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Big news for green vehicles.. Is this the shape of things to come?

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posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 05:08 AM
An electric car is expected to be named European car of the year for the first time. Insiders are tipping the Nissan leaf to win the 46 year old award, to be announced on Monday.
Is this the start of a push toward electric vehicles in the future?

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 12:35 PM

Is this the start of a push toward electric vehicles in the future?

It better be.

Here in North America Motor Trend magazine just named the Plug-In Hybrid Chevy Volt their 2011 car of the year:
2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Chevrolet Volt

Electric vehicles are only half the battle though. We also need to start implementing the clean renewable resources to power them. Both on a powerplant scale and through localized options like solar charging stations in parking lots, etc.

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 12:42 PM
I'm all for cars being more environmentally friendly, but why do they have to make all of these eco cars so unbelievably un-stylish

Cant they make it environmentally friendly and look good at the same time?

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 01:08 PM

Cant they make it environmentally friendly and look good at the same time?

I dunno, I think the Volt looks pretty slick:

Something about it reminds me a little of my dream car:

The 4-door, eco friendly hatchback version that is... But in general yeah I agree, it would probably help their image to make these cars look a little meaner

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 01:19 PM
reply to post by mc_squared

I see the similarity with the mean eyed look of the head lamps.
I don't know though. If they were Transformers I imagine the Audi would transform into a lazer shooting nuclear powered killing machine and the Chevy would transform into a small hand blender

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 01:35 PM
Here's a comparison of the Volt and the Leaf

The Chevy Volt is not purely electric, unlike the Leaf. A battery powers the Volt for the first 40 miles and after that point, the gasoline-fueled portion of the engine goes into action and provide several hundreds more miles (approximately 300 more) to the driving range. However, the all-electric Leaf offers a 100-mile range, which is said to be adequate for the average distance driven by most Americans each day. However, the Leaf’s driving distance may cause “range anxiety” for drivers.

Chevrolet’s EV can be recharged in just eight hours using a standard home outlet (110-volt) and in less than four hours with a 220-volt outlet

The Nissan Leaf can be charged in approximately eight hours with a 220-volt outlet (traditionally used for electric clothes dryers); however, a standard home outlet (110-volt) could take as much as 12 to 16 hours to fully charge

No good for travelling, unless charging stations are everywhere. It sound ok for small commutes, but to travel distances, more than a couple of hours away, you would still need to own and insure a second vehicle. Can you imagine going somewhere, with an electric only car, and getting stuck there for 8 hours to charge your car? And the travel distance on the volt's electric system is useless for distance, many people would be on the gas portion of the car more than the electric.

In parts of Canada, the cold weather is hard on car batteries. I wonder how these cars do in sub zero temperatures? We have places to plug in our engine heaters when weather is cold, they'd have to install more plugins of the 220 sort also.

Then there's always the electrical rates going up.

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 02:26 PM
I am certain that electric vehicles will play a role in the future, however, I have serious doubts on several fronts about the likelihood that we will see them appearing in quantities larger than what could be described as 'niche' or 'token' [for a while].

1). There is currently a real issue for anyone (except China) who wishes to embark on switching the bulk of their vehicle production (business) to advanced electric motors or battery fuel sources in the form of the simple fact that at present, the world relies on China as the source of around 95% of the rare earth elements (REEs/metals) which are used to get such great (necessary*) performance from those motors/packages.

Whilst the recent (public) diplomatic spat/panic (which I detailed as best I could in this thread China: Trade embargo on Rare Earth minerals/metals - What damage could this do to the West?, was rapidly quashed in public diplomatic statements by all states involved, including China, it is my opinion that whilst the China/US/West relationship remains as volatile as it is at present (look at the current N/S Korea issue if you need to look for up to date cracks in the 'public' spin from either side about how loved up they are about each other!) it would be a brave Western state that embarks on making any significant portion of their production dependent to that extent on Chinese controled resources. Look how scared Toyota got, and they still mainly make good old petrol/diesel vehicles...

From what I've seen, it is likely that the West will be able to obtain alternative REE sources (mines/new synthetic alternatives) BUT it is likely to take a few maybe within 5 years that will be sorted out. So perhaps that's one reason we aren't all in Leafs yet?

2). *Our electrical infrastructure just isn't ready, will it ever be? Has anyone looked seriously at the maths behind supporting mass adoption of electric/rechargeable vehicles off the national grid? First, look at the number of vehicle users, then think through how many joules or KW they are using - total. Now imagine we switch 20, 30 or 40% to 100% electric mains chargeable vehicles.

As far as I understand, the USA and the UK (as examples) both currently share, in different ways, BIG issues in sustaining AND improving their current electrical grid loads (due to issues with supply security/costs, legacy under-investment in nuclear and renewables), let alone the additional energy that even my schoolboy maths makes clear we would need if serious percentages of road users went electric (non hybrids).

I know, I know, that may all get sorted out, we may build enough new power stations to quash current fears of power cuts, we may all get five figure grants from government to install solar panels to our garages...but I don't think that will happen quickly, do you?

3). Hybrids: Whilst they have been useful marketing ploys for manufacturers, governments and some PR enthralled celebrities, I and many others just don't buy their green credentials, given that they are given such a run for their money in MPG by the best in class non-hybrid internal combustion engine vehicles, AND create (I am certain) a far larger environmental/polltion footprint in the process of their manufacture (full lifecycle).

Like I say, it's not that I'm unimpressed by some of the technology, but for now, I know I'd rather be picking a best in class diesel, which by the way, is likely to be a safer place in many accidents than in any similarly structured electric car with their very heavy (and volatile) battery packs located below my butt and pulling me harder into whatever it impacts...?

All these 'teasers', these show cars, are just that, and for some time I think.

edit on 26-11-2010 by curioustype because: []context clarified

edit on 26-11-2010 by curioustype because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 04:23 PM

Originally posted by snowspirit
In parts of Canada, the cold weather is hard on car batteries. I wonder how these cars do in sub zero temperatures? We have places to plug in our engine heaters when weather is cold, they'd have to install more plugins of the 220 sort also.

Unfortunately this is one of those little-big problems.

I will use a Tesla Roadster as an example.

If you buy one in Canada, be prepared to be paying (both financiall and environmentally) out the nose every winter.

If you note the finer prints (in the spec/performance section) you find this line:
"Battery heater for cold weather charging to -20 degrees Celsius"

Too bad it get's colder than -20 celsius. These batteries will loose their warranty at -20 and will be 100% shot at -40. Also, the charging and mechanical connections are only good to -20, so the battery is really moot at that point.

That leaves me with a couple of options:
Heated garage - kinda negates the whole going electric thing.
Constant charge - bad for batteries, environment, and my costs.
Get new batteries every season - huge costs, suprisingly environmentally sound (80-90% recovery rate for refurbishment).

*Get new batteries is due to those batteries not being good when totally drained or stored at zero charge.

Nissan Leaf and Volt use the same type of battery. However, I think Nissan has only done full testing to -10 Celsius.

About the -40 that they say doesn't happen. Was -36 here 2 days ago, and it's not even the "cold season" yet (Jan/Feb).

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 05:23 PM
reply to post by peck420

Wow, I had never heard about the cold weather battery vulnerability before. Here in the UK that's interesting for two reasons: 1. We're nationally experiencing an unusually cold November, with 'arctic' cold air moving across the country from the North/East and 2. Nissan is/will be manufacturing the Leaf here in Sunderland - in an infamously chilly part of the country (in the North East) - due to dip to -4c within 24 hrs and further cold weather approaching...) and according to the British Met Office: Met Office: North East England: climate

The lowest known temperature recorded in the region was -21.1 °C on 5 January 1941 at Houghall, a pronounced 'frost hollow' in the Wear valley near Durham.

and as they say here: Snow and low temperatures - December 2009 to January 2010

From Thursday 17 December 2009 to Friday 15 January 2010 the UK experienced a spell of very low temperatures and significant snowfalls which affected almost the whole country. This was the most widespread and prolonged spell of this type across the UK since December 1981/January 1982. Large areas of England, Wales and Northern Ireland regularly saw night-time temperatures falling well below freezing, and on occasion below -10 °C, while in Scotland night-time temperatures in the Highland glens regularly fell to -15 °C or lower. Daytime temperatures in many areas frequently struggled to rise above freezing, often remaining several degrees below.

I hope they have their stock well wrapped up and not sitting out in a car park like most factories I have seen.

I have to say, since making my initial post, I've been reading up on the Nissan Leaf, and it just seems very expensive, and the range is not great, and worst of all are doubts about the life expectancy (8 years?) of the £10k(? plus disposal costs?) of the battery.

So you (and the taxpayer via £5k UK gov. grant) pay £10k over the £20k cost of it's competitors ICE unit (e.g. Ford Focus 73mpg), but then as you creep closer to the battery expiry date, the re-sale value of the unit will doubtless collapse, so after 5,6,7,8 years, the standard unit will have cost you WAY less when you factor in depreciation. Lease the battery - just transfers the loss into another form. Hmmmm?

Also, if cold can wreck the battery, presumably they are also vulnerable to shock damage as per other batteries?

It will certainly be interesting to see how many sell in year 1.

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 05:38 PM
tbh i personally hate these electric cars!! i am a good oul petrol head

that aside iv done my research on them and they do more "harm" than good to the earth than normal petrol/deisal cars,
just a simple demonstration here....
whats in the batteries is rare earth materials that are extreamly hazardous, not only to the people if exposed to it but also where the mine was to get them, i cant remember for sure but i think it was something like a 50-100 mile radious of hazard zone from the mine that effects life.
also where does the electricity come from?? power stations that burn fossile fules.....
so much for bien green lol
then, bien cheaper to run??? not so, they maybe cheaper to buy(cant remember) the service cost exceeds the average service cost of a normal petrol car by far throughout its life so ya kinda screwed there!!

please dont ask me to post up links and that because the internet is there for you to use and look up stuff yourself and find out.

so... conclustion????............

another money scam! and plenty of people falling for it!

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 05:57 PM
Eco friendly BS. They just shift the pollution from gasoline to coal power.

Wind and solar will not handle a lot of these cars and over time the problem with dirty power will only get worse till we go nuclear power.

I know the Eco Nuts will try to claim we can do it with wind and solar but they have never worked in the field.

Many of the people that go pure electric or plug-in hybrid will find in a few years that the electricity will cost more then alternative fuels as the cost of electricity goes up because of the coming electricity shortage we will have.

My power cost have gone up 40% in the last 10 years.

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 06:13 PM
reply to post by scoobyrob

whats in the batteries is rare earth materials that are extreamly hazardous, not only to the people if exposed to it but also where the mine was to get them, i cant remember for sure but i think it was something like a 50-100 mile radious of hazard zone from the mine that effects life.

As I mentioned above, I also think REEs are a bigger issue (right now) than we're generally encouraged to believe. In my research into it, it was mentioned that one of the reasons the world has become 95% dependent on China for access to REEs is because the environmental/health issues are too politically unacceptable to make domestic production/mining a reality. However, if other nations really wish to make thses things, they may HAVE to mine it at home, and ironically that will soon have environmental protesters marching around the sites (le.g. one of the main sites is in California apparently- you can just imagine the reaction) where the REEs are.

I agree with all you said really, these are not really "zero emissions vehicles" as I read in one Nissan press release, they are "alternatively distributed emissions vehicles" and the manufacturers and politicians would definately you rather forgot all about where the emissions have been redistributed (in both manufacture, dsposal, and "in-use" parts of the lifecycle.


Park a Nissan Leaf next to a 25 year old Land Rover Diesel converted to run on vegetable oil, and/or any sound 10 year old [35+mpg] ICE car manufactured in your home nation, and explain to me just how the Nissan Leaf is the more environmentally friendly vehicle once you have factored in all energy, toxins, emissions consumed in their manufacture, maintenance and eventual 'safe' disposal - full lifecycle from raw ingredients mining/production and into a safe state.

In calculating the useful life of the Leaf to work out a per-anum or per-mile (oh that 'll be rich given their range and likely use) average impact/consumption figure all cars must have depreciation and their ability to resist insurance or other write-off (scrapping) due to convergence of depreciated value versus either crash repair damage, or a single component replacement cost considered. Bet those complex £10k batteries and components stacked full of lovely ethically (are you sure?) Chinese sourced REEs ain't looking so hot now eh? By the way, like most modern cars, I bet one full airbag deployment will likely write it off before 10 years even if the batteries don't. Ah they just keep building them greener and greener - yeah right....

edit on 26-11-2010 by curioustype because: forgot that outside the UK most 10 year old cars are often doing less than 35mpg...doh

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 06:27 PM
Everybody needs to look to Brazil for the future of Eco-Friendly cars and how green energy can transform a nation in a very small ammount of time.

Brazil’s 30-year-old ethanol fuel program is based on the most efficient agricultural technology for sugarcane cultivation in the world,[10] uses modern equipment and cheap sugar cane as feedstock, the residual cane-waste (bagasse) is used to process heat and power, which results in a very competitive price and also in a high energy balance (output energy/input energy), which varies from 8.3 for average conditions to 10.2 for best practice production.[5][11] In 2010, the U.S. EPA designated Brazilian sugarcane ethanol as an advanced biofuel due to its 61% reduction of total life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, including direct indirect land use change emissions.[12][13]

There are no longer any light vehicles in Brazil running on pure gasoline. Since 1976 the government made it mandatory to blend anhydrous ethanol with gasoline, fluctuating between 10% to 22%.[14] and requiring just a minor adjustment on regular gasoline motors. In 1993 the mandatory blend was fixed by law at 22% anhydrous ethanol (E22) by volume in the entire country, but with leeway to the Executive to set different percentages of ethanol within pre-established boundaries. In 2003 these limits were set at a minimum of 20% and a maximum of 25%.[15] Since July 1, 2007 the mandatory blend is 25% of anhydrous ethanol and 75% gasoline or E25 blend.[16]

The Brazilian car manufacturing industry developed flexible-fuel vehicles that can run on any proportion of gasoline (E20-E25 blend) and hydrous ethanol (E100).[17] Introduced in the market in 2003, flex vehicles became a commercial success,[18] reaching a record 92.3% share of all new cars and light vehicle sales for 2009.[19] In March 2010, the cumulative production of flex-fuel cars and light commercial vehicles reached the milestone of 10 million vehicles,[20][21] and by December 2009 they represented 39% of Brazil's registered Otto cycle light motor vehicle fleet.[19] The success of "flex" vehicles, together with the mandatory E25 blend throughout the country, have allowed ethanol fuel consumption in the country to achieve a 50% market share of the gasoline-powered fleet by February 2008.[22][23] In terms of energy equivalent, sugarcane ethanol represented 17.6% of the country's total energy consumption by the transport sector in 2008.[24]


It's amazing what renewable energy can do when used correctly.

On a recent trip to Brazil, my brother went to a car dealership and asked about some cars. The guy who owned the place said that if the vehicles were Gasoline only, they will not sell them.

Furthermore, the plants who process the sugar cane are actually powered by a bydroduct of ethenol. What's even cooler is that some of the these places send the unused sugar cane tusks to nuclear plants, where they are used to help power the plants.

It's funny that it will be 3rd world nations that become energy independant before the industrial nations do.


posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 06:43 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

It's funny that it will be 3rd world nations that become energy independant before the industrial nations do.

Before - or after? I thought the USA WAS once "energy independent" back in the net-oil-exporter days? Who is 1st or 3rd world could definately be linked to it though?

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 06:58 PM
reply to post by curioustype

The USA was never energy independant. They've always imported foreign oil in order to power the country. Especially during the industrial revolution, the US wasn't producing enough fuel to cope with demand.

Same as today.

It will be African nations, along with South American and even perhaps lesser known asian countries that will be energy independant. Which means in this sense that the particular country in question provides it's OWN energy from it' s OWN natural resources.


posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 07:29 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

My apologies - I think the phrase "energy independent" may well be disputable. However, looking at Wikipedia I note that "The U.S. currently produces about 40% of the oil that it consumes; its oil production peaked in 1970[5] and its imports have exceeded domestic production since the early 1990s"

"its imports have exceeded domestic production since the early 1990s"

So within the context of energy for vehicles (USA oil/Brazil Bio), and USA domestic oil independence (imprt/export balance) compared to your example of Brazil developing domestically sourced fuels, that suggests to me that, although at the time USA drivers were likely filling their tanks with OPEC sourced fuels due to the complexities of trade at that time, there may well have been a time when, theoretically, the USA could have been, based on it's import/export balance, oil/vehicle fuel independent had it chosen to, theoretically, - no?

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 07:39 PM
reply to post by Misterlondon

I dont know but until electricity is not produced by fossil fuels ? uuummm dont know but wont the electrical demand just shift the demand from gasoline to the production of electricity? Just asking ?

posted on Nov, 26 2010 @ 07:42 PM
reply to post by curioustype

There is a time when the US may have chosen to use alternate fuels and yes theoretically they could have become more independant. Although 40% of your needs isn't really making it.

When 60% of your energy needs require imports, that's a huge margin of power that you are giving to those other nations. I would say that national security is at stake with figures like that.

In any case there is no country that is totally energy independant, although we can use countries like Brazil and Venezuala as starting models. They aren't perfect, but they sure are paying more attention to it's ability to produce energy rather than ask others to do it for them.

Could you imagine if the USA wasn't dependant on OPEC? Or only dependent for 20%?


posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 10:44 AM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

I wouldn't be so quick to jump on the Ethanol band wagon.

Although ethanol does pollute less at a given rpm, when you factor in the decreased power and mileage it works out to the same (or worse in some cases, primarily small cars) amount of pollution.

Add in Brazil's primary method of Ethanol production, sugarcane, and you have an environmental disaster.

Sugarcane, like corn, is a water intensive plant that requires large land resources. This has lead to large tracts of rainforest being chopped down to produce fuel as opposed to food. This is a double whammy environmentally. You produce more burnable fuel, and reduce the planets recycle capacity.

I'm holding out for Oak Ridge National Labarotory's enzyme coctail for converting cellulose to sugar. This would allow us to use a currently wasted by product as fuel. Although it is no gain on the burning pollution, it is far friendlier to produce and it is removing a current waste product. Also, they think that by using the current amount of wood waste in the US (from wood manufacturing) they could produce up to 30% of the US gas needs.

Oak Ridge Enzymes

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