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Thread: Electric cars

  1. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Mattingley View Post
    Pound for pound you can’t beat diesel or gasoline on the kw scale.
    You're right, but consider the entire system, as well. Conversion of electrical energy into motion is MUCH more efficient than converting gas into motion, so less "pounds" of energy are needed. And once you consider removing the transmission, radiator, muffler, exhaust system, oil pump/pan/cooler, etc, we're approaching having electric cars with "range per pound" equivalent to ICE.

  2. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Friedrichs View Post
    I think it's worth considering how the ubiquity of gas stations may change if the majority of cars no longer require gas. You say you aren't concerned about the "majority of cars", but the gas-distribution infrastructure isn't built for *you* - it's built for the majority of cars.
    I don't think most people are switching any time soon. Electric vehicles are also significantly more expensive than gas vehicles at the moment and 50% of Americans still live outside of urban centers. Advocates imagine that there will be this fundamental change in the support structure required for a mass change to electric that I just don't see happening any time soon. Everyone will have to have 240V installed at their homes or they can't charge. Employers will have to go to the expense of installing charging at the place of business for the employees, at their own expense. If a company has 100 employees driving 100 cars, that's 100 charging stations they will have to install and maintain at their own expense so their employees can get to and from work. Who pays for that? Certainly not the companies who won't be able to afford it. And again, for half of Americans who live outside of urban centers, we do have to drive a long way to get anywhere. Heck, I used to drive almost 300 miles a day to go to work and I wasn't going that far. I know of a lot of people who drive more. This is a much bigger problem than a lot of people want to pretend it is.

  3. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Mattingley View Post
    I work at a school (part time) they have three free charging stations of the 800 spots as a government incentive. The hospital I go to has 10 free charging stations 2000 spots is a government incentive. Do you think these facilities will keep getting funding if it is 25% free recharging instead of .005%
    Where I used to live, a couple of local stores had electric charging stations in their parking lots and they were never used. Ever. I never once saw any vehicles plugged into them even though there were clearly electric vehicles around. I'm sure they were installed to get a tax break, but most stores don't do it because it's a waste of time and space.

    It really seems to me that there are a lot of people who like the idea of electric vehicles and are desperately trying to rationalize why people ought to go with it, but refuse to recognize that there are massive problems with it and outside of densely packed urban areas, the whole idea is a non-starter.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Henderson View Post
    I don't think most people are switching any time soon. Electric vehicles are also significantly more expensive than gas vehicles at the moment and 50% of Americans still live outside of urban centers. Advocates imagine that there will be this fundamental change in the support structure required for a mass change to electric that I just don't see happening any time soon. Everyone will have to have 240V installed at their homes or they can't charge. Employers will have to go to the expense of installing charging at the place of business for the employees, at their own expense. If a company has 100 employees driving 100 cars, that's 100 charging stations they will have to install and maintain at their own expense so their employees can get to and from work. Who pays for that? Certainly not the companies who won't be able to afford it. And again, for half of Americans who live outside of urban centers, we do have to drive a long way to get anywhere. Heck, I used to drive almost 300 miles a day to go to work and I wasn't going that far. I know of a lot of people who drive more. This is a much bigger problem than a lot of people want to pretend it is.
    I don't understand the basis for your 240v comment. Are you thinking we would need 3 phase power to charge a battery? Wrong. Everyone in America thats on the grid already has 220v power. That is plenty. You can run an entire home off that, no doubt it will charge a battery.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Henderson View Post
    It really seems to me that there are a lot of people who like the idea of electric vehicles and are desperately trying to rationalize why people ought to go with it, but refuse to recognize that there are massive problems with it and outside of densely packed urban areas, the whole idea is a non-starter.
    Perhaps, it is because some of us think we need to to make some sacrifices to see if this is electric car thing is viable? See this article in NYT today to see the crazy numbers on greenhouse gas emissions.

    When Horatio Nelson Jackson did his cross-country trip, there were no gas stations -- or even highways for that matter. However, his trip proved that one day it would be possible to do cross-country automobile trips. Electric cars are still somewhat in that stage even though there were electric cars over a hundred years ago (like Beardsley in 1913).

    I think everyone knows that electric cars today are not a drop-in replacement and there are a LOT of issues starting from affordability and going all the way to practicality. I can fully understand if people need gas cars for their long commutes or work like farmers, truckers, business owners. What I don't understand is people with urban desk jobs buying gas guzzlers to get from home to work and use it one day a year to haul a boat or something like that. I'm just looking at the parking lot outside my window and see that nearly two-thirds are pick-ups or SUVs when almost all of them can be at least a smaller commuter car. There are more environmentally friendly ways to commute than electric cars (like public transit or living close to work), but more guinea pigs testing electric cars will only mean more data and, hopefully, a better/cleaner transportation solution for us all.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Barry View Post
    I don't understand the basis for your 240v comment. Are you thinking we would need 3 phase power to charge a battery? Wrong. Everyone in America thats on the grid already has 220v power. That is plenty. You can run an entire home off that, no doubt it will charge a battery.
    Just to add to what Pat said, the smaller electric cars like the i3 and Leaf can perfectly live with standard 120v outlets (I've spent many years with those without the need for 240v). The bigger cars like Teslas need 240v to be practical, otherwise it could take days to charge the car (I've tried!). Also, it's not too expensive to get a 240v outlet -- especially if someone already has washer-driers in their house.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Henderson View Post
    Heck, I used to drive almost 300 miles a day to go to work and I wasn't going that far. I know of a lot of people who drive more.
    I'm quite familiar with the concepts of urban sprawl and long commutes, but I suspect your definitions of "not that far" and "lots of people" are non-standard.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
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  8. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Mattingley View Post
    Water... do you mean hyro electric??? YES. And Nuclear... water moves almost anything in its way. Why not harness it? Quebec turns water in to electrical while you sleep. If you donít use it, they just dump the power dams.
    Agreed, in fact 60% of electricity in Canada is from Hydro.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    I'm quite familiar with the concepts of urban sprawl and long commutes, but I suspect your definitions of "not that far" and "lots of people" are non-standard.
    When I lived in California I was astonished how many people commuted over 100 miles. In the DC area it is not that unusual to see folks commuting from WV to work in DC.

    From what I can tell most of those with such long commutes are not wealthy. They live “out” where they can afford a home, and commute “in” for the better wages. I suspect a lot of commuting could be reduced by more reasonable (i.e. less restrictive) land use policies, but in this area as in others two environmental priorities can be in conflict.

    We see the same thing with the power industry. The most viable alternative to fossil fuels for electricity generation is nuclear power but the only thing environmental groups hate more than fossil fuels is nuclear power.

  10. #85
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    I think electric cars are an interesting idea, but we don't buy a car till it's 8-10 years old, so we're behind the technological curve. I think a lot of energy could be saved if more of us could decide where we want or need to be, and then go and stay there for a while before we go somewhere else.
    Zach

  11. #86
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    Volkswagen just announced it is designing what they say is it's LAST internal combustion engine, to be used starting 2026. European and Chinese laws are pretty much driving the change.

    PS: As I mentioned before, my 2013 (read old tech) C-Max Ford plug in will only go 20 miles on electric, but then switches to gas automatically, and will go another 400 at 37 MPG. I have used it on 2,000 mile trips. No big deal, but the new plug in's are much better.

    This means that although most of my driving is local, I can go anywhere with no problem. Consequently about 80% of my wife's car's 25,000 miles have been on electric and plugged in only at home. My '14 model has the same mileage, and has only been plugged in away from home when we stayed at a hotel once that had free charging.

    PPS: News flash. The Chinese company that bought out Nissan's battery making subsidiary just announced they think they can reduce the price of batteries within a year or so (2020), to where the cost will be LESS than a ICE motor setup.

    This according to "Green Car Reports".
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 12-06-2018 at 2:56 PM.
    Rick Potter

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  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lawrence View Post
    When I lived in California I was astonished how many people commuted over 100 miles. In the DC area it is not that unusual to see folks commuting from WV to work in DC.
    Yes, but the post I was responding to said "300 miles", unclear whether that (or yours) meant each way or round trip. I'm in OC: the people with "long commutes" here are typically coming from Lancaster/Palmdale (~85 miles) or the Inland Empire area (~50 miles). As for your DC example, commutes from WV would certainly be note-worthy (as in 4-5 hours each way to NVA, probably an hour more to central DC), but "not that unusual"? Methinks not, as there are many areas just as cheap in a more reasonable 75-mile radius of DC.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lawrence View Post
    The most viable alternative to fossil fuels for electricity generation is nuclear power but the only thing environmental groups hate more than fossil fuels is nuclear power.
    I've often wondered if "solar" power would be quite as popular if it were referred to by its more technically-correct name: "thermonuclear".
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  13. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    I'm quite familiar with the concepts of urban sprawl and long commutes, but I suspect your definitions of "not that far" and "lots of people" are non-standard.
    Pretty much everything where I am is bedroom communities. Lots of people live here, most people don't work here. They work on the other side of a mountain because that's where the jobs are.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    Yes, but the post I was responding to said "300 miles", unclear whether that (or yours) meant each way or round trip. I'm in OC: the people with "long commutes" here are typically coming from Lancaster/Palmdale (~85 miles) or the Inland Empire area (~50 miles). As for your DC example, commutes from WV would certainly be note-worthy (as in 4-5 hours each way to NVA, probably an hour more to central DC), but "not that unusual"? Methinks not, as there are many areas just as cheap in a more reasonable 75-mile radius of DC.I've often wondered if "solar" power would be quite as popular if it were referred to by its more technically-correct name: "thermonuclear".
    I live in Falls Church, VA (Inside the DC Beltway). When I moved here, I was amazed at how many people commute in from West Virginia. The guy that did our landscaping drives in from WV every day. I don't understand the economics. But he loves it. He was born in Maryland and moved to WV to be close to nature. They have 30 acres and a river.

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    "not that unusual"? Methinks not
    Think whatever you want. Lots of people live in a bubble.

    Martinsburg is no further from DC than Hagerstown, and when I worked in Crystal City probably half the building (all white collar government jobs) commuted from either Hagerstown or Frederick.

    The first guy I met commuting from WV to DC was an electrician. He and his girlfriend both came in together. They told me one would drive in while the other slept in the car, and they would reverse it on the way back. You might think they could find a job somewhere else, or a house somewhere else, but I think if they had one of those options they would not have been doing what they were doing.

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