The BMW i8 Concept can run on electric power alone. The energy supplied by the application-designed battery (installed between the front and rear axles) to the electric motor at the front axle gives the BMW i8 Concept an all-electric driving range of about 20 miles. The battery can be fully recharged in two hours in a standard power socket.
Yes, hydrogen fuel cells are a clean and workable solution, except for one basic problem. Economics. It requires a great deal of electric energy to extract hydrogen from water, and the only method at present that can efficiently meet the demand is nuclear power. It is an irrefutable law of thermodynamics that the higher the temperature at which you produce power the more efficient is the process. I have paraphrased of course. Just compare the physical plant size of a typical 1200 megawatt nuclear plant against the size of any other 1200 megawatt facility as an illustration. Let's not even take it to the sublime, a 1200 megawatt wind farm.
And, it is an irrefutable law of economics that if it isn't cheaper to produce than current methods of production, especially those with an existing infrastructure then you will never be able to raise the capital required, unless you can convince a politician that it will put money in his pocket.
Check your facts. A pile of coal emits more radiation than does a nuclear power plant, and that doesn't include the stuff coming out of the stack. Taking it back one step further what has been the ongoing often tragic results of mining the coal. We on the left coast are now being threatened by coal as the coal industry is trying to establish coal transport stations on our pristine coast line. Washington states primary electrical energy production is by hydroelectric, arguably the cleanest method of production. Oh, yes the reason for the stations is to export coal to China.
New nuclear reactor designs reduce the amount of spent fuel and actually will use the spent fuel after reprocessing. The nuclear power industry is suffering from political cowardism.
Unfortunately we have bought the fear and hype of our media fear mongers.
What about birth defects, cancer and a myriad of other health problems that result from contaminated rivers. The federal government is involved in nuclear power generation, so the statistics you see don't show the real problems. I live near a nuclear power plant (TMI) and I've moved around quite a bit before settling down. I've seen approximately 20 times more instances of birth defects and cancer around and south of where I live now than in areas where power is produced by coal, oil and natural gas. Nuclear power is very dirty.
We've had incidents at TMI where core water was leaked or the core was exposed and we heard a quick blurb about it on the national news 2 days after it happened even though an emergency alert system is in place. Each time, they claim there was no danger to the public and only workers at the plant were affected. Right. These incidents happen more often than you think. Most don't make the news.
I disagree with the notion that nuclear power is "dirty". If one compares the statistics for nuclear and fosile fueled power, nuclear comes out way ahead. Thousands of people die each year due to air polution from fosil fuels, while in its entire history, nuclear has caused relatively few deaths. Sure, when a nuke fails, the failures are spectacular, but the big picture tells the true story.
Unfortunately, nuclear power is one of the dirtiest power generation methods we have. Yes it generates power on a big scale, but the waste storage and the contamination of rivers are real problems. The cost of proper disposal of contaminated cooling water is so high that the EPA regulations that limit how much high-level waste is "leaked" into rivers have become a goal instead of a safety limit. We don't want to build more nuclear power plants.
Solar and wind power (not to mention current EV's) require the use of storage batteries. In most cases those batteries are not produced domestically. Why? Because of pollution. Even China is starting to crack down on pollution from battery production. Hydrogen fuel cells with solar-powered refueling is the best solution we have. The technology is here, but where are the products? Consumer interest in hydrogen isn't high enough. Until consumers have a warm and fuzzy feeling for hydrogen we're stuck with pollution one way or another.
GeorgeG, last comment, I promise. By reducing our oil consumption and even using our "dirty energy" we at least are producing the energy domesticallly. This could lead to thousands of additional jobs in power production and distribution - instead of sending $37 BILLION per MONTH to countries that hate our guts for their oil.
Thx AKWAMAN. It's only a matter of time that more and more coal plants are taken off line or become cleaner through tightening regulations, more and more solar, wind, and renewable energies feed into the grid. I'm just wondering when Americans will wake up and embrace the technology that's already here.
Sure, I've used some gas in my Volt - 89 gallons, but the ODO reads 21,000 miles . . . gotta love that.
Thanks for keeping it real, ChriSharek. It is the position of the oil-based economy and the confused to try and over state the shortcomings of electrics. I live in Florida also, but there are states that get a large amount of their power from coal, which is among the worst of the fuels we use in this country. Of course an array of solar panels will charge your EV car just fine, yes it will cost a little on the front end, but in the long run, after it is paid off, your "fuel" is really cheap, and how much do you think gasonline will cost in 10 years? Solar panels with current technology last 20 years or more.
Enough with this stupid argument! The problem with EVs is that we have a dirty electric power industry? You could say the same thing about vacuum cleaners and microwave ovens! A dirty electric power industry is a problem that needs fixing regardless of what you plug into the wall. And don't minimize the impact of gasoline - it's far from just what comes out of the tailpipe: unconventional petroleum production and refining to gasoline has a very high energy cost where it takes 5 times as much energy to get it to the pump than you get when you buy it and then convert it inefficiently into kinetic energy. Even if you use dirty electricity, unless you drive a very good hybrid, the environmental footprint of your driving an IC vehicle is higher than a comparable EV. The only thing missing is a full size EV pickup truck for commuting American style.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is