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Captain Hybrid
Slideshow: Why Automakers Are Rolling Out Electric Cars
12/5/2012

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Ford's Focus Electric initially launched in California, New York, and New Jersey, as well as in some selected metropolitan markets. The company predicted sales of 5,000 vehicles in 2012.   (Source: Ford Motor)
Ford's Focus Electric initially launched in California, New York, and New Jersey, as well as in some selected metropolitan markets. The company predicted sales of 5,000 vehicles in 2012.
(Source: Ford Motor)

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tekochip
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Last to the Party
tekochip   12/5/2012 7:52:50 AM
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The most valid point is that you want to be doing your development work when your competitors are doing their development work.  It would be disastrous to start development on a new technology after your competitor already has a product in the marketplace.


naperlou
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Blogger
Re: Last to the Party
naperlou   12/5/2012 10:17:43 AM
tekochip, you are exactly correct.  I read an article in IEEE Spectrum some time ago that lays this situation out exactly.  The author was hired into a company as a VP or R&D.  He was working on a product and well into the development he decided it was not going to be a success.  He went to his boss to suggest they can the project.  He was told no!  The first version of the product needed to be in the market almost as a placeholder.  The real money would be made on future versions, but if they weren't in the market they would not be taken seriously when it finally took off. 

Electric vehicles are the same thing.  California required them several years ago.  That was before the global warming scare but during a period of tight gasoline supplies and high prices.  It was not successful.  The compliance vehicles built then were not very good, but the companies complied, and they gained some knowledge of the issues with these vehicles.  I see the same situation with the large makers at this time. 

Tesla, of course, is another story altogether.  They are a car company built around the pure electric vehicle.  They have a plan, which they are executing well, to start with higher end cars, which are basically novelties, and to then move into mass market vehicles as the technology progresses. 

Thinking_J
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Re: Last to the Party
Thinking_J   12/6/2012 12:52:18 PM
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Your assessments.. are spot on!

At least two distinct methods of reasoning for the players in this market getting out EVs at this time.

Both are a bit like some people's view of the lottery.... you can't win, if you don't play.

Like the lottery, it is very likely there will be more lost than won... the cost of getting in the game!

mr88cet
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Silver
Re: Last to the Party
mr88cet   12/6/2012 10:36:24 AM
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Yes, I think you nailed it there.  Clearly, they're not expecting record profits from the BEVs - not yet at least.  These are learning vehicles - to learn the technology, to understand the market, to see which features are most and least interesting to customers, and just simply to make themselves known as forward-looking companies.

Charles Murray
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Re: Last to the Party
Charles Murray   12/6/2012 4:34:31 PM
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Good point, tekochip. It's often said that it's best to be second. Let the trailblazer make the mistakes. But it's important to be right behind that trailblazer, otherwise you might be left behind.

Amclaussen
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Platinum
Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
Amclaussen   12/5/2012 3:16:11 PM
There is a serious, well based study published in "ISSUES in Science and Technology" by the "National Academy of Sciences", "National Academy of Engineering" and the "Institute of Medicine, University of Texas at Dallas", that shows that purely Electric vehicles actually produce MORE emissions when their complete life-cycle emissions are considered, compared to Hybrids. http://www.issues.org/28.4/p_michalek.html

The problem is that ignorant, mis-informed politicians (specially those with so called "Ecological" viewpoints) make whatever it takes to impose whatever they (blindly) believe, in order to promote what they guess are "green" alternatives.  Just from a purely scientific and technical viewpoint, having to build, activate and carry a heavy, inefficiently recharged large battery all along the road, and then having to dispose of it; is not as smart, notwithstanding how deep is the "greenish" tint of the politician sunglasses.

I'm patiently waiting to see the face of our former City Major (he stepped down yesterday), when he realizes that He will soon need to replace the very expensive battery of his Nissan Leaf.  He ordered a fleet of Leaf taxies for Mexico City, and drivers are finding those barely endure their distance ratings, and are slower than predicted, barely handling the aggresive traffic of the city.





Charles Murray
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Re: Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
Charles Murray   12/5/2012 5:59:45 PM
We know the study well, amclaussen. We wrote about it here:

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1366&doc_id=254150

When we talked to the author of that study a few weeks ago, however, he said this: "We've been trying to put this in the hands of policymakers. But the policy process is about what's good for the country and what's possible. There's no window right now for making changes to policy."

Island_Al
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Gold
Re: Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
Island_Al   12/6/2012 12:31:19 PM
Amclaussen has it right.  The next to the last paragraph talks about "zero-emission"?  Only the point of emission has changed, not the actual emissions. Politicians make lousy engineers.  Maybe they can just rewrite the laws of physics and viola, problem solved!  It is not only the seen, but the unseen.

 

billvon
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Silver
Re: Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
billvon   12/6/2012 1:05:06 PM
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I have a Leaf and it is indeed zero emission.  No CO2 (or any other form of pollution) at all.

tedhastings
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Silver
Re: Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
tedhastings   12/6/2012 1:58:14 PM
So are you using solar or wind power to recharge it?

Thinking_J
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Platinum
Re: Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
Thinking_J   12/6/2012 4:03:28 PM
Your Leaf has zero .... REALLY zero.... emissions?

Let us forget - for the moment - where you get your electricity.

no tire wear? (it doesn't all go to making a thicker road!)

no plastic parts that out gas fumes while degrading?

no paved road requirements? Most made with asphalt (oil based)

no lubricants used on those electric motors?

Unlimited life span to this car? (re-cycling, re-purposing, is rarely without emissions)

 

Like my mom said.....

If I have told you once , I have told you a billion times! Stop exaggerating!

......You were supposed to laugh...(sigh)

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
Charles Murray   12/6/2012 4:30:07 PM
Professor Michalek and the other contributors, who wrote the paper that was published by the National Academies, were very clear in saying that the Leaf has no emissions from the tailpipe. Their point is that when you weigh the emissions from the battery manufacturing process, and add those to the utility powerplant emissions, the pure electric vehicles don't do as well as hybrids.  

billvon
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Re: Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
billvon   12/8/2012 10:20:35 AM
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Yes, and since I generate my power from solar, there are no powerplant emissions associated with my Leaf either.  (There are of course emissions during the manufacturing process, as there are for all cars - for all products we use, in fact.)

vfx
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Iron
Re: Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
vfx   12/7/2012 4:50:56 PM
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That "study" is prety vauge with phrases like, "In contrast, if plug-in vehicles are charged using coal-generated electricity, they could cause several thousands of dollars more damage per vehicle."

Really? "could cause"?? That's opinion, not a study and only a shrinking handfull of states are running on 100% coal. All  other states have EVs as cleaner.  It does go on to say, " There are myriad other arguments for supporting vehicle electrification beyond human health, environmental, and oil-displacement effects. This long list might include job creation, reducing the trade deficit by shifting from foreign to domestic fuel sources, enabling a distributed storage resource to support the integration of intermittent renewable electricity generation, reducing oil revenues to states hostile to U.S. interests, hedging against an anticipated oil-scarce or carbon-constrained future, improving regulatory control over emissions associated with poor vehicle maintenance, generating positive externalities by encouraging innovation, encouraging domestic development of strategic technical competency and intellectual property, reducing nonfinancial political and human suffering effects from war and political instability, and promoting international environmental justice. However, because HEVs and PHEVs with smaller battery packs provide more air-emissions reduction and oil displacement per dollar spent and offer lifetime costs competitive with conventional vehicles, it is not clear that directing near-term subsidies toward vehicles with large battery packs would produce superior results on any of these objectives.

So if you are referencing it as an attack on "green" transpotation, it sure makes up for it by pointing out all the other reasons for getting off oil.

akwaman
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Gold
Re: (wrong) Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
akwaman   12/10/2012 11:00:50 AM
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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

Amclaussen
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Re: (wrong) Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
Amclaussen   12/10/2012 1:19:20 PM
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.

akwaman
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Gold
Re: (wrong) Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
akwaman   12/12/2012 11:00:10 AM
Amclaussen.  While you do make some valid points, they do not negate the necessity for changing the way we use power.  We adopted oil and coal as the main form of energy production, before we knew the full impact of its use.  We spent many decades polluting the hell out of the country before we started taking steps to curb it's dangerous excrement.  It is still a huge problem that is becoming a global issue.  You are correct that some people got rich off the light bulbs, but conversely, others were getting rich polluting far worse.  We know the dangers here, and the savings in power and freedom outweigh the negatives.  It really irks me when people talk about politicians like they are stupid and sucked into crazy things by evil scientists.  On the contrary, they are very smart, but are driven by greed in many cases.  Many, actually care about the people in the country and the environment, so when they see an opportunity to get their buddies (and themselves) rich and do good for the environment, it happens. Sometimes you have to look further into the truth than sensationlizing flashy headlines and FOX news reports.  Let's face it, someone is going to get rich no matter what we do, I say we get the people who care about our health and welfare rich.

Energy savings. A CFL bulb uses about 75 percent less energy than a traditional light bulb. Nationwide, a 60 percent to 70 percent decrease in light energy usage would save as much energy annually as the total amount of energy used by all the homes in Texas.

CFL Bulbs Help the EnvironmentHere's another statistic: The United States could eliminate greenhouse gas emissions equal to 800,000 cars if each household in the country replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL bulb, according to Energy Star. Energy Star is a program of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designed to help consumers save money and protect the environment by using energy efficient products and practices.

Longevity. CFL bulbs last about 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. It's not unusual for a CFL bulb to last for five years, and even as long as nine years.

(from:http://www.earthsfriends.com/cfl-vs-incandescent)

akwaman
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Gold
Re: (wrong) Purely EV are not as Eco Friendly as you might believe...
akwaman   12/12/2012 11:22:18 AM
Here's a funny statement from Amclaussen:  "even the electrical power generation by solar panels HAS to have SOME adverse impact too".  Boy... talk about desperate to make a point, this guy is Totally Lost. (LOL:)

How do I know?  It's obvious to me.

 

Battar
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Platinum
Wrong market
Battar   12/6/2012 10:08:18 AM
None of the manufacturers seem to be targeting the best market for EV's, which is the Lght Commercial Vehicle market. These vehicles often work highly predictable routes, often only within urban areas, and are rarely used for non-work missions (ideally....). Piaggio experimented with a lead-acid battery powered mini-pickup. But no, the car manufactuers are trying to market a family saloon with the engine taken out and an electric motor stuffed in its' place, with the battery in the boot (trunk - US). The proper course of action would be to design electric from the wheels up, not doing a chop-job on an existing chassis. So it's not so much about creating a viable product as it is creating an illusion of "green" for posers.

tekochip
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Re: Wrong market
tekochip   12/6/2012 10:58:23 AM
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I don't know, I'm thinking of getting an EV the next time around.
 
Most families have more than one vehicle, and ours is no exception.  I work at home, or have a close commute, and make trips to the airport as often as I can.  A low range vehicle would work quite well for me and most commuters.  I mention the second car because when a longer trip is needed, our family would still have an IC vehicle for the long haul.  I think an EV as a second family vehicle is a good idea, if only the ROI would work out in the vehicle's favor.
 
We don't need a replacement now, but when the time comes I will consider an EV.


Battar
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Re: Wrong market
Battar   12/6/2012 11:09:22 AM
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Tekochip, you are telling us that the market for EV's is as the customers' second vehicle, not primary. If thats the case, manufacturers should be more focused on the target. The family second vehicle is usually smaller, cheaper and less capable than the first. Don't forget that there is a market - with different requirements and expectations- on the other side of the pond, too.

vfx
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Iron
Re: Wrong market
vfx   12/7/2012 4:54:53 PM
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Seems like every Post Office in the US does a long test on electric delivery trucks, deterimies it would save them millions and then orders the same thing they always did. The fix is still in.

jamit
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Iron
Why automanufactures are building EV's.
jamit   12/6/2012 11:27:27 AM
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I asked several automotive excutives that same question several years back. However, from a different prespective. I asked what would it take to get them to build EV's? Was it the federal government? No was the answer. Was it the emissions regulations? Again, No. Was it fuel economy? No. They said the american public are in love with cars and would live in a hotel first before getting ride of their car. Then what will it take for them to produce EV'S? Simple they said its the competition for market share.

BTW: EV's are the same as fuel cell vehicles. EV's use the battery as the energy source and Fuel Cell cars use the fuel cell as the energy source. I guess if you could build a small enough nuclear power plant that would work as well. 50% of the EV would not change. The power source will continue to evolve. We could even use coal.

From another point of view there will come a time when folks will simply by a fuel cell EV. Drive it home and plug the house in to the car becasue the car's energy source will produce energy cheaper then what we pay the utility company.

BillFZ1
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Gold
The "WHY" is easy
BillFZ1   12/6/2012 11:53:30 AM
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All this wondering about EV's. It is easy to understand why they are building them, government intervention in the automotive market. With California's looming ZPV requirements all the manufacturers need to be positioned to say, we build an electric car people just won't buy it. The feds also subsidize hybrids and electrics so the R&D costs the manufacturers less. As to the need for pure electrics, with the environmental zeal shown by many, if electrics made sense they would sell like hotcakes.

Bill

BillFZ1
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The "WHY" is easy
BillFZ1   12/6/2012 11:54:04 AM
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All this wondering about EV's. It is easy to understand why they are building them, government intervention in the automotive market. With California's looming ZPV requirements all the manufacturers need to be positioned to say, we build an electric car people just won't buy it. The feds also subsidize hybrids and electrics so the R&D costs the manufacturers less. As to the need for pure electrics, with the environmental zeal shown by many, if electrics made sense they would sell like hotcakes.

Bill

GTOlover
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Platinum
Re: The "WHY" is easy
GTOlover   12/6/2012 4:09:28 PM
Not to mention that donating to the right party ensures taxpayers continue to pay if your R and D goes bankrupt! Nothing like free markets (as dictated by the state and federal government) to stimulate sales <sarc>.

vfx
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Iron
Re: The "WHY" is easy
vfx   12/7/2012 5:01:42 PM
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"... if electrics made sense they would sell like hotcakes."

Being in love with a car is an emotional state. Tesla makes cars pepole want to own once they drive it. Those that can afford a Mercedes or a Panamera often do, and Tesla is only shooting for a 10th of the 250,000 premium market cars sold. 

 

It took about 12 years for digital camera to totaly replace photochemical photography. I figure starting with the Leaf, double that before most cars sold will be fully battery electric. 

Cadman-LT
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Platinum
Re: The "WHY" is easy
Cadman-LT   12/10/2012 4:00:36 AM
I agree with these as being the why: "They include legal compliance, government subsidies" just my 2 cents worth.

randy2000nc
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Silver
Business Model Fails
randy2000nc   12/6/2012 2:59:33 PM
A key sticking point in the business model of electrical vehicles is the resell value. When the owner goes to trade their vehicle after several years of use it is very likely that the battery will require replacement. How could the seller expect to get a decent sales price for the car when any future buyer would also have to splurge for a new battery? I'm not sure about the rest of you but I always look for a good trade-in on one of my older vehicles prior to buying a new one.

Rigby5
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Gold
Re: Business Model doesn't Fail with battery exchanges
Rigby5   12/6/2012 10:15:17 PM
If the government would have used the bail outs to force car makers to devise a common battery standard, then electric and hybrid cars would be much more attractive.

If all of them used the exact same form factor battery back, then you could establish battery exchanges.  You could buy a membership, and it would be not only an insurance policy to cover battery failure risk, but allow for greatly extenede range, simply by replacing the battery pack instead of waiting for it to recharge.

Then many more people would feel there was not longer any risk involved in buying an electric or hybrid vehicle.

Amclaussen
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Re: Business Model doesn't Fail with battery exchanges
Amclaussen   12/10/2012 1:34:26 PM
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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.

Rigby5
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Re: Business Model doesn't Fail with battery exchanges
Rigby5   12/10/2012 4:01:06 PM
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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.

Amclaussen
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Re: Business Model doesn't Fail with battery exchanges
Amclaussen   12/10/2012 4:30:17 PM
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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.

Rigby5
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Re: Business Model doesn't Fail with battery exchanges
Rigby5   12/10/2012 8:25:14 PM
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That is the whole point of mandating a standard.  There should not be different capacities in battery packs for EVs.   If you want heavier extended range capability, then you put in multiple batteries, but you do not alter the capacity of the standard battery. 
And it does not matter if a user turns in an old battery nearing the end of its lifespan while getting a new one in exchange.  They got the old one from the last exchange anyway, and turned in a new one at some point as well.  That is the whole point of a battery exchange.  It all averages out.

Charles Murray
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Re: Last to the Party
Charles Murray   12/6/2012 4:22:54 PM
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No, Architect, I don't think Mark Reuss was joking when he said "electrify and educate." That said, it might not necessarily mean that GM is planning a headlong dive into pure electric cars. He could have been making a reference to powertrains like that of the Chevy Volt, which has gasoline on board, and isn't a pure electric. The reason that some of the experts believe GM is "dipping a toe in the water" with the Spark is that its U.S. sales will be in California initially, whereas companies like Tesla and Nissan are making a broader effort.

CharlesM
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Silver
Why this article?
CharlesM   12/7/2012 11:56:37 AM
Maybe it's about growth and the future of the automobile:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/12/06/electric-car-sales-hit-another-record/ 

Should we expect a more radically abrupt shift? How many early car companies survived the sharpest growth decades for automobiles? How many dot com businesses survived the '90s boom and did that result in the internet going out of business? I'm not saying EV makers will go bankrupt, but the quick high profit strategy of selling as many high margin gas guzzlers while they are hot, with no eye toward the future, hasn't worked out too well either.

Keep trying to scare off early adapters, Mr. Murray.  But your anti-EV bias is showing.

Which reminds me it's about time again for another Global Warming is an Al Gore Hoax article from UBM.

tluxon
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Gold
Re: Why this article?
tluxon   12/7/2012 12:22:44 PM
I guess it depends on whose twisted version of reality we want to adhere to.  The oil cartels have stood in the way of developing other energy paradigms while limiting their product for maximum profit.  Al Gore tried to convince and manipulate the masses that consensus could be reached in premature scratching-the-surface "science" for the financial and political gain of his side of the energy market.  Neither side has represented themselves in an ethically honest manner, and have been unable to hide that their true motivation is for money and control rather than for the empowerment and good of the rest of us.

CharlesM
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Silver
Re: Why this article?
CharlesM   12/7/2012 12:29:57 PM
Do you have any evidence of your charges against Gore? Even if true, Gore is out-bankrolled by the propaganda efforts of the fossil fuel industry by several orders of magnitude.

In any event Gore is irrelevant to any question over climate change. Try again.

tluxon
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Gold
Re: Why this article?
tluxon   12/7/2012 3:05:44 PM
Try again?  You brought up Al Gore - I simply responded.

As for addressing climate change, we need to be wiser than to keep falling for the problem-reaction-solution gimmicks played on us to keep funneling money from the masses to the "elite".  Funny that their "solutions" always seem to place more limitations on us than on them.

Nonetheless, I'm curious to know why the very concerning issue of oxygen depletion isn't getting the same attention that's being given to rising CO2 levels.  It would not surprise me to discover how much it has to do with how the "solutions" meet the moneychangers' true objectives.

GTOlover
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Re: Why this article?
GTOlover   12/10/2012 11:10:10 AM
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Hypocrisy is usually a good indicator.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp

 

Amclaussen
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Re: Why this article?
Amclaussen   12/10/2012 1:49:01 PM
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.

Rigby5
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Gold
Re: Why this article?
Rigby5   12/10/2012 4:07:14 PM
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?

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Why this article?
tekochip   12/10/2012 4:52:51 PM
I'm always perplexed at why AGW turns into a a Red State/Blue State thing.

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Why this article?
Amclaussen   12/10/2012 6:14:05 PM
Really Rigby5 ???

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.

 

Rigby5
User Rank
Gold
Re: Why this article?
Rigby5   12/10/2012 8:35:51 PM
I have never seen open air flames except on memorials, so I was assuming a gas lamp with a silk mantel, very efficient technology that has been around over 100 years.

Not sure why we should assume 24/7/365 though?  I would assume they were turned on specifically for the camera, for effect.

We can judge some systems as being more efficient then others based on energy loss, pollution, etc.  For example, external combustion like jet turbines and steam are more efficient and cleaner than internal combustion.

But I agree politicians may be simply exploiting situations, and adding little.

akwaman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Why this article?
akwaman   12/11/2012 1:55:54 PM
NO RATINGS
To Amclaussen:  http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/gorehome.asp . 

P.S. The story of Al Gore's house was conveniently released the DAY AFTER his movie won an Academy Award for best documentary.

akwaman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Why this article?
akwaman   12/11/2012 1:48:20 PM
Totally off topic, the bashing of Al Gore is absurd, considering his theories he has proposed for decades is being proven true.  I wish that oil loving people would try to use science to make their point instead of trying to blow smoke and mirrors to hide the truth.  It turns out that natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel (I still don't like it, but it beats coal and oil), and considering that Al Gore is rich, I wouldn't expect him to live in a house the size of mine.  Also, considering, that through his actions, he has erased his carbon footprint many times over.  How are you doing with that? 

ChriSharek
User Rank
Gold
Automotive evolutionary Inevitability
ChriSharek   12/11/2012 9:39:19 AM
NO RATINGS
Gas just isn't going to last forever.  I'm amazed that it's taken this long to realize our personal transportation system is not sustainable - and considering the Chinas and Indias of the world "coming of age" the US gas prices are sure to more closely resemble the rest of the world's prices.  It's only a matter of time before EVs completely take over. 

GTOlover
User Rank
Platinum
Another EV to look at!
GTOlover   12/12/2012 8:43:47 AM
NO RATINGS
http://www.theatlantic.com/sponsored/goldman-sachs-progress/archive/2012/12/lit-motors-builds-a-car-that-breaks-the-rules/265768/?oref=goldman-ob

This is very cool and 200 mile range. Now this fits into my driving comfort (though the vehicle is small). Daily commute to work would be OK for this vehicle (provided it has heat and AC).

akwaman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Another EV to look at!
akwaman   12/12/2012 10:34:07 AM
NO RATINGS
I often wondered what my motorcycle would look like with a body....  not so sure if this is much safer than a motorcycle.  It may just give you a false sense of security.  Of course, being a motorcyclist, safety is not my first concern when purchasing a vehicle.

Mike_Eng47
User Rank
Iron
Criticism of EV's is from the non-user point of view
Mike_Eng47   12/24/2012 11:52:33 PM
It is funny that all of the criticism of EV's is from people who don't own or drive one.  They complain about range, cost, recharging time, or a number of other shortcomings.  I don't hear the same complaints about pickups, sports cars, or other established vehicle types.  The truth is that many types of vehicles are good within a specific use case, and not very good outside it.  For example, my F-150 gets much better gas mileage than your prius when hauling a load of 16 ft 2x12's or a thousand pounds of concrete blocks, but your prius wins as a commuter vehicle or for long trips if it holds the number of people you want to take. 

About 6 monts ago, we purchased a Think, a small pure EV, which is mostly used for commuting.  It is great for that, but not a car for longer trips.  It is an application specific vehicle, like a pickup, sports car, 18 wheeler, box van, and I am sure you can name other examples.  That it has limitations is without question.  So does every other type of vehicle.  The issue for the potential buyer is if it fits their needs.  For multi-car families, this is often the case, but not always.  If you have a driving pattern that fits an EV, you may find your attitude can change.  The current subsidies make it financially reasonable, but these should be considered temporary.  The EV industry will either reap the benefits of this jump start, with battery costs declining as volume and technology improve, or go back to servicing a small niche market.  The current crop of EV offerings are real vehicles. Most will meet the needs of a large percentage of urban drivers, but we need to look at them for what they do, rather than for what they don't.  And wipe that EV smile off your face when you drive past the gas station (not).

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