i just found this article http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2009/March/11030903.asp. i just wonder if buses will be also get green. http://techcrunch.com/2009/06/10/new-super-battery-to-charge-buses-and-street-cars-in-10-seconds/ and i think even the auto repair shops needs to be green.
I just noticed this statement: "When I heard about Brian's "Drive for Innovation" experiment, I found myself focusing not on the current Chevy Volt's limitations, but on the surprising speed of its development. When I first read about Volt prototypes less than two years ago, I understood that an operating, affordable consumer Volt was still far, far away."
As far as I'm concerned, $40,000 for a car in NOT affordable. So an affordable electric car is still far, far away.
And for commuting short distances it makes sense, about 2 cents per mile to re-charge.
But the day you need a new battery pack (I did at 12,000 miles and 6 years) all the money you have saved even at $4.00 per gallon (today price) instantly evaporates.
I calculate the break even at about $6.00 per gallon that is if the power costs remains constant at about 10 cents per kw/h, but that too has strange way to creep up and so does the cost of lead-acid batteries which in 2003 were $90 each (8 are needed) and today are $225 each !!!
So if price of more than 50 year old technology of sealed Pb batteries more than doubled, why does anyone think the price of any current battery technolgy will ever go down much ? I never heard that there is world wide Pd shortage, so why the price increase ? I am told it is the increased demand for Pb batteries for all the new cars that are now made in China annually (not sure if that is really the cause ?)
Look at platinum an inexpensive metal in the 1960's that is now more than gold, since 63 million cars produced annually have catalytic converters on them.
Any spike in battery technology will instantly increase the cost of the required chemicals that are not overly abundant.
actually i have read this one, "It could be recharged many, many times perhaps hundreds of thousands of times, and ... it could be recharged very quickly, just in a matter of seconds rather than a matter of hours," he says. maybe next time they will create the triumph parts and other car parts using solar cells. well that's good.
Where did the figure of 30 MPG on gas come from? I own a Volt and from my real world experience, the gas-only MPG has been in a range from 35 to 40 MPG depending on my driving style. I can't imagine how I would have to drive to drop that to 30 -- cruise on the highway at 90 MPH and always floor it on acceleration in town maybe? And if you are going to make comparisons using that driving style, you can't turn around and compare it to best case for some other fuel efficient car.
Amen, William!!... I could not agree more with your general assessment.
LIke it or not, there is NO viable substitute (actually, what is generally advocated is really replacement) for fossil fuels and the ICE. We should of course be focusing research on improving all technologies, but with a sense of logic and reason (not this emotional cry of "kiss BP and OPEC goodbye"). I just read another article on truly major and significant advances in engine design and operational technologies (variable valve timing, turbocharging, etc.), all of whcih contribute to the overall goal of greater efficiency; sadly these are not the kind of efforts that get sufficient attention, or garner big headliines. It is really maddening how the entire subject has been corrupted by political and idealogical forces.
In many engineering workplaces, there’s a generational conflict between recent engineering graduates and older, more experienced engineers. However, a recent study published in the psychology journal Cognition suggests that both may have something to learn from another group: 4 year olds.
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
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.