The costs are too high and reliability a big unknown for the electric vehicle. A natural gas hybrid, on the other hand, will produce less carbon dioxide emissions than an electric car (taking into account power plant emissions). I know of no manufacturer shipping a CNG hybrid, and I would not expect GM to do so. They are a follower in the auto industry. I expect Toyota will produce a CNG hybrid that will be far cheaper, more reliable, and less polluting than the VOLT.
I bought a cute little "box"-like car for just under $17,000 in 2005 that still gets 33-34 MPG and now has 125,000 miles on it. Even if I figured gas at $3.50 a gallon over that whole span (and it wasn't that high always), I've only spent a little over $30,000, total, in the 7 years I owned it. Economically, I'm still ahead of the cost of owning a VOLT and I can drive almost 400 miles before refueling AND do it in 5 minutes without having to search for a "special outlet" to re-charge.
Totally agree. What I would term a "no apologies" electric is where we should be heading. And as far as I'm concerned, that means "without a battery to store all of the required energy."
That's why I think it is fuel cells, on-board reformer (to extract H2 on baord, avoiding the need to rely on very high pressure H2 tanks), and a small boost battery, is the more appealing approach in the longer term.
I agree. We can all buy a platform such as the Volt you mention and if we can, in the future, "upgrade" its EV potential. For folks that it makes sense, it allows them to buy that fully "Volt" vehicle, where the ones like me and you can get the lesser but more affordable version and everyone wins. It should not be an all or nothing proposition.
From a efficiency and fun point of view, I'd like to point out that on my bike I get approximately 600 miles per gallon of biodiesel - I mean olive oil - or 30 miles per gallon of beer (assuming moderation of course). This is a very appealing idea on Friday afternoon with nice weather outside.
In my opinion, we are still 40 years away from a practical electric car.
My definition of "practical":
- same horsepower as gasoline car
- same low end torque as gasoline car
- same acceleration as gasoline car
- same range on a charge-up as gasoline car
- able to be "re-fueled" in less than 5 minutes
- big enough to carry whole family, kids, dogs, plus shopping bags, sports equipment...
Until the electric car can match the performance of a gas powered car point for point, it will remain an impractical oddity targeted at environmentalist idiots.
And don't give me the story that the electric car will be for commuting to work and another vehicle will be for the other stuff. The reality is, most familuies can only afford to own one car, and it has to be the one that does it all.
Does anybody get that an EV needs to get is charge from somewhere? It takes more fossil fuel per mile to charge an EV than to run a regular combustion engine car - and you have to worry about what to do with the batteries when they wear out. Until they resolve these two issues EVs are actually more damaging to the environment than today's fuel efficient combustion powered vehicles. EVs cost more to buy, more to operate and more to scrap at the end of life. I have a hybrid and I wish I had just bought a very fuel efficient gas or diesel powered vehicle. My mileage is nothing close to what the sticker said it would be.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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