Who killed the Electric Car?

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...someone is working so hard to keep these {electric cars} from getting into consumer hands we have to stop for a moment and demand that this get put right....
The current administration is very much obligated to the oil sellers (especially Saudi Arabian Royal family) and oil industry. The electric car can be powered by domestic sources and that would reduce oil imports. For quite a few years "hydrogen power" was the mantra of the oil industry as it would only increase oil demand. The public finally has understood, despite billions the oil industry spent on TV and in other adds etc that hydrogen is not an energy source, in fact economically producing it with currently available commercial technology requires more energy from oil than is produced.

The oil industry appears to have given up on the "hydrogen diversion" and now is throwing its full weight (joined now also by the agri-industry) behind alcohol from corn. They have paid for many studies that show a small net decrease in oil consumption is "possible." (Not about to be so easily exposed this time as they were with the "hydrogen diversion" of the publicly attention from the dependent position the oil companies held the public.)

All independent university studies refute this result, with the exception of a couple universities in the corn belt and Indiana, where many of the new alcohol production facilities are being built (near confluence of many rail lines to reduce shipment distance to major markets). - See the Cornell UCLA studies etc. They show alcohol from corn grown in Iowa requires about 1.1 units of oil energy for each unit of alcohol energy produced. These studies also show that if it comes from sugar cane grown in Brazil then there is an energy gain between 6 and 8 times (alcohol energy out divided by system oil energy input) but the political connections to current administration are so strong that Brazil's alcohol is not allowed to compete. (Tariffs, quotas, domestic corn subsidies*, even a direct payment to US alcohol producers of $0.54 per gallon produced, making it very profitable with tax dollars, even if foolish)

More details in my thread "How DUMB can US voters be?" I will try to dig it up as it has been absent for months.
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*By far the largest of all. Almost equal to the total of ALL other farm subsidies!
 
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Battery Breakthrough?

A Texas company says it can make a new ultracapacitor power system to replace the electrochemical batteries in everything from cars to laptops.

A secretive Texas startup developing what some are calling a "game changing" energy-storage technology broke its silence this week. It announced that it has reached two production milestones and is on track to ship systems this year for use in electric vehicles.

EEStor's ambitious goal, according to patent documents, is to "replace the electrochemical battery" in almost every application, from hybrid-electric and pure-electric vehicles to laptop computers to utility-scale electricity storage.

The company boldly claims that its system, a kind of battery-ultracapacitor hybrid based on barium-titanate powders, will dramatically outperform the best lithium-ion batteries on the market in terms of energy density, price, charge time, and safety. Pound for pound, it will also pack 10 times the punch of lead-acid batteries at half the cost and without the need for toxic materials or chemicals, according to the company.

The implications are enormous and, for many, unbelievable. Such a breakthrough has the potential to radically transform a transportation sector already flirting with an electric renaissance, improve the performance of intermittent energy sources such as wind and sun, and increase the efficiency and stability of power grids--all while fulfilling an oil-addicted America's quest for energy security.

The breakthrough could also pose a threat to next-generation lithium-ion makers such as Watertown, MA-based A123Systems, which is working on a plug-in hybrid storage system for General Motors, and Reno, NV-based Altair Nanotechnologies, a supplier to all-electric vehicle maker Phoenix Motorcars.

"I get a little skeptical when somebody thinks they've got a silver bullet for every application, because that's just not consistent with reality," says Andrew Burke, an expert on energy systems for transportation at University of California at Davis.

That said, Burke hopes to be proved wrong. "If [the] technology turns out to be better than I think, that doesn't make me sad: it makes me happy."

Richard Weir, EEStor's cofounder and chief executive, says he would prefer to keep a low profile and let the results of his company's innovation speak for themselves. "We're well on our way to doing everything we said," Weir told Technology Review in a rare interview. He has also worked as an electrical engineer at computing giant IBM and at Michigan-based automotive-systems leader TRW.

Much like capacitors, ultracapacitors store energy in an electrical field between two closely spaced conductors, or plates. When voltage is applied, an electric charge builds up on each plate.

Ultracapacitors have many advantages over traditional electrochemical batteries. Unlike batteries, "ultracaps" can completely absorb and release a charge at high rates and in a virtually endless cycle with little degradation.

Where they're weak, however, is with energy storage. Compared with lithium-ion batteries, high-end ultracapacitors on the market today store 25 times less energy per pound.

This is why ultracapacitors, with their ability to release quick jolts of electricity and to absorb this energy just as fast, are ideal today as a complement to batteries or fuel cells in electric-drive vehicles. The power burst that ultracaps provide can assist with stop-start acceleration, and the energy is more efficiently recaptured through regenerative braking--an area in which ultracap maker Maxwell Technologies has seen significant results...

More on Page 2-3:
http://www.technologyreview.com/Biztech/18086/page1/
 
noone killed the electric car. The only feasible solution to storage of power: hydrogen fuel cells...from say nuclear reactos going electrolysis on water...well the technology is way too costly and financially unfeasible when there is CO2 polluting money making oil around.
 
EEStor innovations finally hit CNN:

http://money.cnn.com/2006/09/15/technology/disruptors_eestor.biz2/index.htm

Gentlemen, stop your engines!

EEStor's new automotive power source could eliminate the need for the combustion engine - and for oil.

The Innovation: A ceramic power source for electric cars that could blow away the combustion engine

The Disrupted: Oil companies and carmakers that don't climb aboard

Forget hybrids and hydrogen-powered vehicles. EEStor, a stealth company in Cedar Park, Texas, is working on an "energy storage" device that could finally give the internal combustion engine a run for its money -- and begin saving us from our oil addiction. "To call it a battery discredits it," says Ian Clifford, the CEO of Toronto-based electric car company Feel Good Cars, which plans to incorporate EEStor's technology in vehicles by 2008.

EEStor's device is not technically a battery because no chemicals are involved. In fact, it contains no hazardous materials whatsoever. Yet it acts like a battery in that it stores electricity. If it works as it's supposed to, it will charge up in five minutes and provide enough energy to drive 500 miles on about $9 worth of electricity. At today's gas prices, covering that distance can cost $60 or more; the EEStor device would power a car for the equivalent of about 45 cents a gallon.

And we mean power a car. "A four-passenger sedan will drive like a Ferrari," Clifford predicts. In contrast, his first electric car, the Zenn, which debuted in August and is powered by a more conventional battery, can't go much faster than a moped and takes hours to charge.

The cost of the engine itself depends on how much energy it can store; an EEStor-powered engine with a range roughly equivalent to that of a gasoline-powered car would cost about $5,200. That's a slight premium over the cost of the gas engine and the other parts the device would replace -- the gas tank, exhaust system, and drivetrain. But getting rid of the need to buy gas should more than make up for the extra cost of an EEStor-powered car.

EEStor is tight-lipped about its device and how it manages to pack such a punch. According to a patent issued in April, the device is made of a ceramic powder coated with aluminum oxide and glass. A bank of these ceramic batteries could be used at "electrical energy stations" where people on the road could charge up.

EEStor is backed by VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and the company's founders are engineers Richard Weir and Carl Nelson. CEO Weir, a former IBM-er, won't comment, but his son, Tom, an EEStor VP, acknowledges, "That is pretty much why we are here today, to compete with the internal combustion engine." He also hints that his engine technology is not just for the small passenger vehicles that Clifford is aiming at, but could easily replace the 300-horsepower brutes in today's SUVs. That would make it appealing to automakers like GM and Ford, who are seeing sales of their gas-guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks begin to tank because of exorbitant fuel prices.
 
If it works as it's supposed to, it will charge up in five minutes and provide enough energy to drive 500 miles on about $9 worth of electricity. At today's gas prices, covering that distance can cost $60 or more; the EEStor device would power a car for the equivalent of about 45 cents a gallon.

Hmm...ok, let's do some math.

Electricity is aroud 10 cents/ kw hour, so $9 worth of electricity would be about 400 MJ of energy. If you transfer that much electricity in 5 minutes, you will be drawing around 1.3 MW of power from...where exactly? No one would want to come within 100 feet of your charging station.

That's about the energy of 3 gallons of gasoline...pretty amazing if you can go 500 miles with that.
 
Another interesting idea I heard of are flow batteries, where once a battery is charged, the fluid can be drained off, stored, and replaced with fresh electrolyte, giving the battery a capacity limited only by the total amount of fluid.
 
Another interesting idea I heard of are flow batteries, where once a battery is charged, the fluid can be drained off, stored, and replaced with fresh electrolyte, giving the battery a capacity limited only by the total amount of fluid.
I think the term you're looking for is "fuel cell" ;)
 
Flow batteries are also distinguished from fuel cells by the fact that the chemical reaction involved is often reversible, i.e. they are generally of the secondary battery type and so they can be recharged without replacing the electroactive material.

But yes, it is a type of fuel cell.
 
It doesn't matter anyway. The electric car will not save us.

http://www.orionmagazine.org/pages/om/07-1om/Kunstler.html

I think you are right. I think this is a step in a beter direction but we have alot more to go before we have it all under control.

The electric car is not a big deal. But it is a turning point. And even more important, I feel that we have taken a path with fossil fuels that is fine and all but it is reaching an end. It works on a smaller scale but not on the larger. It is however connected to one of the next big issues we need to face as a race. Thus it has the old trying to keep it in place and those who can think in terms of a future trying to move on. It can not be left as is.
 
Instead of the tread's question, "Who killed the electric bus?" is more important. Rather than private cars, there is hope the EU, via it better developed public transport system, can survive the coming oil shortage. It is too late for the US.

http://www.orionmagazine.org/pages/om/07-1om/Kunstler.html

This link does not state anything I have not been posted here for more than a year.. Sometimes, pointing out that the excess of "suburban infrastructure" (as I have always called it) found only in the US is why the US will collapse more extremely than the EU in a few decades at most.

To quote from the link above:
"...We invested most of our late twentieth-century wealth in a living arrangement with no future. American suburbia represents the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world. The far-flung housing subdivisions, commercial highway strips, big-box stores, and all the other furnishings and accessories of extreme car dependence will function poorly, if at all, in an oil-scarce future. Period. "
 
Q: Who killed the electric car?
A: The consumers.
no way,
all the people who leased the one from GM liked it and some wanted to even buy it,but GM refused.why?
could be that car manufacturers are influenced by the Big Oil corporations?
electrics can work ,but who will pay for our roads maintanance?
if you dont buy gas or diesel you are not paying taxes ,;) ;)
heres some interesting electric cars sites
www.acpropulsion.com
www.mrsharkey.com/ev.htm
and some electric dragsters
www.nedra.com
or how about car powered by compressed air
www.theaircar.com
 
Electricity is aroud 10 cents/ kw hour, so $9 worth of electricity would be about 400 MJ of energy. If you transfer that much electricity in 5 minutes, you will be drawing around 1.3 MW of power from...where exactly?
The EEStor batteries use a very high voltage recharging system, which obviously requires a special station. Home charging would happen far slower I reckon.

Zap has now come out with a similiar fast charging concept car in partnership with Lotus.
http://www.gizmag.com/go/6780/

"In a marriage seemingly well matched, electric automobile pioneer ZAP has chosen Lotus Engineering’s platform and body structure design as the basis for the development of the high performance electric ZAP-X. The car is based on the advanced APX concept car and will be shown for the first time at the North American Dealers Association exhibition which opens tomorrow (February 3).

A combination of the lightweight aluminium vehicle architecture, a new efficient drive and advanced battery management systems is intended to enable a range of up to 350 miles between charges, with a rapid 10-minute recharging time. An auxiliary power unit is planned to support longer distance journeys. The good news for sports enthusiasts is the performance courtesy of a killer power-to- weight ratio. - four in-hub electric motors, deliver 161 bhp apiece, which add together for 644 horsepower in all wheel drive mode, and capable of powering the ZAP-X to a top speed of 155mph.

Steve Schneider, CEO of ZAP, said: “Lotus Engineering's APX technology demonstrator vehicle is a perfect fit for our plans to introduce a full product portfolio of electric cars. Due to the initial design by Lotus, our cost and time to production will be significantly reduced. We believe that the ZAP-X will become the most advanced, most practical and most appealing flagship electric vehicle to date and will revolutionize the industry providing the driver with the enjoyment of a sports car and the practicality of an SUV.”

Mike Kimberley, CEO of Group Lotus plc, said: “Lotus Engineering’s APX is a world-class innovative concept and was developed to showcase real solutions to new challenges facing the automotive industry. So it’s very satisfying that ZAP’s proposed new model will make use of a great deal of the APX concept’s advanced body structure and chassis technology. The bringing together of these next-generation vehicle technologies represents another significant step forward for automotive technology.”

The APX showcases Lotus Engineering’s Versatile Vehicle Architecture technology, combining lightweight aluminium vehicle architecture with exceptionally strong and stiff structural rigidity, as well as lower manufacturing investment requirements. Having first been shown to the world at the Geneva motor show in 2006, the APX concept has won the 2006 European Aluminium Awards in the “Transport and Automotive” category.

The innovative placement of the power train leaves the space previously occupied by the conventional engine and drive train for additional battery capacity and amenities, making it a very consumer-oriented electric car concept. These design features will give the ZAP-X crossover the structural strength, and potentially storage and range that no electric vehicle has yet achieved publicly."
 
Instead of the tread's question, "Who killed the electric bus?" is more important. Rather than private cars, there is hope the EU, via it better developed public transport system, can survive the coming oil shortage. It is too late for the US.

Electric bus...would that be... a trolley? They still make them. Portland has a couple.
 
Even with a "special charging station" those numbers seem borderline impossible.
One of the leading nanotech battery companies Altairnano recently came out with more specific info on the chargeing issues:

"Nanotech company Altairnano has a lot to be charged up about these days. And while the company's battery promises unusually high performance, it doesn't get all the respect it deserves, said CEO Alan Gotcher.

"I know there are skeptics," Gotcher told Inside Greentech in an interview.

The dubious wonder how Altairnano - a relatively small public company operating out of offices, labs and manufacturing facilities in Reno, Nevada and with prototyping and design operations in Anderson, Indiana - could be producing a battery that could power an electric vehicle hundreds of miles, charge in 10 minutes, and have a service life of 20 years or more, as the company claims.

The secret, according to Gotcher, is nanotechnology, and Altairnano's selection of nano-structured lithium titanate as a framework for its battery, branded NanoSafe™. Because the storage compartments are so small, the battery can store a lot of lithium ions. And the titanate material used in the nanostructures enhances battery cycle life, and gives it an extraordinary service life, he said.

"The nano titanate is a zero-strain material, which means that when the lithium inserts and exits the crystal lattice, there's no strain, no deformation of a conventional battery."

That robustness has been shown to yield more than 20,000 cycles with little performance degradation, Gotcher said. In contrast, other rechargeable battery technologies typically have a lifetime of 3-7 years. Further, Altairnano says its batteries have been tested under extreme conditions, including an operating temperature range of -50 to plus 71 degrees Celsius.

To naysayers who claim it's impossible to put hundreds of kilowatts into a battery safely in under ten minutes, Gotcher said proof was already on display.

"We have these battery packs in vehicles. We're demonstrating we can do this rapidly. Some people had concerns about heat buildup. We have low resistance in our battery pack, so there is minimal heat generation. And because the charging mechanism in our battery system is endothermic, it absorbs heat when it charges. We get minimal heat during this rapid charge system."

Altairnano is planning different types of charging stations. The battery pack can be charged at low voltage over long times, or charged at higher voltages quicker, Gotcher said. In a 10 minute or less charge, at least 480 volts at several hundred amps will be required, transferring 210 kW/h of energy to the battery pack.

"We envision charging stations with large capacities of energy, where you'll take a fraction through a cable plugged into the vehicle. There'll be a safety clamp to ensure there's no chance you could charge before the proper connection is made, and to ensure that the power is completely disconnected before you could break and open the circuit."

"We hope it'll look like a conventional gas station. We're working through issues of the right connectors, where they could be abused and still work and are safe. We want to be thoughtful about the design and prepare for people dropping these cables on the ground, or running over them with a vehicle."

Altairnano is working with AeroVironment of Monrovia, California, which has worked in rapid battery charge systems for a number of years. The company was the primary supplier of the charging systems for the General Motors EV1 vehicle.

How would service stations of the future store the mammoth amounts of electricity required by electric vehicles? Altairnano's Gotcher says the company "hasn't really said a lot about that yet, but you'll see us come forward with information in the second quarter."

Industry observers are less optimistic that hydrogen will win as the fuel of choice for cars of the future (see Inside Greentech's Hydrogen cars non-starters.) as hydrogen is relatively expensive to produce.

As a further nail in its coffin, Gotcher predicts the price of charging an electric car will be hard for a hydrogen infrastructure to compete with.

"The exact cost of charging will depend on the time of day and the cost of fuels available. But using 10 or 11 cents a kW/h for power, we think you'll be able to recharge a vehicle with electricity somewhere between one-tenth to one-third the cost of fueling today's conventional vehicles."

http://www.insidegreentech.com/node/784
 
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