@William: If charging really can take up to five hours, I don't see any consumer making use of a charging station unless it's at their home, at the office, or they're on the road and can leverage some kind of charging station at their hotel. When else does the average consumer have a five-hour block of time to get their car revved up? Accelerating the battery charge cycle has to be a major design goal for EV battery makers and auto OEMs if this technology is to truly take off.
@Jerry: The point that I'm respectfully making is that there won't be mass appeal for electric cars until people who are worried about how to pay thier current bills see a cost benefit. I'm also pointing out that EV's are touted as the answer to our eco-transportation needs when they're not as green as most in the industry would like consumers to believe.
There are more Camrys on the road than BMWs. Green vehicles are comapred to 4cylinders in the market because those currently offer the best mpg...apples to apples.
Congrats on your positive experiences with your EV. I hope the technology evolves too include the masses.
The problem is not subsidies for EV's but the ones for oil, coal, big auto that need to be cut and their full costs in them and both EV's and RE will beat the pants off of them on a level playing field.
Any EV can put a 3-10kw generator on a rear trailer hitch and get unlimited range solving the range problem which really isn't a problem.
And the comparison should be with a BMW, not a Camry as they are high tech future cars, not economy ones.
EV's should have been started as $12k commuter/errand vehicles under 1200 lbs where when done right get 250-400mpg equivalent. Since 1/3 the weight needs 1/3 the battery pack/EV drive thus 1/3 the costs. A 40 mile range Volt battery in these would get 300 mile range!! See the Auto company strategy? Build over weight, over priced EV's and then say see we told you so, EV's are too expensive, etc.
With my lightweight EV's I've never had a problem charging as there are billions of 120vac outlets everywhere!! Gas stations, Libraries, 7/11's, parking garages all let me charge so even before the new charging stations charging wasn't a problem.
I just got my charging card so will try it out soon as Tampa has 12 stations, 2 EV's/station downtown I'll have my pick of spots. Not that I didn't have 500 spots with 120vac in parking garages in the same area. I get 90% charged by 120vac outlets in 3 hrs. Or 15 minutes to 80% by the new 240vac/70 amp EV charge station standard. My EV her costs $.20-.30 to charge and big EV's about 6-10x's that for 100 miles, so far less cost than gasoline.
Since gasoline will hit $10/gal in 5 yrs because we can't pump it fast enough for present production, much less the extra 3 billion new oil consumers from China. India, Indoneasia alone!! Do the math.
So one better have some kind of alt fuel. I like EV's because they are so simple, just the car's starter, battery, just bigger. And leave all that other fuel hungry, very ineff gas, diesel engines in the dust.
One solution for a while is NG which is currently selling for $.30/gal gasoline BTU equivalent!! It only goes to show just how resistant to change Americans and most people are. They rather pay $4/gal than even consider doing something differently. How's that working?
Sadly most of these 'problems' are in people's heads and not a problem in real life. They all have easy solutions.
Cars use the same materials as batteries do so just what is your point Nadine?
One of the dilemmas with using a pure electric as a city car is that many city cars are parked on streets, not in private garages. As a result, cities would need charging devices running almost end to end on every block. Otherwise, urban dwellers who live in three-flats (common in Chicago) would need to run charging cables from their front windows to the curbs for hours every night while they recharged.
Electric cars have had a long and rough history. Today, the biggest questions are: What will it cost? Is it really green or just green washed? Consumers care about the longevity of the planet more than ever before but their bottom is the bottom line.
One question I haven't had answered is what does it cost, out of pocket, for the consumer to charge up the vehicle with average usage. The price of electricity for the home has doubled for us in Northern California over the last two years. Would I pay more to charge a car or to gas in a car? Having more charging stations available is fine but if the consumer is spending $100 to fill a tank that lasts a couple of hundred miles compared to $60 (4 cylinder-of course) for a few hundred miles, the choice is made.
Battery life and distance needs to be much better. But, what tool does it take n the environment to build these cars in the first place? Battery production isn't eco-friendly...yet.
@TJ I love discussing various ideas, but the largest drawback I see with charging stations at filling stations is time. While filling takes around 5 minutes, charging can take around 5 hours. I don't see many consumers wishing to park their EV at the "filling" station and then finding alternate transportation to their destination.
@naperlou I celebrate the idea of fuel cells. The variety of feedstock permits competition and optimization with minimal retrofitting or equipment replacement. Until we develop the Mr. Fusion device from Back to the Future, perhaps Mr. Fuelcell is a great stepping stone...
Maybe the tax incentives are being given to the wrong place? We've agreed it's an infrastructure problem. The government (federal or local) does not belong in the charging business. The infrastructure is (mostly) there already, but it must be convinced to go the extra mile.
How about doing a carrot-stick approach with the existing gas stations? Petroleum companies get to keep their current tax breaks, but only if they add charging "pumps" to their stations. Or something close to that.
Gas companies, gas stations, are not going to simply disappear. Getting their help will work better if they've a reason to put the charging stands in to the existing locations. No "new" stations need be built.
Charging statios are interesting. These big programs get announced, but actual usage is hardly talked about. I recall hearing about the removal of EV charging stations so I looked it up. In Aughust there was an article about Costco removing the charging stations in their California stores. No one was using them. I know there are other examples.
The reality is that you are correct, Alex, that fuel cells are the way to go. There are many options for feedstock for fuel cells. Frankly, the technology is not much of a stretch for EVs. You just replace the battery with the fuel cell. In fact, you may want to make a hybrid that uses a battery with a fuel cell (instead of a ICE). This would allow for recovering energy from dynamic breaking, etc. Frankly, the electric motor and most of the rest of the car remains the same.
I agree with William. The construction of charging stations is one of the biggest limitations and there should be subsidies to local governments for building out these stations in the areas where there is the most likely uptick for EV adoption. Obviously, not every area is a prime candidate. But I would think metropolitan areas like Chicago and Los Angeles (and really any major city, hence commuter route) are fair game. As for Montana and the other big rural interstates, a reliable network of charging stations is critical, but perhaps less so since most won't be taking their EVs on any kind of significant cross-country road trip.
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