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.).
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.
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.
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.
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:
What players have well focused designs NOT guided by marketing committes but, rather incitefull engineering leaders willing to advance the state of the art?
What players are ALSO rans?
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)
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.
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.
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.
"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.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.