I see a cark park lot full of DeLorean's often where they sit in Sayville Long Island, NY. Firstly, I never liked the design, too boxy for me and yes the stainless steel is corrosion proof, but as was already mentioned, when the car is involved in an accident and reairing same to its intrinsic state is difficult to improbable. I say ditch the idea, redesign the car with smoother lines, use carbon fibre and forget the stainless steel. As Einstein said, people that do the same thing over and over and expect different results.......are insane!
I certainly agree that in most cases, a plug-in electric car is still powered by fossil fuels, with all the attendant ills that go along with it. However, it must be pointed out that a generating station can be tuned to run and produce power at a rate close to optimal, while an automobile has to spin up, spin down, run at idle, run hot, run cold, and run everywhere in between.
Additionally, I doubt solar chargers will ever catch on for automobiles. At least, not PV solar panels. They're too dependent on good weather. No one wants to be stranded at work because thick clouds covered the sky all day. Some of us living on the North Coast may not get nearly enough daylight in the winter to charge their batteries, and batteries lose a certain amount of usability in the cold temperatures too. (My Prius gets about 10 MPG less in the winter than it does in the summer.)
However, there are some very interesting things going on in the field of municipal solar power generation. Using optics to concentrate sunlight and turn a fluid to steam to power a turbine, or to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen, then recombine them in a fuel cell, these plants can provide wall power that makes a plug-in car fairly green. I'd love to see the range of these cars improve, and the cost come down before I plunk down the cash to buy one, though.
What's really exciting are the plans to build a string of these plants in Africa along the Mediterranean coast. They'll provide power for much of Europe, desalinated water for Africa, and stop, or possibly even reverse desertification in Africa. That's a technology to get behind!
From a business standpoint, this might make sense. As the DeLorean people said, they have all those spare parts sitting around so why not try to get some more inventory out the door.
Now from what I understand, the DeLorean was not a terribly good car (even back in the day). And it certainly is way, way behind the power curve today in features, safety, etc. So I see a number of problems here:
#1: Safety. Won't this car have to pass some or all of the new safety regulations before they can sell it either here in the US or in Europe? Boy, that could be a deal stopper right there.
#2: Tacking in an electric power system is NOT an easy job. And just not the physical factors (e.g. such as mounting the motor, battery) but also the control algorythmn's etc. None of that development is going to be quick or cheap.
#3: Given the other competitiors in this new field (of exotic electric cars), I think DeLorean's estimate of volume is wildly off. My guess: 40 to 50 cars in a 3 year period. If they can make some money (and burn some inventory) at that volume then why not.
Bottom line (for me): sex factor high, practicality low.
As a matter of fact I designed a solar charging station for an electric commuting car back in about 1988. The car used conventional lead batteries but was just fine for commuting about 10 miles to work and back. And, by the way, the installation was in Massachusetts.
It is true that on some occasions there was not enough sunlight so the owner had to charge off the mains. One needn't achieve perfection to do considerable good.
I also recognize that the gas engine is poorly suited to the variable speed and load of an automobile while the steam power plant runs much more consistently and efficiently, even considering distribution losses and "round trip" charging efficiency of a battery.
The DeLorean is not my cup of tea, but I applaud their efforts. I believe that the owners had the vision to purchase the rights to the name along with the assets of DMC. Their plan to make use of a huge inventory of parts by building new cars was in the cards all along - although the switch to electric may not have been. If they deliver 'as advertised' [the track record for new EVs announcements vs. production is dreadful], they will be successful in a narrow, almost cult-like group of folks. They will exceed the proclaimed '50 cars max' before they ship the first unit.
As usual, the nay-sayers come out with "they should have done it my way". This is followed by the predictable "they are just using energy from a coal fired power plant", and some other "blah, blah, blah nay-saying". The truth is that they are "doing their thing, their way" and we have no business throwing stones at them.
The 'technical doubts' about a controller are amusing - folks have been building automobile electric motor controllers for years. Maybe that is why they partnered with someone else on the drive train.
I will be very impressed if they meet their weight goal - a sub-3000 lb EV conversion with a serious battery pack would be a major accomplishment. Especially when compared to the "professionally designed Leaf" at 2 tons+.
I look forward to 'hearing' and seeing more from DMC.
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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