'Father of the Prius' Declares Electric Cars 'Not Viable'

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posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 05:56 PM
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Hybrid car pioneer and “father of the Prius” Takeshi Uchiyamada says the billions poured into developing battery electric vehicles have ultimately been in vain. "Because of its shortcomings--driving range, cost and recharging time--the electric vehicle is not a viable replacement for most conventional cars," said Uchiyamada. "We need something entirely new."

Uchiyamada’s comments come as the U.S. Department of Energy announced Thursday that the government is backing off President Barack Obama’s promise to put one million electric cars on American roads by 2015. As Breitbart News reported last September, there are just 30,000 electric cars on American roads.

"Whether we meet that goal in 2015 or 2016, that's less important than that we're on the right path to get many millions of these vehicles on the road," said an Energy Department official.

President Obama made promotion of electric vehicles a key component of his green initiative. Last September, the Congressional Budget Office reported that federal policies to prop up and promote electric cars will cost taxpayers $7.5 billion through 2019.

Several of the electric car companies Obama has funneled taxpayer funds to have floundered. U.S. electric battery maker A123 Systems, which received a $249 million taxpayer-funded government loan, announced last year its decision to sell a controlling stake to Wanxiang, a Chinese company, for $450 million. Similarly, lithium-ion battery manufacturer Ener1, Inc., which received a $118.5 million taxpayer-funded grant, filed for bankruptcy. And another company, Aptera Motors, has already folded.

“The electric car, after more than 100 years of development and several brief revivals, still is not ready for prime time--and may never be,” concludes Reuters.


It seems the hybrid car pioneer Takeshi Uchiyamda is conceding that their efforts put into battery powered electric vehicles has been a waste of time. They have amassed billions on this alternative energy source, but due to the lack of driving range, cost and recharge time, it is looking less likely to be the energy efficient model for future vehicle projects.

So far America has only managed to put 30,000 of these style cars on the road. Despite president Obama touting electric vehicles as the future, he has poured around $7.5 billion through 2019 to continue to promote electric vehicles. The president has dumped a lot of money into these programs, just to have a few of them flop after receiving tax payer funded government loans. I think we should be using some of the other alternative fuel sources available on a mass scale.

Here is a list of some alternative fuels that we can currently use, and with more research could implement commercially.


1. Ethanol:
Ethanol is an alcohol-based alternative fuel that is made by fermenting and distilling crops such as corn, barley or wheat. Ethanol can be blended with gasoline to increase octane levels and improve emissions quality.

2. Natural Gas:
Natural gas is an alternative fuel that burns clean and is already widely available to people in many countries through utilities that provide natural gas to homes and businesses. When used in natural gas vehicles—cars and trucks with specially designed engines—natural gas produces far fewer harmful emissions than gasoline or diesel.


3. Hydrogen:
Hydrogen can be mixed with natural gas to create an alternative fuel for vehicles that use certain types of internal combustion engines. Hydrogen is also used in fuel-cell vehicles that run on electricity produced by the petrochemical reaction that occurs when hydrogen and oxygen are combined in the fuel “stack.”

4. Propane:
Propane—also called liquefied petroleum gas or LPG—is a byproduct of natural gas processing and crude oil refining. Already widely used as a fuel for cooking and heating, propane is also a popular alternative fuel for vehicles. Propane produces fewer emissions than gasoline, and there is also a highly developed infrastructure for propane transport, storage and distribution.

5. Biodiesel:
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel based on vegetable oils or animal fats, even those recycled after restaurants have used them for cooking. Vehicle engines can be converted to burn biodiesel in its pure form, and biodiesel can also be blended with petroleum diesel and used in unmodified engines. Biodiesel is safe, biodegradable, reduces air pollutants associated with vehicle emissions, such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.

6. Methanol:
Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, can be used as an alternative fuel in flexible fuel vehicles that are designed to run on M85, a blend of 85 percent methanol and 15 percent gasoline, but automakers are no longer manufacturing methanol-powered vehicles. Methanol could become an important alternative fuel in the future, however, as a source of the hydrogen needed to power fuel-cell vehicles.

7. P-Series:
P-Series fuels are a blend of ethanol, natural gas liquids and methyltetrahydrofuran (MeTHF), a co-solvent derived from biomass. P-Series fuels are clear, high-octane alternative fuels that can be used in flexible fuel vehicles. P-Series fuels can be used alone or mixed with gasoline in any ratio by simply adding it to the tank.
Suggested Reading


Now ethanol is viable, but most modern engines currently out right now do not like large amounts of ethanol, I know it wreaks havoc on small engines. Natural gas would be a good alternative, it's abundant and under the right conditions can be used very efficiently, but fracking and the processing of it can get nasty.

Hydrogen would work, but needs more work on a good stable fuel cell. Propane isn't hard to come by, and some machines and vehicles already operate off of propane, such has fork lifts and some industry vehicles. I think Biodiesel is the easiest conversion we could do right now, and it could create more money for farmers, and it's biodegradle, as well as easy on emissions. I'm not sure about the use of full methanol, but it could be used for future applications.

I'm not too informed on P-Series fuels, but from reading this article, it seems like this could be used as an octane booster, which could provide extra fuel economy (or it could encourage lead foot driving), I'd assume if it was used in the right engine.

What say you ATS?

Is electric battery powered vehicles a waste of time, or should we turn our efforts in a new direction?

electric cars not viable - source

Top Alternative Fuels - remove electric vehicles from list.




posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 05:59 PM
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Because gasoline is still existent and monopolized there is currently no necessity to work on electric cars to their fullest potential extent.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:00 PM
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With advances in battery tech who knows what tomorrow will bring, Right now yeah they don't compare with a gas powered car.

But there have been some exciting advances out of places like MIT with battery tech, things that wont just double battery life but 100x current standards.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:04 PM
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they arnt viable,PROFITble though



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:05 PM
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Originally posted by yourmaker
Because gasoline is still existent and monopolized there is currently no necessity to work on electric cars to their fullest potential extent.





I agree with you on the fact that big oil has a firm grip on the energy industry right now, but lets hope some rogue inventors go against the grain, and gain public support!



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by haven123
they arnt viable,PROFITble though


Agreed, a lot of these cars are super expensive, and they really don't benefit you much at all. Plus with the chevy volt having those problems that would ignite their batteries, I think it would be time to search for alternative means, Lithium ion batteries are no joke.

Hopefully we can put quality over profit in the future.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:08 PM
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Good find and very nice thread you posted.

Ontario is just finishing up with the moth balling of all of our Coal plants.
Ontario just finished up mandating smart meters for electricity.
Ontario just went into debt to the tune of California and then some.
Ontario promotes green energy at a very astounding cost.
Electric bills are through the roof.
Ontario offers a tax rebate/credit when you purchase a electric/smart vehicle.
Does any of the above make sense?
Does any of the above surprise you?

I could go on and on but my blood pressure says to stop here....


This should be a good read and I am staying tuned.

S&F
Regards, Iwinder



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:18 PM
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The top speed of the next gen charging stations it's 20 minute (for a full recharging 0%->100% ) not bad compared to the 8 hours previously., it's japanese tech indeed



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by eXia7
What say you ATS?
Is electric battery powered vehicles a waste of time, or should we turn our efforts in a new direction?

The problem is not so much what kind of fuel is best to power our cars -- because that will be determined by market forces -- but rather what better alternatives do we have to cars that we can put in place relatively quickly that people will accept, and that won't destroy the economy? The problem, as usual, is too many people needing to move around, with the added problem of all those people wanting the same inefficient thing. We just can't keep packing our cities with automobiles that carry only one or two people.

So we can either improve the efficiency of our mass transportation, or kill off a lot of people with a global pandemic of some sort. I vote for getting rid of the people.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:25 PM
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Originally posted by themaster1
The top speed of the next gen charging stations it's 20 minute (for a full recharging 0%->100% ) not bad compared to the 8 hours previously., it's japanese tech indeed


Faster is better, and I believe battery powered vehicles have their place, but for long distances, they still can't get very far, plus batteries are very costly to produce, and purchase.

I think for crowded cities, and short distances, small 2 seat vehicles and up to 4 seat vehicles would be nice. Save on space, and emissions.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by yourmaker
Because gasoline is still existent and monopolized there is currently no necessity to work on electric cars to their fullest potential extent.

Basically true. The development of alternative transportation systems depends on market forces. As long as gas prices remain relatively low, whether by monopoly or subsidy, it remains the most economically viable choice. When it gets too expensive for average slobs to use it to get to work then people will stop using it, and if the gas companies and car companies want to stay in business they'll have to offer affordable alternatives.

Sure, it takes a little while for infrastructures to be built -- we don't have any giant car battery swapping stations on every corner yet (why take time to charge them when you can just pop them out and put in a charged one?) -- but it's surprising how fast things can change when people are motivated. Just look at how quickly we got rid of our tube TVs and computer monitors.


edit on 6-2-2013 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:32 PM
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Originally posted by Blue Shift

Originally posted by yourmaker
Because gasoline is still existent and monopolized there is currently no necessity to work on electric cars to their fullest potential extent.

Basically true. The development of alternative transportation systems depends on market forces. As long as gas prices remain relatively low, whether by monopoly or subsidy, it remains the most economically viable choice. When it gets too expensive for average slobs to use it to get to work then people will stop using it, and if the gas companies and car companies want to stay in business they'll have to offer affordable alternatives.

Sure, it takes a little while for infrastructures to be built -- we don't have any giant car battery swapping stations on every corner yet (why take time to charge them when you can just pop them out and put in a charged one?) -- but it's surprising how fast things can change when people are motivated. Just look at how quickly we got rid of our tube TVs and computer monitors.


edit on 6-2-2013 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)


Well, I hope people get motivated enough to just create a teleporting device in the near future, then all this debate about fuel might become a moot point


As far as the average Joe not affording fuel, it's already to that point.. gas is suppose to top 4$ a gallon, so I think it's time people ask(demand?) for an alternative.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by eXia7
 


it was never capable of being a replacement. It was for the sucker's who "want to make a difference." Green, liberal, pc police types who think they can change the world if only we can stop smokers from smoking, and people from eating meat. Hopeless naively idealogues who refuse to face facts. Humans are like deer on an island that are facing overshoot.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:44 PM
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Originally posted by th3dudeabides
reply to post by eXia7
 


it was never capable of being a replacement. It was for the sucker's who "want to make a difference." Green, liberal, pc police types who think they can change the world if only we can stop smokers from smoking, and people from eating meat. Hopeless naively idealogues who refuse to face facts. Humans are like deer on an island that are facing overshoot.


I agree that it was more of a "feel good" measure to keep certain people content, but the reality is.. they wasted a lot of time and money to keep pushing a failed project.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 07:10 PM
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People make use of light weight short range electric vehicles which are not much more technically advanced than golf carts, but it is a limited market. The electric vehicle industry might expand from that customer base. For many retirees having a simple inexpensive electric pedal assist motor on a bike or trike could extend their cycling range 20 miles or more which is really useful if you think about it. Electric vehicles definitely require more trip planning since there is no place to recharge so its no wonder larger vehicles can't compete with gas powered vehicles.

The oil companies control the vehicle refueling industry and are not about to make the necessary investment into charging stations for a long time. Some cities run electric buses with regenerative braking but they are usually fuel cell hybrids and the city has enough buses running to make the investment in a centrally located recharging station pay off.

Kind of strange that the 'Father of the Prius' would be so negative on the technology? Too bad they couldn't shoot a "Mad Max" sequel with electric vehicles instead of supercharged gas hogs. Most of those movies had desert locations with plenty of solar power potential!



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by eXia7

Originally posted by themaster1
The top speed of the next gen charging stations it's 20 minute (for a full recharging 0%->100% ) not bad compared to the 8 hours previously., it's japanese tech indeed


Faster is better, and I believe battery powered vehicles have their place, but for long distances, they still can't get very far, plus batteries are very costly to produce, and purchase.

I think for crowded cities, and short distances, small 2 seat vehicles and up to 4 seat vehicles would be nice. Save on space, and emissions.


Not to mention the disposal fees for the batteries and the cost to replace them every 3 or so years.
Not to mention electric cars are useless in the winter time, if you have winter where you live.
They will not provide enough heat to the windshield so you can see, if they do the heat thing you cannot possibly drive it as the batteries will be done in.


Regards, Iwinder



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 09:41 PM
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Electric cars are stupid until the point that we can create zero emissions electricity. All you do is move the emissions from your tailpipe to some smokestack sitting outside a coal generating plant.

And you get to do this for about 50% more in price.



posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 11:13 PM
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Battery powered anything that's going to be sitting outside 24/7 is pretty much useless where I live... Minus 35 celsius temps will kill a battery twice as fast, no matter what kind of condition it's in. Hell, I have a battery blanket around my standard car battery just to ensure I can get a few extra cranks out of it before it dies completely, in case the car is rough starting in the morning.

You'd be lucky to make it to the end of the street with one of those electric cars up here.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 03:15 AM
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Originally posted by benrl
With advances in battery tech who knows what tomorrow will bring, Right now yeah they don't compare with a gas powered car.

But there have been some exciting advances out of places like MIT with battery tech, things that wont just double battery life but 100x current standards.
I remember seeing a fuel cell time line for automobiles....that would be in production by now had the timeline been executed.

I'm no expert on the topic but I see fuel cells are a viable technology on the international space station, but the economics of that application are entirely different than mass producing cars.

So the new MIT battery tech could face similar hurdles...might be economically viable for the ISS but not for mass production? Clearly battery technology which is not only more efficient but still economical is the key to electric cars becoming economically viable in mass production.

If the guys working on the problem don't see a viable solution on the horizon, I find it hard to claim I know better than them since I'm not as familiar with it. But I would say never say never...it might be another 10 years before we get the battery breakthrough we really need but it could still happen.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 04:54 AM
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Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
Electric cars are stupid until the point that we can create zero emissions electricity.


We already can, it's called solar, wind, and water generated electricity.





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