When considering the whole debate of EV vs. ICE's, a global perspective is needed. The advantages of EV's is that the electricity that powers them can be created by a number of different energy sources, some greener than others. Secondly, from an emission standpoint, dealing with fossil fuel use byproducts is always going to be more efficient at a centralized large-scale power plant rather than dealing with it at the vehicle level. In order to use renewable sources for electricity production, storage at the site of generation is the big hurdle. That might be batteries, but in spite of several posters biases, flywheel energy storage is proven, reliable, affordable, and currently the most efficient. There are currently some energy producers that are putting flywheel storage on-line. EV's likely will have a future because of the relative neutrality of electricity as an energy currency, and it's relative lack of volatility in price compared to ICE's using fossil fuels as their only fuel currency.
Watashi wait till you see your first really BIG Northeast hurricane or snow storm! (Every 12 to 15 years.) The northeast has much better eqipment to handle such but, only after they get to you. I can remember one storm in PA it took two weeks+ to restore power. Here in Texas we have rolling black outs blamed on everthing but the real cause.
Thanks, Jon. I actually had in mind water and rocks. They are often used in passive solar energy construction, an entirely different set of disciplines from what we call solar today, which actually consists of a narrow range of active solar technologies. I have been in houses, in winter, which were built entirely on passive solar principles that were so well designed and constructed and stored energy so well that they used maybe one stick of wood a day in the (small) woodstove to keep the house warm. It's worth remembering that the history of building techniques is very old and many of them worked just fine for a very long time without the addition of external sources of energy, at least for heating. In addition, there was a huge spurt of creative design during the 1970s in this direction.
Of course - existing "car mechanics" and "infrastructure" are ready for almost any new fuels includinh bio but EV has " no exhausted gases" and are safer - no explosion @ collision! The batterries are their problem and the way CA company is going is well seen future of small (1 to 10 person) transportation means.One more factor is their Life Expectancy.
Yes, but why are you not supporting manufacturing in the US and create jobs instead of just lisencing the technology for manufacturing elsewhere? If that doesn't make sense economically, at least give us a chance to manufacture the special machines for production domestically. Manufacturing in the USA is hurting and the last thing we need is to see more exported industry.
I don't know about everyone else, but I'm leary of all the claims of late. It seems there are more than enough new "energy" companies willing to get a whole bunch of our money from the government and then go bankrupt shortly thereafter.
As you and some of our readers have pointed out, Alex, infrastructure is the number one problem for hydrogen. There's also another problem. A few years ago when I last wrote about this, fuel cell engines were exorbitantly costly -- about $1,000 per kW generated. That means a 100-kW (133 HP) engine would have cost about $100,000. At the time (2005, I believe), the goal was to push the cost down to about $50 per kW generated. Since then, several manufacturers have experimented with conventional spark-ignited IC engines that could run on hydrogen as a way of driving the cost down. I don't know how far that research has come -- maybe one of our readers could fill us in. Or maybe it's time for us to revisit the subject.
Flywheels are great solutions for pulsed power applications where you need many Megajoules of energy for a second or less, but I have always been skeptical of their use for lower draw applications. Even with frictionless bearings, they still seem inefficient for low draw use.
Fuel cell vehicles still need the expensive battery packs to even out and extend the fuel cell's energy production.
I was part of the first college FUTURE TRUCK team to get a fuel cell ford explorer to work (reletively speaking). We used two Prius battery packs to store the Fuel cell energy and provide an extended 'EV mode' range.
Hydrogen has high energy density, but it takes a lot of room to store enough to be useful. We had two 10,000 psi pressurized tanks that completely filled the back of the explorer; and vehicle range was not going to even come close to gasoline. A key to ever advancing the fuel cell for automotive purposes is developing a reformer so the vehicle can be powered by fuel high in hydrogen content, without the special storage needs.
A common theme in posts on articles referring to EVs or their batteries mentions the fact that if you charge the batteries with fossil fuels, you are really not reducing your carbon footprint. I agree with this assessment. I do believe EV's will be very complementary to wind energy. One of the knocks on wind energy is that wind often blows at night when utility load is reduced. Many people work during the day and park their car at night. In the upper Midwest at least, there is a massive potential for additional wind development. It is costly to build transmission lines to large load centers. EV's offer an opportunity to sink a portion of the wind generation at night and closer to home thus making the EV truly green, reducing the utilities anxiety on what to do with the excess power (reducing curtailment), and offering a domestic and green source of fuel for transportation.
What works in one geographic location, may not in another. There are opportunities to develop solutions based on the assets of a particular geographic location.
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