to. Daily commute in the truck? Presently $7.50 to $8. Daily commute on the Vectric - 35 cents. I can do this at least tens months out of the year. And what about replacing those batteries? Well, I bought the Vectric as new old stock after confirming there was someone to warrent the five-year-old-in-the-warehouse battery pack ( for two more years.) Problem is the new ones are Li. Shaves 50 pounds, half second off the already convenient zero to 60 time, and about 60% better range. Can I really bear to wait a several YEARS for the Ni-Mh to die???