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Will Green Cars Be Exciting To Drive And Enjoyable To Own?

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    ...and Mugabe's biggest money-maker is the export of (you guessed it) Nickel from Zimbabwe.

    So it's either oil from the middle east, nickel from Zimbabwe, or that Lithium you talked about.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    So if we can make energy density a lot higher in the batteries, we won't need to import much of the stuff from places that don't like us?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's the idea...
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    If...if only my grandmother had a moustache she'd be my grandfather. I'm not suggesting that these great breakthroughs can't or won't happen, but it may take many years. There will undoubtedly be progress, but electrification of the car has many tough challenges ahead.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    Well just look at laptop sales, ten years ago they were NOTHING, using NiCads to generate 30 minutes of useable time, now we have Li-Ions and 4-hour periods of usability, and laptops have surpassed 50% of all personal computer sales. Imagine where we will be in ten MORE years. And that technology is directly applicable to the electric car industry.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    I'm ready to exchange my 5 lb Dell Laptop for a Samsung N120 netbook. They have 10.5 hours in a 2.8 lb package. Full size keyboard. 160 gig HD. With great Wifi built-in. Too bad vehicle technology lags so far behind computers.

    All for under $500.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary, get thyself a Mac laptop. Quickly.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    I hate Mac's! Worthless junk for the masses.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,715
    If he's eyeing a sub-500 netbook, a macbook costing several times more won't be seen as a real competitor.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,557
    I drive a stick. It's a Corsair.

    Flash memory anyone?

    With SYNC in Fords, you do have to wonder where the Mac automotive tie-in is.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    Exactly. The Mac offerings may have some good features. They are WAY overpriced and appeal to the same geek mind that would buy a Prius. The Netbooks are great for the price. Something that you will not likely see in any hybrid.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    But never say never, right? ;-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I hate Mac's! Worthless junk for the masses.

    Yup, much better to buy a disposable PC with an 15 month life span. Even before that its so full of spam and spyware it can't function. Its a lot of fun to reboot the machine every 24 hours.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    The desktop I am typing on is 6 years old. Has an AMD CPU. Rarely ever crashes. I use freeware virus protection from AVG. The only thing I have replaced is the power supply which was under warranty. I'd like to build a new one. Just hate to toss out a very good running machine. Also do not like Vista. So would have to find a bootleg copy of XP or keep using my out of date Windows 2000 pro. I am on my seventh laptop, third Dell laptop and the first one still works with NiMH battery. The two latest with Li-Ion batteries have been replaced at a not so cheap price. The main reason I would not buy an EV with Lithium battery unless it was guaranteed for 10 years minimum.

    PS
    I had the original 1985 Mac with 9" monochrome. Sold it and bought an Atari 1040. Much better machine with color monitor. I developed the companies database on that machine then ported it to our first IBM PC in 1990.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,557
    Vista SP1 is pretty good I've found (got a new laptop with it a couple of weeks ago after my Inspiron died). Win 7 beta is stable too. My old desktop is getting prettied up next week with a new mobo/memory/video card so I can do the 64 bit Win 7. But I like Intel - hey, they're in Macs too.

    I think we better start a computer discussion over in Off Topic Chatter 'cause the OS wars will never die. We may as well be talking synthetic v. dead dino.

    Back to the topic, here's an exciting RAV4. Exciting if you want an all electric ride anyway. But Tom seems to be enjoying it. Er, that is, one of his employees is enjoying driving it.

    Tom Hanks Tells All About His Toyota RAV4 Electric Vehicle (Green Car Advisor)

    image

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    There's an electric RAV4 in my morning commute almost every day that is identical to that one. Did they only make them in silver, so the 'EV' lettering would stand out?!

    Imagine, those cars are close to ten years old, and have never consumed one DROP of gas......

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    The industry was headed in the right direction with the EVs of the late 1990s. My suspicion is the politicians and their friends in the oil business were not liking that direction. No oil sales and no gas tax. A double whammy hit them and they were gone like the wind. Ford made an EV Ranger that I would love to get a hold of. They were produced from 1998-2002. 1500 in all were sold. This outfit is selling EVs currently. No idea about them.

    http://www.lionev.com/Home_Page.html
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Battery improvement has not been without serious speed bumps, though. Remember the Lithium Ion laptop battery recall from a year or so ago?

    We basically replaced every single one we had. Nightmare. I'm sure the cost of replacement was enormous.

    Battery packs are expensive and something like that would do serious harm to the supplier.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,700
    EEStor is a company purportedly on the cusp of commercializing a potentially disruptive technology. EEStor president, former hard drive scientist Dick Weir has been trying to develop something called the EESU or electric energy storage unit.

    The device is a solid-state battery-like material that stores energy in a composition-modified alumina-coated barium titanate compound that is screen-printed and pressed in layers. Theoretically this material can hold 10 times the energy of a lithium ion battery at a fraction of the weight, size, and cost making it ideal for electric car use.

    Zenn Motors (ZMC), a Canadian company that makes neighborhood electric vehicles, has partial ownership and an agreement with EEStor to use the technology exclusively in vehicles under 3086 pounds.

    After years of mysterious debate and passed milestones, recently EEStor announced their material had the permittivity, or ability to store energy, that it claimed.

    On Thursday, ZMC has confirmed on their own independent testing that indeed it was true. The material had a permittivity (a ratio) of at least 22,500 and that this was true over a temperature range of -20 to +65 degrees centigrade.

    It still remains unknown if the material will operate at the high voltages necessary and what leakage current, if any, may be. The material also outperforms lithium-ion on longevity by a factor of 10 as well.

    This confirmation of function has triggered ZMC to increase their investment in EEStor up to ownership of 10.5%.

    The next and final milestone will be actual delivery of production-ready EESUs to ZMC who will then put them in ZennCity electric cars.

    "The permittivity results are a very significant event for ZMC," said Ian Clifford, Chief Executive Officer of ZENN Motor Company. "We look forward to the achievement of the final milestone under our agreement, the delivery of a full production quality EESU in accordance with our specifications."


    http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1020897_zenn-motors-confirms-eestor-technolo- - - gy-milestone

    image

    This will be the very important next step to fully develop:

    It still remains unknown if the material will operate at the high voltages necessary and what leakage current, if any, may be. The material also outperforms lithium-ion on longevity by a factor of 10 as well.

    I may just hold off on buying an i-MiEV while I follow ZENN with their adaptation of this increased method of storing battery power. Weight will not be a problem with this storage method, and that is huge. It's the rest of the above that needs attention right now from ZENN engineers. Working with EEStor, they should concentrate fully on that right now.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's see if this pans out, but this is the sort of break-through electrics need.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    So far the only EV to break through the EPA/CARB roadblock is the Xebra. And it is getting a second look. It's really a motorcycle by definition. I think the powers will reject the EVs for whatever reason they can come up with. Safety will be the easiest to push. They do not like any vehicle that denies them tax revenues. They know that people can stick a solar cell up and recharge the thing for FREE. Not acceptable to the tax and spenders that we have elected in every seat of our government.

    NEVs are sold everywhere that they are practical. Just not legal on most streets in CA.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,700
    and more interesting with EESTOR and Zenn. EESTOR is not releasing the voltage range of it's new battery system, yet ZENN feels strongly enough about them to invest more cash. Voltage range or battery leakage problem possibilities. Wow, putting "potential" cash up says something to me about how ZENN feels about this new technology.

    http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1021142_eestor-vp-says-eesus-to-be-delivered- - - - - - - -by-end-of-2009

    image

    By the end of 2009 EESTOR will have something built, not very long to wait, though that would mean another 9-12 months for ZENN to integrate the battery in to their citycar, too. Still, it is an interesting further development in the race the electric car to market deal that is intensifying right before our eyes.

    It's all electric baby.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That car looks a bit toy-like (tall, narrow, small wheels/tires), definitely gotta keep the price down, way down. That may attract Aveo shoppers but not anyone with mid-high teens kind of money.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    This looks promising at the outset:

    Chinese-made Coda electric sedan looks to plug in to U.S. market

    Looks like a nice car. Electric or not.

    image
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
    I wouldn't want to hit a POT HOLE with it.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    Mitsubishi i MiEV electric vehicle priced at $45,660

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20090605/CARNEWS/906059997

    Looks like they plan to introduce it here in about 2 years, so I guess you have some time to save up. Me, I would think twice at this price range!

    Some other little fun facts:

    The small commuter car has a single-charge range of 99 miles, which Mitsubishi says is good enough for 90 percent of the average Japanese daily driving needs. It can recharge its battery in 14 hours on 100-volt power, in seven hours on 200 volts and in 30 minutes on a high-output quick charger. For a bit of futuristic flare, the i MiEV is the first car from Mitsubishi to have light-emitting diode headlamps and taillights.

    I guess buyers will get the $7500 tax credit from our government, which brings the purchase price down to a "low low" $38,160. :-P

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    I think when the price is official on the Volt it will be in that range also. You cannot get around the high cost of batteries. I would not even consider one unless the batteries have a MANDATED 10 year warranty. I don't care about the mileage as I will never own a car with 100k miles on it. We are just now at 98k miles on our 20 year old Lexus.

    With that price point on an EV it is highly unlikely I will ever own one. Part of that is the fact that our dollar has been diluted in relation to the Yen with all the spending programs.

    I need to get off the dime and buy a diesel SUV as nothing else makes sense to me.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    WOW. That's "crazy high" rite thar....
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    Tata has announced it will import the Nano to the U.S., and, of course, it'll meet our emissions standards for this to happen. I don't know about you, but it sure seems to me that even though it may appeal to very different market segments than the Mitsu electric and Volt, the Nano could crush many of it's competitors and near-competitors. Sure, most Americans will probably snicker and say nah nah to the Nano, but a significant number might just say ya ya.

    Hyundai, Toyota and Honda might also want to look over their shoulders too, so as not to repeat the mistakes Detroit made in the '50s, '60 and '70s.
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