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Ozark Sage
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Re: Need to start looking at efficiency
Ozark Sage   2/13/2012 1:29:33 PM
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TOP  I do believe you need to reevaluate your position.  My point in PAST replys IS, WE DON'T EVEN NEED a HV distribution GRID system IF we use NEW GENERATION methodes and forget the Grid! 

Your statement 3&4 is ONLY true at this TIME, for WHERE/& TO WHOM, YOU PAID the BILL. It may go up, OR it may go away!

ONE SHOULD REALIZE THIS IS A TEST AND DESIGN PERIOD BEING DONE ON YOUR MONEY !!!  I am sure DN readers aplaud you as I do for your early adoption efforts which we should all support if we ever want to use the improved technology and have the fical means to do so.

As a footnote I have 25 years of test information to tell you what I am eluding to is not only possible but EXTREEMLY afordable.  Some firms ARE working to bring this to market cautiously here AND internationally.


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Re: Smaller, not bigger
Kevin   2/13/2012 1:00:29 PM
The winner of the $5M 2011 Automotive X-Prize, Edison2, is taking a different and more practical track for their EV.  They have focused on minimizing weight and aerodynamic drag, so that the energy requirements are minimized.

While their X-Prize winning car used an ICE, they found that venture capital was only avilable for EV's.  So...they have paired their groundbreaking efficiency technology with electric power.  Their spec's blow away any other EV I've ever seen (in terms of efficiency).  The small battery reduces weight and cost, yet performs as well as large batteries spliced into rather conventional cars (Volt, Leaf, etc.).

Their 10.5 KWh battery gives 114 mile real-world range running the std. EPA cycle.  read:  http://www.edison2.com/blog/

What is so refreshing about Oliver Kuttner and his team is that they are 100% honest and transparent about their results, their successes and even failures.  I followed his team's progress during the X-Prize, and had many email conversations with him.  In short, they are taking an excellent ENGINEERING APPROACH to solving the core problem, instead of a MARKETING one where spin is created using half-truths and lies (like most current EV companies today).

If any EV is to be commercially successful, I think it needs to follow a path similar to theirs. 


Pete Ostapchuk
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electric vehicles
Pete Ostapchuk   2/13/2012 12:51:57 PM
    If you buy a second car (electric ) to save the planet, you are now going to pay twice as much insurance even though you don't drive any more miles than you did with one car. You also increase the burden from sales tax and whatever the BMV demands from you. That alone keeps you from saving any money without even factoring in the inital price of the car.

    I hear the horror stories about burning coal to charge the EV batteries. Then I hear the sad lament about having solar panels with nowhere to store the generated electricity. If I had an electric car, I would sure have solar panels to charge the battery. Then I would have to worry about Sun tax. We already have rain tax in Indiana. 

    Back in the 1970s, I built an electric riding mower and an electric motorcycle. No regrets.

           Pete O.

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Re: Smaller, not bigger
TOP   2/13/2012 12:46:12 PM
I agree. One of the biggest killers of electric technology wold be standardization at this stage although standardization of charging station technology would potentially be a big help.

Other blogs on Design News have mentioned the need for better batteries, etc. This is the challenge to today's designers. Current designs have to allow for big improvements in technology so they won't become orphans when that "super battery" comes down the road.

Ozark Sage
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Re: Smaller, not bigger
Ozark Sage   2/13/2012 12:39:14 PM
Hey Jerry I hear some TRUE incite making it's way to this discussion group!  I would agree with your comments as where we are in the state of the art, price, etc.  I surely DON'T agree with those encouraging ANY standardization at the stage of the game, which I see as killing a competion that just got started!

So I ask everyone one following this channel:
  1. What players have well focused designs NOT guided by marketing committes but, rather incitefull engineering leaders willing to advance the state of the art?
  2. What players are ALSO rans?
  3. What players are most capable of imaginative  SCIENTIFIC energy break-thrus that history deams the making of a new world and closing of our current era. (YOU WILL HAVE TO GO OUTSINE THE CHANNEL FOR THIS ONE)

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Re: Need to start looking at efficiency
TOP   2/13/2012 12:38:00 PM
1. Gasoline gets to the gas station much the same way coal gets to the power plant or natural gas gets to the turbo generator. That is a wash which is why I didn't mention it.

2. Exactly. When a gasoline engine is parked it is not burning anything.

3. Exactly, just like the 1999-2006 Honda Insight or the Prius. The Insight went 600 miles on 9 gallons. I know, I had one. At today's prices that is $45 worth of gas versus 6*$15=$90 worth of electricity.

4. Exactly, as does the Insight or Prius.

When comparing the cost of gasoline, discount the additional use  taxes or figure the feds will add use tax when they get "smart meters" on residences and charging stations. Indiana even proposed charging additional tax at registration on Hybrids because of lost revenue due to the efficiency of that technology. It was ironic that my yearly registration cost more than my yearly gasoline bill for the Insight.

In Chicago, NY or LA electrics are a nice way to circumvent paying fuel taxes for now, but that will change.

The biggest argument for electrics is that we are past the tipping point in petroleum production.

Charles Murray
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Re: Smaller, not bigger
Charles Murray   2/13/2012 12:35:08 PM
I agree with you, Alex. A USA Today poll last year showed that 57% of Americans claim they wouldn't buy an electric car, no matter the price of gas. But I have a hunch that if gas prices went up to $10 a gallon, those poll numbers would be completely different. If car owners were confronted with a $150 bill for re-filling their gas tanks, electric cars would start to look pretty good.


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Re: Need to start looking at efficiency
jhaflinger   2/13/2012 12:20:11 PM
Where to start?

You don't consider:

1. how the gasoline gets to your gas station;

2. the coal power plant is running at night whether there is demand or not - that is when most people will charge due to lower rates if nothing else;

3. an electric car stopped at a light uses just a few watts;

4. when going down hill or braking - the electric car is charging the batteries.

I could go on, but the bottom line is "follow the money". An electric car uses less than $15 worth of electricity that was $100 worth of gas on my 22 mpg ICE car.

User Rank
Need to start looking at efficiency
TOP   2/13/2012 12:02:52 PM
When considering EV or any other technology to a) save energy and b) lower carbon emissions efficiency is a key factor. Comparing EV to ICEV is not quite an apples to apples comparison. But there are some factors to look at.

Let's consider gas pump nozzle to flywheel efficiency for ICEV and mains plug to flywheel for EV.

With today's sealed fuel systems evaporative loss of energy is nil. So what goes in the tank  comes out the flywheel minus inefficiencies. If an ICE is 40% efficient then 60% of the energy put into the tank is lost. For an EV there is charging loss (110% put into the battery to get 100% charge) converter efficiency (80-90%) and motor efficiency (90%). So worst case you have 65% of what went into the EV via the plug coming out the flywheel. If you add the efficiency of a plugless charging solution you have 49% coming out the flywheel. And if the EV sits for any amount of time there is self-discharge.

But there is an efficiency to obtaining the electricity at the outlet to charge the EV in the first place. Depending on how the power is generated the efficiency from lump of coal or therm of natural gas to the outlet is going to be 28% to 56% so the overall efficiency from burning hydrocarbons to the flywheel is 14% to 36%.

Admittedly these are all back of the envelope calculations. But the EV doesn't look so good when looking at the whole system. And the EV pollutes even when not running because it's generator, the coal fired plant cannot just shut down at the flip of a switch.

In addition to these considerations EV use will lead to an increased demand for power generation which will lead to smart power systems and Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) which will lead to a new form of pollution of the RF spectrum.

With the current efficiencies of gasoline engines they are still the viable way to reduce greenhouse gases when compared to EVs.

Bigger batteries are necessary because a lot of the curb appeal to EVs (barring the Prius) is high performance with a clean conscience. Charging an 85kWh battery in a reasonable amount of time is no mean feat with today's technology meaning it will be an overnight affair with a purpose wired high amperage connection.

User Rank
Re: Battery weight effect on mileage
BillFZ1   2/13/2012 11:48:16 AM
 "and the fact that cars with higher mass are safer in collisions, with all other things held constant."

Untrue. The reason why heavier vehicles have been safer is not due to the weight of the vehicle but rather the reason for the weight. Many of the specifically heaver cars are SUVs which are often intended for off-road use requireing a stronger chassis/body structure. Many others are Pickups, which lots of people making the engineering comments seem to forget are frequently the bets selling vehicles in North America. The Ford F150 is often the highest selling vehicle of the year. Trucks are built stronger to handle load hauling and also often have better crash surviveability. 

If you put a 400CI V-8 engine in a Toyota Yaris is will be heavier but not better in a crash. The same thing is true of an electric vehicle with a 3/4 ton "gas tank."

Unsubsidized EVs simply don't sell because they don't match up to gas cars, weather we want to admit it or not.

Bill J

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