Government subsidies also have played a role, according to analysts. Nissan and Tesla were awarded nearly $2 billion between them from the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program to build electric vehicles. Many other companies, including EV battery makers, have also received subsidies. "On the surface, it appears to be a huge risk to roll out these vehicles that people might not buy," See said. "But in many cases, a lot of the cost and risk has been subsidized by the government."
Moreover, the appearance of risk may not be as great as it first seems, at least for some automakers. Experts say pure electric cars can be much easier to manufacture than hybrids. "If you look at the Ford operation in Wayne [Mich.], they can do four different kinds of powertrains: conventional engines, plug-in hybrids, conventional hybrids, and electrics," David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research, told us. "EV technology is a walk in the park compared to hybrids. You just have to build flexibility into your manufacturing systems."
Still, the road to EV sales success is a hard one. Sales of the most prominent pure electric car available today, the Nissan Leaf, totaled just 8,720 units for the first 11 months of this year, according to plugincars.com, despite company projections that it would sell 500,000 EVs a year by the end of 2013. A Wall Street Journal report this year (subscription required) indicated that Nissan was sticking with its plan to sell 1.5 million EVs cumulatively by 2016, "in part due to demands by major cities for zero-emission taxis."
That's why Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has predicted pure EVs will make up 10 percent of the market by 2020. And, as we reported this summer, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took Ghosn's prediction up another notch by saying he believes half of all cars on the road will be pure electric ones in 15 years.
However, industry analysts say much of the auto industry doesn't share the rosy views of Nissan and Tesla. Cole chaired a session at the recent Battery Show Conference in Novi, Mich., and he said automakers expressed concerns at the conference about the state of EV batteries. The sesison was "an opportunity for the automakers to tell the battery guys what the reality is," Cole said. "Right now, the battery is still a killer for them."
Analysts also say the automakers building compliance cars want to be ready if battery technology makes a sudden leap forward. Until then, they're treading lightly. "The bottom line is that the technology is not a slam dunk," See said. "That's why they need to keep looking for the innovation that could make it happen."
Consider a pair of large gas flames produced by burners into the open air 24/365... And THEN evaluate their emissions and compare them to a couple of (reasonably sized) lightbulbs lighted on nighthours (or operated on a timer from sunset to a reasonable hour).
The burners on the Gore´s residence were not either reasonably sized or "gas lamps" by any means, they were large open air flame burners, which made them famous for their absurd presence on an "ecology-oriented" politician's home.
Unless you do and show a complete analysis, you could not judge how many times a given emission source is more polluting than other. I didn't mention any electrical heating, BTW.
And more than an "attack" on that person per-se, my comment refers to many politicians converted to energy "specialists", "engineering experts" and "know-it-all geniuses" that do more harm than good with their wrong based decisions.
How many times are you going to support unfounded, inexpert positions adopted by politicians without respect for real experts opinion and recommendations, as it has been seen so many times? I'm not against politicians themselves, but very much oppose those politicians that dictate wrong or biased measures just for the sake of promoting their image or those making business based on ecology pretexts.
You possibly missed my point: I was highlighting the fact that two batteries of the same make and model can very well store significantly different amounts of charge. Unless careful measures are taken: a given person could exchange a discharged but flawless performing battery for an freshly charged but lower capacity one, specially one nearing its lifespan end. Thus, an advanced state-of-charge metering system and some way to measure with precision how much actual power is stored in the exchanged battery is absolutely needed. It is like exchanging gas tanks instead of refilling them at the gas station: a well used battery would be akin to a slightly crushed or flattened tank that holds LESS fuel, even when it is filled to the brim.
As I said, simple and quick open voltage measurements are completely insufficient to determine the actual charge, and that direcly affects mileage and performance. A used battery with a lot of recharging cycles on it won't perform like a new one. For an exchange program to perform properly, these aspects need to be adressed.
Now, on risk of failure, batteries for EV need to be constructed with all protections, in order to be safe enough for daily use and abuse. I wouldn't be too much concerned with battery risks because, in order to be certified as safe for the use, it will have to meet many specifications. On safety matters in case of accident, there will need to be enough measures and protections so that the overall risk is acceptable. Amclaussen.
Gas fired outdoor lamps are about 4 or 5 times more efficient and less polluting then electric lightbulbs. As long as we have coal and oil fires electrical generating plants, then we should try to use natural gas instead of electricity whenever possible. For example, we should never use electricity for heating water or homes, if at all possible.
So your attack on Gore seems very biased. It seems you even go so far as to imply AGW is not a problem? Could it be you haven't noticed the Northwest Passage open in 2008 for the first time in centuries?
Battery exchanges take care of all the problems. If you exchange batteries instead of waiting for a slow recharge, then you no longer are responsible for the risk of failure. The battery exchange takes that on, because it would be up to them to cyle and test the battery before charging and allowing it to be passed on to the next user. That is why a battery exchange could justify a membership fee. They are not just selling the battery recharging costs, but also absorbing the cost of replacing failed batteries. It spreads out the risk, besides saving time.
Somehow I quickly remembered that photo of Gore's house entrance, flanked by a pair of large gas fueled torches... so much for opportunistic and false politicians. As far as those and/or "green" people take extreme postures towards their beliefs, we won't progress much.
At least Gore made some cash selling thousands of copies of his DVD to keep many people misinformed. The word you used make sense: "Gimmicks". That's the thing: lets try to apply sound engineering knowledge before any personal or political vogue sets in. I concur, we need to be wiser.
In an ideal world, any two batteries would behave exactly alike if charged to the same level... but in the real world, it would be needed that the exchanged battery really contained the full charge, in other words; for an exchange program to be successful, an effective way to grant the energy content at a given time is absolutely needed. Open Circuit voltage is not enough, as battery degradation towards its lifespan limit is considerable. Insurance for battery failure could be insufficient in cases where borderline performance occurs.
Maybe you need to re-read my post; I did not mention any coal burning at all. As for "evidence", just take a look at the difference between energy needed to put back into a discharged battery and the one that the battery delivers in real traffic conditions, the energy needed to build, transport, carry and finally dispose of a heavy battery.
What I posted was based on the all too often forgotten engineering facts that "green" people tend to ignore in order to convince everyone that their preferences are absolutely correct and above all. In order to be able to compare any vehicular technology, an engineer (or any other informed professional) needs to assess ALL the factors. For that matter, even the electrical power generation by solar panels HAS to have SOME adverse impact too.
What the article did to me, was to remaind me of how easy is to make false statements such as "Zero emissions", "Zero environmental impact" and such! Purely electrical vehicles do indeed have their limitations and impact. Unless the technology evolution produces notably lighter, smaller AND more efficient (recharging) batteries, it still wastes not only energy, but materials.
Lets look into it like some other overly "green" measures, that in the end produced mediocre or counterproductive results. (My point is that an ounce of rational, timely, scientific skepticism is much more beningn than a ton of ecological over-optimism). Take the incandescent bulb ban, promoted by overzealous green politicians in many countries all over the world for an example: the "replacement" promoted in most of the many countries is the CFL...
Did everybody realize those CFL's have a lot of problems like recycleability, mercury content, lousy power factor, poor color rendition, dimmability, overheating in unproper enclosures, shorter true lifespan, time to reach full brightness and some others?. BUT, ovely enthusiastic politicians and self appointed "ecologists" quickly jumped to the (wrong) conclusions that the old incandescent bulb was the demon to exorcise, and that a self respecting "eco-buff" had to get rid of ALL of them as fast as possible! At least here in my country, the real winners of that government fad were the politicians and the large company that received a huge order to supply the CFL's in a manipulated, dishonest government campaign that prompted citizens to exchange 4 of their perfectly working incendescents in exchange for a CFL of mediocre quality, having to destroy the incandescent bulbs inmediately! The Mexico City Taxis (Nissan Leaf) is another murky move by the same kind of politicians, and their expensive replacement batteries wil have to be paid by us, the citizens, even when not using those taxis at all.
Only when ALL the aspects and factors are taken into account, could we support undeservedly such moves. In the mean time, I prefer to be a little more rigorous and strict in my own criteria as an engineer, not being subjected to political or "ecological" criteria deformations. Amclaussen.
I read the article that was posed by (Amclaussen), and there was no such broad statement as inferred by (Amclaussen). I would like to see the 'evidence' quoted here. It is true that if the electricity to run the vehicle is created by coal, that the difference between gasoline powered cars and electrics is blurred, and maybe worse for the electric. Not true in states where coal is not the major source of power, not true if you are using solar panels on your roof to power the car. Additionally, this varies from state to state http://www.eia.gov/beta/state/. Of course, it is blatently obvious that we need to get rid of coal as a power source as much or more than oil, as it is the dirtiest of the power technologies, unsafe for humans to mine, and a health risk all around, not to mention the physical damage to the environment from coal mining. Of course, these power sources will be around for some time, because it is just not possible or feasable to power everything by electrics with today's technology. Fortunately, the technology of renewable power sources is becoming more financially feasable every day. Of course, logically, the use of renewable power sources makes sense to all but the closed minded. Funny, how now that the CAFE standards have been increased, the automobile companies are pulling the technology out of the filing cabinets and will have no problem meeting the new standards. Here is a better article from the national academies of science: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12794
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.