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Automakers Planning the Demise of the Internal Combustion Engine?

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Different paradigm
vandamme   11/22/2015 9:49:45 AM
Somebody invents a fuel cell that runs off a simple liquid fuel, like butanol. Electric cars, with small backup batteries maybe, can use this fuel. Gas stations can easily pump it using existing infrastructures. You refuel in five minutes and drive 400 miles. Regenerative braking recharges your battery, which runs the car 50 miles for those commuting trips. Butanol can be made from bio stock. It can also be used in place of gasoline.

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Electric Vehicle Battery Packs
BuzzLightYear   11/22/2015 8:25:45 AM
To solve the slow battery charging and range problem, design an EV with a battery pack that can be changed out in a few minutes.


It would work like this: You are running low on electrical power. You find an EV battery exchange location, similar to and as numerous as gas stations except they have stacks of charged battery packs on charging racks. The station changes out your almost depleted battery pack for a fully charged battery pack in, let's say 5 minutes, and you are on your way. You would pay for the energy used for the re-charge. The exchange would be similar to pressurized gas containers like oxygen or acetylene.


To reduce the number of different configurations of battery packs a specification for a standard, and perhaps modular, battery pack would be needed.


To extend the driving range, the roof, hood and trunk lid of the car would be covered with solar panels that would continuously charge the battery (assuming the sun is cooperating). Regenerative braking and regenerative downhill coasting would help as well.


The car mounted solar panels could be used to recharge the battery pack where charging facilities are not available and if the ratio of driving time to parked time is such that there is time to significantly recharge the battery pack i.e., ½ hour driving time to destination, 8 hours of charging parked time in daylight, ½ hour to return. Of course solar panel charging is subject to the vagaries weather conditions, sun shading, and night time.


I prefer cars powered by hydrogen where the hydrogen is generated by large solar panel farms where water was made available, pressurized and bottled at the generated source. However having stacks of pressurized hydrogen bottles in your neighbor for exchange might be a huge political and safety problem, even though pressurized gas containers like oxygen or acetylene are available at limited semi industrial sites.

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Re: Charging stations?
Laguna_b   11/21/2015 4:06:29 PM
Charging is now and will continue to be overwhelmingly done at  home, at night, while you sleep and at very low base load night time pricing.

The typical EV today charges at only 6.6KW or PHEV 3.3KW. In the course of 8 hours of off peak charging that amounts to about 53KWHrs and 27KWHrs respectively. That is plenty for commuting round trip of about 60 - 75 miles (PHEV - 3.3kw) and about 120 - 130 miles (using the 6.6KWh)

There is not physical reason one can't also have DCFC ports when on the go but the VAST majority of charging will be at home.

PHEVs are nice for range anxiety reduction and for single car families. The costs of mainentance for an EV is so low, near zero, that any second or third car should consider an EV. Once ranges of 120-140miles become more common, teh use model for EVs will change and people will rent cars for longer trips having EVs for everything else.

Battery swapping for large long range trucks will be the next step.

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We go to war for oil, add that to the price.
Trenth   11/21/2015 1:56:43 PM
Ror 100 years we have dominated the middle east to insure our oil and gas supplies.  Even though the USA gets little from the middle east, all our allies do, and the multinational oil companies insist we protect the supplies. Our economy would still collapse if the rest of the world got cut off from ME oil.

Solar and wind are now roughly the same cost or as much as half the cost (Lazard version 8 energy).

Before gov breaks.   It's clear that with the costs of wars, terrorism from the wars,  and the 5.3B$ in gov breaks besides wars (IMF) per year, that fossil oil and gas are 10- 100 times more expensive than renewable.

Add in climate change, peak oil, pollution, ecosystem destruction, and fossils will not serve 12 billion people sustainability.

Solar and wind need a a backup,and we need hydrocarbons for industry and long haul transportation.

If we can replace 80% of our vehicles fuel use with electric, likewise for electricity generation, then we will need very little hydrocarbon and we can get it from wastes.

So electrifying our vehicles is essential. They are FAR less costly compared to the real cost of fossils.

Last analysis I saw (when gas prices were higher), showed that electric and hybrid electrics save money over their life span.  

For the first time in history we also have a really good battery tech: Lithium.  

The manufacturers are surprisingly forward thinking on this.  

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Re: Yea, right, like that is going to happen
Rigby5   11/21/2015 10:40:58 AM
@Common Sense, but the REALITY is that we ARE going to run out of oil!

The war with Muslims is not going to happen over religion, but the fact they have most of the worlds oil, and oil is going to more than quadrouple in the next 30 years.
Even if we win that war and steal that oil, the expense and oil wasted in the conflict to secure the remainder, will make oil unsuitable for average consumption any more.  There simply is no way to save the gasoline engine.  It can't be done.  We need that remaining oil for fertilizer and food production.  We can not survive without it.  It can not be burned up in gas guzzling SUVs so some people can live in the suburbs.

Europe has created a smooth transition from suburbia to an electrified, urbanised, mass-transitized utopia.  All they had to do was a high enough gasoline tax, and use the money for mass transit.  That is not unfair, unreasonable, or hard to do.

Considering war and starvation are the only alternative, doing anything else would be really, really foolish and irresponsible.

Common sense
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Yea, right, like that is going to happen
Common sense   11/21/2015 9:11:48 AM
Well it appears to me, like always, most people are just pretty stupid.  We have reallity, and we have politics, and reallity always wins at some point.  The politics just determine how painful the path is.  All of the EPA stuff is entirely arbitrary and driven by a political agenda, none of it is real.  The only thing that will elimnate the use of gasoline is not having any of it, and this is not going to happen in the next 20-30 years.  The only thing politicians can do is artifically try to create a shortage to push their agenda, which means they will tax the hell out of it.  Of course Obama has succesfully succeeded in taxing us for living with obamacare, which reinforces my conclusion that people are just pretty stupid.

None of this future predicting takes into account the upcoming WWIII with the world vs. islam.  History has proven that mankind cannot figure out any pre-emptive measures to the mass murder of millions of people, it happens like clockwork about every 90 years, so how in the world are they going to create a smooth transition from suburbia to an electrified, urbanised, mass-transitized utopia?  Not going to happen.   

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Re: Public transportation
patb2009   11/18/2015 3:51:37 PM
well bear in mind, you are paying a lot for that "Bulk Savings"..

1) You pay to buy and operate a larger house.

2) You pay to own and operate a car.

I live on a single bus line close to 3 supermarkets, and while

a roll of paper towels may cost me more then at walmart, that 1.75 buss fare 

compares nicely to a $400 gasoline bill

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Re: Public transportation
Rigby5   11/18/2015 11:37:58 AM
Yes the bus trip to the tree lot took a lot of time, but then families did more things together then instead of the isolation of watching TV, surfing the net, and all the electronic sensory overload these days.

The subruban privacy, local mall, high speed commute, etc., just is no longer supportable.  If we continue doing it until the fossil fuel is all gone, that will only make the misery for the next generation that much greater, so we have to recognize the insolvency of that living condition we were sold on, now.  We have to admit that suburbia simply does not work under any real economic or technological model.  It is almost as bad as the flying cars they tried to sell us on in the 1950s.  Sure it could be done in theory, but the reality is we can't afford it for the vast majority.  The energy just does not exist, nor the means of distributing it, storing it, etc.

You say we can't go back to a slower time, but the reality is we are paying for speed with fossil currency we simply do not have.  The one thing we always really do have instead, is time.  That is the one thing that is free and in unlimited quantities.  Our unwillingness to switch currencies is really just a form of narcissism and selfishness.

And ultimately we have no choice really.  It is going to happen anyway, soon enough.  The ONLY real choice we have is whether the remaining fossil fuel is used for food or for speed?  That is the only part up to us to decide.

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Re: EPA limit across the fleet
Rigby5   11/18/2015 11:24:41 AM
Yes, the EPA is totally screwed up and part of the problem.It is not just the CAFE rules that allow for gas guzzling SUV as long as the company makes EVs they don't sell, but that the EPA stops 80 mpg diesels from being sold in the US, while allowing 8 mpg US made SUVs.  The DEQ testing has to stop using Parts Per Million and go to straight emissions total.  And they have to stop fooling everyone about NOx, when in reality N2O and NO are not a problem, and NO2 is worth it if you are burning only a tenth of the fuel with 80 mpg instead of 8 mpg.

But EV is not an answer.  Fast charging batteries are not likely ever possible, and they may be too big and heavy for exchange stations.  The power grid is not up to charging EVs.  It would more than double the load. 

When you do the math, the only solution is for people to go back to mass transit or tiny commuter cars with 3 wheels and 2 cylinders for most things.  Any internal combustion will have to be alcohol or veggie diesel, as fossil fuels are too important for the production of food.

Sure we can delay doing what is inevitable, but that will cause a great deal more harm to future generations that will have less material and time to work with.
It is extremely irresponsible not to make cars smaller and much more efficient NOW!

Al Klu
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Re: Public transportation
Al Klu   11/18/2015 9:34:50 AM
Yes.  A lot of things have changed since the 50's (I was a kid in the 60's).  Back then, a family could have one breadwinner and support a middle class existence.  Today, unless you are an executive, you almost need 2 people working.  

So, your Christmas tree trip on the bus would take a more time than people have today to wait for the bus, get to the farm and pick out your tree, and wait for the bus again to go home (did you have to pay a second fare for the tree?).

Did you have the time back then?  Do you have the time now?  That is the big advantage of a suburban living.  You get in the car, go the 5-10 miles to the nearest mall and do your business.  No more walking to/from the bus stop and waiting for the bus.

This is also the issue of the electric charging taking so long.  We can't go back to a slower time.

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