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Electric Car Discussion

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posted on May, 4 2008 @ 11:16 PM
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I have a few questions regarding the use of electric cars the first being what impacts would it have on our electricity consumption in the united states, and could our grid handle the extra strain? The second being is it possible or being looked into to develop some sort of quick charge station for electric cars? it would be sort of the equivalent of our gas stations now, were people running low on juice could stop in and charge in a matter of minutes, not hours as many electric cars need today. The last question may be a stupid one but what do we do with all the spent batteries used from the electric cars? If anyone has anything to add as far as questions or comments please go ahead. thanks




posted on May, 4 2008 @ 11:21 PM
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I think that our grid could handle it, but the way many places generate electricity would just put strain on another fossil fuel, coal. However, with improvements, carmakers are creating cars that are more and more effective at charging themselves while they move. A perpetual motion machine will come out of this, with the possible inclusion of solar energy.

You'll have a problem charging up in minutes, as even some of the most effective batteries in things as small as our laptops can take over an hour.

We're on our way, but I think Hydro power will trump it before it gets big.



posted on May, 4 2008 @ 11:32 PM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


That is true regarding the generation of power in most places are done by fossil fuels, i think electric cars could be implemented but at or after a large scale shift to alt energy like solar, geo, wind ect... But im interested about your thoughts on hydro, if you dont mind telling me ur opinion on it



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 12:43 AM
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reply to post by bgaty
 


Thats the big problem isnt it... getting all the power generation out of fossal fuels into using other forms of power generation like solar or wind or something.... I wonder if there is a more efficent way to use solar power.... maybe having pannels on top of cars or houses, but that only works in places with lots of sun.... mabye for other places without all the sun wind power or some form of hydro would be good (I saw a doco on nat geo about some conuntry in Europe and how they put wind power generators in the sea just off their coast.... the sea was active enough to move the turbines around to make enough energy.) - There are tons of ways to get all the energy, we just need or govts to make an effort to implement these solutions.

-fm



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 12:54 AM
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Originally posted by funky monk
reply to post by bgaty
 


Thats the big problem isnt it... getting all the power generation out of fossal fuels into using other forms of power generation like solar or wind or something.


Okay -- I will be the bad guy and bring this up one more time.

Build 400 nuclear power plants, dedicate them to running electric cars.

We could have this project finished in one year.

That would put incredible pressure on the oil companies to slash prices.

Then we could retire the nuclear power plants, or phase in some other type of energy and put these plants on standby.

I think it is the only way to go.



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 12:54 AM
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Right now it just feels like the electric cars are only a carrot being dangled in front of our faces to make us feel like progress is being made. I can't think of a single affordable electric car right now. One came out for 25k but that is a pretty absurd price to pay for something that will only go 110 miles/charge and only 65mph.

The tech being used in the cars doesn't seem new at all. We hear of reports of huge strides being made in alternative energy like solar collection, yet these cars don't use it. We hear about strides being made in batteries as well (Japanese Pee battery comes to mind www.reghardware.co.uk...) yet, these still use old tech toxic batteries. The environmental toll of these cars is higher than a standard fuel burning car.

I am jaded and feel like we are all being taken for a ride.



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 01:07 AM
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Originally posted by Karlhungis
Right now it just feels like the electric cars are only a carrot being dangled in front of our faces to make us feel like progress is being made. I can't think of a single affordable electric car right now. I am jaded and feel like we are all being taken for a ride.


Your point is well taken Karl. There is definitely something amiss. I don't see real progress on this issue at all. Maybe electric cars would be an utter disaster.

Here is a depressing thought (and I see your mood is "depressed" right now, and I'm rapidly getting there.) Perhaps we are just like bugs in some airtight jar, slowly running out of oxygen. We are looking for a way to escape, but our demise is fated. There is no way to stop it. For a brief time we had fuel enough to build a civilization. That era is coming to an end.

Edit: Mood was "Optimistic". Now set to "Nervous" for the rest of the night.


[edit on 5-5-2008 by Buck Division]



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 01:11 AM
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reply to post by Buck Division
 





Perhaps we are just like bugs in some airtight jar, slowly running out of oxygen. We are looking for a way to escape, but our demise is fated. There is no way to stop it. For a brief time we had fuel enough to build a civilization. That era is coming to an end


To be written by an optimist, that is one of the more depressing things I have read. I hope things aren't as bad as they appear to be. I haven't seen a lot of evidence to the contrary though.



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 02:09 AM
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google this---> Who Killed the Electric Car? I watch the entire documentary, and anyone that wants a VERY CLEAR vision of what is exactally going on.. needs to see that film!



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 03:29 AM
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I just watched that video the other day, definitely an eye-opener - good call Komodo

As I see it, the biggest problem with electric cars are the batteries for reasons Karlhungis mentioned a few posts above. So *I think* a good stop-gap solution is the hybrid.



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 03:33 AM
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In answer to your three questions:

1) The electric grid is far under capacity at night, which happens to be the time when electric cars would be charging. So YES, the grid can handle it.

2) Quick charging becomes more possible with each passing year. The first electric cars took up to 50 hours to charge. The Tesla Roadster takes 3 1/2. With improvements in battery technology faster charging is possible. A company called Altair Nano has a battery that they claim can be charged empty to full in less than 10 minutes.

Don't think of charging your car in the same way you fill up with gasoline. You won't need to stop at a station and energize. You do it in your garage while you're sleeping.

Another option in the future would be to have pre-charged batteries available to swap-out at stations if you want to make a long trip. Battery sizes and shapes would need to be standardized, but that's not difficult.

3) Spent batteries are recycled. No differently than aluminum cans or the old tires you replace with new ones when the tread wears out. Recycling in the auto industry happens all the time... batteries will be no different.



Electric cars are not popular today because they are TOO GOOD of a solution to the problems. Here are two big reasons why:

- Electric cars have far fewer moving parts. Maintenance and garages are a large part of the income for the auto industry. Think about it: oil changes, spark plugs, coolant, transmission fluid, air filters, belts, hoses, exhaust, mufflers, brakes... the list goes on. None of this is needed. The ac induction motor is essentially 1 moving part, and the bearings can be replaced very easily. The motor itself could run practically forever with replaced bearings... literally millions of miles. All that other junk doesn't exist and isn't needed in electric cars. Less to break = less profit from fixing it. This is why auto manufacturers don't like the idea... a lot of their money comes from the fact that the internal combustion engine is complex and prone to breaking.

- They use far less energy to get from A to B. The internal combustion engine is only 33% efficient, at most. Electric motors are 90% efficient. The reduced demand for fuel is something that takes power away from those megalomaniacs who would like to rule the whole world by being the sole provider of our lifeblood. With electricity, it doesn't matter how you generate your power: oil, gas, coal, wind, biofuel, ethanol, solar, nuclear, cold fusion, or moonshine... the oil monopoly strangle-hold is broken.


As you can see, with everything else in life it always comes down to money. In this case, it makes very GOOD financial sense to use an electric car for US, but for THEM it's very very bad news. This is why progress is so slow or non-existent.... most of the companies who could build them don't want to, and they either drag their feet, ignore the idea, or argue against it.


The good news is that this pressure is building up like water behind a dam. Everything we have been denied is coming to the fore, and increasing in intensity. They may have been strong enough to delay progress but there are simply too many things going on all at once now to hold back the tide. When this thing breaks, it will be a flood.


One last thing - there is a documentary style video out there called "Who Killed the Electric Car?" This tells a good story of the evolution of this vehicle, and shows clearly the ins and outs of why we need these in the country desperately right now. A very good watch, interesting and informative.




[edit on 5-5-2008 by ianr5741]


XL5

posted on May, 5 2008 @ 04:08 AM
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The problem is not making the energy, its storing the energy. Hydrogen is a gas, a gas that you will be charged and taxed for and it will not be as cheap as it should be (supply/demand). Lead acid batteries are VERY over priced, don't store much energy, are toxic and heavy, but they are about 90% recycleable. All the other batteries are WAY too expensive/toxic and still don't hold enough energy (enough energy=200km/charge @70KWatts output).

If they really cared, they would develop super/ultra capacitors that are made mostly of carbon and do not use a chemical reaction to store energy. If they got these capacitors to store just double the amount of energy of a lead acid battery and they costed what they were really worth, we would have no problem (lead acid=55amps/hour per Kg). They could also develop the H2-O2(hydrogen peroxide) battery that supposedly is capable of 3000amp/hour per Kg, even at 1000A/H per Kg, it would do wonders.

But all of that is a moot point, if they really wanted to fix this mess, they would make seperate lanes for transport trucks and transport of goods over 300lbs. The other lanes would be for light transport, mini's or smaller. The reason I say this is because if you double the weight of the car, you need 4 times the power/gas for the same performance of the lighter car. Halve the weight and you need 4 times LESS power! At this point, your paying for safty for other peoples mistakes/bigger SUV's, its like the nuke arm's race.



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 04:15 AM
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reply to post by ianr5741
 


Excellent post ianr5741. You hit it right on the mark.


All the biggest corporations in the world and the governments who feed off of them will take a hit if we all go electric. Mainly Banks, oil companies and governments are the most addicted to the oil revenue stream.

Banks don't want to get in the electric car action by loaning money to these electric car companies until they have to. Banks make too much money loaning money to replace your car every few years, if we begin to see cars go 500 thousand miles you won't need to replace your vehicle as often. Most of all I imagine the banks credit card divisions will take enormous hits when people stop using them to buy gas.

After all buying gas is the one thing that we most often make exceptions for using credit, if we're living paycheck to paycheck and need to fill that tank to get to work.

Governments need to replace those high gas taxes with transponder or GPS tracking technology so they can tax you for each mile you drive. There's a big cost associated with that change over and a rough road in between for them. Instead of the gas stations collecting the revenue for them they will have to set up another means.

Though in my state they have already begun to test this new tax using transponders instead of GPS. Each month you are billed according to how much you drive in those lanes and what times you drive in them. You can read about HOT LANES here. Though they claim they are only for easing congestion, I think the writing is on the wall.

I lived in a city in 1981-82 that only had electric carts and horse drawn carriages. Electric cars could have been developed for the masses long ago, because in some places on earth they don't allow combustion vehicles and haven't for some time.

I suspect we'll see big leaps in battery technology, since that's the biggest drawback of electric cars. The first cars will mostly benefit commuters who travel distances that are within the limits of the early cars. Though we won't be making cross country trips in them immediately - I suspect soon enough we'll have either 500 mile per charge batteries, swappable batteries, or quick charge batteries that will only require a rest stop for a period longer than a typical gas stop, but short enough to be acceptable.

I imagine climate control on the early vehicles will suffer a bit, but we may end up using a fossil fuel if early solar is not adequate.


[edit on 5-5-2008 by verylowfrequency]



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 05:55 AM
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Electricity is everywhere, we just need better ways of capturing and storing it.

Currently (no pun), solar can handle it. While your at work, you plug a couple solar panels in, our have a couple on the top of the car. In an 8 hr day, one could get plenty of charge. Wind is better for the night.

The cars need to change the most. First, since your pushing the car through the air anyway, why not have a fan charging the batteries. Use two separate banks of batteries, one charging, one powering.

Second. For long distance, high speed, use a cushion of air (ground effect) and then back onto wheel for town travel.

Another idea. Slots in the road, like slot cars, to charge car while moving.


Another idea. Collect the static electricity produce by moving the car.

Use Rotory Converters. Step 12 volt up to 220, and rotory convert to three phase.

Done this before in the electrical trade. Amazing what you can run off of small amount of power.




posted on May, 5 2008 @ 09:40 AM
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If the new electric cars had onboard power generating engines like a 'Stirling'...

they could pull into a syngas station,
to fuel up on a syngas that is made on site with different types of source material, biomass/wood/tarsands/old tires, etc
see: www.syngasinternational.com...



the hybrid electric vehicles would fuel up at syngas stations,
with the syngas fueling a 'Stirling' engine which will provide a constant 'trickle charge' to the hybrid vehicles' banks of batteries



resulting in.... oil drilling, distribution, refining can be scaled back,
also, no need for a massive build up of additional electricity generation plants ... to charge up the 10s of millions of electric cars



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 12:42 PM
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Originally posted by XL5
If they really cared, they would develop super/ultra capacitors that are made mostly of carbon and do not use a chemical reaction to store energy. If they got these capacitors to store just double the amount of energy of a lead acid battery and they costed what they were really worth, we would have no problem (lead acid=55amps/hour per Kg).


Check out this company called EEStor. They have developed an ultracapacitor to do just that. They have signed agreements with Zenn Motors and Lockheed Martin. Just do a google search on EEStor. Supposedly the product will be out late this year.

But it was supposed to be out this year.. so who knows.

[edit on 5-5-2008 by justsomeboreddude]



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 03:24 PM
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On a sunny day we get approximately 1000W per m². Enough, to power a house, enough to recharge a electric car. Take a simple satelite dish, for example, attach some silver tin foil and place a stirling, or steam engine into its focus, or make your own solar cells just from white pigments (technical photosynthesis). They are cheap, so you can cover allmost every wall.

[edit on 5-5-2008 by qwertz]



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 03:56 PM
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Just wanted to add my two cents concerning my thread on this very topic....
www.abovetopsecret.com...'


the tesla sports car is an excellent example of how developing technologies for those with large amounts of disposable income can lead to trickle down technology for the masses...



posted on May, 5 2008 @ 04:06 PM
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I know this has nothing to do with the electric car, but how about an air powered car? Almost 4000 miles on a single tank. Plus, buying compressed air isn't that expensive, just ask any self-employed MIG/TIG welder.

www.theaircar.com...

www.youtube.com...

Sorry, still learning how to embed video...geez, I'm such a noob!

[edit on 5-5-2008 by Apex Predator]


XL5

posted on May, 5 2008 @ 05:13 PM
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Justsomeboreddude, EEStor could be the ones to do away with batteries. However, those ultra-capacitors are charged to 3500V and not many efficient power supplies that can step down the voltage to 300V. They may also get sued after someone kills them self with the 3500V.

The air car is a good concept, but people will see the crash tests for them and be scared away. The body of the aircar is mostly a light shell of plastic or fiberglass. I'd buy one though.



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