Has anybody ever seen an information regarding the relationship between usage and/or charge time vs. range? What I was wondering is if you consistently traveled 1/2 range before each charge if that would negatively impact future ranges. Similarly, if you did not plug it in long enough for a complete charge would that have long term effects?
Thanks, Chuck, for that additional info. But how does that address heating or AC needs when on the road? Previous commenters pointed out that those would both make a huge demand on the battery, thus reducing range.
Ann: Automakers are now recommending that for pure electric driving, the cars should be "preconsitioned." In other words, warm up the car (or cool the car) while it's plugged in, then unplug it when you're ready to drive.
I have three vehicles. An Accord for the 100 miles a day back and forth for work... A pickup for doing yard work and transporting big items... and an SUV for towing and those very bad winter weather trips to work.
I will soon be condensing back to only 2, the SUV and the Accord... I have a trailer that will cover most of the pu's jobs.
I always thought that there would be a market for a vehicle that was adaptable, and had attachments. PU/SUV on the weekend, luxury 4 door by night... light weight max-mileage 2 seater for the 9-5 M-F rush...
I know there are some versions of SUV/PU like models but I am suggesting true attachments that can turn the rolling chassis into whatever is needed by the consumer... within reason of course.
Put it all on a hybrid with 40/50 miles electric range... Now that would make me visit the showroom for a look see. Again... not for everybody, but it would work for me.
Years ago I recall reading that a Volkswagen Beetle requires about 8 horsepower to cruise at highway speed, i.e., around 50 to 60 miles per hour. The later air cooled Beetle engines were rated at 40 hp and when I drove one it seemed adequate most of the time. The only times I wished for a bit more power was while trying to accelerate on an inclined freeway ramp, trying to match the speed of the traffic. Lightweight pasenger cars with 40 hp to 60 hp prime movers are sufficient for personal transportation. Over 100 hp is a fantasy and unnecessary most of the time.
As for taxing cars based on engine displacement as they do in Europe, that's ridiculous, too. Technology has evolved and the "small" engines of today can crank out twice the power of same-size engines of 30 years ago, or use half as much fuel at the same power. Not to knock it too much, however, because their taxation schemes were largely the driver to getting more performance out of small displacement.
... until we all have personal 50 kW thorium reactor power plants in our back yard. Here in California the electric grid is aging and at times stretched to the limit. Try to plug in 50 million cars every night, especially in summer, and you'll be able to watch it melt down.
As long as the American male (and a few females) has a love affair with a 375 HP muscle car and is willing to pay for as many as Detroit can build we're not going to cut down on the oil consumption enough to sneeze at. Granted Ford has a 305 HP V6 Mustang that get 31 mpg and I applaude them for doing it. I love power too, but we really don't need it. The Big Three won't stop producing gas guzzlers because they don't have to. And they won't because if one of them were to stop the others would just pick up market share, because gearheads while usually devoted to a particular brand will, if forced, change brands if his favorite suddenly becomes unavailable. European countries changed the mentality years ago by making the vehicle registration and taxation based on engine size. Years ago ('93 gas was $1.27 per liter that's 5.08 a gallon) I was in Switzerland talking with an engineer and he told me his 1.5 liter opel was a medium sized engine. Large was 2.2 liter. V8's were owned by car collectors and rarely even started. Some how we have to break the power and speed need.
The difficulties around heating and AC are major things to consider. I live in an area where we need both. I hadn't thought those through that far since I'm not yet in the market to buy a new car.
Regarding who might drive EVs or hybrids and how/where, here in Santa Cruz County everyone drives hybrids, young and old alike. The young people driving them clearly own them as their first and only vehicle. And the young folks here, like most of us, tend to be very outdoorsy, so I'd guess they're taking them camping, etc.
But I want to have my cake and eat it, too. While I agree with boffin1 that getting free of the Middle East's stranglehold is a major goal of this endeavor, I also think we should have economic cars that achieve that goal, but are doing it with alternative tech. Why the heck not?
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On Memorial Day, Americans remember the sacrifices the US armed forces have made, and continue to make, in service to the country. All of us should also consider the developments in technological capabilities and equipment over the years that contribute to the success of our military operations.
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