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Making Electric Vehicles work!


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#1 mrdave

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 14:19

There are lots of different ways to make a car go, but one way that is starting to be used again is electricity. There are lots of inherent problems with using electricity as a power source, including range problems. What solutions could you guys think of that could help rectify this?

I will start the ball rolling by suggesting that all batterys are standized, so when a battery runs out you could go to (the equivalent of a petrol station), and swap it for a fully charged one. You would pay some sort rolling contract to ensure that there is a readly available stock, fully charged, ready at your convinence for use.

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#2 gruntguru

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:37

Standardisation across brands is something that folks yearn for, years after it is too late.

#3 desmo

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:59

Makes too much real sense. Just like standard battery sizes used to be expected in electronic devices. Makes better commercial sense to have a proprietary design that only you can supply. Businesses aren't about rationally supplying what the customer wants; they are about maximizing profit. You can always rationalize it as packaging constrained or necessary because your superior technology demands it :lol:

#4 Magoo

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:54

You do not want batteries standardized now. Way too early on the production and cost learning curves when things are still evolving. This is not the time to bake in the form factor, cost, active functions, etc. Like we might currently have a laser weld in the cell top where in the next production cycle we can use friction welding. Or turn up better/easier/cheaper thermal limiting.

Or you could look at it this way: on a BEV or Plug-in, the cost of the battery pack represents a significant portion of the cost of the vehicle. If you freeze the battery now, in effect you freeze the list price of the vehicle less commodity cost. Not the way to go. The price will come screaming down as we ramp up over the toe of the experience curve.

#5 gruntguru

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:24

As long as the major players put their heads together at each stage of the process and agree on an some level of interchangeability in the format. Some examples that have worked reasonably well would be
- CD evolving to DVD then Blu Ray (LaserDisc missed the boat)
- SD memory card. Micro SD is compatible via an adapter cradle. Olympus tried to do their own thing with XD memory but they are already making SD compatible cameras so XD will probably disappear.



#6 mrdave

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:06

How about extending the range using an on board generation system.

Looking at the generator proportion of the Toyota Synergy drive it appears to be heavy and complicated
http://en.wikipedia....i/Synergy_Drive

However the Honda Integrated Motor Assist seems more compact but less powerful
http://en.wikipedia....ed_Motor_Assist

I quite like the idea of using other methods like wind power to generate power. After all the car is going to be moving alot of the time and if it is possile to harness some of the power from the passing air this help extend the range of the EV.

#7 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:35

Bit of blue sky thinking; I think some kind of electrified road with near field electricity which powers the motor directly or passively charges the batteries would be a better solution then you never have to stop to recharge. Suck on that diesel!

#8 mrdave

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:01

Bit of blue sky thinking; I think some kind of electrified road with near field electricity which powers the motor directly or passively charges the batteries would be a better solution then you never have to stop to recharge. Suck on that diesel!


Some one clearly has played too much with scalextric!!

Good idea but...

I do like the jet engine idea on the Jaguar C-X75 concept car. Would be more efficent then just wind turbines (damn Betz' law!)

#9 saudoso

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 13:04

I quite like the idea of using other methods like wind power to generate power. After all the car is going to be moving alot of the time and if it is possile to harness some of the power from the passing air this help extend the range of the EV.


So you will use electric power to push the car and then a wind turbine on it's top to generate electricity from the headwind?

That sounds a lot like a perpetual motion machine to me.

#10 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 14:34

So you will use electric power to push the car and then a wind turbine on it's top to generate electricity from the headwind?

That sounds a lot like a perpetual motion machine to me.


The drag caused by the device that is generating the electricity would outweigh the power generated.You would be effectively using extra power from the cars engine to turn the generator that the turbine was attached to.

#11 mrdave

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 14:52

The drag caused by the device that is generating the electricity would outweigh the power generated.You would be effectively using extra power from the cars engine to turn the generator that the turbine was attached to.


Even with a venturi?

Is there any way of making these cars go a bit further on a single charge? How about Solar panals on a targa roof/bonnet/boot?



#12 Kalmake

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 19:54

Even with a venturi?

Is there any way of making these cars go a bit further on a single charge? How about Solar panals on a targa roof/bonnet/boot?


Some EVs have a panel but the extra range is less than a kilometer.

#13 saudoso

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 22:10

The drag caused by the device that is generating the electricity would outweigh the power generated.You would be effectively using extra power from the cars engine to turn the generator that the turbine was attached to.



That's what I meant...

#14 Rasputin

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:05

...
After all the car is going to be moving alot of the time and if it is possile to harness some of the power from the passing air this help extend the range of the EV.


You are joking right?

The problem is still the limited storage, weight and cost of the batteries. To get an idea of this, a Tesla-battery holds 56 kWh, weighs 450 kg and costs an arm and a leg.

60 liters of gasoline contains 560 kWh, weighs 45 kg and will cost you less than 100 EUR. How much is 560 kWh of electricity where you live, about the same I would think?

In other words, the "energy density", is 100 times higher in gasoline than in the Tesla-battery at approximately the same cost for a refill, think about it.

Edited by Rasputin, 11 November 2012 - 06:09.


#15 gruntguru

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:31

Even with a venturi?

You need to talk to Feliks (Andrew)about one of his "special" wind venturis that bypasses both Betz's law and the first law of thermodynamics.

#16 Magoo

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:24

Two tricks to getting maximum range out of the current electric vehicles:

1. Whenever possible, keep road speed below aero significant, say around 25 mph or so (increases as sq to the speed).

2. Use as much regen braking and as little friction braking as possible. (Drive very smoothly, anticipating traffic and avoiding sudden stops.)

So it's a lot like economy driving with gasoline in technique. It's not terribly difficult to beat the published range specs -- all it takes is patience and discipline.


#17 Greg Locock

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:06

I will start the ball rolling by suggesting that all batterys are standized, so when a battery runs out you could go to (the equivalent of a petrol station), and swap it for a fully charged one. You would pay some sort rolling contract to ensure that there is a readly available stock, fully charged, ready at your convinence for use.

I think you might be able to find a Better Place for this proposal. http://en.wikipedia....ki/Better_Place

Sadly it turns out that the horrible mechanical side of plugging in standardised battery packs into existing cars holus bolus has defeated them commercially, so they are now just bulk purveyors of fossil fuelled electrons. The big thing they never really got to grips with was how to supply huge armfuls of electricity to the battery swap station, basically it either needed a monstrous electrical sub station, or large trucks delivering pallets of batteries. The automated installation of batteries into cars just needed a bit of nous, their design was a bit by guess and by god compared with an assembly line where that sort of stuff is done for real money (the problem is directly analogous to stuffing subframes into cars, which is done once or twice a minute on assembly lines all over the world).



#18 Wolf

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 16:18

I'm no expert in electricity, but wasn't there something like induction brake used ages ago- devised along the lines that a metal disk spinning in a magnetic field will have vortex electricity induced in it, causing torque resisting its movement (a potential benefit is there isn't a contact, so presumably very low wear). For this purpose- say, a diff mounted metal rotor(s) and an 'oversized' permanent magnet 'caliper' that will be used to slow the rotor, and the batteries (or capacitors) can be charged with superflous part of the induced electricity (relative to the traction budget). IMHO, it would easily incorporate ABS and make it very efficient at the same time.

#19 Grumbles

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 21:15

...so they are now just bulk purveyors of fossil fuelled electrons.


That's a wonderfully pithy description. And so it follows that EV's are simply vehicles powered by fossil fueled electrons, stored in ridiculously heavy containers. No doubt electric is the future - after all there are other sources of electricity besides fossil fuels - but the containers simply aren't there yet.


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#20 Grumbles

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 21:22

I'm no expert in electricity, but wasn't there something like induction brake used ages ago- devised along the lines that a metal disk spinning in a magnetic field will have vortex electricity induced in it, causing torque resisting its movement (a potential benefit is there isn't a contact, so presumably very low wear). For this purpose- say, a diff mounted metal rotor(s) and an 'oversized' permanent magnet 'caliper' that will be used to slow the rotor, and the batteries (or capacitors) can be charged with superflous part of the induced electricity (relative to the traction budget). IMHO, it would easily incorporate ABS and make it very efficient at the same time.


An eddie-current retarder? These are sometimes used in trucks, but seeing as EV's already have regenerative braking built in I can't see the advantage of adding a retarder. And because these are dynamic devices you'd still need friction brakes or something similar to bring the vehicle to a complete stop and hold it stationary.


#21 Wolf

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 21:37

You have a point Grumbles, about them being dynamic devices (actually, it was a bit of D'oh moment for me... why didn't I remember it), but with a 2WD vehicle one could mount it on non-driven wheels (if one does it the right way and has RWD, friction brakes at the front would waste most of the energy from braking, so this could come in handy).

#22 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 21:59

Electric vehicles are no more practical now than decades ago, a bit faster ofcourse but so are everything else.
Practical for short range slow speed driving, quiet and smooth. But comparitivly slow. AND they all need recharging from the mains, the batterys weigh a lot, and have both accident and disposal issues and they will never have a practical range for normal motoring.And with rapidly rising electricity costs are less practical than ever.
Meaning you have your commuter EV, providing you do not commute too far,, and then a normal vehicle to go on holiday, go visit the folks a 100 mile away etc. Running costs will probably be similar. Practical? I think not.
And ofcourse the Top Gear test proved the economy of a Prius, V8 BMW v Prius on their test track and the BMW used less petrol!!

#23 gruntguru

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 03:14

. . . . never . . . . . . .

????????

#24 Fondles

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 19:45

FWIW some improvements in battery technology should make them as good as a tank of petrol.

Summary: Scientists in South Korea say new development cuts down recharging time to between 1/30 and 1/120 of existing lithium-ion batteries and could boost uptake of electric vehicles when developed.

South Korean scientists have developed a new material for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that they say could cut charging time down significantly and prove a boon for electric vehicles.

According to Yonhap News Agency's report on Monday, a group of scientists from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, who were funded by the country's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, has gone beyond conventional rechargeable battery technology.

Conventional batteries use powdered nanoparticle materials to form a dense, multi-layered structure that can store and give off energy, it noted. The new battery will use the same nanoparticle materials, but these will be in the form of a solution that contains graphite which will later carbonize to form a dense network of conductors throughout the electrodes of the battery, the ministry stated in the report.

Now, all the electrodes of the battery will be able to recharge simultaneously whereas conventional batteries' electrodes can be charged starting from the outermost particles in. This cuts down charging time for the new battery to between 1/30 and 1/120 of existing rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, the ministry added.

"The research is especially remarkable in that it overcame limitations of existing lithium-ion batteries. We will further move closer to developing a new secondary battery for electric cars that can be fully recharged in less than a minute," said Cho Jae-phil, a professor at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, in the report.

The scientists' research paper was published earlier in August in the international edition of the weekly journal Angewandte Chemie, it added.


http://www.zdnet.com...ery-7000002577/

And another development has improved the energy density by a factor of three.

They discovered that by crushing the film, the resulting powder had a surface area 50 times that of regular crushed silicon. The result is an anode material that can hold a charge of 1,000 milliamp hours per gram compared to graphite anodes, which store 350 mAh/g – and that's only a third of its theoretical capacity.


http://www.gizmag.co...-battery/24885/

If the two were able to be used in unison, that would make them at least equal to the performance of a petrol engine & petrol combination.
Now that's something to get excited about.

#25 desmo

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 20:11

Given the cubic @#$%tons of money being poured into battery research it's probably only a matter of (a short) time before electric cars are fully competitive with HC powered ones in terms of both "refueling" and range. The very survival of the car as we know it probably depends on both that and a huge investment in renewable energy infrastructures being built. It simply can't go on the way it is now.

#26 gruntguru

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 23:53

If the two were able to be used in unison, that would make them at least equal to the performance of a petrol engine & petrol combination.

Never. :)

#27 Greg Locock

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:11

Oh I think the key word there is "If"

The history of electric batteries is chock full of researchers claiming all sorts of garbage. However, a factor of three over LiPoly in all dimensions (ie three times the capacity/kg, power/kg and recharge time) would pretty much make EVs useful to most people.



#28 MatsNorway

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 16:27

http://www.gensace.c...bjectID=3648284

Edited by MatsNorway, 13 November 2012 - 16:27.


#29 Hyatt

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 12:52

Given the cubic @#$%tons of money being poured into battery research it's probably only a matter of (a short) time before electric cars are fully competitive with HC powered ones in terms of both "refueling" and range.


All this research brought nothing but promises ... i dont expect any jump in batter energy density in the next years ...

#30 carlt

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 13:52

All this research brought nothing but promises ... i dont expect any jump in batter energy density in the next years ...

just like with PC's , Cell Phones , battery power tools etc - no change there in the past 20 yrs either --

Supply and demand springs to mind

#31 Hyatt

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 13:58

Supply and demand springs to mind


I fear its not a matter of this ... technology is simply unable to provide anything better than what we currently have ...

Edited by Hyatt, 15 November 2012 - 14:04.


#32 Tony Matthews

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 14:02

just like with PC's , Cell Phones , battery power tools etc - no change there in the past 20 yrs either --

Except that my lithium-ion Makita tools are infinitely better than the early Ni-Cad ones. The batteries are lighter, last three times as long and recharge in 20 minutes rather than several hours. Yep, I know that sounds like the advertising bumf, but it is my genuine, extensive experience.

#33 MatsNorway

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 16:11

Yup. Main issue when this forum discusses say batteries is that we got few with electro as a field.

I got nothing but i support Tony in the simple observation about Nickel batteries vs lipo.

You can recharge the more expensive lipo batteries really really quick. and be out racing again in no time. vs the old nickel dick.. batteries that needed a hour break or something or they would crystalise.

Edited by MatsNorway, 15 November 2012 - 16:11.


#34 carlt

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 18:07

Tony- I thought you got sarcasm ?

#35 Tony Matthews

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 20:04

Oops! It must have been too subtle for me!

#36 Magoo

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 13:47

Oops! It must have been too subtle for me!


to whoever it was who originally put the b in subtle: well done.

#37 Tony Matthews

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 14:14

Like f in wheelbarrow.

#38 Rasputin

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 18:34

The funny thing with all this "alternative" stuff, electric cars, windmills, solar-cells and what not, is that the technology-breakthrough is always just around the corner.

"We only need these tax-breaks and those gazillions of subsidies, you'll see, promise, hand on heart!"

#39 desmo

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 20:40

Actually all of it-- "electric cars, windmills, solar-cells and what not"-- work pretty much sufficiently well right now with existing technologies and could feasibly be scaled up to do essentially everything presently done with HC fuels. The barriers to wider adoption are more political and economic than technological. The status quo is obviously massively subsidized, but people don't see that because they've been enured to paying those structural subsidies. Aside from the massive direct subsidies the energy sector enjoys in the US in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars per annum are spent to do little more than act as a taxpayer subsidized security force for those tax dodging multinational energy companies. You could build a lot of working renewable infrastructure for that. Before long in fact enough so those energy companies and all the subsidies they require would become superfluous.

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#40 gruntguru

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:54

I fear its not a matter of this ... technology is simply unable to provide anything better than what we currently have ...

and you have been trumpeting this for . . . . . how long?

#41 Rasputin

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:47

I just read about the new Toyota Prius+. The lithium-ion battery holds 4.4 kWh of energy, is good for 20 km (13 miles), weighs 80 kg (230 lb) and is charged in 90 minutes from 230V.

The electric motor is 60 kW (80 Hp), but if you use all that your battery will last only some 4 minutes, the 20 km range is based on 22 kW (30 Hp) at 100 km/h (62 mph) on the highway.

The car itself is about 40 000 Euro.

#42 J. Edlund

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 21:07

A standard replaceable battery isn’t the solution to anything. Given the significantly different requirements between car models the battery would at best be a very poor compromise that doesn’t work well anywhere. Not to mention the added cost of removable battery designs and battery replacement stations, incl. the cost of their battery inventory stock. Add this to the fact that manufacturers are still improving their batteries and vehicle systems and a standard battery would restrict further development. For instance, manufacturers have reduced component costs by increasing battery voltage. Such development would not be possible with a standard battery pack. It would also be difficult to try different battery chemistries, different cell types and many other things with a standard replaceable pack.

Tesla chose a battery built up from thousands of 18650 cells using lithium cobaltate chemistry simply because these were energy dense and commercially available, often found in laptop computers. But to assemble batteries from thousands of small cylindrical 18650 cells is hardly an ideal solution, and while the lithium cobaltate chemistry is energy dense, it is also unstable and requires expensive raw materials like cobalt.

I think buyers of battery electric vehicles need to accept the restrictions that come with the battery electric vehicle, or simply buy a plug in hybrid instead. After all, the fuel used by the plug in hybrids engine doesn’t have to be any more fossil than the electricity used to charge it.

Eddy current brakes create heat by induction, not electricity. They are often found on trains, and are also used for engine dynamometers. If you want to produce electricity for regenerative braking you simply use the traction motors as generators. But friction brakes would still be required.


All this research brought nothing but promises ... i dont expect any jump in batter energy density in the next years ...


Well, as a GM engineer put it, "liar, liar, battery supplier".

Anyway, a large bump in the energy density of lithium ion batteries seem unlikely given that these have been commercially available since the late eighties and already offer a capacity that is quite good compared to the theoretical maximum the chemistry can offer.

But cost and battery life is probably more critical than energy density. Battery life is a challenge when you charge the battery fully and then discharge it deeply like with a battery electric car. Manufacturers of hybrids have avoided that problem by keeping the battery state of charge in a very limited range during use.

#43 mrdave

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 13:20

I just found this on wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia..../Buckeye_Bullet

An electric car the holds the electric powered land speed record.
Note on the Buckeye Bullet 1 it was powered by C-Cell batteries!!

#44 Magoo

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 13:36

I just found this on wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia..../Buckeye_Bullet

An electric car the holds the electric powered land speed record.
Note on the Buckeye Bullet 1 it was powered by C-Cell batteries!!


I've met these kids -- undergrads and graduate students at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Impressive group. Their outfit is called the Center for Automotive Research, not to be confused with the organization of the same name at the University of Michigan run by David Cole. These guys and girls also did the hydrogen fuel cell car that went 200 mph at Bonneville a few years ago.

Edited by Magoo, 19 November 2012 - 13:36.


#45 bigleagueslider

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:57

There are lots of different ways to make a car go, but one way that is starting to be used again is electricity. There are lots of inherent problems with using electricity as a power source, including range problems. What solutions could you guys think of that could help rectify this?


First of all, the biggest current hurdle facing commercial EVs is not the fact that their propulsion motors require electrical power, it's that there is not yet any practical way to store and deliver all of the electrical power needed on-board the vehicle. Batteries and fuel cell technologies are still nowhere close to being good enough to fully displace the IC recip engine.

If I knew of a practical solution for solving the electrical power storage problems with EVs, I would be a very rich man.


#46 Rasputin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:42

First of all, the biggest current hurdle facing commercial EVs is not the fact that their propulsion motors require electrical power, it's that there is not yet any practical way to store and deliver all of the electrical power needed on-board the vehicle. Batteries and fuel cell technologies are still nowhere close to being good enough to fully displace the IC recip engine.

If I knew of a practical solution for solving the electrical power storage problems with EVs, I would be a very rich man.

Not only that, remember one liter of old-fashioned gasoline holds 10 kWh of energy, while not even a Tesla stores more than 50-something, what if you would invent a battery with 10 times the capacity?

You still need the time to charge it.

If you stop at a gas station to fill up 60 liters of gas in what, a minute and a half, that's 600 kWh in 90 seconds, which translates to 24 MW! There's simply no electrical charging system to emulate that.

Edited by Rasputin, 24 November 2012 - 10:43.


#47 Greg Locock

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:02

If I knew of a practical solution for solving the electrical power storage problems with EVs, I would be a very rich man.


Actually there is one familiar to every 9 year old boy, and it isn't as crazy as it sounds. Slot car technology for freeways. Batteries for round town.

#48 Rasputin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:12

Actually there is one familiar to every 9 year old boy, and it isn't as crazy as it sounds. Slot car technology for freeways. Batteries for round town.

Yes it is.

#49 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:15

Actually there is one familiar to every 9 year old boy, and it isn't as crazy as it sounds. Slot car technology for freeways. Batteries for round town.


This is what I was getting at earlier but without the slots. We can already charge lithium ion batteries in mobile phones with contactless technology, in the future it should be possible to wirelessly charge road cars whilst they are driving along through magnetics in the road surface. Imagine if the all motorways/highways had this technology allowing battery powered cars to run indefinitely for longer trips then when 'off-grid' on smaller local routes you are limited to the battery and stationary charging points.

#50 Magoo

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 14:24

This is what I was getting at earlier but without the slots. We can already charge lithium ion batteries in mobile phones with contactless technology, in the future it should be possible to wirelessly charge road cars whilst they are driving along through magnetics in the road surface. Imagine if the all motorways/highways had this technology allowing battery powered cars to run indefinitely for longer trips then when 'off-grid' on smaller local routes you are limited to the battery and stationary charging points.


I was in on a project led by MIT involving inductive charging at stop lights and parking lots. It's do-able but not very efficient at this moment.

I think a lot of the electric car problem depends on which end of the telescope you choose to look through. The 11 kWh in a Chevy Volt's battery pack seems like a puny quantity of energy if you have been spoiled by gasoline and have become accustomed to the luxury of doing everything in the grandest, sloppiest, and least efficient way possible, which is the history of the auto industry to date, more or less. How else do you describe a 4000 lb, 400 hp monster to take one 90 lb lady to work. Gasoline is wonderful, magical stuff, to be sure. It makes this silliness appear to make sense from some angles.

But if you look at 11 kWh in a more objective way, it's a hell of a lot of energy. Enough to operate a family-sized refrigerator for more than a month, for example.

Edited by Magoo, 24 November 2012 - 14:28.