Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive is an evolution of the hybrid powertrain that powered the game-changing Toyota Prius. The Synergy Drive replaces a traditional geared transmission with a drive unit that includes an electronic continuously variable transmission. The system allows power to be split between the wheels and an electric generator. (Photo courtesy of Toyota)
Nice under-the-covers snapshot of the component and architectural evolution of these electric and alternative power train vehicles. I didn't realize how far back some of the early development goes. Seeing old-fashioned looking cars from the late 60s and 70s that have a so-called electric or hybrid heritage is quite surprising.
Electric vehicles go a LOT further back than that! Try way over ONE HUNDRED years ago. Some of the earliest cars were all-electric. There's a full site dedicated to this on Wikipedia. They didn't last very long because of the same issues they face today: limited range, lack of supporting infrastructure, and costs.
Beth, the technology does go back more than 100 years. My grandmother had an electric car in 1909 that she liked very much. It would take her to church, a friend's house, to the store and home again. No steering wheel, it had a lever that you could turn to the right or the left to steer. It had to be charged frequently.
Since then battery technology and electric motors have been improved but you still need a power plant to charge it and batteries still are not as efficient in extremely cold weather or the heat of summer. Just try to start your SUV in a sub zero winter with a weak batter. Most of the range stats are based on level ground. Electric cars don't do as well on hills.
A gas/electric hybrid car would be better because the gasoline motor can generate all or part of the electricity.
It's been 40 years since we went to the moon, I'm a bit disatisfied that we've not yet travelled to the stars?
Technology development takes time and a consistent market. We've had no consistent market in the automotive world. Fads and trends come and go. Government mandates this and that. It's gettign harder to keep one's eye on the ball as expectations become more outrageous as the populace of the US become less and less technically knowledgable and the consequences of failure become more and more punitive to companies.
Even now, it seems that early adopters are signalling their boredome with cars such aa the Cehevy Volt, I am concerned that our daliance with EV's will fade and we'll be buting Hummers once again soon.
"I'm a bit disatisfied that we've not yet travelled to the stars?"
Well, sorry, we don't have time to do that, and we have real work to do down here. As for electric cars, they've been trying to get battery energy density and recharging speed closer to the performance of fueled vehicles, and still lag way behind. Sure would be nice if somebody came up with a fuel cell that would take liquid fuel, so we could use existing infrastructure and not need so many batteries.
Perhaps we could see an analytical version that would help people understand the fundamental misconceptions of the electric car (EV). There is no question that the EV will serve to shift from oil to coal, and that has merit related to geopolitical energy issues. It might offer economic advantages to motorists, depending on the whims of electric price regulators.
However, it will not accomplish the reduction of CO2 which is often advertised or implied in connection with electric vehicle promotions.
A constructive analysis would recognize the economic reality of marginal response to new loads, which will generally fall to coal fired generating facilities, given the available reserve capacity and nearly dirt cheap fuel. Thus, the CO2 released in burning coal is the relevant global warming consideration. Quantifying this CO2 using actual efficiency numbers for the various generation, transmission, controllers, battery effects and electric motor efficiencies could be an objective of great importance in an article that would supplement this present slideshow.
A general fact is that the heat engines used in coal fired power plants run around 31% efficient for the United States. When this is taken into account in calculating equivalent MPG (MPGE) the idealizations of electric vehicles show to be falsely promoted by the EPA and their formula for that MPGE parameter that is officially approved for the window sticker presented to potential buyers.
This official formula asserts that a gallon of gasoline is equivalent to 33.7 kWhr of electricity, which it most certainly is when making heat from the electricity, but most certainly is not when making electricity from heat. The lie is important because it misleads by a factor of roughly three. This destroys the meaning of the CAFE standards, since electric vehicles count in the averages as about three times higher MPG than a similarly efficient hybrid.
As an Electrical Engineer, I really like the idea of an electric car. But I agree that making a serious reduction on atmospheric carbon should start with replacing coal as an energy source. Two approaches come to mind which could offer costs competitive with coal, on the order of a penny per kiloWatt-hour. These are fusion and Space Based Solar Power. Both have serious challenges, which are well discussed elsewhere (for example, see Wikipedia). My point is that such a low cost energy source will make it economical to synthesize gasoline using Carbon extracted from atmospheric CO2, thus making gasoline (and other transportation fuels such as Diesel and jet fuel) carbon neutral. This allows continued use of the extensive existing liquid fuel infrastructure, as well as taking advantage of the greatly superior power and energy density of liquid fuel over electric batteries. So, there is currently a brief window of opportunity for electric car advocates to grab some market share before a true solution to the energy problem enables the synthesis of carbon-neutral transportation fuels and lets us keep using these marvelously effective combustion-powered vehicles. Ultimately, I think the proportion of transportation provided by electric propulsion in the 21st century will likely be about the same as in the 20th century (which is a lot more than most people realize, but still relatively small).
Facts are we have cut our coal use by 20% over the last 10 yrs about about to cut it another 20% in the next 7 yrs according to the utility industry so hardly converting from oil to coal.
Why did you pick the lowest eff coal plant, old ones about to close to compare instead of newer units that get 40% to 58% for NGT/CC units which are the type that are replacing coal?
Many EV buyers also have PV and car companies are selling a PV option making the 33kw/gal figure accurate.
Then not bothering to mention ICE's are only 7%!!! eff gas tank to wheel. Vs EV's that are 21-65% eff depending on the electric source? Nor the 3kwhrs or oil, sulfur waste generated by making the gasoline?
It's also much easier to keep one smokestack clean Vs 1,000 of car exhausts.
My EV's are lightweight and use forklift EV drive tech and I only spend $1-2/week because I get 35 and 70wthrs/mile or 15-30 miles/kwhr. Doing the math that comes to 250-500mpge at 40% eff. Now how is even burning 10% of the weight of coal vs gasoline going to produce more CO2 than burning 10x's the gasoline?
We don't need better batteries though that would be nice, just well designed EV's as EV's. I build mine in composite monocoque body/chassis lowers weight while increasing strength along with good aero, lowering power needed, thus battery pack size, costs.
So go ahead and drive gasoline and be paying $100-$200/week and twice that in a few yrs while I can spend $1500 on PV oanels for 25 yrs of transport energy. How much will you spend in that time on gas? At 10gal/week over just 5 yrs comes to about $35k vs $1500 for my EV's. Now which is the smart way?
You seem not to see the problem when you say EV owners with PV make the 33 kWhr per gallon figure accurate. Even fully captive PV out in the woods or someplace does not make that figure accurate. Instead it makes it absurdly inaccurate in the other direction.
The heat from a gallon of gasoline, or the same heat from any fuel, is subject to the effects of heat engines. Roughly ten to fifteen kWhr is about all that can be done with that amount of heat.
It does not take any heat from fuel to make electricity with PV. This gives you a divide by zero computation, which makes the 'equivalent' a very large, undefined number. It could be arbitrarily large for plug-in hybrids using some gasoline, depending on the charging frequency.
For most PV installations though, the presence of this does not mean the electric car holds PV output captive. If reducing CO2 is the goal, then the PV output should be sold to the grid whereby the result could be reduction in use of coal. From that basis, making the independent decision to buy an EV would cancel that benefit.
No I don't see a problem because I'm talking about energy. It's just the PV puts out a much higher quality energy, electricity vs heat from gasoline, a low quality form that is ineff to turn into machanical energy.
As far as CO2 the PV's is only in it's building material, labor which has a EROI of well over 10-1. Vs gasoline has at best 2-1 because it takes so much energy, feedstock to make and so ineff to use at about 7% eff.. They use 3kwhr/gal just in the refining and that doesn't include chemical energy needed. Now PV I get about 30 miles/kwhr x's 33.7 equals about 1011mpge in my Harley size EV trike vs about 40mpg in a similar ICE. Deal with it.
Do you know what fungible is? Like oil it doesn't matter where you put the electric in as it displaces other power that is no longer needed., thus saving CO2.
Let's turn it around that I only need a fraction of the energy, thuis CO2/mile of an ICE. Since I need only 4% of the energy/mile to move my EV that means even using coal to charge it makes 5% or so of the CO2/mile an ICE does.
But you ignore the CO2 an ICE makes for a real comparison. Now compare that use po mine as I win in a no brainer.
Next time you fill up just think of me filling up for $.25 at home for 60 miles or $1 for 240 miles vs you $40-80!! Then think who is right? I'll be laughing all the way to the bank saving $100-200/month and you'll just be more poor.
And most of my power comes from a GTCC NG plant that gets 58% eff so only makes 30% or so of the CO2 of a coal plant., making it even less.
Nor does my EV support oil companies, oil dictators or terrorists that kill our soldiers your gasoline purchasing does, No? In fact it has the most stable energy source. Gasoline will get too expensive but one can cheaply make one's electricity from many sources.
There are easy solutions to the precieved EV problems from battery swapping like the Nissan Leaf is set up for to fast charging to a very small generator for the few times over 100 miles is needed.
As a interesting point the fastest production street MC is now an EV, the Lightning.
You show that you miss the point by using a multiplier of 33.7 to convert to MPGE. So does the EPA. The appropriate multiplier is around 11. 33.7 would only be right for electricity made from heat without losses, especially those dictated by the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Beth: About 100 years ago, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are said to have decided they would lick the electric car battery problem within five years. We're still waiting...There was a great article about this last year in Wired.
I think Astrobuf summed it up aptly when he said engineering fads come and go, regulatory mandates change, interest rises and then wanes--it's the lack of consistency that makes perfecting EV technology so elusive.
Then again, if you look at how far the Internet and information technology sector has advanced in 25-plus years, it's crazy to think we can't enjoy similar progress on the EV front. Again, it boils down to lack of consistency and focus. Well said.
Quoth Scotty.."Ya canna change the laws of physics Cap'n"
With regard to electrically powered vehicles, I admire the perseverence and optimism of all parties concerned and champion their achievements. Unfortunately, as a builder of electric vehicles, (kiddie-ride trackless trains), I would be the first to acknowledge that we have really not advanced terribly much at all.
Daimlers' four stroke engine was built in 1876. One hundred and thirty years later, we still have the same problem that any reciprocating engine is only capable of a finite speed before it self destructs. Looked at realistically, if a design student of today were to announce "I've invented a device which accelerates a chunk of metal from rest, to four times the speed of sound, to rest, over a distance of 70 millimeters, and then reverses that action and repeats it 200 times per second, and it will power the worlds transport", people would laugh.
Alessandro Volta "invented" the first true battery in 1800. The Ni-Cad battery was patented in 1899. Edison was also developing Nickel-Iron batteries at the end of the 19th century. Electric cars and trains were common in the early 1900's.
Sadly, in 110 years, there has not been the "Quantum Leap" in technology that we had hoped for. ( although it was evidenced in air transport.)
The same problems that dogged Edison: limited range, charging time far exceeding usage time, weight of battery packs etc. are still dogging current developers and there appears no immediate solution.
For me, the saddest aspect is that all the "well meaning but totally ignorant brigade", (Politicians, Media types, "Green" Pressure Groups and the bulk of the general public,) have no concept of the embodied energy in electric vehicles or the cost of replacement and disposal of batteries.
Worst of all, the worlds' generators will still keep spinning 24/7 and pumping out CO2 in order to keep these "Energy Saving" vehicles topped up.
I totally agree with you Chuck. It's my feeling that the Oil Companies are the culprit behind the lack of advancement of alternate energy. The stockholders have a lot to loose, if any apparatus put on the market that either increased fuel mileage or eliminated petrol fuel altogether. I also think that this the reason why Nuclear Power Generation advancement has been suppressed over the years. When was the last time you heard of a Nuclear accidenton board a Navy vessel? Granted, spent fuel storage is still a problem, but again, that technology also has been suppressed. You right that all these people want to plug in their Green Vehicles, that are still being charged by Fossil Fuel Generators! That makes a lot of sense to me!! LMAO over that one! =)) What has happen in Japan, was an accident waiting to happen. A sad,sad lesson hard learned, you don't put your emergency back-up systems at or below ground level in areas that could be subjected to tsunami flooding. That was a Black Eye to Nuclear Power and all the advancements that had occurred up to this point in time. Dan, Santa Rosa, California, USA
Chuck, well said! And the Scotty quote is a nice touch, too. Too often, the big picture costs are not captured to truly reveal the price of business. I see it all the time in my industry (consumer music products).
This is a bit of a tangent, but is anyone else disturbed by the fact that in our modern society, the only thing that we don't pay for to "live" is the air that we breathe. As my son matures, I make him aware of the supply chains that sustain us all. One of the lessons is what happens when something is plugged into the wall receptacle and how this ties to a global economy of energy production and how this relates to our transportation needs. Perhaps the next generation can sort out the planet-wide mess we've created. I'm hopeful! With the current state of America's politics I'm not convinced that common sense will prevail when it comes to energy policy and long term sustainable energy production.
I consider myself a proponent of electric vehicles however there seems to be a lot of new hydrocarbon sources. One book I studied indicated that no matter what happens politically with the AGW issues, the world is going to use all available hydrocarbons. Coal oil and gas will be burned to create the energy we need to fuel the electric power plants and provide the fuel for our cars.
Battery technology is almost ready to give us the same range and convenience we expect from our gas fueled vehicles but it will still be a few more years. Until then, we might have some hybrids, some vehicles powered by apparently abundant natural gas and some electric vehicles.
It seems the transition to electric might never be complete and the availability of cheap hydrocarbons will extend the life of vehicles with these fuels.
If we assume for the purposes of discussion that electric vehicles are much better for most drivers, the economy and the environment perhaps the best way to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles is to raise the hydrocarbon costs significantly. Anyone for extra taxes on gas to promote electrics?
Ivan is proposing a "financial" solution to help promote the introduction of the electric car.
However, I believe that any technology that requires "financial help" is suspect.
And the electric car confirms this. The energy required to build an electric car, the power grid and power plants, has no energy pay back, and the emmissions of all these investments are many times over the CO2 emmissions savings in the future and happen during the initial investment period.
By what right do you assume that "Battery technology is almost ready to give us the same range, etc."? After 100+ years, the solution is right around the corner. Where has this been demonstrated? What we have are glorified golf carts suitable for running around on little trips. Dress it however you want, it is still lipstick on a pig.
All this EV junk is so much diversion from finding a real solution. What happened to all of the hubbub about Hydrogen fuel cells? At least they had some range.
It also amazes me how many people really think the lack of progress is all because of oil companies. Oil is not only used to produce gasoline. During the Arab oil embargo of the 70s, there were many industries that suffered and prices on many consumer items shot up because of the petroleum shortage. Oil companies are just the same as any other conglomerate in that they want to make money for their stock holders. Do you really think they would turn their collective backs on the battery industry if there was a nickel to be made there? It is so much like the myth of the 300 mpg carburetor that Standard Oil held off the market in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Now both Standard and carburetors have disappeared from our automotive minds. Coincidence? I think not. No matter how ridiculous it sounds there is a conspiracy theory to fit any occurance and people gullible enough to subscribe to it.
One more advantage of the EV over the ICE vehicles is going to be maintenance. An EV will not require quite so much in the way of auxillary systems, heating, cooling exhaust and water pumps, fuel injection and so on. That means less in the way of the Oil companies investements in filling stations and repair shops.
The oil companies do have a big investment in the infrastructure. That is one reason the battery technologies have not been spread around. I think it was GM or a subsidary that held patents to technologies the Japanese manufacturers wanted but could not get.
Fuel cells are interesting but the H2 has to come from someplace.
Right now, a modern nuke plant is the cleanest and only economical way to generate Megawatt scale electricity unless you have a new river suitable for a dam project. If the charging source for your EV is a from a nuke plant that is about as good as we can get right now.
And keep in mind, much of the daily commutes is well under 100 miles. EV's are on the way to widespread usage. Not for everything or every application but it will certainly find a place. It already has and it will continue to expand market share.
Ivan makes a good point, and I would almost hope that his argument gets people started on a serious discussion of nuclear plants, and why we need them. I fear Japan's problems may have permanently ended the argument to build more nuclear plants, yet there were serious issues with location and backup systems there. France hasn't had these problems, and if it's good enough for the French, it should be good enough for us, right? :)
One must understand that all nueclear reactions DON'T need an atomic plant to generate "Green" power or have NO carbon foot print. Indeed there are various proven, tested, and buildable ways to accomplish this today as in the past. The first consideration truly is, when will most world governments change patent regulations to allow inventors to exit the dark ages and patent what they allready can prove works? Until this comes to pass we will all suffer the preventable missuse of our planets resources and the genius of its surpressed inventors!
I think it was the CEO of Exxon, when asked what he was doing about high oil prices hurting the economy, said his duty was to maximize profits for the company, and for the stock holders - he had NO duty to his country.
Also, during the 1970's, a friend was on a tanker in International Waters off New York, anxious to get home for Christmas. The ship was being held out of port, waiting for prices to rise. When the shortage was severe enough - profit maximization - the ship was finally brought in.
And there have been numerous 'expose's' of how oil companies contest owed duties and royalties, and manipulate records. While I don't like the idea of taxation to artificially inflate gasoline prices, I do believe the oil companies artificially inflate prices = 'charge what the market will bear'. As a vertically integrated industry, with only a few companies, with the same motives, supply, costs and profits can be manipulated.
A couple of years ago gasoline prices peaked, and there was a demand for fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles. What a coincidence that prices then dropped - the oil companies had found out the prices the market would bear. The oil companies balance supply and pricing to maximize profits, but also maintain market share, and that balancing has to consider whether the alternative - EV's etc, - become a viable option.
The oil companies may not be actively slowing progress on EV's, but it is in their best interest.
I think that like all business, it IS the responsibility of the CEO to act in the best interest of his stockholders,( who are in fact, the "owners" often You and I) it is s fiduciary requirement imposed upon him by the same "country" that some want him to favor to the detriment of his company. It is the same for a sole propriership or small corporation. Do you sacrifice your company for the benefit of a country lead by politicans that impose conficatory taxes on you or do you operate your company for the benefit of yourself AND the employees that work for you. You don't often have the luxury to sacrifice your profit margin to the "common good". This whole issue is complex but if a company is not viable and profitable, the there is no money to pay the employees, no money to pay the employees...no employees no help to the economy. Do we ask the employees to sacrifice and accept lower wages for the "common good" as you are asking the Oil company executive? What do you think a fair return is on the investement of the oil company, what margin should they have and what return would you accept if your 401K held Exon stock and said, oh, we'll cut our profit margin to "help' the economy...and your 401K ends up in the tank?
Remember these oil companies that the administration chooses to villify provides an enormous stream of tax revenue, the government makes more money on a gallon of gasoline that the oil company. Otherwise the government wouldn't ban the importation of the European Fords and Volkswagons that get between 60 and 78 MPG.......would they?
MMorgan; It is amazing that you discount the facts that I think are important, and emphasize those I discount. I don't deny a company the requirement to make a profit. I do think the oil companies have benefitted from their influence on the political system to an unfair advantage. Remember, taxes on gasoline are supposed to be road taxes - to build roads. Remember your Economics 101 about the way a Monopoly Market behaves. The Free Market and Competition is supposed to be about free markets and competition. Do your critical thinking: remember that 'facts' are often chosen and presented in the manner that is most favorable to the author's opinion. You need to look at both sides and remember whose dog is in which fight. The 'truth' usually lies somewhere between the two extremes = the closer you are to either extreme usually means you are farther from the truth.
Employees are regularly asked to take pay cuts and reduced beneifits to help the company. Then when the company recovers the executives get a BIG bonus while the employees get nothing. Remember Chrysler ? US Airways ?
Is it wealth envy to disagree with an executive who says the Union Workers must lose their pensions and benefits, but the Executives deserve theirs ? And Executive pay has increased grossly proportionately more than Worker pay has.
I don't know why you think it is amazing. I believe I said that it is a complex issue and a "hate the oil companies" reaction, while easy is not genuine. I notice that you discount the fact that the administration that vilifies the oil companies is pandering to an enviornmetal radical constitutancy further exacerbating and limiting the free market in favor of "green energy" which is not yet proven.
The basis of all this arguing is not what appears on the surface. Everyone is frustrated by the bad economy, by the unfairness of a tax system that favors those that do not contribute and vilify those that do. The basic fact that is that the system has been corrupted by politicians that have decreed themselves an aristocracy to the detriment of the rest of the country. The govenrment has gorged itself on our taxes, has spent your and my money to get themselves re-elected and has decided that IT can decide what is better for us than we can for ourselves. It is not the oil companies, it is not the green energy companies, it is not the poor, it is the politicians.
Look at your paycheck, look at your property taxes, look at your sales tax, look at your gasoline tax and ask yourself if these geniuses have spent these taxes to benefit us or themselves. Look at the sad condition of the "Social Security" system you have been contributing to all of your life that was, ostensibly, to be invested for your benefit. Where is it? It's been spent to purchase votes by politicians to get themselves re-elected...and it continues. Now, the monies that we have been sending to Washington for our retirement has, conveniently, been re-defined as an "entitlement" in the true Marxist tradition.
I say, that 95% of the cost of everything is a tax. We are being taxed into oblivian and those taxes are being squandered to keep a group of ploiticians in power.
If you don't recognize that and you don't react to it, you are part of the problem.
MMorgan; So you re-wrote my 'have no love for the opil companies' to 'hate the oil companies'. You misrepresent me.
I do agree with you that these are complex issues. I disagree with your statement that the administration 'vilifies the oil companies'. The Social Security Trust Fund was squandered by the George W Bush tax cuts and unjustified war with Iraq. Social Security is not an entitlement, and is being mis-represented by the Republicans and Conservatives who spent the trust and don't want to be held responsible. The purpose of taxes is supposed to be for the common good. You may not have children in public education, but you may 'use' more of the roads. You benefit from the Police, Emergency Servies et al. even if it is only once in a couple of years that you actually use them. We both agree that the tax system is broken, but for opposite reasons = I say that if you want the services, you must pay the taxes. From your statements I think you would decline to pay an optional Emergency Services Fee, and then complain when you called 9-1-1 and were told they couldn't respond because you were not a subscriber. The original personal exemption for income taxes was supposed to allow enough money before taxes to live. I think the basic exemption should be increased. Again, from your statements I think you would want to distribute the Federal Budget of $3,800,000,000,000.00 among the 313,000,000 Americans = 12,000.00 each. How do you propose a 5-year-old child would pay their share ?
These are difficult and complex issues, and the politicians don't want to deal with them for fear of offending their voting block.
Just to correct you before I abandon this useless discourse. Lyndon Johnson, the person who declared war upon poverty, is the fellow who opened the Lock Box of Social Security to the vagries of every petty politician. He and his minions, not George Bush began the squandering of your and my "nest egg". (oops I forgot, our "entitlement") I recall vividly Johnson's reply to a real Reporter (not a fawning, cool aide drinking talking head) when asked about the poor performance of the Federal Government is dispensing money to the poor. Johnson's response...We will put so much money into the system so that some of it will HAVE to get to the poor. Nice attitude, huh? You see, back then, when the average age of the country was about 19 years old, the Social Security System was gorged with cash. Cash that the Politicians just couldn't keep their hands off. THAT attitude and the attitude that the current administration continues, not George Bush, was the beginning of the rape of our legacy. These progressives are arrogant, ignorant incompetent buffoons that have such a low disregard for their constitutants that they are not content with spending our legacy but now have embarlked upon destroying the legacies of our children and grandchildren. How can you ask the CEO of a corporation to "sacrifice" to lower your gas bill when your president refuses to cut the out of control spending on hmself and every ne're do well slug in the country....all to become re-elected.
It is clear to me that this discourse is futile. These people have indoctrinated and infected the general public to the point where mental blindness is the norm.
plugincar.com reports slightly over 400 electric vehicles were sold in Jan, 2012, the volt, leaf, tesla, etc, will probably be history, unless some new source of stored elictricity is discovered, providing a car where customers meet the economical justification criteria required to survive in a customer based economy, unless a tinfoil hat electric vehicle. becomes avaiabe, sent to the customers in an email, after half the money is deposited with the express agreement the paying customer may not get the email or merchandise unless the wright tinfoil hat is worn, for sale by the same sulpplier who must agree to buy the tinfoil hat, after depositing half the money up fromt, with the express agreement the customer may not get the email or the tinfoil hat, unless they buy enough common shares in the uocoming tinfoilhat IPO, currently in the approval stage of the NYSE, available on the internet, sent by email under the express agreement half the money must be deposited up front with the express agreement the email containing the common shares may not arrive and the IPO may be withdrawn or disapproved, after approval, ha ?
not understanding the alien element of the tinfoin hat, gold email who reported it without suppling any source of credibility in the oneliner, i decided to supply more data on the golden idea of a tinfoil hat that may or may not be: tin, foil, or hat
3 years ago when oil was 140 a barrel ane gasoline ws 1.80 a gallon, compared to today when gas is near 4.00 a gallon and oil is 40 dollars a barrel, the idea oligopoly, laws and price fixing is not going on unprosecuted is an interesting element of criminality currently in power. I am not wearing a tinfoil hat so the facts may be kinda sleazy
jackiecox; Take an English composition course. A sentence is not 'better' because it contains more or bigger words. Re-read what you write to see if it is clear and concise. Also check for spelling mistakes and grammatical mistakes. While you are researching an issue, remember that the author may be only presenting the facts that support his position. Read the articles that oppose your favorite viewpoint also. By comparing both positions you will be better able to judge which argument is based on facts vs. dogma.
One simply has to look at the facts that the funds were raided, to see who is responsible.
There is no use in trying to convince/educate those who have totally bought the KoolAid. Logic does not get through when they shut off the thinking part of their consciousness. Remember:"Teaching the pig to dance is a fruitless endeavor. It is a waste of your time and it irritates the pig."
On a more technical note, the "true" hybrid vehicles do result in an overall reduction of fuel usage, however the "power hybrids" are a joke. They are designed to just boost performance, and have no overall effect on fuel. These are all just an interim measure. We will not see any viable improvement until fuel cell and other more exotic technologies come on line.
The only viable way for an electrical vehicle to become mainstay is micro nuclear power system. I will out live the vehicle and the owner. It will power a vehicle for a lifetime and be passed on. It will be safer then gasoline and other petro fuels. It will run a high horsepower high torque motor that is less then 1/3 the weight if an internal combustion engine. It will work and the engineers know it. It is just as usual a political and corporate world hot potato. If I had the financial means and an off shore self-governing landmass I would build such systems and when all else fails and it will this will be the ONLY viable solution.
We (as a nation and as a planet) are facing many challenges and it certainly is making for some interesting times! Electric cars are certainly one of the areas of interest - principally because they are part of the bigger conundrums - our ever increasing need for energy, for transportation, etc versus limited sources for energy and a increasing awareness of many tradeoffs that need to be made (e.g. global environmental changes).
One of the pluses to electric cars (outside of the inherent 'coolness' factor) is that electricity is a good common denominator between energy sources (e.g. coal, nuclear, solar, wind, natural gas) and a inherently mobile energy consumer (i.e. the vehicle). So no matter how the electricity is generated, it can be used in the vehicle.
Yes, I would still love to have an electric car. Although I would certainly need an auxiliary engine on board for a long cruising range.
I wouldn't be surprised if the oil companies and auto companies at some point in the past thought about supressing alternative-fuel vehicles. But the truth is, they've never needed to do it. Battery technology has never really reached a point where it would need to be supressed. Its energy density is a fraction of gasoline's energy density. Its cost is still too high. Universities and national labs have worked hard on the development of this technology for decades and the results have been steady, but slow. Bill Gates has said that he has invested in five battery start-ups and has said that battery innovation "may not be solvable in an economic way." It's a little hard to believe that all of these people and organizations -- national labs, universities, Bill Gates' start-ups -- have all been bought off by the oil companies.
I had some time and took a peek at the slide show. I was totally disappointed - it seemed to be a random collection. I liked the Crazy Horse Pinto and some of the current, real product pics. I am curious as to why CT&T was included. I believe that their claim -
"CT&T, based in Korea, is said to be the world's largest manufacturer of battery electric vehicles."
is based on the manufacture of enclosed+'not enclosed' golf carts. They were looking to begin US production in '08/09 and agreed to build plants in 3 states + 'distribution centers' but it seems that they fell off of the face of the earth - a common EV occurence - as far as the US is concerned.
Engineers and poltics WOW. Play together. How can you talk about electric's evolution and not go back past 1969, that is yesterday in hstory. Henery Ford's wife drove electrics. That is probably where this article should have started.
My opinion still is there should not be automotive designers working on electrics. Too much baggage. There is way too much weight, coupled with too much size, the charging system is wrong(batteries should be replaced with charged ones instead of charging ones buried in the automobile). An electric car should fit the operator more like a slipper than a boot. Right size the vehicle and the body and suspension could all be carbon fiber as one unit with the use of weight only to provide operator space integraty for safety. Then the drive unit, motor or motor w/engine could be miniscule compared to what drives the Prius, Leaf, or Volt.
The problem with electric vehicles is that the Automotive industry has never really come up with a good market definition. They keep making cars that cost too much, and perform too little. What I mean is - a car that has a 40 mile range is useless for normal uses like commuting. In an ideal world we would all live within walking distance of our job, but most of us have left the family farm so that is no longer a viable option. We choose a house and a job, and often we wind up through circumstances out of our control, looking for a new job. And that new job may not be next door. Do we uproot our family and move to a new house with new schools and churches and friends or do we allow our family to stay in familiar surroundings and commute. And in some areas of the country, there is little choice, the housing close to the jobs is just so expensive that the commute is the only option.
In my opinion, an electric car that can't go 100-150 miles on a charge is, at best, a luxury item and status symbol. It makes no sense to have an expensive electric car that can't get to the store and back without a charge.
Some electic vehicles are very practical - Electric golf carts in retirement communities are an excellent application. They have sufficient range and speed for the typical user. Unfortunaltely the typical user of an automobile has quite different requirements and none of the electric vehicles meet those needs.
WOW, Electric Cars are not for everyone...they only meet the needs of a few more than 85% of the driving public. If you want to commute more than 65 miles daily then I hope your employer is paying you well because you mah pay over $5,000 more each year just for the auto's fuel. I don't...
The two motors are NOT connected "Back to Back" they are in line front of one to back of the other, Notice the picture, the two ends being shown do NOT look identical, one is showing the brush holder and the other is showing the internal fan.
Is the news so slow that you have some reason for showing us a presentation from August of 2011? We choose not to live two years into the past. We need current information not NOT 28 months old. Lets see current information this has pictures from auto companies who are closed and disolved in bankrupsy. The quote about range of the leaf was wrong also, it is 100 KM not 100 Miles as that is only 68 Miles. "BAD OR OUTDATED DATA IS WORSE THAN NO DATA AT ALL"
I would not be so iritated if you posted this as what we were thinking was fantastic two years ago...
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
This Gadget Freak review looks at a cooler that is essentially a party on wheels with a built-in blender, Bluetooth speaker, and USB charger. We also look at a sustainable, rotating wireless smartphone charger.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.