1000 lb composite cars would most likely not pass any safety standards, thus, the overweight vehicles we have now.
By the way, a while back, Consumer Reports ran an article about the quickest-payback hybrid and they specified the Toyota Camry hybrid (at only $2000 more than an ICE Camry) paid for itself in as little as a couple of years (if I recall correctly). Hybrids are the way to go right now, not pure electrics.
Seems the whole "green" industry is infested with companies trying to make products which don't make economical sense. No doubt the reasons for this are varied - depending on which industry we are talking about. This article was only discussion the one corner - we could probably say similar things about solar, wind, biofuels - and the list goes on. Companies in these markets absolutely need to find ways to make their products viable economically. What's particularly aggravating is the fact that government money (our tax $$$) is being poured into these ventures only to have them fail. Even the Chinese commies realize that it's hard to fight against market forces and the economic needs of consumer.
As very simplistic example - My garage has a hot air solar furnace which I built for cheap. This might cost about $300 using retail purchased goods. Mine was build for less because I'm a scavenger. A similar unit at northerntool.com is priced at around $1400. Quite frankly my heater works ok but not great However, I wouldn't even consider buying the $1400 retail model because payback would be so poor.
MyDesign, that is called life cycle cost. For an automobile used for normal consumer use (which means lots of variability) the gasoline engine still has the lowest lifecycle cost for moderate time frames. Depending on the hybrid and the price of gasoline, it may take 3 to 5 years to recover the cost of the hybrid. At least with the hybrid you have the same flexibility as a standard gasoline vehicle.
The E-cat will change everything. The battery concept is a waste of time. Some form of chemical reaction in a small container will be the answer to our energy problems.
If given a chance then LENR will be the future of energy production. Our way of thinking has to change. The old ways of using combustion type engines and generators needs to come to an end and start thinking outside of the box for newer radical ideas.
We need a modern day Tesla to step forward and to present their ideas.
Thanks for the link Beth, that was a good article. I put an ebike together a few years ago and use it for commuting. While the bicycle purists at the office sneer at me for using an ebike, I don't see any of them using a regular bicycle for commuting either. The little motor makes the bike practical for commuting because you don't show up at the office needing a shower, and you'll still use the ebike on a windy day when you would avoid using a straight pedal bicycle. Yes, you still have to pedal an American ebike, but the motor will flatten the hills and always turn the winds in your favor. It cost me about $500 for the parts required for the conversion and I broke even on expenses the first year.
@tekochip: I've seen a bunch of reports on the soaring use of electric bicycles in China along with Europe and the rest of Asia. Here a link to an article chronicling the trend from the New York Times, albeit several years back. I don't have a sense if the EV car craze cut into their popularity of if they are still widely used.
Jerry, most of the EV’s are overpriced when compare with the same type gasoline (Petrol/Diesel/CNG) vehicle. For EV the main advantage is, its running cost is very less when compare with gasoline based vehicles, but maintenance is more. Once in 3-4 years we have to change the entire charging unit with Cells and this cost up to 15-20% of the vehicle cost.
Charles, due to the increase in crude oil and gasoline prices, peoples are looking for vehicles with alternate energy sources. Most of the automobile companies had started R&D in similar line. I mean vehicles running with alternate energy sources like solar, electricity, air, water etc. Around 2 year back I had brought an Electric car and am using it for my local use. From my experience what I understood is it requires a minimum 4-6 hours of charging for a 70 miles journey. So in between the journey, I have to spend minimum 2 hours for charging, which is a time consuming process.
Chuck, thanks for this sentence: "But there is no Moore's Law of electric cars." As we've discussed several times in comment threads, Moore's "Law" gets misapplied all the time in non-semiconductor environments where it doesn't belong. What's boggling is that people like Friedman, who are supposed to know better, do much of the misapplying.
In many engineering workplaces, there’s a generational conflict between recent engineering graduates and older, more experienced engineers. However, a recent study published in the psychology journal Cognition suggests that both may have something to learn from another group: 4 year olds.
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.