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  #1  
Old 07-10-2012, 09:20 AM
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Default Americans and Their Cars: Love 'Em, Leave 'Em, Need 'Em

Whether people love their cars or just tolerate them, they still need a genuine alternative, writes National Geographic.

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  #2  
Old 07-10-2012, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Americans and Their Cars: Love 'Em, Leave 'Em, Need 'Em

Ha - reminds me of all of the old movies where "the dork" arrives to pick up his date on a scooter, and she rolls her eyes...

Cars have positive utility. Eliminating the utility in an attempt to reduce an undesirable by-product does not improve our lives.

The answer, of course, is not getting rid of them or shrinking them to clown cars. The answer is to fix the actual problem - reliance on petroleum.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Americans and Their Cars: Love 'Em, Leave 'Em, Need 'Em

Americans have a love affair with their cars. It's such a big country, that mass transit is limited and relatively expensive.

More than that though, it's Freedom. A set of car keys gives you sense of freedom; you can go anywhere, anytime.

This is something that will perhaps make cars like the Volt the most effective solution. Without the ability to recharge in less than 5 minutes, gas cars will always have a range advantage until an electric can run 12 hours straight. While a gas car might appear to have a 300 mile range, it does not. I've driven from California to Florida in 40 hours. This is currently so far out of the range of an electric as to be laughable. A Volt could do it, or a hybrid, but not an electric.

While the average driver does not need to drive non-stop from CA to FL, it does apply to daily life. If your electric is not charged, and you need to go right now, you're stuck.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: Americans and Their Cars: Love 'Em, Leave 'Em, Need 'Em

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Originally Posted by McRat View Post
Americans have a love affair with their cars. It's such a big country, that mass transit is limited and relatively expensive.

More than that though, it's Freedom. A set of car keys gives you sense of freedom; you can go anywhere, anytime.

This is something that will perhaps make cars like the Volt the most effective solution. Without the ability to recharge in less than 5 minutes, gas cars will always have a range advantage until an electric can run 12 hours straight. While a gas car might appear to have a 300 mile range, it does not. I've driven from California to Florida in 40 hours. This is currently so far out of the range of an electric as to be laughable. A Volt could do it, or a hybrid, but not an electric.

While the average driver does not need to drive non-stop from CA to FL, it does apply to daily life. If your electric is not charged, and you need to go right now, you're stuck.
Have to agree to a point, but it doesn't seem to be a much a limitation of the batteries as it a limit of fast charging stations and some manufacturers choosing the wrong battery or not enoughof them and not currently supporting fast charging. Nissan being the exception. A 5 minute recharge isn't necessary. A 20 minute charge to 80% and a real 100-150 mile range is all thats needed. It's achievable with the tech we have now. It looks like elon musk is making it a priority for his company...... Better/cheaper batteries wohld help, but like I said earlier it's achievable witb what is available now.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Americans and Their Cars: Love 'Em, Leave 'Em, Need 'Em

We can disagree with the charging time, but it is certainly clear that improvements are happening rapidly. Newer cathode and anode materials not only promise better energy-densities but also lower price and faster charging.

At some point, a "quick charge" will simply require a compatible battery pack already charged (to provide the source for the immense surge of current) and a very heavy cable. With low enough cost, people will want these in their homes anyway as a power backup.

I believe 300 mile range in a Leaf-equivalent car is no more than 3 years away - and folks can look at my posts from 2 years ago and see that I was then predicting about 5 years, which would make me somewhat prophetic if that timeline still holds. Whether I'm off by a few years or not, it is certainly not a long time to wait. Transition of 50% of the world's vehicles will still take 5-10 years after that, and we still have the problem of India and China building new coal plants every week to work on, but overall we are on the right track.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Americans and Their Cars: Love 'Em, Leave 'Em, Need 'Em

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Originally Posted by PhantomPholly View Post
We can disagree with the charging time, but it is certainly clear that improvements are happening rapidly. Newer cathode and anode materials not only promise better energy-densities but also lower price and faster charging.

At some point, a "quick charge" will simply require a compatible battery pack already charged (to provide the source for the immense surge of current) and a very heavy cable. With low enough cost, people will want these in their homes anyway as a power backup.

I believe 300 mile range in a Leaf-equivalent car is no more than 3 years away - and folks can look at my posts from 2 years ago and see that I was then predicting about 5 years, which would make me somewhat prophetic if that timeline still holds. Whether I'm off by a few years or not, it is certainly not a long time to wait. Transition of 50% of the world's vehicles will still take 5-10 years after that, and we still have the problem of India and China building new coal plants every week to work on, but overall we are on the right track.
Dont disagree on any particular point. The only reason I said 20 min is that it can be
done now and is only a minor inconvenience.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Americans and Their Cars: Love 'Em, Leave 'Em, Need 'Em

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Dont disagree on any particular point. The only reason I said 20 min is that it can be
done now and is only a minor inconvenience.
Ah, wasn't disagreeing with you on the 20 min (although that's not for a 300 mile car). I meant the time until the majority of the general public agrees that an EV fits their needs.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: Americans and Their Cars: Love 'Em, Leave 'Em, Need 'Em

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Ah, wasn't disagreeing with you on the 20 min (although that's not for a 300 mile car).
A 300 mile range car would need a pack size somewhere between 60kwh and 120kwh. Call it 100kwh and using a maxxed out Level 2 charger at 240volt 70amp and it would take around 6 and a half hours to charge. A Level 3 service could conceivably still charge this pack in 20 minutes to 80%. This could be done with a 480V three phase industrial drop which could charge several cars at the same time. A more efficient use of the grid would be to charge banks of batteries during off peak times and then use the stored charge during peak times.

It still looks to me like the most common form of charging will be done where the car is parked at night with a 30A level 2 service. For people who drive less than 30 miles per day you can do all your charging from a normal wall outlet. This is what I will be doing.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Americans and Their Cars: Love 'Em, Leave 'Em, Need 'Em

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Originally Posted by dougingraham View Post
A 300 mile range car would need a pack size somewhere between 60kwh and 120kwh. Call it 100kwh and using a maxxed out Level 2 charger at 240volt 70amp and it would take around 6 and a half hours to charge. A Level 3 service could conceivably still charge this pack in 20 minutes to 80%. This could be done with a 480V three phase industrial drop which could charge several cars at the same time. A more efficient use of the grid would be to charge banks of batteries during off peak times and then use the stored charge during peak times.
I hadn't done the math - thanks. I did not realize that 480v was even an option, nor that it could dump that much energy in only 20 minutes!

My ongoing assumption is that such recharging could ONLY be accomplished using banks of batteries or capacitors. For commercial charging stations, that will require something like liquid batteries which can charge and discharge rapidly and never lose their ability to recharge, since they would undergo multiple full charging cycles equivalent use in a single day.

Quote:
It still looks to me like the most common form of charging will be done where the car is parked at night with a 30A level 2 service. For people who drive less than 30 miles per day you can do all your charging from a normal wall outlet. This is what I will be doing.
I agree. 10 hrs (most people spend a bit more time at home than just sleeping) * 30A * 220v * .8 (arbitrary charging inefficiency losses for sake of having a number) = about 52.8KwHrs in a single night (assuming you go right to sleep - most folks would probably charge at least 10 hrs). Using the figure we came up with in another post of 8IwHrs = 1 gallon equivalent for purposes of propulsion, that's about equal to refilling 6.6 gallons of gas per night, or about enough to drive 200 miles in a car that would get 30mpg with an ICE motor, or 120 miles in an SUV.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Americans and Their Cars: Love 'Em, Leave 'Em, Need 'Em

I have loved cars since I can remember. One of my favorite places to play when I was five or six was my dadís 1948 Buick Club Coupe. I won many a race with that straight eight. When I was in High School I lived for the weekends so I could go cruising through the popular burger joints. I have done a lot of driving over the years for business and fun and I have not lost my enthusiasm for working on cars and driving them. The only thing that has changed in a lot of my driving is the type of fuel I use. I can get 30 miles comfortably out of my ev and I have adapted to it pretty well I think. There is a lot going on in the area I live in well with in my driving range. Sometimes I have gone out for a while then came home put the car on charge and had a two hour lunch unplugged the car and went out for the evening. I think with the miles per charge on cars like the Leaf most people could do quite well if they just thought it out.
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