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Old 03-28-2006, 01:27 AM   #11
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now if we can lower the cost

now if we can lower the cost for EV... their base msrp is too far from reach.
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:11 AM   #12
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Re: now if we can lower the cost

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Originally Posted by philmcneal
now if we can lower the cost for EV... their base msrp is too far from reach.
Maybe it's time to start an EV car dealership.
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Old 03-30-2006, 06:27 PM   #13
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Quote:now if we can lower

Quote:
now if we can lower the cost for EV... their base msrp is too far from reach.
Cost is much more a matter of production volume than of technology.

Ferraris and Lamborghinis are $150,000+ not because of their components, but because of their low production volume.

Same with EVs and their batteries.

In the mid 1990s, AC Propulsion made an electric Honda Civic that did 0-60 mph in 6 seconds and 100 miles rane. This acceleration performance is comparable to an Audi TT or Porsche Boxter. Hand built, they cost $75,000. Alan Cocconi, chairman, quoted them at $20,000 if they could be produced in volume of 10,000 units.

Mendomotive was hand building Porsche Spyder conversions in the 90s from hand built kit car bodies and selling them for $30,000. They did 0-60 mph in 8 seconds, topped 120 mph, and did 130 miles per charge. Compare to a mass produced gas powered Mazda Miata that did 0-60 in 7.8 seconds, topped 130 mph, and cost $25,000.

In fact, the designer of the Renault ESpace van explicitly stated that electric vehicles would be CHEAPER than comparable gas vehicles if they were produced in similar volume.

AC Propulsion quoted a mass produced(for automotive sized volumes) lithium ion battery system with management at $250/kWh.

Or a 50 kWh pack to give a 250 wh/mile Ford Taurus sized electric car with no attention to aerodynamics a 200 mile highway range, $12,500 battery pack. This battery pack would last about 400 cycles to 100% discharge, and about 4,000 cycles to 20% discharge. So someone driving this car 40 miles a day would see 160,000 miles pack life before the battery only delivers 80% of the capacity it did new. And this pack life is when range would be reduced to about 160 miles, the battery would still be usable!

Shape the aerodynamics of the car to bring energy consumption down to 200 wh/mile, and the same size car could be made with a smaller battery pack for the same range and reduced cost, or could have the same battery pack with more range. In either case, cost per mile would decrease further, well below that of a gas car. Say, 250 miles range and ~220,000 miles battery life with a 50 kWh pack from decreased discharge percent.

But no one is mass producing electric cars in and buying large volumes of batteries from battery makers, so battery cost stays roughly $600/kWh, not including a mangeemtn system!

Same with the Ovonic NiMH battery. Robert Stemple, ECD chairman, quoted it at $150/kWh in production volumes for 20,000 cars per year. Cycle life was 1,750 to 100% discharge, or a 200 mile range Ford Taurus like car with no attention to aerodynamics with a 50 kWh pack would have a battery life at least 350,000 miles(more with shallower discharges, and I don't know anyone that commutes 400 miles round trip to work!), and a pack cost of $7,500! Again, improve the aerodynamics to decrease energy consumption, and more benefits to be had.

But, Chevron Texaco bought the battery patent, refuses to mass produce EV sized batteries, charges $1,000/kWh for them for use in today's hybrids($1,000 of the price premium in today's hybrids is lining oil industry pockets as profit), and even restricted the max AH size that anyone duplicating the battery can use(thus preventing plug in hybrids and pure electrics from EVER being made with this battery so long at the oil co holds the patent).

Cost is a matter of production volume, not technology.

EVs are viable today. But there are special interests that have a conflict of interest with the car buying public who are forking over their hard earned dollar to the oil man, the servicing and parts departments, and the tax man.

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For years, I thought electric cars would never be practical mostly due to lousy battery technology. But I'm becoming a believer because technology has improved so much recently:

1) Newer batteries like lithium and NiMH have about 3 times the energy density of lead-acid.
2) AC motors in conjunction with inverters or electronically commutated motors have much higher (~95%) efficiency than older convetional DC motors (~70%).
3) The AC/electronically commutated DC motors also regenerate power when braking and coasting downhill, recharging the batteries.
Indeed. Even with cheap lead acid batteries, the best conversions and purpose built EVs were doing 100 miles range at real 70 mph highway speeds, more range if the drivers would slow down. It is even theoretically possible to build a small pickup truck conversion(say Chevy S10 or Toyota T100) with 150-200 miles range on cheap lead acid golf cart batteries, if the proper aerodynamic mods are done to tyhe truck and it has roughly 3,000 pounds in golf cart batteries. No one has attempted such yet, however.

A purpose built CAR could likely duplicate this on less batteries, but it would need a drag coefficient around .18-.20, easily doable given what was done in the past.

Your typical golf cart battery or AGM lead acid battery has about 30 wh/kg of specific capacity at usable EV rates. In an efficient EV needing 180 wh/mile at 70 mph, and with a 600 kg battery pack, this was 100 miles range at 70 mph.

The NiMH batteries developed in the late 1990s achieved 70 wh/kg specific capacity. Or an efficient EV needing 180 wh/mile at 70 mph with a 600 kg battery pack would have roughly 230 miles range at 70 mph.

Today's lithium ion batteries have 150 wh/kg of specific capacity. An EV with a 600 kg pack that needs 180 wh/mile would have 500 miles range at 70 mph.

Obviously, if you slow down to 55 mph, range increases about 50%.

According to a study titled "The Current and Future Market for Electric Vehicles for the Electric Transportation Coalition", the minimum market for EVs in the late 1990s was between 12% and 18% of all new cars on the market. This was with consumers understanding a limitation of 80 miles range in good weather(with an acknowledged reduced range in worse conditions), slightly reduced performance, and able to seat 4 adults.

These limitations were actually quite pessimistic, given that even EVs of that time had comparable and even better performance to their gasoline counterparts, the best individual conversions were doing 120 miles range, and had engineered proper battery heaters for using lead acid batteries in cold weather.

Now, imagine what those numbers would be if this study was repeated for 150 miles range, 200 miles range, and 300 miles range, all with the same or increased performance over comparable gas cars.

With 150 miles range, it's a garunteed 2nd car for 99% of all households.

With 300 miles range, the only thing keeping EVs from being an only car for ~40% of the population that takes long trips each year would be lack of quick charge infrastructure for long distance trips, which can be built and has been proven not only in the laboratory, but in public demonstrations(ie. Mitsubishi's electric FTO driven 1,250 miles in a 24 hour period including time spent stopping to charge).

Quote:
Throw a couple of solar panels on the roof, and we can kiss the oil barons goodby.
That's why we don't have EVs today.

Gasoline for automobiles is ~40% of America's oil consumption. To eliminate that would piss the oilies off to high hell. They want to keep making money, and to bring less money from consumer to oil industry is something they frown on.

The auto industry is also opposed. No tune ups, no oil changes, no maintenance, no pistons, no belts, no pulleys. One moving part in a DC electric motor, ZERO moving parts in an AC electric motor. Electric motors also last over 500,000 miles. Less money goes from consumer to auto industry, so auto industry frowns on it.

The government is also opposed. The G8 nations made more money on oil tax revenue than did OPEC. Less money goes from taxpayers to politicians, and thus politicians frown on it.

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I believe the important thing to note about these cars is that the average commute is 20 miles. Most EVs have at least a 50 mile range. This leaves PLENTY of time to recharge at night time.
Recharging at night is part of the appeal. Takes 10 seconds to plug in, 10 seconds to unplug, and you'll never need to stop anywhere for fuel.

And that 50 miles is from building an EV with inefficient motors, cheap golf cart batteries, and converting an unaerodynamic car not originally meant to be an EV.

A purpose built car using the same components used in today's conversions, DC motor, golf cart batteries, could easily do 100-120 miles range.

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Used solely as a commuter vehicle, EVs would be perfect. Keep that gas hog in the garage for road trips.
With today's technology and proper infrastructure for quick charging, gas is obsolete.
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Old 03-31-2006, 06:31 AM   #14
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Batteries

Ovonics has competition from other battery makers now. Valence Technologies is making big golf-cart sized lithium batteries today, and a French company called Saft also makes big NiMH bateries. It's only a matter of time before electric cars are a reality.

I also think solar cars, or solar assisted cars are on the horizon. Certainly, 200 watts of solar panels in a sunny parking lot for 10 hours would be enough to drive you home 20 miles.
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Old 03-31-2006, 10:03 AM   #15
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Valence is unable to produce

Valence is unable to produce their batteries in volume enough to bring prices down to the levels Ovonics could, nor do they come near Ovonics batteries in specific power. I have no idea what their cycle life is(tested by a third party, not valence), while the Ovonics have repeatedly shown cycle lifes between 1,500 and 2,000 in fleet applications to 100%. 3 million miles of vehicle use and like 6 total module failures used by Southern California Edison.

Further, SAFT is unwilling to produce their NiCds and NiMH in sufficient volume because their previous customers, Renault and Peugeot, are no longer making the few hundred EVs a year they were making. A few hundrd cars was enough volume to bring prices down to ~$500/kWh, to be viable, we need like $250/kWh and below, and that will take 10,000+ cars per year. Further, SAFT has even better technology that they're yet unwilling to offer because they want to milk their NiCd for all they are worth, and without anyone else making viable NiCd or NiMH(or NiMH not regulated by Chevron Texaco), prices can stay high.

Electric cars will never become a reality unless the oil industry and auto industry are basically told to go **** themselves. The technology has been around for nearly a decade, yet even in light of $3/gallon gas, peak oil, a war arguably motivated by oil, rampant human rights abuses on part of the industry, the American Lung Association concluding air pollution prematurely kills more than 50,000 Americans a year, all sorts of taxpayer oil subsidies, and massive unmet demand for EVs, we still don't have highway capable EVs on the market.

I doubt we will have them on the market even if gas hits $10/gallon or god forbid, the stations are dry. Look at Europe with $8/gallon. At under anywhere from $.80-$1.50/gallon(depending on car), most EVs tend to be cheaper to run than gas cars, even factoring battery replacement, but still none are for sale.

Don't expect the mainstream industry and/or government to make these changes for us. They've not only surpressed the technology, they've repeatedly failed to implement it.

Mitsubishi and Subaru are just now throwing a few token attempts out, none of them intended for the American market, and none of them serious long range attempts. Further, these companies will only do it if the Japanese government subsidizes them to keep profit margins equivalent to IC cars(Take away the subsidies and they'd still be profitable, just not as much).

The last barrier to overcome with EVs now is politics. And that is the hardest problem to overcome.
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Old 03-31-2006, 10:17 AM   #16
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very detailed toecutter

very detailed toecutter thank you! Now it gives me a second chance to think if I should be still refueling at Chevron gas or not...

damn all gas companies are evil ;(
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:31 AM   #17
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LOL toecutter!

I think I touched a raw nerve, toecutter! Sorry.

I don't know much about Saft, but a brief update on Valence Technologies is in order. Valence smartened up and built two battery manufaturing plants in China. They will make automotive-size batteries there.

This is smart because:

-China has little or no oil, and would love to produce vehicles that don't need (much) fuel.

-China would love to export inexpensive batteries just like everything else they make.

-Finally, Hydro Quebec has filed a (frivoulous, I think ) lawsuit against Valence for patent infringement. I think China will tell HQ to pound sand and make the batteries, even if the patent suit is upheld.
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:50 AM   #18
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Quote:Now it gives me a

Quote:
Now it gives me a second chance to think if I should be still refueling at Chevron gas or not...

damn all gas companies are evil ;(
What is especially disturbing is that many of the people working for these companies have good intentions, yet the execs and other upper management help screw everything up.

Really, what choices do you have?

Buy from Chevron and you're helping surpress technological developments, encouraging ecocide, supporting human rights violations in the middle east, supporting mid east oil dependeancy, and supporting the crony sort of capitalism(Do some research on Condi Rice).

Buy from Shell, and you're helping to rob Nigerians, helping fund a greenwashing campaign for a dirty substance, and helping the oil company aquire even more patents on solar technology so they can hold it back only to slowly ration it out when required...

Buy from Exxon and you're helping to encourage global warming, inadequate cleanup of spilled tankers, and deforestation(at least more so than the other companies) and helping support fascist dictators in third world nations.

Buy from Citgo, and you're supporting a regime that is hostile to the US(regardless of the fairness of their intentions, or the lack of it as oppined by those of a worldview nearly the inverse of mine). The upside is, none of Citgo's oil is from the middle east.

To some extent, you're supporting terrorism with every fillup, and I'm not talking about the paranoid neocon view of terrorism, but even that committed by said companies themselves and our own government as well.

Personally, I'm more of a Citgo and Quicktrip kind of buyer. They're the most palateable as far as my own politics and environmental concerns lie, but their intentions aren't necessarily good, either. They do seek profit after all, and like any oil company, aren't afraid to kill others, erode civil liberties, or destroy our environment to make that extra dollar. I'll be sticking with them until the EV is finished. Then that will be the end of oil use for my transportation needs, hopefully permanently. A shame mass transit is so lacking here, I hate car dependence.
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Old 03-31-2006, 12:03 PM   #19
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Quote:I think I touched a

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I think I touched a raw nerve, toecutter! Sorry.
No need to apologize. I don't bite.

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I don't know much about Saft, but a brief update on Valence Technologies is in order. Valence smartened up and built two battery manufaturing plants in China. They will make automotive-size batteries there.

This is smart because:

-China has little or no oil, and would love to produce vehicles that don't need (much) fuel.

-China would love to export inexpensive batteries just like everything else they make.

-Finally, Hydro Quebec has filed a (frivoulous, I think ) lawsuit against Valence for patent infringement. I think China will tell HQ to pound sand and make the batteries, even if the patent suit is upheld.
Making lithium batteries in China is very smart because they literally have enough lithium for 10s of millions of EVs on top of other consumer applications.

However, China's government wants to maximize economic growth, and is supporting car dependency and the internal combustion engine to increase consumer spending. This is why they have been trying to ban electric bicycles and scooters. They want people dependent on expensive gas and an expensive-to-maintain IC engine because it grows the economy with the increased spending.

Needless to say, those not wealthy enough for middle class luxuries like automobiles are NOT amused!

It wouldn't surprise me if their government would foolishly fight electric automobiles, even though they could kill the gasoline powered competition if exported overseas. Imagine that, 5 years from now, China's auto industry has grown at the same rate of today and nearly doubled in size. Enter an EV, that makes roughly 1/5 the profit, still profitable, just not as much. Less revenue for the execs and bureaucrats, so of course they will try to maintain the fossil fueled status quo at all costs! An electric automobile just won't generate the profit a gas one will, and won't encourage near the resource consumption and subsequent economic growth it causes.

Problem is, many of the world's resources we use to have our technology-intensive lifestyle are finite. We will either decide to conserve starting now, or save none for future generations leaving them with a destroyed environment. What will it be, profits or people? Our 'leaders' have made their decision, will we ever get to make ours?
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Old 03-31-2006, 12:30 PM   #20
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Hopes....

All I can say is that I hope you're wrong about a conspiracy in China. And for that matter, America.

Electric cars aren't rocket science now. AT LEAST ONE car major car company ought to build them.......Toyota and Honda could easily modify Prius and Civic hybrids to all-electric.

But will they?
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