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Question Why aren't we all driving Electric cars?

After seeing the benefits of an electric drive train over an ICE, the next logical question is "if they are so good, why aren't all cars like this?". The following theories have been suggested for as to why electric cars have failed to take off:
  • Manufacturer's Money: There is an incredible amount of money that has been invested in refining and promoting the ICE car as the mode of transportation. Moving to a completely new system of propulsion means that the investment in the old technology gets a diminished return. Similarly, manufacturers have spent the better part of a century working out how to make money off of cars that need fluids constantly refilled, belts changed, moving parts replaced etc. Changing to a much simpler electric drive-train means that manufacturers can't make the money they used to by servicing cars and replacing parts
  • Oil Money: This theory is relatively obvious; electric cars don't use oil and oil is worth a lot of money. If electric cars ever take off there will be a lot of rich and powerful people who will inevitably lose out. Rich and powerful people have been known to do all sorts of things to protect their profits. There have been some pretty convincing suggestions that oil companies have bought-out technologies that have threatened their way of making money, especially relating to electric cars. An example of this is the WaterFuel Corporation in Australia (technology bought by an oil company). As another example, oil giant Chevron bought out the patent and production rights to the NiMH battery, which were used in electric cars during the 1990's (particularly in California) and refuses to license the technology or produce any to sell to consumers, only accepting large OEM orders. Oil companies can't make money off a car that you charge in your own home. It has also been suggested that the Hydrogen fuel cell (though much less efficient than batteries as an energy storage medium when production energy is taken into account) is being promoted because it can still be refilled in the same way as a standard car, meaning oil companies can still make money off of them. (More specific examples needed...).
  • Fear of Change: Electric cars are pretty different from ICE cars; they drive differently, they sound different, they smell different, you put energy into them in different ways, etc. In many ways these differences can be considered an advantage of EVs (e.g. they sound quieter...) but people have a strange habit of sticking to what they are used to, even if the unknown alternative may be better. According to vehicle manufacturers there has not been enough demand for them to bring an EV to market. However, growing environmental concerns, fuel prices and the stepping stone of hybrids cars have paved the way for consumers to demand a better system: electric cars.
  • Recharging: Operating an EV requires forethought. Once you have run your batteries down, you need to recharge. Unlike refueling for an ICE, this will take more than 5-10 minutes and your refueling points will be somewhat limited. Because of this an EV can make a great commuter and short-trip vehicle, but would be considerably more difficult to utilize when you need to go further than one charge will take you.
  • High cost and low energy density of batteries: The situation is improving with new battery developments moving into large scale production, but electric cars currently cost more and have a much shorter range between fill-ups because of the batteries. DIY conversions using lead-acid batteries can have 1000 pounds of batteries and still be limited to less than 60 miles on a fill up. The new electric cars from major manufacturers have a lighter weight battery pack and more range, but still are very limited compared to a car with a gasoline tank with 15 gallons of gasoline (around 100 pounds) that can drive well over 400 miles on a fill-up. Where daily travel is limited to maybe 30 miles and the car can be charged up every night, a car with a smaller (lighter and less expensive) battery pack may provide great service without the limited range being a serious problem.
  • More Information Needed..

Created by mattW, 11-30-2007 at 10:43 PM
Last edited by Byrdhouse9, 04-19-2011 at 07:26 PM
4 Comments , 27411 Views
Old 04-26-2008, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Why aren't we all driving Electric cars? because there is one condition causing E

Charlie R I don't know if I agree with your point... What are you getting at and what is an 'equiliser'?

Update: I've deleted your input because it didn't make sense as is, but I'm happy to discuss is and include it if you can explain what you meant to me
If I was giving a kWh for every suggested idea of perpetual motion I read, I would probably ironically be able to travel perpetually...

Last edited by mattW; 04-28-2008 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:44 PM
yangsword9x yangsword9x is offline
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Default Re: Why aren't we all driving Electric cars?

Please post more info on the range of travel, of the best batteries out there!

from minimum to maximum!

Batteries to consider:
-Lead Acid Battery
-most popular
-best performance
-best performance over cost!

Consumers need info. to be able to make decisions.
Please inform us!
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:18 PM
Bolt Bolt is offline
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Default Re: Why aren't we all driving Electric cars?

I agree to the first two points about Manufacturer`s money and Oil companies interest.

When you go through this kind of situation the mind gives a simple logical answer of survival, and that is REVOLT!!

I see millions of people being slaves to a handful of people
I see millions of people being slaves to the thought of impossible.
I see millions of people bending in front of the oil giants.
I see millions of people not willing to risk a fraction for a better future.

Batteries can be manufactured in every state, if people come together, contribute money, buy or invent lithium ion battery technology, Setup a manufacturing unit to manufacture lithium ion batteries, then all this jargon trouble will vanish in days.
These costly lithium ion batteries cost less than half the money that they are retailed for. A 11 pound of lithium metal bar costs US $385 (as shown by discovery channel documentary on How lithium ion batteries are made).

If you have a thought that all this can be illegal! then think again. Have you ever had mercy on yourself? Ever wondered how hard you work to get that money, and how easily you fill up some oil companies pockets. Have you ever wondered how much time out of your life you are a slave to the system?
There are not even so many officers in any country that can go and check every car in case its running on illegally manufactured or patent breached lithium ion cells.

Some of life`s toughest problems are in the easiest logical answers. Remember that!
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:52 PM
yangsword9x yangsword9x is offline
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Default Re: Why aren't we all driving Electric cars?

Originally Posted by Bolt View Post
I agree to the first two points about Manufacturer`s money and Oil companies interest...
When Lithium Oxide Batteries become rechargable & affordable & available to the public, I'll convert (creators of the battery claim it'll be ready by 2013).
-300-500 miles range
-5-10 times more energy than lithium ion.
-lighter than lithium ion. yes...

Lithium oxide battery web:

Until than, the conversion/batteries now is useless for delivery purposes...meaning me.
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