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Electric Vehicle Pros & Cons

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    We demand "clean" energy and then throw up "environmental" road block after road block. Can't have wind farms... some bird might get killed.

    At some point perhaps humans get back to the list top of species we need to ensure the survival of.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    The latest on the solar project is a 2 year environmental impact study for the BLM. That does let the contractor off the hook on the 2010 date of completion. Mean time the clock is ticking on the CA mandate for renewable energy.

    My favorite is in Hawaii where they have blocked further geo-thermal because it is an affront to Pele.

    Pele is a living deity fundamental to Hawaiian spiritual belief. She is the eruption, with its heat, lava and steam. Her family takes the form of forest plants, animals and other natural forces. But geothermal development interests see Pele as simply a source of electricity.

    http://www.namaka.com/catalog/spirit/pele.html

    So if it ain't Ted Kennedy keeping the Wind farms from blocking his view it is some other group wanting to stop US from drilling for oil. I do not think there is any form of alternative energy that is universally acceptable.
  • I recently purchased a plug-in 2007 Kurrent. I realize the American Electric Vehicle Co is out of business, but I am in desperate need of a key blank (or two). Can someone tell me how I can get the key blanks? My locksmith can't find it. Thanks.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Ford Motor made electric vehicles a centerpiece of a turnaround plan presented to Congress on Tuesday, saying that it will introduce an all-electric van for fleet use in 2010 and a sedan in 2011.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10111091-54.html

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    This guy is having fun with his home built Datsun EV. Running the quarter in 11 seconds is not too shabby. Not sure the Tesla would beat him.

    http://www.opb.org/programs/ofg/videos/view/56-Electric-Drag-Racing
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    What is more interesting to me is the Smart ED (EV) being charged. Why don't we have those in the USA? We did not get the Smart diesel capable of 70+ MPG. Now other countries have the Smart electric powered by sodium-nickel chloride Zebra batteries. I don't think the US or state governments want what they say they want. Less use of fossil fuel. I don't like the meter idea either. I would not be taking off cross country in a vehicle with a 62 mile range. Drive for an hour charge for 8 hours.

    No thanks, I will charge my EV overnight in my driveway. Don't hold your breath on seeing any for a good long while. The EPA and CARB and the Tax collectors will all have a say on when they are sold in the USA.

    There are at least 10 EVs built world wide capable of highway speeds. NONE are allowed in the USA, except the $100k Tesla. Political talk is cheap. Politicians are not cheap.
  • akjbmwakjbmw Posts: 231
    Perhaps part of the problems the Phoenix has had is that they don't address the power options. As I recall, it was quite a while ago in response to my specific question, that the "show and tell" folks said that there was an "adaptor" that would allow using home power to recharge, it just took proportionately longer.

    The ride was "sporty" in nature. I guessed in response to the heavier battery load on the suspension. My old bones like a softer ride. My '98 K1500 rode smoother. Perhaps a different spring-rate.

    Still, a lot of dollars for the privilege to embarrass the hot-rodders like my '62 Comet with a 351 stuffed in it. That was a different time and a different topic...
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary said, "I think the CEO of PG&E is better qualified to answer the questions on load. You have a lot of pie in the sky optimism about alternative energy. It is not making much headway in the market place. Not everyone is going to be satisfied with an 8 hour charge time. Many of the PHEV kits for the Prius are 220 Volt. The bragging points many have made including yourself is quick charging in as little as 10 minutes. The shorter the time the bigger the load. Charging a 16KWH battery in 3 hours equal to running about 3 large AC units at the same time. More than the average house uses at any given time. It would triple my electric bill. As you know we do not get the illusive NIGHT RATES in San Diego. EVs are not going to be practical in my area unless a person installs a large solar array and charges during the day. $40K for the EV econobox and $30k for the solar array. That is about 30 years driving a Diesel SUV for me. I don't expect to be around that long."

    On your point: "I think the CEO of PG&E is better qualified to answer the questions on load."

    I don't assume that at all. I have driven an electric car, and I drive a GEM car almost daily in my job. I follow electric car news and technology almost daily. I'm sure his job keeps him occupied with other issues. I'd take him on in a "who knows the most" debate ANY DAY.

    On your point: "Not everyone is going to be satisfied with an 8 hour charge time."

    That's correct - but you can't please all the people all the time. If you want an electric car, and you can only fit into your budget the one which only uses 110V for charging and takes 8 hours, then you will settle for that car. Like any gasoline car decision - the car that meets your needs and your budget is what you will buy.

    On your point: "Many of the PHEV kits for the Prius are 220 Volt."

    True, but the technology that Toyota uses for their first USA-available PHEV will be far superior to those add-on kits.

    On your point: "The bragging points many have made including yourself is quick charging in as little as 10 minutes. The shorter the time the bigger the load. Charging a 16KWH battery in 3 hours equal to running about 3 large AC units at the same time."

    Quick charging will be an OPTIONAL component on SOME of the cars. Probably a costly one. The owners who use it will be willing to pay for the cost to get the convenience. Like anything else in our economy, convenience will cost more. Nothing wrong with that. You want more functionality and faster charging? Pony up the Greenbacks, Amigo.

    On your point: "EVs are not going to be practical in my area unless a person installs a large solar array and charges during the day."

    You meant to say: "People who want fast charging and who want to charge during the day in the San Diego area are going to have to pay more for their electricity" and that's true. That does not make it "impractical" it just makes it "more costly." Like I stated before, most "early adopters" have the cash to fork out on this technology, just like the early adopters of Hybrid cars were people with more "disposable income" than the average Joe.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    The only thing I can say is a fool and their money is soon parted. Unless a vehicle fits my needs and is practical I will either not buy it or get rid of it very quickly while it still has some value. As much as I hate the poor mileage I get with the Sequoia, it is not practical to replace it until I find a diesel replacement vehicle I really like.

    As much as I would like to go EV, I don't see it as practical in my lifetime. They will have to come up with better storage than Li-ioN batteries that are currently being tested. And I think you are wishful in your thinking on the PHEV Prius from Toyota. That could still be a decade off for the consumer. It depends on the trials with fleet owners. Notice how the Honda FCX has just fizzled out. I think they placed 5 units of the 100 or more they promised. Hydrogen is still many decades away if ever.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "And I think you are wishful in your thinking on the PHEV Prius from Toyota. That could still be a decade off for the consumer. It depends on the trials with fleet owners. "

    I did not put a time table on it. I just meant to point out that WHEN they do it, it will be done the RIGHT way.

    Thus the current delay - they are getting it RIGHT, just like the got the Prius RIGHT before they introduced it.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    I have to think that was tongue in cheek. :P

    Toyota was not even close to having even the 2nd model Prius offered here "right". There were hundreds of them stranded with the death triangle. They would stall cruising down the highway at freeway speeds. Even a few caused accidents. The first couple years the buyers were guinea pigs that bought the Prius. I would think they are a bit gun shy now with all the runaway acceleration cases coming to light.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    You are basing your belief on a few hundred problems.

    Are you ignoring the tens of thousands of owners who had no problems?

    They got it right.

    A lot of cars have a glitch now and then causing a recall.

    The point is, no automaker wants the bad publicity that a failed electric car would give them.

    No one will put one out there until it's RIGHT. Nissan, GM, Toyota, Mitsubishi, none of them.

    But remember: No car in pre-release testing can be 100% fault-free. The real-world test of thousands of actual owners cannot be replicated in pre-release testing. A glitch here and there is inevitable.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    Your naivete' is showing. There have been many cases over the years of calculated risk by auto makers on known safety issues. Did Toyota know about the software glitches in the Prius before release? I doubt we will ever find out. The Japanese are much better at keeping secrets than we are.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary, that doesn't make any sense.

    Chief Engineer: "We know we have an issue that will STRAND DRIVERS AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS. I say "release the hounds !!!"

    That's total and complete ridiculosity to think that anyone would willingly do that.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    If you think that Toyota is any less greedy than Ford you are dreaming.

    Here are the highlights of the memo on the altar worshipping the Almighty Buck:

    1. With expected unit sales of 11 million Pintos, and a total cost per unit to modify the fuel tank of $11, a recall would have cost Ford $121 million.

    2. But, using mathematical formulations of a probable 2,100 accidents that might result in 180 burn deaths, 180 seriously burned victims, and 2,100 burned-out vehicles, the "unit cost" per accident, assuming an out-of-court settlement, came to a probable $200,000 per death, $67,000 per serious injury, and $700 per burned-out vehicle, leaving a grand total of $49.53 million.

    3. Allowing the accidents to occur represented a net savings of nearly $70 million.

    4. Therefore, a human life was mathematically proven to be worth less than an $11 part.


    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/true-conspiracy-the-ford-pinto-memorandum.- html

    Chrysler did it with the Mini Van doors popping open. My guess is Toyota is doing it right now with the runaway acceleration in 3.8 million vehicles they have sold. Including all the Prius from 2004 -09. I agree that nothing is perfect. Where I get upset is when the manufacturer knows they have a problem and try to cover it up. And Toyota did just that until there were too many cases of the Prius Stalling at high speed. And they did it until this high profile case of the Lexus runaway that killed 4 people including a cop. Cop killers are usually targeted heavily by other cops.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Actually they only decided that a life was worth less than 18,182 of those $11 parts.
    Or that preventing 180 deaths (and osme other stuff) was not worth spending $121 million, which is $672,222 per death, or 61,111 of the $11 parts.
    Or they decided that a judge and jury would value the average life at $200,000.

    Not saying that Ford was right or wrong to do this, but the statement that "a human life was mathematically proven to be worth less than an $11 part" is simply incorrect hyperbole.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    It was Mother Jones making the analysis. So you have to take that into account. The premise was automakers take calculated risks all the time. I was responding to a poster that would like to believe that automakers would never do what in fact Ford did.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Even though this article has nothing to do directly with battery tech, it's seems like the kind of thing that could lead to something interesting

    Discovery of Thinnest Material Ever Nabs Nobel Physics Prize

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    for some reason, the MiEV forum in Electric Cars is "READ ONLY" which seems kinda odd. So I post this here.

    MiEV averages 60.2 miles per charge in 3.5 months of testing

    The perky and friendly Mitsubishi PR professional came to the office on Wednesday and drove off in my beloved i-MiEV after three and a half months of electric driving. It was a sad, sad day.

    This is not to say I don't appreciate the Toyota Plug-In Prius that I have now and about which I will blog for six weeks. It's just that I will miss the magnificent efficiency of the goofy little transport pod from Japan.

    The i-MiEV was extremely efficient. It could carry four adults with lots of headroom, shoulder room and no whining, there was room for luggage and groceries in the back, and it could go an average of 60.2 miles on a charge.

    Yes, the average figure for projected range after more than three months of living with and driving this blop of a commuter dream was 60.2 miles. That's right on the Mitsubishi claim of 50 to 70 miles. My figure was derived using data from the 23 recharges I measured with a separate Kill-A-Watt meter that gave me what I assume was a more precise figure than what the dashboard state-of-charge gauge provided. The Kill-A-Watt meter measured kilowatt-hours to the hundredth of a kilowatt-hour. After each charge I would reset it and measure the next electric refill. Thus I could take the miles I traveled on the kilowatt-hours used and, knowing that the battery held 16 kilowatt-hours, I could calculate how far the i-MiEV would have gone at that rate of discharge.

    The little state-of-charge gauge on the dash was far less precise. It looked like a conventional gasoline gauge, with 16 bars, one for each kilowatt-hour of juice in the 16-kilowatt-hour battery pack. I found this gauge to be overly optimistic in its upper half. The first few bars on the gauge would take as much as 20 miles to blip out. Since I usually recharged after using only four or five indicated bars, after 22 or 23 miles to or from work, the little gauge couldn't be trusted to extrapolate a total range for the battery pack. Using the 45 recharges measured with this dash-mounted gauge, I got an average of extrapolated range--the distance the car could go at the rate of discharge indicated--of 71.64 miles.

    The differences between the dash gauge and the bar graph never agreed and were often way apart, by as much as 50 percent. So my official range calculation for the i-MiEV will be 60.2 miles.

    I never ran the thing to empty, and even if I had you couldn't say that however far I got was its range, since range varied. Running the air conditioning and the audio didn't make too big a difference in range. I would say less than 10 percent on average with the A/C and the audio on. Even running with the heater, the headlights and the audio on only decreased range by about 20 percent to 25 percent, though given that I never performed precise measurements under controlled scientific conditions, those are just my best estimates. I never ran a full recharge with just the heater on or just the A/C or anything like that. I was always using one or the other part of the time.

    So what did I learn from driving a full electric vehicle for three months? The biggest thing I learned was that these things really work. If you have a commute that is within the range of your EV, you can drive an EV and save money while polluting less. If you have to drive 71 miles and your range is 60, don't try it. Or at least figure out where you can recharge on the way.

    Another thing that impressed me was that this car recharged almost the entire time on a regular 120-volt, three-pronged wall plug overnight. I used a 240-volt outlet a couple times and once, when I visited Aerovironment in Monrovia, Calif., I got a jolt of 480-volt Level III charging that took less than 15 minutes to get the car up to 80 percent charge. In general, I had no range anxiety once I learned to do the math before heading out.

    Nor did I have any trouble merging onto freeways or keeping up with the flow of traffic.

    In all I used 441 kilowatt-hours of electricity in 1,853 miles of driving. Electricity costs 13 cents per kilowatt-hours at my house and, if I assume it's the same cost at my office (they were never able to tell me how much it cost them), that's 4.2 kilowatt-hours per mile. Three months of daily commuting and weekend driving cost me $57.33. It costs me about that much to fill up our 15-mpg Volkswagen Eurovan with gasoline.

    Now there surely will be those who say that all you're doing with an EV is transferring the emissions from the tailpipe to a remote, coal-fired powerplant. But as I've said before here, according to the EPA, the electricity provided by Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is only 11.9 percent coal-fired. Of the rest, 42.3 percent comes from natural gas, 1.2 percent from oil, 16.5 percent from nuclear, 17.7 percent from hydro and 9.4 percent from nonhydro renewables.

    Your numbers will vary. In Detroit, it's 66.9 percent coal. In Chicago, it's 72.8 percent coal. Consolidated Edison in New York lists 0.0 percent coal, Seattle is 34.4 percent and the Potomac Edison Company of West Virginia gets 72.8 percent of its electricity from coal.

    But even recharging an EV from coal-fired plants in the United States is still cleaner than burning gasoline in a car.

    An electric car is not for everybody, but I have to believe that for more than 90 percent of my fellow Angelenos, an EV would meet their needs more than 90 percent of the time.

    Would I buy one? Yes. If it comes in priced at less than $30,000, as Mitsubishi has said. Given the $7,500 federal credit and the $5,000 from the state, the final cost would be $17,500. If there's some South Coast Air Quality Management District money out there I'm not aware of, it would be even lower.

    For a typical family of four, the perfect setup would be to have one of these for commuting and shorter trips and a minivan for anything longer or carrying more than four people. (And a race car, a motorcycle, an airplane and a boat.)

    There was no ceremony when the i-MiEV left. Since it was only 35 miles from my office in Los Angeles to Mitsubishi's headquarters in Cypress, the PR professional from Mitsubishi got a ride up here and simply drove the i-MiEV down La Cienega, onto the freeway and out of sight.

    Good-bye, Mitsubishi. My electric car is gone but the future is going to be full of them.
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