We may need to agree to disagree. You appear to have a particular type of EV and usage in mind that does not make sense to people who operate EVs on a daily basis, but with your ideas of what you consider that an EV should be able to do then I can see that you claim that they are not practical, but I am afraid that it has more to do with your narrow requirements than with the EVs. Mind you - most EVs are built for a particular task and do that very well. You may not immediately recognise many of them as EVs but they are - from trains to elevators; golfcarts to pallet jacks and hundreds of thousands other vehicles.
I agree that we were talking about technology for freeway capable vehicles and also there EVs can be quite practical, if you accept that they have a particular purpose and perform it well.
If you talk about Tesla Roadster - yes, that is a sports car, a toy if you like. Almost every roadster is just that, so why not the Tesla? Thousands of people thought it was worth its price and millions were wishing they could afford one. Todays most popular EV seems to be the Leaf. One very well executed family sedan that brings a lot of value and luxury with it. Many thousands have voted with their wallet and I see more Leafs driving around each day.
Personally I am not so into the depreciation of a new vehicle, which is always a bad proposition whether ICE or EV, so I just recently bought an EV (Ford Ranger Pickup) with new batteries for 4 grand. If I just drive that EV for 20k miles then I have earned back the purchase price of the entire truck in just the displaced cost of gas and have even chipped in some for the approx $500 cost of electricity over those 2 years of driving.
The Ford Ranger will likely give me no more than 60 miles of range and I am perfectly fine with that. I had an EV truck before (S10) and it had about the same range, I used it to commute daily, run errands, cruise around town and haul heavy loads. So, it did what every other truck does - I just had to plan the trips I make enough in advance to utilize the available range or select a different vehicle for any long trips.
I see you make claims about the Tesla battery that died - that was a single occurrence and caused by neglect. Surely you are not judging and entire class of vehicles by such a fluke - that would make your position very suspect. Tell me which EVs that you have driven that give you the opinion that they are not practical? I often found my self in the vehicle of a friend, because they insisted that I should drive theirs so that they got to drive my EV. For me the EV is very practical. What comes to mind is claimed to be a Chinese saying: "The man saying it cannot be done should not stand in the way of the man doing it."
naperlou - not sure why the specs of the never-meant-to-be-practical Tesla roadster are cited after raising the issue of practicality of electric vehicles - seems the Leaf is the the more appropriate vehicle to cite with still impractical issues. However, since when do Americans buy cars on the basis of just practicality or just cost? My neighbor just fired-up his huge diesel powered truck to drive 2 miles to McDonalds. I have never seen anything in the back his truck - he is an office worker. My wife's molecules arrive at work in her Honda Fit the same as her friend's Mercedes. Both the truck and the Mercedes cost well over the 40,000 for the Leaf yet based on usage provide no practical advantage so some people may choose to pay extra for the Leaf - love that we all have the choice!
When I lived in Ohio the specs on the Leaf and other electrics would not have worked well with cold snowy winters, hills, and distances driven. Now I live in a medium size city in California where nothing is more than 35 miles away RT and it is flat - the Leaf would handle well over 90% of our trips with a second gasoline car for long trips. When I lived in Ohio I probably would never have fully appreciated how practical an electric car would be for some parts of the country and for some users.
To your last point on operating cost - I just carefully calculated this based on our (high) electric rates and our (even higher) $4.15 CA gas prices. The Leaf would cost us 2 cents per mile compared to 13 cents for the Honda Fit. Would the wife and I ever save this back? No way, we do not drive enough miles, but hey, instead of buying the impractical Merc or the big truck we are looking at the new (impractical) electric Fords because this interests us.
Before I get rants back about subsidies - yea, agree, but get rid of the oil subsidies first - including military expenses to keep the gulf safe for our oil. companies.
I think you have a point on the turbo. I have read dozens of posts of people complaining that their F150 EcoBoost gets nowhere near the advertised 20 mpg. First problem is they aren't going 65 which is the rated speed. More importantly, there aren't being nice to it. The turbo engine allows good mileage from a smaller engine while out of boost. The turbo allows more power from the smaller engine with boost when needed such as towing. The problem with the EB F150 is that most of the people who drive them beat on it since it has so much power at low rpm they feel obliged to use it.
I was somewhat disappointed not to see Mazda's SKY-G and SKY-D engines on the list. They are a big advancement both in turbo diesel and naturally aspirated gasoline engines.
I agree that EV is a long way off. I'm not buying a $40,000 compact just to be "green." It's even less economical where I live since the electricity cost is so high.
Natural gas and clean diesel ICE's are where it is if you ask me. I lean more so toward the NG. Clean diesel is too complicated. The Ford 6.7 trucks and other 2010 diesel trucks will suffer due to high repair costs of dpfs, scr heaters, pumps, sensors, and all the other crap related to SCR, EGR, and DPF. The advantage to diesel was simplicity. I will drive my '97 Cummins ram with 326,000 miles for a long time to come. Why? Becaues is just runs. No engine computer, no emissions computer, no egr, etc. Wire the stop solenoid and it will run without a battery. Emissions diesels lost their reliability advantage over gasoline and actually got worse IMO.
I find the combination NG/gasoline vehicles like the up and coming Ford Super Duty conversion to be quite practical. By using gas or NG there is the cost and emission advantage of NG where it's available and no range anxiety since it will run on gasoline too. The big compromise is some cargo space, cargo capacity, and $9800. Not a huge payback at the claimed $2 per gallon advantage to NG.
Where's the recent advancement in ICE's? My wife drives a 2003 Honda Civic manual with ULEV engine and has consistantly gotten 42 MPG or better all these years without complex, expensive hybrid technology.
Ironically, later model year Honda's have reduced fuel economy. Something was lost along the way to the next decade!
Turbocharging does not really save fuel. Rather it improves performance so a smaller displacement engine can produce a bit more horsepower for those who insist upon burning rubber.
Forsake peeling out from stop lights and you can gain the same economy with a lower cost engine.
cvandewater, I am not sure that I can agree with you that EVs are practical. This is more true of the current generation of EVs that of the first or any previous. The problem is in the battery pack. It is monstorously expensive. The Tesla roadster boasts a 900lb battery pack with a manufacturers cost of at least $25K. Replacements, if you have let it completely discharge, can run the consumer $40K. The older EV's had more conventional batteries. It was fairly easy to either recharge them or replace them. That is not the case with the Li-ion batteries.
The car's initial cost is $100K. That is not practical. The new Tesla, the S model costs less. It is still in the $50-75K range. Now, I mention the Tesla and not the Leaf, becuase at least the Tesla cars have a reasonable driving range. The Roadster is just a toy, like any other roadster (I know, I started out driving such cars). For practical cars, the electric vehicles still have a way to go. They are much too expensive and have some major limitations that gasoline vehicles do not have. Frankly I have not calculated the price of gasoline at which the cost curves cross between electric and gasoline vehicles, but it is very high. Much higher than even what we are seeing today.
The items shown in the slideshow great advances for the internal combustion engine. One great thing about improving on existing technology is that repair technicians are already trained in the workings of the internal combustion engine, so the training on repair techniques for the upgrades is not starting from scratch. Repairing an EV requires an entirely different skill set that mechanics may or may not have.
I agree, naperlou. The Chevy Cruze ECO is a perfect example of the advancement of internal combustion engine. In terms of fuel efficiency, it's competitive with the Chevy Volt, which has a series hybrid powertrain.
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.