Electric cars are a pipe dream

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Syzygys, May 20, 2010.

  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Not really, but how do you know that improvement isn't a curvature like improvement in let's say high jump? That most of the improvement has already happened?

    The juice got 7 times stronger for the same weight in 100 years. Unless something completely new technology gets used, it is safe to say that there might be 20-30% improvement in the next 20 years..

    true but we already had newer battery technology in the last 10-15 years.

    Well, my handheld cordless vacumm takes 20 hours...

    I am not against it, the car industry is.

    As I mentioned above, when new technology is introduced...

    I thought I already killed this incredible stupid argument:

    1. The Tesla has a twice as big battery thus duh, its range is bigger.
    2. Fast acceleration kills the battery faster. It is not desired...
    3. Super top speed is not desired either. 70 mph is just fine, you can drive with that on the highway...

    That's why I called Evs commuting carts. Now what about all those professional cars driven in city traffic all day? Taxi, delivery,etc?

    I also mentioned already families with 2 cars, one could be electric. But if both cars are used then the savings gets to be way less....
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  3. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    So? We are discussing CARS not Buses...

    Depends on your definition of city, but anyway, your argument seems to be that people will/should use mass transportation. It is rather irrelevant because again, we are discussing electric cars.

    Example of heavy machinery? A forklift really isn't that heavy...

    You really don't get it. I was talking about average cars. Most average car even the cheapest ones can do 90-100 mph. When the average electric car can do the same for 2-3 hours without killing the battery, then you have something....
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  5. John99 Banned Banned

    You are still looking at this from a gasoline power perspective and throwing out your own strawmen. Normal driving is not 90-100mph and even the difference in time you save for going 10-20mph faster is nothing to be concerned with. Most people speed because they wait for the last second to go someplace. IF max speeds were reduced, as an example to 40mph, there would be fewer accidents and the batteries would last longer.
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
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  7. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    I took a look at Lithium battery powered cars:

    "A second prototype was built in August 2003, powered by 6,800 lightweight lithium-ion cells, similar to those that make up the battery packs of laptop computers, giving it a 300 miles (480 km) range. Lighter than the original version by 700 pounds (320 kg), the 2003 edition goes from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The single gear ratio limits the car's maximum speed to just over 140 miles per hour (230 km/h) at 13,000 rpm with proper gearing, though it has never been tested at greater than 105 miles per hour (169 km/h). The base price of the car was USD $220,000."

    Can we see the problem here? The base price!!! It had a nice range of 300 miles, but the price kills it as a solution for the masses. Now if you can make it for 30-40K, we are in business!


    Here is an interesting read about the EV1 made by GM. The automaker basicly sabotaged its own product. But also the bottomline is that they were able to make an EV more than 10 years ago with 100-140 miles range.


    So where is the battery improvement in the last 10 years??

    "In GM's view, the EV1 was not a failure, but the program was doomed when the expected breakthroughs in battery technology did not take place within the anticipated timeline.."

    P.S.: The car was only offered as a lease, but users liked it a lot. GM promptly crashed most of them at the end of the lease.
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  8. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Your OP spoke in terms of "electric vehicles for mass transportation" and so that is the category I'm going to adhere to. Your weak-suck attempts at evasion do not impress.

    Define "heavy machinery" if you expect a response after trying to move the goal posts like that. I'd love to see a definition that excludes both forklifts and submarines.

    The Tesla Roadster can drive comparable speeds and ranges to a conventional gasoline car. Feel free to learn the basic Wikipedia info about a subject before attempting to school others on it, in the future.
  9. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    You have to try much harder if you want to be taken seriously...

    Read the TITLE of the thread again. Your lack of logic doesn't impress. You are on thin ice getting on my Ignore list...

    Fair enough, 10T... Submarines are NOT on dry land. Hell, I can push 2-3T floating by swimming. I couldn't do that the weight being on the road without wheels..

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    10 T on dry land. That probably excludes submarines and forklifts.

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    Who cares? It is prohibitively expensive!!! And again, we are trying to make here an average car for the average user, not a sports car...
  10. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Holy crap, you guys are really not getting it...

    I know. That was just given because Quadro keeps bringing up the Tesla.
    I never said there is no EV going that fast. I just stated I would like to cruise with an average EV with a decent speed.
    Again, I am not again EVs, as long as they kind of can keep up with gasoline cars in price, range and room (and features too). But that also means that I expect an EV under 30K, be able to go at least 200 miles without charge, taking 4 adults at least and go with 60-70 mph for 3 hours.

    When you have one like that, I am buying...
  11. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    Just a comment about price. Over ten years ago I had a look at a really dinky little device. It was a DVD player with built in screen, and a small battery pack. At the time I was doing a lot of travelling by plane and the idea of carrying a means of viewing movies was enormously attractive, till I saw the price tag. Over $ 3,000 !

    Today, improved versions of the same thing are available for less than $ 150.

    This pattern has been repeated so many time I could draw up quite a long list. I am confident that it will apply to electric cars also. Sure, the first cabs off the rank are expensive. That is always the case. I predict that, within a few years, electric vehicles will cost less than petrol driven equivalents.

    At the same time, the technology will improve. I pointed out in my earlier post that lithium batteries already exist in the laboratory that recharge very quickly and which have much greater range. Within 10 years, these will appear in electric cars.

    Fossil fuels are rapidly disappearing. Within 1 to 3 decades, they will become prohibitively expensive. The options are to go to liquid fuel sourced from coal, which is an excellent way to warm the planet; or we can use biofuels, hydrogen gas (currently not practical), or go to electric vehicles.

    Of all those options, we are closest to a practical electric vehicle. Indeed, such vehicles are already on the road. The Reva, a primitive form, has been in use in India for almost a decade.

    In spite of anything syzygys says, the electric car revolution has already started. Within 20 years, it will be extremely common - possibly the dominant personal vehicle.
  12. John99 Banned Banned

    I am not so sure batteries lasting that long with the present methods are going to do that. Straight battery power alone is always going to be an issue, but tbh i don't know much about the battery technology these cars use.

    I think they need to go beyond just battery power and look at overall engineering. For one think poisonous fumes are eliminated so heat generated can be use inside the vehicle. Kinetic energy, utilizing the length of the drive shaft or rims is supplemental power, but this needs to be stored, obviously since the car is not always moving.
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  13. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    I pity anyone who worries about being taken seriously by Syzygys.

    I couldn't care less about your Ignore list.

    So what?

    Is there something to prevent electric machinery from employing wheels?

    There are standard production electric forklifts that can lift in excess of 20 tons.

    Lots of people where I live drive cars that are more expensive than the Tesla Roadster, and which exhibit vastly higher fuel and upkeep costs to boot.

    And, again, you asserted earlier that no such electric car exists, not that it costs more than you'd like to pay.
  14. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    Further to the issue of cost -
    The Reva sells in india for the equivalent of $US 6,000.
    It has a running cost (cost of electricity) of $US 0-01 per kilometre. Petrol driven cars are about $US 0-10 to $US 0-20 per km. in fuel cost. Thus, any claim that electric vehicles have to be too expensive are clearly wrong.

    The main drawback is that this is a small car with limited range, and limited speed, designed as a commuter vehicle. Small and nippy, and easy to park. However, for its own purpose, it is an excellent vehicle.

    The limited range is mostly due to the fact that it is lead acid battery operated. Later models use lithium technology and have a much greater range.

    You could say that, between the Reva and the Tesla, both ends of the market are already catered for. With the new vehicles coming (Nissan Leaf. GM Volt etc) the central part of the market is about to be catered to.
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  15. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Then you don't mind if I will just ignore your input from now on. Seriously, you don't get simple points.

    Traveling in/on water takes fucking way LESS energy than traveling on dry land. So your bringing up submarines is irrelevant.

    And finally I never said there was no EV with 100 mph. Practice reading comprehension.

    Well, I guess see you when you are ready, in a few months....
  16. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    You do realize that EVs have been around for 120+ years? So not exactly a brand new revolution...

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    The app. price for the EV1 was around 80-100K, so we can say that comparable price dropped 70% in 10 or so years. (the current EVs are around 30K) The question is if we can keep this type of improvement price drop up? My guess is that not. But I will be happy with a 20-25K EV if it has better range...

    What could be a real selling point for EVs is the so called true cost to own, which is the longer term upkeep divided by the driven miles... I think today a smaller gasoline car's true cost is about 30-50 cents per mile in a 3-5 years period.
  17. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    How do you work that out?
    Water is far denser than air and causes far more drag and friction.
  18. Skeptical Registered Senior Member


    You are correct in saying the ev is 120 years old. However, this is a new revolution. It is driven partly by need - the recognition of the value of zero emissions, and the recognition that fossil fuels are becoming scarcer - and partly driven by new technology. The first ev's were hardly practical by today's standards. We now have most of the technology to make a fully practical family electric car. And what technology we do not have is rapidly being developed.

    I have already shown that new lithium battery technology will permit rapid recharge, and also longer range.

    Electric motors are now powerful enough, and compact enough to fit into a car wheel. We are in a position (almost) to make the 'skateboard' car. That is : build a basic platform with motors and electric steering, plus assorted controls in the wheels, all on a standard platform.

    Then, to finish the car, we drop the top on, along with the battery module. The final stage bolted on could be a sedan, a wagon, a pick up, a van or other. All to fit onto the basic 'skateboard'. This will bring manufacturing costs way down.

    As I pointed out, modern electric cars are already being sold. They are 'imperfect' as is any new technology. However, like other forms of new technology, the perfecting process is under way. See this post in ten years!
  19. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Here is another interesting read. It looks like EV advocates needs better LEGAL departments, not labs:


    "Whether or not Toyota wanted to continue production, it was unlikely to be able to do so because the EV-95 battery was no longer available. Chevron had inherited control of the worldwide patent rights for the NiMH EV-95 battery when it merged with Texaco, which had purchased them from General Motors. Chevron's unit won a USD 30,000,000 settlement from Toyota and Panasonic, and the production line for the large NiMH batteries was closed down and dismantled. This case was settled in the ICC International Court of Arbitration, and not publicised due to a gag order placed on all parties involved.Only smaller NiMH batteries, incapable of powering an electric vehicle or plugging in, are currently allowed by Chevron-Texaco."


    The RAV4 EV by Toyota in 2002 was actually better than today's EVs, 120-150 miles range with the then new large NiMH battery. The working temperature range was also much wider than batteries from other companies. The oilcompanies succesfully killed it, by taking a controlling interest in the inventing company...

    Now imagine if the US government for state security reasons would take over Cobasys, the holder of the patent of the battery and would start to produce and sell it at a decent even profitable price, instead of invading oil rich countries... Yes, one can only dream...
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  20. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    As Lithium batteries go yes. But it looks like we already had a few decent EVs 8-10 years ago with quite decent or at least better range than today. Both GM's EV1 and Toyota's RAV4 EV were very much loved by the users, and the later one wasn't even very expensive, about 30-35K...

    So as I mentioned in my above post, it is more legal (and maybe government) action that is needed not just technological improvements...
  21. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Except that relative slow but large vehicles have a road resistance, not airresistance. Why do you think the biggest carrying vehicle is a boat?

    I think generally boat shipping cost is the cheapest (well, no roads needed,) compared to air or dry land. But anyhow that is for another thread.

    But anyhow here is the website for government action against Chevron for the battery patent:

  22. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Largely negligible compared to water resistance.

    Because vehicles that large wouldn't fit on a road.

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    Look at power-to-weight-ratios for top speed: land vehicles require less power for a given speed/ size.
  23. kororoti Registered Senior Member

    So..... why don't we just give all the EV's a battery as large as the Tesla's battery? Is there some fundamental law that says EV's must have small batteries?

    Cell phones used to be prohibitively expensive once upon a time as well.

    New technologies are always initially introduced to the market as luxury items, and priced accordingly, because manufacturers need to recuperate all the money they've invested in setting up brand new factories, hiring engineers to generate brand new designs, and paying for access to all the patents they need to pay royalties for. After they've recuperated those costs, however, the price goes down quite a lot.

    My bet is that, if the Tesla has a successful enough run, we'll start seeing cheaper cars that are exactly identical to it in about 10 years.

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