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Future of Electric Cars ?

by davidsimon64 / January 1, 2010 3:46 AM PST
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Fully Electric Cars are Doomed
by bob1647 / January 2, 2010 3:50 AM PST

Electricity just doesn't last long enough on its own. If you think about it, your car may not run the same way as you neighbor's in twenty years. To state my own opinion, I believe that fuel cell cars similar to say, the Honda FCX Clarity, but I think at first cars will be all hybrid-somethings. They'll all have an electric engine and another engine that could run on one of a number of various possible fuels, but eventually most everyone will probably switch to hydrogen as its the most practical, being the most environmentally friendly and the the most easily obtained fuel.

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Battery tech won't stand still
by make_or_break / January 7, 2010 4:47 AM PST

The Tesla Roadster currently gets a maximum of 240 miles per charge, and conversely can spank the soft underbelly of a Ferrari F430 in the quarter mile. Yes it's relatively expensive and only seats two, but that doesn't have to be the rule as battery manufacturers get a handle on how to become more cost and resource efficient in the manufacturing process and develop new and better cells to handle larger and more accommodating vehicles, mileage and power needs. That's the beauty of progress, especially when there the vision of untold profits dancing around the investors' collective heads for being THE one that makes the breakout tech.

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Tesla! Ha!
by bob1647 / January 15, 2010 10:27 PM PST

The Tesla Roadster claims to go 240 mi, but watch BBC's Top Gear. There is an episode on that where two of them go consistently less than half of that distance, and please, dont even get me started on the recharging time.

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Realities
by make_or_break / January 24, 2010 10:40 PM PST
In reply to: Tesla! Ha!

No doubt that Tesla was quoting the VERY best case scenario with the 240 mile range...then again every car manufacturers does that with their gasoline mileage figures, so why expect different from an electric car maker?

Drive the Roadster like a bat out of hell, yeah it only does 100-140 miles on a charge. Automobile Magazine had one for a week or so a few months back and brought the Tesla Roadster's "range" back to real world, at least if you plan on a lot of stoplight street racing or a trip to the Friday night shootouts down at the local drag strip. Then again, it's no different with any car, regardless of whether it's gasoline or electric. My 911 has an "official" combined rated range of 330 miles, but with my...ahem...so-called 'normal' driving habits, I typically have to fuel up well before I hit 200 miles. And I don't do a lot of Ferrari or Corvette-baiting 'down on the boulevard'.

As for the charge time; yes that IS an issue, but it's only a problem if the car's going to be used for long-distance travel. If the car's used mostly as a daily commuter, unless you live a couple of hundred miles from your workplace AND feel like being Speed Racer all along the route, even several hours of charging @ 110-120v shouldn't be a big deal...as long as there's a compatible charge station to actually hook the car up to. For the typical commuter, I suspect an overnight freshup every couple of days isn't a difficult habit to get used to, especially considering the fractions of pennies per mile for the energy cost.

And again, it still comes down to emerging battery technologies. Panasonic, and I suspect others as well, are working on battery tech that allows for charging in minutes and not hours, courtesy of their buyout of Sanyo which brought with it all of Sanyo's advanced battery research. You can claim it's all vaporware for now until something actually comes online, but with so much potential PROFIT to be realized from markets ALL around the world, can you seriously doubt that it's not going to happen?

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New Battery Tech? Hmmm?
by bob1647 / January 31, 2010 4:30 AM PST
In reply to: Realities

I'm liking the sound of that new battery tech, but hydrogen is still probably going to prevail. Then again, a compressed air powered car would be cheap? especially if they found a way to refuel while driving. So many possibilities; so much promise. I wonder what it'll be in 50 years?

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I've read the posts on this thread, and other's...
by Cyberfool / March 18, 2010 8:42 PM PDT

Electric Cars are an inevitable part of our future, I must say. Hybrids are here now, they can & will get better.

Fuel cells have been around for a long, long time, but they weren't meant to be on moving platforms, they are heavy (in some cases heavier than the batteries they replace), and they aren't meant to be jostled about. IMO put the fuel cell in your garage next to the CNG Hot Water heater, and use it to power your other appliances, and plug-in electric car.

Hydrogen will never be the answer, ignoring the obvious energy costs in producing hydrogen from water, it has to be stored at Super high pressures, and/or ultra-low temperatures on board of the vehicle, and you still get very little usable range.

Compressed Air vehicles seem fun, as long as the air tank doesn't rupture, ever! Hollywood often uses high pressure air to roll a car in a movie, in cases where they don't want the flash of an explosion, but the car has to flip. Not that regular cars don't flip, I'm just sayin', you put a steel cylinder under your car with 1-10 Thousand PSI. of pressure in it, leave my car alone. I just hope yours doesn't land on mine.

Battery improvements, and/or Ultra-high capacity capacitor tech is the hope for the future, sure there are shocking accidents that can happen there too. Ever seen videos of stupid people driving their cars in to a water flooded intersection?

Well imagine the same person submerging a car powered by hundreds of volts, capable of discharging massive amounts of current... The fishing will be easy too.

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