Good points, jhankwitz. It's not just the automakers investing in the EV/hybrid technology. It's the tier 1 suppliers as well. Some companies such as Lear are engineering the entire drive train for their customers.
I agree, Rob. If the price of oil rose sharply, it would change the economic picture. But right now, automakers are still struggling to find buyers for pure electrics beyond the core of early adopters. Electrics make good cars for buyers who already have a reliable, longer-range vehicle. But people with limited budgets often can't afford a pure electric as a second car. In the long run, plug-in hybrids are a better bet. When the cost of Volt-type cars comes down another $10K, they'll be really popular.
Right, tekochip, the issue still comes back to cost, which comes back to the battery. The costs of the entire pack (according to virtually every expert who isn't selling something) are still above $700/kWh.
Totally agree. I want a pure electric. Car manufacturers seem intent on selling electrics as an expensive inconvenient option relative to ICE. My spin would be to relate it to cell phones. Which would you rather have - your current cell phone that you plug into a charger in the safety of your home at night when you sleep, or a cell phone that will last a week on a charge (tank), but can only be recharged by a trip to the Apple/Microshaft store where a bunch of sketchy characters hang out nearby and you are required to breath chemicals of dubious health "benefits"?
Why are we making "electrics" so complicated by adding an ICE for additional range? My car doesn't need to fulfill 100% of my driving needs (even any one ICE vehicle can't) . All I want is a basic car that has an honest 60-70 mi. range (meaning A/C and headlights on if appropriate, with modest hills and heavy accelerator foot). Since I exceed 50mi/day only once a week on average (that's almost two hours of driving around here), and 100 miles only a few times a year that would cover 90% of my mileage (I drive roughly 15,000mi/year), and almost 97% of my total trips in a year.
Good points, Chuck. With the sliding cost of oil, the EVs have their work cut out for them. New oil deposits, new oil retrieval technologies -- these will the cost per barrell down, making it that much harder for the EV to offset its cost in fuel cost savings. Add to that, a coming wave of high efficient traditional engines. Ultimately, I believe there will be a strong market for EVs. We may have to wait until battery technology supports an EV that can go long distances. EV prices will also be a factor.
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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