Author Topic: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf  (Read 59550 times)

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Offline free_electron

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[Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« on: September 28, 2013, 08:14:25 pm »
Right.. where to begin.. Take a chair for this one. Actually don't take a chair , you will fall off..

So, today was plug-in day. I want to the De Anza gathering of electric plug-in vehicleowners and manufacturers. Many a manufacturer, dealer and owner was there.
I mozy over to the Nissan Leaf stand and am approached by one of their reps. They flaunt and toot all about how eco friendly it is, how you are no longer dependent on oil, how much cheaper it is in usage than a regular car etc.
So i ask the question everyone want  to have an answer to: What is its operational radius?

Here is what follows: (N=nissan , FE = me )
N: 85 to 100 miles on a charge
FE. Ok.. So. I live here in an Jose and want to go for a little trip to Carmel. About 75 mile one way. You mean i can't get home ? Can i even get there as it's uphill over the santa cruz mountains ?
N: Well you plug it in over there to charge.
FE. Well, how long does it take ?
N: about 8 hours
Fe: so going for lunch, stay 2 hours and come back is out of the question then ...
N: Well yeah, but how many times do you do this a year ?
FE : about 10 times ... sometimes i drive to monterey to buy fresh fish off the boats and come straight back... 150 miles roundtrip.
N: well , in that case you use your other car.
FE: ... ?!? what do you mean your 'other' car ? you expect me to buy TWO cars now ? What if my other car ( assuming he ment my wife's ) is also electric ?
N: well , nissan has a program where you can rent a car for the day or weekend from the dealer.
FE:  <jaw dropping> now you want me to RENT a car ? I just bought a new car ... and what's that rental going to be ?
N: one of our standard gasoline cars
FE:  :palm:  ARE YOU INSANE ? you just touted how eco friendly the damn thing is and the first thing i want to do with it can't be done and you tell me you'll happily rent me gasoline powered one ? Where is your damn logic ? What's this thing run on anyway ? double A batteries ? Put some batteries in that thing. Lithium ion cells are about a 1$ a pop in mass quantity. A battery pack like tesla's has about 6000 in em, throw in some electronics and a charger and you end up at a cost of 10K for the battery pack. inverter and motor and a chassis (speaking about a compact car like the leaf), strip all the exuberant luxury and you can sell it at 35K and make 7K profit. I'll give you a check right here and now for one. But no you want me to buy not only your crap car but also a second , gasoline powered car. this effectively more than doubles the price of the Leaf ( cost of the leaf + cost of a gasoline powered car) and i am still tied to gasoline. What do you take me for ? an idiot ?

At this point the N guy got really upset with me and walked away. Some people that were behind me listening to my argument also turned around and walked away. One guy told me: You got a very valid point there... they obviously ain't ready.

I went to look at others , Coda ( now bankrupt) , BMW E vehicle, Toyota , Chevrolet. It's everywhere the same story. 65 to 100 mile on a charge. They are INSANE...

I signed up at the Tesla stand for a testdrive, which i got to do 15 minutes later. Now that was an experience. That thing just peed all over any other car out there, whether electric or not. There is no 'range anxiety', it charges half in 22 minutes, you can swap a battery in 1 minute and 20 seconds, it's got more luxury than top Mercedes or BMW cars and it accelerates faster than many a supercar. It is absolute fun to drive. Nerdvana.

If i look at the cost of a Nissan Leaf + the cost of a second gas car to cover the range problems , i end up at the price of a base Tesla ...

No thanks Nissan. You can stick that leaf where you want it... Your car is a failure, your arguments are a failure, and the fact that you had to recommend me owning or renting a backup gasoline car car was the proverbial nail in the coffin... Heck i couldn't even drive to San francisco and back on a charge..

Note: The line of people waiting to get a testdrive in the tesla was 3 times as long as the line of any other car maker...


« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 08:16:14 pm by free_electron »
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Offline zapta

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 08:35:46 pm »
If your motivation is avoid the global warming catastrophe you should play this video before investing in an electric car.

http://capitolrecord.tvw.org/2013/03/senators-hear-testimony-from-global-warming-skeptic/#.UhrFqWR4Z05

A friend at work has a Tesla and he loves it. Very impressive car indeed, though heavily subsidized directly and indirectly (free electricity charging at work, access carpool lane, etc). 

As for fan driving, 0-60mph on straight line is one thing, handling to curves on the way to Mount Hamilton is another. I doubt ithat theTesla S will catch up with this mid engine two seater (not mine) which costs less
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Offline johansen

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 08:45:00 pm »
i've wondered how its possible to get 30% efficiency (diesel to electricity) from a robin 3KW diesel genset

yet car companies can't do it with a 50HP gas engine.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 08:46:23 pm »
Not to mention the total lack of charging stations. Around here there are stations at places like Ikea or Whole Foods. But if you aren't out buying new furniture or expensive groceries, then you're SOL I guess. Oh, and the soccer moms have all figured out that you won't get towed for parking in a charging space (unlike handicapped reserved spaces), so the Ikea and WF charging stations usually have a damned Suburban or Escalade parked there already :--
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 08:47:16 pm »
you gotta be crazy driving up Mt ham at that speed especially in the fog... that road gives me the jitters even on a clear sunny day !
Besides i am not a speed freak. i just want a nice (electric car) with the same range as a gas powered one...

I fi were in that dude's car around the 3 minute mark as he is flying across the single lane with the steep dropoff to the right .. he'd have to get his seats replaced... and i'd need a new pair of pants .. i HATE heights ,especially when there is no railing. i wont get on a 3 step ladder... 2 is as far as i'm willing to go. i get dizzy if i need to change a lightbulb in the ceiling ...

And the noise of that porshe is deafening. haven't those guys heard about exhaust mufflers ? bunch of loud obnoxious rattlers. Noise pollution is pollution too.

anyway, got an appointment tomorrow at the Tesla manufacturing plant...
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 08:51:47 pm by free_electron »
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 09:00:48 pm »
That was a day without much news :)

Tesla struggles with pretty much the same issues like anyone else, which is current battery tech and the related chicken-and-egg problem of needing a dense network of battery replacement stations to make the e-car a mass product.

Correct me if i am wrong, but it appears that Tesla doesn't have much other revenue streams than selling the e-car. In which case it makes perfectly sense for them to  push the e-car technology much further than other car companies. But even Tesla cars are far from being comparable to the usability and convenience of petrol cars. Except perhaps if you live within these few special square miles on our planet which are equipped with Tesla recharge stations, and if you can tolerate supercharger stations that need a whopping 20 minutes to fill just half the battery.

If you can't advance battery technology substantially, and you still want to make e-cars a mass product replacing the petrol car, you will need to standardize a battery swapping system. Which not only requires close collaboration among the industry partners/regulators/Santa Clause, but will also concern car construction (especially safety/crashworthiness). Understandable, that car companies (and the whole pack of suppliers behind them) are reluctant to make big, risky steps.

I believe as soon as the development of dense country-wide/global infrastructure of battery replacement stations has been sorted out (or batteries becoming an energy carrier as capable as gas), many car manufacturers will catch up fast as the revenue potential will outweigh the risks.

But when will this happen?
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 09:04:54 pm »
Not to mention the total lack of charging stations. Around here there are stations at places like Ikea or Whole Foods. But if you aren't out buying new furniture or expensive groceries, then you're SOL I guess. Oh, and the soccer moms have all figured out that you won't get towed for parking in a charging space (unlike handicapped reserved spaces), so the Ikea and WF charging stations usually have a damned Suburban or Escalade parked there already :--

I am afraid that current charging technology is too slow to be fit for a mass market dominated by petrol cars that can be filled from empty to full under the nose in a few minutes, while giving you a range unachieved by e-cars. In my opinion, if this cannot be remedied, only battery swapping would be feasible every-day/anytime solution to "refill" your e-car...
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 09:08:28 pm »
And the noise of that porshe is deafening. haven't those guys heard about exhaust mufflers ? bunch of loud obnoxious rattlers. Noise pollution is pollution too.

Isn't that one of the reasons why someone buys such a car? It's made for an "audience"   ;D
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2013, 09:12:12 pm »
I saw a Nisan add for their electric car on the TV they gave a from price and then flashed onto the bottom of the screen is "plus monthly battery lease" no price on that, is the battery so unreliable they wont sell it to you like the Renault one or is it too expensive to include in a price that will make people want to buy.
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2013, 09:21:48 pm »
I saw a Nisan add for their electric car on the TV they gave a from price and then flashed onto the bottom of the screen is "plus monthly battery lease" no price on that, is the battery so unreliable they wont sell it to you like the Renault one or is it too expensive to include in a price that will make people want to buy.

I guess its because of the battery costs.

Just look at the battery options for the Tesla S, for example (in US$, undiscounted, w/o tax credit).
Upgrading the 60kWh battery with a 85kWh model costs a whopping 10K US$.
If you want the P85 85kWh battery (for faster acceleration, which hints at this battery being able to deliver higher current than the "normal" 85kWh battery), you pay an additional 10K US$.

These costs also include other tires and probably other cosmetic changes. I am not sure whether the car models have to be adapted for the different batteries, or if the different batteries can be put in the same car chassis.

Anyhow, this example will give you some idea of the order of magnitude of battery costs...
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 09:26:52 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 09:26:42 pm »
Whoa, they (nissan) didnt tell me about leasing the battery ! If that is true then it is a complete failure.

I don't get it. 6700 liion cells at 1$ a piece plus casing and electronics yields a 10.000 battery. Add a standard compact car chassis and standard outfit (not luxury like the tesla) and a drivetrain. You should be able to mass produce for 20 to25 k and sell at 30 to 35k$. Note that we dont need a super performance battery like for the tesla. We are not building a car that does 0 to 60 in 4 seconds.

Since it would be smaller than the tesla and thus lighter ( the tesla weighs 2 ton) you should easily get 350 miles from a charge.
Tesla can do a battery swap in 1 minute and 20 seconds and their superchargers blast 40 kilowatt/hour in 22 minutes ! (That is a 120 kilowatt / hour charger)

Whay can't other car makers do that ? I see only 3 possibilities
- they are technologically retarded
- they are plain idiots
- it is a conspiracy netween big oil and big car and big dealer

Even if the battery were 20k$ you could still make it for 40k$ and sell it at 45k$ and have no range anxiety.

Take the cost of a small compact car. 18$ retail price. Slap in a 20k tesla battery pack and you have an electric car doing 400 miles on a charge. Sell at 38k$. Done
But no. They make 35k$ toys with 75 miles range...
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 09:36:19 pm by free_electron »
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2013, 09:27:16 pm »
The Tesla has the battery mounted way low which gives it excellent stability. http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1086364_tesla-model-s-so-safe-it-broke-nhtsas-testing-equipment
Quote
According to Tesla, the Model S performed twice as well as other vehicles on the rollover test. As a matter of fact, NHTSA's normal tests couldn't induce the car to flip, so the agency had to resort to "special means". Tesla credits the sedan's battery pack for that, which gives the Model S a very low center of gravity.
A generator (or unloader) trailer would be a great solution for the few long distance trips. For those who regularly travel long distance, a hybrid or even a high MPG conventional car would be a better bet.
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2013, 09:35:30 pm »
Hybrids are bo solution either. The chevrolet volt can do 35 miles on its battery.. And it's game over..
That is laughable..
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2013, 09:50:41 pm »

I don't get it. 6700 liion cells at 1$ a piece plus casing and electronics yields a 10.000 battery. Add a standard compact car chassis and standard outfit (not luxury like the tesla) and a drivetrain. You should be able to mass produce for 20 to25 k and sell at 30 to 35k$. Note that we dont need a super performance battery like for the tesla. We are not building a car that does 0 to 60 in 4 seconds.
I don't think they just slap lithium cells together.
It needs to be temperature controlled (speaking about winter in California, eh ;) )

Joking aside, i can imagine that developing (and certifying) a crash-worthy car battery that doesn't incinerate half the road in case of an accident costs big bucks. Not sure, though, how much of these things are cross-financed by tax-dollars, tax-euros, tax-rmb, tax-won, etc...


Whay can't other car makers do that ? I see only 3 possibilities

I give you a 4th possibility:

The question is not "Why can't they?", the question is rather "Why should they?".
Simplified spoken, the car manufacturers let somebody else take the risk, to reap the success for themselves later.

If what Tesla does proves to be a money maker, car companies will come down like a pack of hyenas to make the big money (there might even be some car manufacturers that want to take over Tesla; but this is just my speculation).

If this moment comes, Tesla will be in a difficult and painful fight. Tesla is lacking global a distribution chain/logistics to sell their cars en-mass (assuming theoretically they could churn out huge amount of cars). Eventually, they will have to partner with an established car company to use their distribution capabilities (and/or manufacturing facilities) -- unless they have backing and protection from their US government (That's why car companies do not really fear technology companies, but rather fear the meddling of governments of countries with strong economies).
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 09:54:09 pm »
Hybrids are bo solution either. The chevrolet volt can do 35 miles on its battery.. And it's game over..
That is laughable..

Let the experts speak:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmxUsGiGp3w#t=0h3m25s

EDIT: The interesting part starts at 03:25.
(It seems the starting time code for the video doesn't work through the forum link.)

Granted, it is somewhat biased, but that's why we love Top Gear, right?
Nevertheless, there is much truth about it...
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 10:01:19 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2013, 10:02:37 pm »
I don't get it. 6700 liion cells at 1$ a piece plus casing and electronics yields a 10.000 battery. Add a standard compact car chassis and standard outfit (not luxury like the tesla) and a drivetrain. You should be able to mass produce for 20 to25 k and sell at 30 to 35k$. Note that we dont need a super performance battery like for the tesla. We are not building a car that does 0 to 60 in 4 seconds.

Since it would be smaller than the tesla and thus lighter ( the tesla weighs 2 ton) you should easily get 350 miles from a charge.
Tesla can do a battery swap in 1 minute and 20 seconds and their superchargers blast 40 kilowatt/hour in 22 minutes ! (That is a 120 kilowatt / hour charger)

Just thought I'd do a ball park sanity check on this.

As a rule of thumb it takes about 1 MJ to propel a car for one mile.

If we say our standard Li-ion cell holds 10 Wh, then 6700 of them would be 67 kWh, or 240 MJ. So ball-park, such a car might have a range of 240 miles on a full charge. More with a light car and gentle driving, less with a heavy car or a heavy right foot.

But how to charge such a beast? Let's suppose you leave it plugged in overnight from 7 pm to 7 am. That's 12 hours, so the charger needs to supply 67/12 = 5.5 kW (call it 6 kW). I guess in fact that's quite feasible with a dedicated 240 V circuit. The tumble dryer socket in my garage is on a 30 A breaker so it could suffice.

One snag with Li-ion is that they will wear out and need replacing after 3 years or so and that's going to be expensive.
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2013, 10:10:08 pm »
One snag with Li-ion is that they will wear out and need replacing after 3 years or so and that's going to be expensive.

But at least the Lithium battery can be mostly recycled.
Whether this will be economically feasible, or patent mongers suffocate the recycling industry is to be seen...
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 10:11:52 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2013, 10:32:41 pm »
FE. Ok.. So. I live here in an Jose and want to go for a little trip to Carmel. About 75 mile one way. You mean i can't get home ? Can i even get there as it's uphill over the santa cruz mountains ?

Well, the conversation ends right there because you are looking at a fully electric car to replace a car that has an entirely different usage scenario.
In that case by a Holden Volt.
Or get a Tesla S that has up to 500km range.

I don't understand people who poo-poo fully electric cars, when at this stage they are suitable only for certain usage scenario. If your usage case does not fit the scenario, then look elsewhere, like Volt with a backup petrol engine.
Yes, fully electric car range is not great at present, but they headed the way of the Tesla Model S, so will get better.
 

Offline tom66

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2013, 10:36:25 pm »
For a car battery which does ~300 miles @ 500 cycles to 80% capacity, then 120,000~150,000 miles is practical for the battery, which isn't too bad for a part which can be recycled. A123 type cells (uh... before bankruptcy) got lower capacity but something like 2,000~5,000 cycles. I could foresee an improvement which makes the battery last just as long as a typical ICE. Considering the reduced servicing costs of an electric car (no ICE) the $12k replacement battery after 8~10 years isn't too bad for a luxury car.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 10:37:57 pm by tom66 »
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2013, 10:41:17 pm »
I don't understand people who poo-poo fully electric cars, when at this stage they are suitable only for certain usage scenario. If your usage case does not fit the scenario, then look elsewhere, like Volt with a backup petrol engine.
Yes, fully electric car range is not great at present, but they headed the way of the Tesla Model S, so will get better.

You are absolutely right. And still, car company marketing wankers try to sell e-cars as "cars" - in the sense of how the general public understands what a car is -, which causes a lot of unjustified but understandable disappointment...


EDIT:

Just go to http://www.nissanusa.com/electric-cars/leaf/features/ to see marketing wanking hard, harder, hardest...

I quote:
"WOULDN’T IT BE COOL IF YOU NEVER HAD TO STOP FOR GAS AGAIN?
The Nissan LEAF® is 100% electric. That means no gas. None. So forget about the cost of a gallon, and say hello to freedom from the pump. Because the only time you’ll be going to the gas station is whenever you need to put air in your tires."


If you consider the time it takes to recharge the thing, marketing was not just wanking but also having a good laugh at the gullible customers...
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 10:51:34 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2013, 10:54:26 pm »
I don't understand people who poo-poo fully electric cars, when at this stage they are suitable only for certain usage scenario.

It's about the economics. My daily driving is about 25 miles, so an electric car would work fine for that. However, about once a week I do a 100+ mile trip. That would be out of range.

The result is that an electric car would not be a replacement car, but an additional (second) car. Now the economics require my fuel savings from not putting gasoline in my first car to be greater than the purchase and running cost of the second car. If I could lease the second car for $40/week I could break even. However, the actual lease cost for a small EV is more like $130/week, so on financial terms this is a non-starter.

The only reasonable justification for an EV therefore is as a "fun" vehicle. You don't run it to save money, you run it for the enjoyment of something novel.
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2013, 10:57:32 pm »
It's about the economics. My daily driving is about 25 miles, so an electric car would work fine for that. However, about once a week I do a 100+ mile trip. That would be out of range.
The result is that an electric car would not be a replacement car

No, you just aren't considering the right type of electric car. Buy a Volt in that case, it is perfect your your driving scenario, and a huge number of other people.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 11:00:52 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2013, 10:59:17 pm »
It's about the economics. My daily driving is about 25 miles, so an electric car would work fine for that. However, about once a week I do a 100+ mile trip. That would be out of range.

The result is that an electric car would not be a replacement car, but an additional (second) car. Now the economics require my fuel savings from not putting gasoline in my first car to be greater than the purchase and running cost of the second car. If I could lease the second car for $40/week I could break even. However, the actual lease cost for a small EV is more like $130/week, so on financial terms this is a non-starter.

The only reasonable justification for an EV therefore is as a "fun" vehicle. You don't run it to save money, you run it for the enjoyment of something novel.
A generator/unloader trailer covers the long trips. Or go with a plug in hybrid.
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2013, 10:59:21 pm »
If you consider the time it takes to recharge the thing, marketing was not just wanking but also having a good laugh at the gullible customers...

There ARE customers for whom the usage scenario of a fully electric car works.
Just because your usage scenario doesn't fit, don't assume that all other people's don't either.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2013, 11:05:31 pm »
No, you just aren't considering the right type of electric car. Buy a Volt in that case, it is perfect your your driving scenario, and a huge number of other people.

No, thank you. It is a horribly over complicated monstrosity that does nothing better than any single mode alternative.
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Offline Stonent

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2013, 11:15:54 pm »
How about CNG plus battery? Does anyone offer that?  Sounds like a good compromise if you need more range but still want clean.
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2013, 11:19:12 pm »
If you consider the time it takes to recharge the thing, marketing was not just wanking but also having a good laugh at the gullible customers...

There ARE customers for whom the usage scenario of a fully electric car works.
Just because your usage scenario doesn't fit, don't assume that all other people's don't either.

Nope, that's not what i said. Look at the Nissan Leaf web site. They do NOT advertise the Leaf for specific usage scenarios, but as an all-purpose vehicle... I did not try to argue whether an e-car is useful or not. My opinion is that e-cars are just not ready for mass-market. I do not want to imply that a current-gen e-car does not have a use.
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2013, 11:31:11 pm »
How about CNG plus battery? Does anyone offer that?  Sounds like a good compromise if you need more range but still want clean.
Don't know. I haven't seen many private passenger cars using CNG/LPG, mostly public transportation and utility vehicles.
Regarding public transportation, many cities have electric buses or trolleybuses (old russian trolleys FTW!).

Indian TATA builds CNG-hybrid buses, but i don't know whether they export them.
 

Offline johansen

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2013, 11:37:11 pm »
Whoa, they (nissan) didnt tell me about leasing the battery ! If that is true then it is a complete failure.

I don't get it. 6700 liion cells at 1$ a piece plus casing and electronics yields a 10.000 battery. Add a standard compact car chassis and standard outfit (not luxury like the tesla) and a drivetrain. You should be able to mass produce for 20 to25 k and sell at 30 to 35k$. Note that we dont need a super performance battery like for the tesla. We are not building a car that does 0 to 60 in 4 seconds.


if you can find a 2.5 amp hour lithium ion cell for 1$ let me know.

seems to me the market price for high quality cells is 5-6$ each.

6700 cells at 25 amps times 3.6 volts is 600KW, or about 800HP
and you don't even need high performance cells to do that.

C-1 rate is 60KW or 80HP. more than enough for a 4000 pound car.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2013, 11:55:26 pm »
It's about the economics. My daily driving is about 25 miles, so an electric car would work fine for that. However, about once a week I do a 100+ mile trip. That would be out of range.
The result is that an electric car would not be a replacement car

No, you just aren't considering the right type of electric car. Buy a Volt in that case, it is perfect your your driving scenario, and a huge number of other people.
The problem is that a Chevrolet/Opel/Vauxhall/Holden Volt isn't very economic to drive on fuel. And if you really want to go green with an EV you need to source real green electricity as well (not electricity which is made green by buying CO2 certificates). Otherwise an EV produces just as much CO2 as an economic car on fuel. Over here they are going to close quite a few coal and gas based power plants because there is a lot of solar and wind energy coming from Germany. That would be nice one would think but a quick study shows the electricity companies will just sell their CO2 certificates so the net reduction for the CO2 emission is zero.

Interestingly there is a silent but steady increase in the availability of bio-fuels and many newer cars can run on both fossil fuel and bio-fuel. In the US POET-DSM is about to start mass producing bio-fuel from agricultural leftovers so the bio-fuel doesn't take any extra land or reduces food production. The biggest advantage of bio fuels is that existing technology and infrastructure can be used to keep going without needing expensive dual-engine solutions. And if you happen to go somewhere where there is no bio-fuel you can keep going on good old fossil fuel.

Regarding the range of an EV: most need about 225Wh per km according to the practical tests performed by the EPA. Wear of the battery usually isn't a big concern because it gets charged to about 85% and discharged to 15%. Together with a battery cooling/heating system a battery in a hybrid or EV can last very long. The Nissan Leaf is an exception though. It doesn't have a battery cooling system so in hot places the batteries die rather quick.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 12:19:49 am by nctnico »
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2013, 12:24:00 am »
FE. Ok.. So. I live here in an Jose and want to go for a little trip to Carmel. About 75 mile one way. You mean i can't get home ? Can i even get there as it's uphill over the santa cruz mountains ?

Well, the conversation ends right there because you are looking at a fully electric car to replace a car that has an entirely different usage scenario.
In that case by a Holden Volt.
Or get a Tesla S that has up to 500km range.
Ok, problem is the tesla is a luxury car and thus expensive.
My idea is : take the battery and drive train from a tesla and put it in a car like a chevrolet volt. Strip the leather alcantara luxury interior, strip the 17 inch tablet and hi resulation lcd display for instrument cluster, strip the 12 speaker dolby surround soundsystem
 . Use traditional cloth seats and regular dashboard .
I think you'd be able to make the car for less than half the cost of the tesla. Even if the battery pack and drive train cost 20.000 dollar. You should be able to take a Kia or a Nissan that cost 18000 with petrol engine and swap it. You'd end up with a 35k$ car that has 500km range.
Base platform : economy car equipped with 20k$ battery= no range problem and still affordable.

Yet nobody does it. They dick around with 70 mile range cars... That still cost 35000$. Why ?

In case of the nissan the thing that peeved me is that they had the gall to tell me: use your other car , assuming i'd have two cars (doubling my cost since i need to buy two cars , one of which is needed to overcome their shortcomings) or rent a petrol one.

What ? You first do all the feel good ,green , don't need petrol hype marketing song and dance giving me a nice shiny green balloon and then you drop that bit of info ? 

You just popped the shiny green balloon and it turned out to be filled with acrid petrol exhaust...
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 12:32:08 am by free_electron »
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2013, 12:25:20 am »
And if you really want to go green with an EV you need to source real green electricity as well (not electricity which is made green by buying CO2 certificates). Otherwise an EV produces just as much CO2 as an economic car on fuel.

Neither CE trading certificates nor RECs can color your product in any way, unless you plaster the certificates all over your product :)
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2013, 12:33:23 am »
Ok, problem is the tesla is a luxury car and thus expensive.
My idea is : take the battery and drive train from a tesla and put it in a car like a chevrolet volt. Strip the leather alcantara luxury interior, strip the 17 inch tablet and hi resulation lcd display for instrument cluster, strip the 12 speaker dolby surround soundsystem
 . Use traditional cloth seats and regular dashboard .

Thank you! :clap: Why is it that every mechanically cool car has to be loaded with a crapton of extra whiz-bang bells and whistles and luxury shit? I don't want that! I wouldn't buy a car like that if I could afford it without blinking an eye. It's distracting, gaudy, garish and annoying. If I wanted a computer I'd buy one, if I wanted a stereo system I'd buy one, if I wanted a luxurious piece of furniture I'd buy one. I'm trying to buy a car. Stop covering every square inch of the car in LCDs! Damn marketingfolk won't let us normal people have cool cars :rant:
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2013, 12:35:16 am »
Ok, problem is the tesla is a luxury car and thus expensive.
My idea is : take the battery and drive train from a tesla and put it in a car like a chevrolet volt. Strip the leather alcantara luxury interior, strip the 17 inch tablet and hi resulation lcd display for instrument cluster, strip the 12 speaker dolby surround soundsystem
 . Use traditional cloth seats and regular dashboard .
I think you'd be able to make the car for less than half the cost of the tesla. Even if the battery pack and drive train cost 20.000 dollar. You should be able to take a Kia or a Nissan that cost 18000 with petrol engine and swap it. You'd end up with a 35k$ car that has 500km range.

Yet nobody does it. They dick around with 70 mile range cars... That still cost 35000$. Why ?

There were times when CD-ROM burners where horribly expensive, failed regularly to burn discs and had horrible caddy mechanics. Why?
There were times only rich people could effort the plasma TVs, which suffered from burn-in worse than a TV. Why?
There were times only rich people could take a journey in an aeroplane, which were slow propeller machines? Why?

Do you see "the pattern"?
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2013, 12:43:23 am »
They dick around with 70 mile range cars... That still cost 35000$. Why ?

Because that is where the curves on the charts from engineering, beancounting, and from marketing meet. More precisely, did met five to ten years ago. Because five years, even more typical ten years, is what it takes a normal car company to bring a new model to the market.

The second reason is that car companies are hampered by their tradition to introduce innovations at the high end (luxury, super sport) end of their offerings. That has the advantage that cost of development, as well as manufacturing, is not such a big issue, compared to the mass market. And since the luxury segment is smaller they have more control over the introduction.

With e-cars manufacturers either continue to do that, e.g. Mercedes has a high-end drive train and battery system with KERS and whatnot in an 250 km/h top speed electric super sportscar. Or they struggle to build innovative stuff right into mass market products to a price.
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2013, 12:45:02 am »
Thank you! :clap: Why is it that every mechanically cool car has to be loaded with a crapton of extra whiz-bang bells and whistles and luxury shit? I don't want that! I wouldn't buy a car like that if I could afford it without blinking an eye. It's distracting, gaudy, garish and annoying. If I wanted a computer I'd buy one, if I wanted a stereo system I'd buy one, if I wanted a luxurious piece of furniture I'd buy one. I'm trying to buy a car. Stop covering every square inch of the car in LCDs! Damn marketingfolk won't let us normal people have cool cars :rant:

I would think the Ariel Atom would fit your desires.
The second best thing is it does not have an AC, neither a stereo, and you don't need to sit on the remains of dead cattle.
But the very best thing about the Atom is that it makes your pants wet, either because it is so exciting or because the wheels will kick water all over you on a rainy day  ;D
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2013, 12:48:26 am »
Yes i see the pattern. The dinosaur car makers want money for exclusivity.

I looked at the nissan leaf. If you forget that it is electric it is a nice day to day usage car with a base equipment that has nothing wrong. Leather seats, nav system , rear view camera. Airco ditioning.
Price :35000$.
If they had beefed up that battery , taking it from 75 mile to 200 mile, and made the price tag 42000$ I'd buy one.
Even the base model (no leather and drop some other fancy stuff) is 28800. Add 10000$ more batteries and you end up at 38000$.

Why don't they do that ? It's a no brainer. Costs the price of a regular car and its full electric with no range anxiety.

I really think it is because they dont want to. They lose income because there is no or very little maintenance , the dealers will complain and big oil will complain. Im not a conspiracy guy but this seriously smells like one...

Electric cars are being held back on purpose. The technology exists. Tesla has proven it. The classic carmakers are just stodgy dinosaurs that don't know , or are not willing to, adapt to it.

Bored@work has a point too. Tradition.
This years model Bmw 3 series differs from last years model bmw 3 series because it has 2 more cupholders. Car makers make new models incremental and the delta is very small.
For them having to take a huge step is unthinkable. Car makers are like apple with their iphones. Incremental little differences. Phone 1 to 2 add camera. 2 to 3 add this trinket. And so on. They have fallinto the wash,rince, rerun cycle.

True apple had their big moment with phone 1. That was a game changer.

For cars, the companies are still stuck in the incremental changes. Only tesla has done the game changing moment. The built a full electric that has the range, has the performance one expects. They broke the technological barrier. The whole car industry said lithium ion was ten years away. Tesla proved them wrong. They said electrics would drive lake a purple haired grandma, yet the tesla leaves M5 and porshes behind.. The drawback : they had to make it luxury to offset the development cost since they had no history.

Big dinosaur said i am so big and lumbering along and ive done it for so long It is ok.
Then came the meteor and they went extinct.
I'm hoping tesla is that meteor.

There is no technological barrier anymore. It's just the lumbering dinosaur carmakers that are to slow adapting. Time for them to go extinct.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 01:02:19 am by free_electron »
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Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2013, 12:50:29 am »
There were times when CD-ROM burners where horribly expensive, failed regularly to burn discs and had horrible caddy mechanics. Why?
There were times only rich people could effort the plasma TVs, which suffered from burn-in worse than a TV. Why?
There were times only rich people could take a journey in an aeroplane, which were slow propeller machines? Why?

Do you see "the pattern"?

No, I'm afraid I don't see it.

Before CD-ROM burners there were no external storage formats with the same mix of low media cost, rapid read access and compact size. The market paid for something that had no competition.

Before plasma TVs, there were no large picture, bright, high contrast, flat TVs that could hang on a wall. The market paid for something that had no competition.

Before propeller driven airplanes, there were no fast, comfortable flying machines that could cover long distances ten times faster than a boat. The market paid for something that had no competition.

Now, before all electric vehicles came along, there were no fast, comfortable, convenient, economical road vehicles that could carry four people in comfort over distances of hundreds of miles. But, oh, wait, there were...

See the problem?
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 12:54:00 am by IanB »
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2013, 01:02:05 am »
The second reason is that car companies are hampered by their tradition to introduce innovations at the high end (luxury, super sport) end of their offerings. That has the advantage that cost of development, as well as manufacturing, is not such a big issue, compared to the mass market. And since the luxury segment is smaller they have more control over the introduction.

Don't forget to take branding into account. Luxury cars/products often function as branding "vehicle".
If you want to introduce new innovations to the market, you want a maximum brand impact. Also luxury cars are a feasible platform for introducing new whizz-bang, because of having high visibility in the market. Add to this a low to moderate cost and ramp-up time for production due to low volume as you mentioned (hell, if manufacturing isn't ready you could hand-file the 1000 pieces you need ;) ), and it becomes a no-brainer to introduce new things in the luxury segment.

That doesn't mean the pass-products doesn't get innovations first. It's just that these kind of innovations are either incremental or deemed to not being essential for branding.

Imagine, a situation where the Audi A3 would have been given a spanking new awesome gadget or fancy head lights way before the Audi A8 or Audi R8. This would make the A8 and R8 immediately look outdated -- absolutely not good for the brand identity...
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2013, 01:12:28 am »

Imagine, a situation where the Audi A3 would have been given a spanking new awesome gadget or fancy head lights way before the Audi A8 or Audi R8. This would make the A8 and R8 immediately look outdated -- absolutely not good for the brand identity...

This, i fear, is one of the key reasons.

Imagine taking the A3, dropping in an 15000$ electric system. All the A6 and A8 owners would be fuming ! That electric A3 still only costs half the price of theirs , consumes 1/3 the money of theirs and at the traffic light they can't even keep up with that little 'electric toy'. They would fail miserably in the dick measuring contest...

Virtually overnight the sales of the hi ends could collapse.
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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2013, 01:13:02 am »
Bored@work has a point too. Tradition.
This years model Bmw 3 series differs from last years model bmw 3 series because it has 2 more cupholders. Car makers make new models incremental and the delta is very small.

One reason is the paperwork. A new car, introduced on multiple continents, with lots and lots of new components, needs heaps of type approvals and dealing with authorities.

BTW, BMW is a typical case when it comes to e-cars. They recognized they can't bring one to market with their current company structure, so they founded a separate company for that. Of course they did that also to minimize the impact on the main business should the e-car thing fail. But still a good idea. Then they ruined it by running the separate company just like a branch of their traditional company. The result is the BMW i3  :palm: Developed it bit faster than usual, but low-end, where BMW usually doesn't play, for $42 000  |O
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2013, 01:21:30 am »
Before CD-ROM burners there were no external storage formats with the same mix of low media cost, rapid read access and compact size. The market paid for something that had no competition.

There, you see the pattern. The market would not pay for something that has an established competition that is as good.
Now, how would a current-gen e-car today compete with a mass-market product like a petrol car that simply can rely on a global market with a standardized infrastructure of gas stations anywhere. No, there is not really a competition (yet!). If you want to compete on the basis of a budget mass-manufactured product, you need mass production, right?
No doubt mass production will eventually happen (perhaps not Tesla, who knows...), which will not only allow prices to drop but which will then start the competition with (and hopefully overtake of) mass-produced petrol cars.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 01:24:33 am by elgonzo »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2013, 01:22:58 am »

One reason is the paperwork. A new car, introduced on multiple continents, with lots and lots of new components, needs heaps of type approvals and dealing with authorities.
It can't be that hard if a bunch of propellerheads with zero car experience can pull it off. The Model S sells worldwide....


Quote
should the e-car thing fail.
We need an injection of Yoda here. "There is no try, only do"

If tomorrow all car makers decided : we will from now on only design and develop electrics, it would not fail . There would be no other option.

They are too scared or too stodgy to make radical changes. Lets add two cupholders and see if people go for it... If not next years model will remove the extra two cupholders and well try the vanity light for the passenger seat.. See if people go after that one.
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2013, 01:32:22 am »
One reason is the paperwork. A new car, introduced on multiple continents, with lots and lots of new components, needs heaps of type approvals and dealing with authorities.

Don't forget company internal proceedings. BMW Asia says that Chinese customers want golden cup holders. BMW HQ in Germany says that it is stupid and does not fit the brand. BMW America says "Dammit! Just give us German cars". BMW South America says "But what about VW/Audi?", etc..., etc... That is just an eternal slow-turning treadmill... Tesla doesn't "suffer" from regional headquarters :)

BTW, BMW is a typical case when it comes to e-cars. They recognized they can't bring one to market with their current company structure, so they founded a separate company for that. Of course they did that also to minimize the impact on the main business should the e-car thing fail. But still a good idea. Then they ruined it by running the separate company just like a branch of their traditional company. The result is the BMW i3  :palm: Developed it bit faster than usual, but low-end, where BMW usually doesn't play, for $42 000  |O

BMW is actually a fine example of a brand which doesn't really harmonize nicely with current-gen e-cars. Think about what the brand "BMW" is evoking, and try to apply this to current-gen e-cars. Yes, they could built something like a Tesla roadster, which sort of fits the sportive image. But the product would be imperfect nonetheless...
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 01:38:07 am by elgonzo »
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #44 on: September 29, 2013, 01:58:26 am »
BMW is actually a fine example of a brand which doesn't really harmonize nicely with current-gen e-cars. Think about what the brand "BMW" is evoking, and try to apply this to current-gen e-cars. Yes, they could built something like a Tesla roadster, which sort of fits the sportive image. But the product would be imperfect nonetheless...

They have a sports e-car on the drawing board for some time, the i8. But they chickened out and early on decided this to be a hybrid. And they chickened out a second time and decided to develop the i3 first, to test the waters. Just a few days ago, they finally premiered the i8 production version. $135000. 35 km range on e-power :palm:
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #45 on: September 29, 2013, 02:26:28 am »
BMW is actually a fine example of a brand which doesn't really harmonize nicely with current-gen e-cars. Think about what the brand "BMW" is evoking, and try to apply this to current-gen e-cars. Yes, they could built something like a Tesla roadster, which sort of fits the sportive image. But the product would be imperfect nonetheless...

They have a sports e-car on the drawing board for some time, the i8. But they chickened out and early on decided this to be a hybrid. And they chickened out a second time and decided to develop the i3 first, to test the waters. Just a few days ago, they finally premiered the i8 production version. $135000. 35 km range on e-power :palm:

i8 actually fits the BMW brand. Whether the car makes sense otherwise, well, uh...  :-//
Imagine a current-gen electric BMW on a German Autobahn going not faster than 100 km/h, being a roadblock to anybody else driving petrol Mercs, Audis, VW, or any other german or non-german brand. It wouldn't take long for BMW-related jokes to appear... "What a biummer!"

Just to make it abundantly clear: I am not saying that e-cars are pointless. But a big part of the car industry sells cars via the magic force of branding, not by the utility value of their individual vehicles. And any car company that has "enjoy the ride" as part of their branding strategy has a problem with fitting current e-cars to their brand(s) (or vice versa). Arguments about usability or ratio are minor ones in that reality.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #46 on: September 29, 2013, 02:30:20 am »
Now that i've had some time to 'cool down' and think over the conversation i had i guess this is what got my feathers ruffled:

If the nissan guy had answered, when i asked the question about going to carmel and back: well you can't really do that with this car. See this is designed to be a short commuter type car. It does not fit your type of car usage. It's not an all ound every day car. Most people buy it as a second car for work commuting.
I would have said 'ah, ok . That's not what i 'm looking for. Thank you for you honesty. And simply walked away.

Along the lines of 'these aren't the droids i'm looking for...

Yet the guy had the gall saying there was nothing wrong with his car, it was me and i should get or rent a second petrolcar. This is the droid you are looking for but you also need to buy a deathstar to support it. And insisting his car was the perfect product.

Reality check please guys...
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #47 on: September 29, 2013, 02:58:48 am »
Now that i've had some time to 'cool down' and think over the conversation i had i guess this is what got my feathers ruffled:

If the nissan guy had answered, when i asked the question about going to carmel and back: well you can't really do that with this car. See this is designed to be a short commuter type car. It does not fit your type of car usage. It's not an all ound every day car. Most people buy it as a second car for work commuting.
I would have said 'ah, ok . That's not what i 'm looking for. Thank you for you honesty. And simply walked away.

Along the lines of 'these aren't the droids i'm looking for...

Yet the guy had the gall saying there was nothing wrong with his car, it was me and i should get or rent a second petrolcar. This is the droid you are looking for but you also need to buy a deathstar to support it. And insisting his car was the perfect product.

Reality check please guys...

Yes, that is exactly what i tried to say and where Dave misunderstood me. And looking at the Leaf web site, i don't think it is just that single poor Nissan guy who struggles to bring the right message across. (Now i could point at myself and blame me for the same reason. Fortunately, i don't work in marketing ;) )
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #48 on: September 29, 2013, 03:01:40 am »
I'll just wait for Mr Fusion.
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Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #49 on: September 29, 2013, 03:41:55 am »
Before CD-ROM burners there were no external storage formats with the same mix of low media cost, rapid read access and compact size. The market paid for something that had no competition.

There, you see the pattern. The market would not pay for something that has an established competition that is as good.

I don't think you are getting it. The market will pay to solve a problem that is not yet solved.

But that is not the case here. The problem of personal road transport is solved.

What can you do with an electric car that you cannot already do with a conventional car?

Is it faster? Irrelevant, there are speed limits.

Is it cheaper to buy? Electric cars today are twice the price of comparable conventional cars. No advantage there.

Does it have a longer range? Demonstrably not.

Is it quieter? Sure, but current cars are quiet enough. If cars are too quiet people don't hear them coming, and anyway surface road noise is the biggest contributor to traffic noise in the environment.

Does it pollute less? Yes, but catalytic converters have essentially solved that problem already.

Does it have a lower running cost? Not if you take the battery renewal cost into account.

So really, what is the point of an electric car? There is no market for them except among people who want to make a personal statement or who want to experiment with something novel. And that's a very small niche.
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Offline SgtRock

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #50 on: September 29, 2013, 04:01:07 am »
Greetings EEVBees:
--I love this thread. Nobody has gone totally mental, so far. A lot of good facts and well thought out opinion. Kudos.

--Dave, as always, has a very salient point; if your driving patterns do not fit the Pure EV, you might want to consider a hybrid. I would love to see someone from Leaf Marketing on the Amp Hour, "tis a consummation devoutly to be wished"  It seems likely to me that when Pure EVs and Hybrids finally reach their full potential, including price point, there will be a huge sudden tipping point, and all of the To and Fro Boxes will be EV or Hybrid. Working vehicles, Pickumup trucks and SUVs will take a little longer. But before that can happen, there are a couple of hurdles to jump. EV and HV must be weaned from the federal teat. They must make sense on a cost basis, to working, taxpaying, folks, who often have little money for political gestures. The day someone with a job can sign a 5 year contract for a $20,000 EV or HV with no worries, they will not be able to build enough of them quickly enough.

--To put things in perspective, at the bottom end of the market, you have used vehicles. Two years ago I bought an 86 Nissan Pickup Truck, with 70,000 miles for $2,000. I have replaced the Clutch Master and Slave Cylinders, Brake Master Cylinder, Alternator, Starter, Battery, Battery Tray, Brakes, Plugs and Wires, 8 plugs and 8 wires, Distributor Cap and Rotor, plus Bumper and Grille. I now have 80,000 miles on, and $3,000 in a truck that has a topper and a bed liner, and no rust. I also have a 2000 Kia, bought new, and no payments these last 8 years. The Kia has 100,000 miles on it and is going strong. It is a dumpster divers dream. My friend has an 86 Volvo 740 GL with 150,000 miles, which runs perfectly (I have helped him to do all of his work, including timing belt, over the last 5 years. I can buy the car for $500, or $300 if I want to be hard, but I have no need for it. If he goes to sell it for scrap I will buy it and park it in the shade, merely out of pure sentimentality. That is the kind of thing that is going on at the bottom of the market. It seems to us Shade Tree Mechanics, like money is falling from the sky. So, I will have to wait until the EVs, and the HVs show up on the used market, unless the powers that be bring back "Cash for Clunkers", in a big way, to destroy perfectly good machines, that need only a little love. I should add that as an intellectual matter anyone who is an EE should find ordinary auto mechanical repair child's play, but you do get dirty. The trick is to own one more used car and or truck than you need, just for emergencies.

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Offline Stonent

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #51 on: September 29, 2013, 04:01:41 am »
To go along with what Ian said, take a look at diesel engine technology in the past 10 years. Essentially unchanged for about 100 years, but now very rarely do you see diesels spewing black, greasy smoke any more. The ones that do are older. When you add in diesel particulate filters, ultra low sulfur diesel and selective catalytic reduction  (adblue or bluetec) to remove NOx you've removed nearly everything bad. Cummins-Westport even makes a diesel engine that runs on 95% natural gas and 5% diesel that produces the same power as a the original diesel only engine that it was based on. It is even nearly as safe to run these new diesel engines indoors as you would a propane forklift in a closed warehouse.
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #52 on: September 29, 2013, 04:08:34 am »
I can help but be surprise that a technology blog such as this one accepts the "e-car" eco-friendliness at face value with so little critical comments.

Driving the car is but a small portion of the pollution it generates.  From mining, to stamping the metal, to making the seat, to pressing the glass windshield, all consume energy and all put a cost to the environment.

Some years back (2007), some one (CNW Marketing Research to be exact), did a Dust to Dust analysis of Hummer vs Prius and the Hummer was found to be more eco-friendly than the Prius.  Dust to dust meaning from mining the metal to disposal of the vehicle.

They got yell down the the eco-people, but the eco-people missed the point.  One may argue with some of the assumptions they made (such as Prius lasting 12 years vs Hummers' 35 year life span - my LiIon cell battery didn't last more than 3), but the point they made is valid.  You can't just look at the driving part of it alone.  How much environmental cost does it incur to have new batteries every 5 years?

Have you seen the hole dug for mining?  How about lakes of waste water to enable metal extraction...

When the car is made like other cars, the moment the car roll out the factory, the major impact to the environment of the life of that car has already occurred save one - the disposal of its remains.  The rest are rounding errors.

EDIT - corrected two typos
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 04:10:46 am by Rick Law »
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #53 on: September 29, 2013, 04:30:10 am »
Nope, that's not what i said. Look at the Nissan Leaf web site. They do NOT advertise the Leaf for specific usage scenarios, but as an all-purpose vehicle... I did not try to argue whether an e-car is useful or not. My opinion is that e-cars are just not ready for mass-market. I do not want to imply that a current-gen e-car does not have a use.

That's silly.

What you are saying is akin to complaining that Ford never revealed that the Mustang would not make a suitable vehicle for a work truck, or that Chevy is obscuring the fact that an F350 won't be a good vehicle for autocross racing.

Vehicles have their purpose and their design goals.  If you live in the middle of the New Mexico desert 60 miles from the nearest gas station, would you buy a motorcycle that only goes 50 miles before needing refueled?  Of course not.  Nor would you buy an "e-car" if you require a vehicle to go a few hundred miles on a charge, or be able to be refilled between uses in a matter of minutes.

Complaining that those limitations make the car unsuitable for mass market use is like complaining that the Corvette is not not ready for the mass market because you can't fit your kids in the back.
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #54 on: September 29, 2013, 04:34:20 am »
I posted this , because of the electronics used in driving that motor. The eco aspect is not my top priority. I am in the market for a new car. I am into electronics, so taking a look at an electric car with all its electronics is kinda interesting to see how it evolves.

Getting told bluntly that you need still need a second petrol driven car is basically an admission of defeat. It proves the current state of technology from the big car makers is a nowhere and they are doing only a mediocre job and put no real effort in it. It's only a small incremental delta step, just like they always do. 

Sad. Very sad. All the more while it is perfectly possible at a decent price point.
Strip the tesla of all its fancy user interfaces and super luxury and you end up at half cost ... Which is 38k to 45k$.

At that price, I'll go get a stack of greenisch cotton bills with pictures of dead presidents on em. Gimme one. I am in the market for a new car. I'd rather spend that 40k on electronics than on a dinosaur , made by dinosaur company, running on distillate of dinosaur leftovers ...
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #55 on: September 29, 2013, 04:35:26 am »
Otherwise an EV produces just as much CO2 as an economic car on fuel.

That is simply not true.  You can't make a valid comparison unless you know where the power is coming from in the first place, but the "well to wheel" efficiency of an EV is massively higher than that of a combustion powered engine.

Quote
Over here they are going to close quite a few coal and gas based power plants because there is a lot of solar and wind energy coming from Germany. That would be nice one would think but a quick study shows the electricity companies will just sell their CO2 certificates so the net reduction for the CO2 emission is zero.

The CO2 certificate program is a useless sham in the first place, but solar and wind are not the answer either.  Fossil fuel plants can be clean.  The problem is everything costs... people want to save the planet, but they don't want to pay to do it.
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #56 on: September 29, 2013, 04:45:40 am »
N: 85 to 100 miles on a charge
FE. Ok.. So. I live here in an Jose and want to go for a little trip to Carmel. About 75 mile one way. You mean i can't get home ? Can i even get there as it's uphill over the santa cruz mountains ?
N: Well you plug it in over there to charge.
FE. Well, how long does it take ?
N: about 8 hours
Fe: so going for lunch, stay 2 hours and come back is out of the question then ...
N: Well yeah, but how many times do you do this a year ?
FE : about 10 times ... sometimes i drive to monterey to buy fresh fish off the boats and come straight back... 150 miles roundtrip.
N: well , in that case you use your other car.
FE: ... ?!? what do you mean your 'other' car ? you expect me to buy TWO cars now ? What if my other car ( assuming he ment my wife's ) is also electric ?
N: well , nissan has a program where you can rent a car for the day or weekend from the dealer.
FE:  <jaw dropping> now you want me to RENT a car ? I just bought a new car ... and what's that rental going to be ?
N: one of our standard gasoline cars
FE:  :palm:  ARE YOU INSANE ? you just touted how eco friendly the damn thing is and the first thing i want to do with it can't be done and you tell me you'll happily rent me gasoline powered one ? Where is your damn logic ? What's this thing run on anyway ? double A batteries ? Put some batteries in that thing. Lithium ion cells are about a 1$ a pop in mass quantity. A battery pack like tesla's has about 6000 in em, throw in some electronics and a charger and you end up at a cost of 10K for the battery pack. inverter and motor and a chassis (speaking about a compact car like the leaf), strip all the exuberant luxury and you can sell it at 35K and make 7K profit. I'll give you a check right here and now for one. But no you want me to buy not only your crap car but also a second , gasoline powered car. this effectively more than doubles the price of the Leaf ( cost of the leaf + cost of a gasoline powered car) and i am still tied to gasoline. What do you take me for ? an idiot ?


I really respect you and like your posts, but if this exchange took place as you state, I'm afraid I think you really made a fool of yourself in this case.  Challenging the guys at the booth on this would be like me going to try to take a pound of flesh out of the guys at the Ferrari display and hounding them about how useless their cars are because I am in construction and I haul sheets of plywood, etc, etc.  They must have thought you were a loon.

I happen to think they do have a very valid point.  Honestly, I am baffled at how many intelligent people who really understand electronics and economics turn into willful luddites when it comes to electric cars.

The fact is that 85% of people fall into the perfect EV buyers - who mostly drive less than 50 miles/day and would rarely (if ever) need to recharge their vehicle.  For most of those folks (I am one), the rare times they need more range, a short-term rental would not be a problem anymore than me renting a pickup when I need to haul lumber back from the home store.  And if someone needs to operate outside the intended use of a vehicle often, then buying that vehicle would be a bit silly (like the aforementioned construction worker buying a Corvette instead of a pickup).  Complaining to the makers of the vehicle is a bit silly.

I also totally disagree about the problem of having a second vehicle.  I have multiple vehicles, and I bet the vast majority of homes (certainly in the USA) are multi-vehicle homes.  That is true for me and for almost everyone I know.  They could have a Volt and another vehicle for the use that falls outside the 85% times.  And that is not insane or inefficient at all - every mile driven in an EV is efficient and clean compared to a combustion engine mile driven. 

Also, I don't get why people say EV's don't make economic sense.  It's like these folks (not talking about you specifically, just folks in general) have uncovered some great hidden secret of the world that only they were smart enough to figure out and the average consumer, as well as all the sales/marketing/engineering/design folks at every major car manufacturer were too dumb to figure out.  It reminds me of the folks who look at some high-end piece of test gear and lambaste it for being so expensive and how nobody needs something like that, etc.  Frankly, it usually makes the person saying it look a bit silly - as if the test gear manufacturer and all their designers and salesmen and managers are not as clued in or knowledgeable about the nature of the market they sell in and their customers as random people on the Intarwebz who have it all figured out.   :palm:
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Offline zapta

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #57 on: September 29, 2013, 04:50:05 am »
And the noise of that porshe is deafening. haven't those guys heard about exhaust mufflers ? bunch of loud obnoxious rattlers. Noise pollution is pollution too.

Noise? This is ''noise, this is 'exhaust note'. Big difference! People pay thousands to improve it. Some lesser companies even fake it with electronic ammplification http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/bmw-m5-plays-engine-sounds-speakers-sure-know-170639427.html

 :)
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #58 on: September 29, 2013, 04:50:37 am »
Nor would you buy an "e-car" if you require a vehicle to go a few hundred miles on a charge, or be able to be refilled between uses in a matter of minutes.

Complaining that those limitations make the car unsuitable for mass market
Moment.
- Your corvette and ford pickup BOTH can do 300 to 400 miles on a tank. Your 'e-car' ? 75 to 100 with a lot of luck.
- i am not looking for an e-car. I am looking for a new car. Car . Period. I don't care what the powerplant is. As a prospective buyer it makes sense to me to look at all options. If i was still in Belgium i would be looking at diesels too , as they are cheaper to drive. Diesel fuel is a lot cheaper than gas. Electric is a lot cheaper then gas here in the US, so today i looked if a car with electric powerplants  would fit my criteria, and found that none of em, with the exception of the Tesla, are ready als an alternative for a combustion type power plant.

Don't seek more behind it. I'm not into eco , treehugging, and other fuzzy stuff.
The base is simple. Looking for a new cath with lowest usage price in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance. Electricity is way cheaper than 4$ a gallon gas. So let's look at electric. Ah, we're still in the overgrown golf-cart stage .. Bye ...

That's all. I got pissed off because they promote the car as a shiny green eco balloon and when you look at range the balloon pops. And you need a second gas fueled car. Keep your electric. Ill stick to gas then. Buying an electric is like buying a gas car with an 38000$ electric surcharge (38k$ being cost of the leaf). 38000$ in gas ... I can drive 15 years with the gasoline powered car. Stuff your leaf... Make soup out of it for all i care.

I'm all the more pissed because it is technologically and pricewise possible. Add 10000$ in extra batteries to a base leaf which is 28k$, add a few niceties, and you have a 40 to 45k$ Electric where the range shortcoming is gone. Yet they are dicking around with overgrown golf carts trying to woo the eco-geezers...
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #59 on: September 29, 2013, 04:56:11 am »
Driving the car is but a small portion of the pollution it generates.  From mining, to stamping the metal, to making the seat, to pressing the glass windshield, all consume energy and all put a cost to the environment.

Some years back (2007), some one (CNW Marketing Research to be exact), did a Dust to Dust analysis of Hummer vs Prius and the Hummer was found to be more eco-friendly than the Prius.  Dust to dust meaning from mining the metal to disposal of the vehicle.


That is an often cited criticism of EV's and completely untrue.  I would like to see a cite on an unbiased source for this article.  But it's easy to see the fallacy with some critical thinking.

-First, EV batteries do not need replaced after 5 years.  The Volt is guaranteed for 10 years, but like an LED, the failure mode is not that is just does not work one day - the failure mode is reduced range.  It would be at the discretion of the consumer if they replaced the battery and at what point.  An EV battery no more needs to be replaced every 10 years than an automobile engine needs replaced every 50,000 miles, even though that may be what it is warrantied for.

-Second, in an EV, you have essentially a single rotating part in the engine.  A combustion engine vehicle uses coolant, oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid, gear oil, chassis lubes, battery acid and many other things.  Those things get replaced, reused, etc.  Many if not most can be eliminated with an EV. 

-Third, it is a common misconception that the chemicals in a modern battery are these horrendously toxic things.  They really aren't.  And as these batteries become more common in consumer vehicles, recycling will follow.  Just like electronics recycling was not important 30 years ago, but is today - the same will happen with EV's.



Not to mention the rapid pace at which EV technology is advancing.  There is already a lot of research that has led to lab proven results like a 10 times increase in battery capacity and a 10 fold increase in charge rate.  EV's today are not perfect - for sure.  But neither were the first gasoline powered cars.  Considering how new modern EV's are, it's amazing they are as close to cars as they are.  It will be a very short period of time until EV's are so far advanced that the next generation will laugh about how stupid old codgers like us poured explosive liquids into our primitive mechanical machines so we could drive them to work and back.  It will be as antiquated as lighting the gas lights in the street or turning the crank handle on the telephone to generate some power seem to us today.

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Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #60 on: September 29, 2013, 05:07:18 am »

Moment.
- Your corvette and ford pickup BOTH can do 300 to 400 miles on a tank. Your 'e-car' ? 75 to 100 with a lot of luck.

You are focusing on ONE aspect of the cars where there is the biggest discrepancy, suggesting that this data point is the most important (or the only important one), and extrapolating that this data point being unsuitable for you also makes it unsuitable for everyone else

It is exactly no different than me going up to the Corvette guy at the auto show and arguing that his car is shit because I can't even fit a single 2x4 in it.  It's not a bad car - it's just not the right fit for someone who needs that capability.

Lots of studies have been done and it's known that 85% of consumers would be fine with a vehicle like the Leaf that does 100 miles on a charge.  You may be outside that 85%, but you are in the minority, and it's unfair to heckle the guy as if your usage needs are shared by everyone else, because they aren't.


Quote
- i am not looking for an e-car. I am looking for a new car. Car . Period. I don't care what the powerplant is. As a prospective buyer it makes sense to me to look at all options. If i was still in Belgium i would be looking at diesels too , as they are cheaper to drive. Diesel fuel is a lot cheaper than gas. Electric is a lot cheaper then gas here in the US, so today i looked if a car with electric powerplants  would fit my criteria, and found that none of em, with the exception of the Tesla, are ready als an alternative for a combustion type power plant.

Yep, sounds like an e-car is not for you.  But that doesn't make them bad vehicles anymore than a Corvette isn't bad because you can't put your kids in the back and drive to church.

Quote
Don't seek more behind it. I'm not into eco , treehugging, and other fuzzy stuff.
The base is simple. Looking for a new cath with lowest usage price in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance. Electricity is way cheaper than 4$ a gallon gas. So let's look at electric. Ah, we're still in the overgrown golf-cart stage .. Bye ...

Frankly, because EV's are so new, you will be hard pressed to buy into one such that the total usage cost is lower than anything else.  That's like shopping for the best bang-for-the-buck computer hardware and complaining that you can't play the latest video games at 1920x1080 on three paneled screens.   The latest technology is rarely the cheapest.  A Volt would save you money on usage, but you'll pay more for it than a Toyota Corolla.. just the nature of the beast.

Quote
That's all. I got pissed off because they promote the car as a shiny green eco balloon and when you look at range the balloon pops. And you need a second gas fueled car. Keep your electric. Ill stick to gas then. Buying an electric is like buying a gas car with an 38000$ electric surcharge (38k$ being cost of the leaf). 38000$ in gas ... I can drive 15 years with the gasoline powered car. Stuff your leaf... Make soup out of it for all i care.

Again, with the utmost respect, it sounds to me that you just wanted to put the poor car guy in his place and show him how big your intellectual dick is.  He's there to promote the car... what do you expect him to say?  The car is very eco and very green.  You don't need to buy a second car anymore than you need a second car if you buy a Corvette.  You only need it if your usage needs are outside of the capabilities of the vehicle.  But what kind of person buys a vehicle that doesn't suit their needs and complains that they had to buy a second one to fill their needs, then blamed the issue on the car?  Come on...

Quote
I'm all the more pissed because it is technologically and pricewise possible. Add 10000$ in extra batteries to a base leaf which is 28k$, add a few niceties, and you have a 40 to 45k$ Electric where the range shortcoming is gone. Yet they are dicking around with overgrown golf carts trying to woo the eco-geezers...

You're a smart and well known electronics guy.  If you see a market opportunity for this, go for it.  Go get some venture capital and make it happen.  Or, do a Kickstarter or IGG to raise the money to retrofit Leafs with $10k battery packs that get your mileage needs satisfied.  If the market truly is there, as you say, you'll become very wealthy.  You want to be very wealthy, don't you?   >:D ;)
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #61 on: September 29, 2013, 05:10:38 am »

I really respect you and like your posts, but if this exchange took place as you state,
Yes it did, including me asking if it ran on double a's and why they didn't put some more in it ?

It started out very civilized , up till the point he told me to just buy a second gas powered car , or rent one. That is where i lost it.

Why do i need two cars ? I can only drive one at a time! I dont have room for two cars. And i'm single.
Why do i need to spend 38000$ on a leaf and spend another 38000 on a gas powered car to cover for the deficiencies of the leaf ?
Quote
The fact is that 85% of people fall into the perfect EV buyers - who mostly drive less than 50 miles/day and would rarely (if ever) need to recharge their vehicle. 
I am in that group.

Quote
For most of those folks (I am one), the rare times
I drive longer trips almost every weekend, i like going to carmel or SF . You expect me to own a second car just for the weekends ? You expect me to go rent a car every weekend. 52 weeks a year, 10 years in a row. Do you have any idea what that would cost ? It would be cheaper to buy a gas fueled car and drive it all day. It would cover the car and the fuel... So there goes your eco friendly , cheap in power consumption car. Poof. Gone. Vaporised.

.
Quote
That is true for me and for almost everyone I know. 
most of the people i know have two cars, but they are married or live together. Take a look at single guys how many own more than one car...

Anyway that point is irellevant. I dont want a second car. I want 1 car that does what my current car does (a chrysler sebring convertible). As i am looking at a new car i took a look at electrics.
And they don't compare to an average car. They don't have the range. It's as simple as that.

Getting told by the manufacturer that you simply need to buy a second gasoline car is illogical for me. It doubles the purchase price as i now need to buy a second car, store it, get insurance. It's easier to buy just the gasoline car and forget the electric. All the more since the combined purchase price of their leaf and a gas car gets me a base model tesla which is far more luxurious and doesnt have the range problem...

So, from my perspective : one car , their product not suitable.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 05:51:04 am by free_electron »
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #62 on: September 29, 2013, 05:39:09 am »

Again, with the utmost respect, it sounds to me that you just wanted to put the poor car guy in his place and show him how big your intellectual dick is. 
No it doesn't. If he'd told me. Well our car is targeted as a short commuter car or for people that want to use it as a second car, i would have thanked him and walked away. With those premises set : short commuter, or ise as second car it would have been acceptable.

Him going off telling me to buy a second gasoline powered car or suggesting me to rent one , and basically telling me i should find that acceptable is what set me off !

- Here is our new eco friendly LED light, same price as a normal lightbulb.
- Can i leave it on 4 hours a day ?
- No, but you just have to buy regular bulbs and use those for 3 of the 4 hours you want light.

Instead of:
Here is a low power eco friendly lightbulb made for those places where you only use light for less than an hour a day. With that sentence i know where i can use it. And i can decide. I wouldn't even have bothered the salesguy.No harm done.

Leaving the bit out about the max 1 hour a day and getting told to just buy a regular one as well when you inquire? And then telling me it's my fault because i want more than an hour of light? Illogical.
I got the money. You want to sell.. Customer is king. Don't tell your prospective customer he just needs to suck it up and buy another product to cover deficiencies.

All cars have , on average, the same operating range. With gasoline you pull up to a pump and off you go. With electric that process is a lot longer. So, they should focus solving that first. Everything else is irrellevant. I am not a car freak, i am not interested in a ferrari or corvette.

A car is a piece of machinery to drive me in comfort from point a to point b in a fashionable time. I dont need a truck either. I don't haul lumber or go off-roading. I drive to commute or for pleasure. An average regular petrol car like a toyota camry or my chrysler fits that purpose perfectly. Even if i need to transport a couple of two by fours, they will fit. In 10 years i have never had to rent a car because there was something i couldn't do with the one i have.

So why should it be acceptable to have to rent cars on multiple occasions because it wouldn't work with an electric ? I wont be doing anything i wouldn't do with an average car and car use.

It boils down to: electrics are not up to par with an average car...yet. Especially on range. It is less than half and the charging time is extremely inconvenient.

All while it doesn't have to be. The technology exists (tesla is proof of technology). It's just not being rolled out.

Don't seek anything else behind my comments. It is what it is.

I am looking for a replacement of my current car without change of usage.
Does electric work for that? No .
Why? Not enough range for my usage.
Did i get angry about lack of range ? No. It is what it is. Fine. I'll look elsewhere

What did i get angry about then? Being told i should find it normal to have to purchase a gas powered second car as well if i want the 'privilege' of driving electric. It was my fault. I should have had as econd car or be willing to rent one... While the shortcoming is theirs.

The customer is ALWAYS right.. Except when it comes to an electric car. Then the customer is wrong and he should also buy a second car or be prepared to rent one. Big sales fail guys...

If, i stead of telling me 'use your other car, or rent one' he would have told me. "This car is intended for commuting and not for general purpose use. " It would have been no problem. Fine. I understand that it has limitations and that's it.

But don't try telling me it is my shortcoming because i don't have a second car... Or rent one.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 05:53:00 am by free_electron »
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #63 on: September 29, 2013, 09:31:28 am »
Driving the car is but a small portion of the pollution it generates.  From mining, to stamping the metal, to making the seat, to pressing the glass windshield, all consume energy and all put a cost to the environment.

Some years back (2007), some one (CNW Marketing Research to be exact), did a Dust to Dust analysis of Hummer vs Prius and the Hummer was found to be more eco-friendly than the Prius.  Dust to dust meaning from mining the metal to disposal of the vehicle.


That is an often cited criticism of EV's and completely untrue.  I would like to see a cite on an unbiased source for this article.  But it's easy to see the fallacy with some critical thinking.

-First, EV batteries do not need replaced after 5 years....

-Second, in an EV, you have essentially a single rotating part in the engine....

-Third, it is a common misconception that the chemicals in a modern battery are these horrendously toxic things....


Not to mention the rapid pace at which EV technology is advancing....

Who said anything about toxic stuff?  It is not the battery, you are missing the point.  When you are creating something anew, it takes energy.  Energy is the currency of nature.  You can't avoid it.

Whether you are digging a hole for the metal (steel), or rubber (tire), or melting glass, all takes energy.  Looking at just the SMALL difference of how it stores the energy is completely missing the point.  That is rounding error comparing to the total energy consumed in creating that car.

The amount of cost to create the car is in tens of thousands (USD).  The cost of fuel is in thousands over the life of the car.  That alone should tell you that the cost of creation of the car consumes an order of magnitude more resources.  Just maintenance cost alone exceeds the fuel cost over the life of the car.  Energy is the currency of nature.  You can't avoid it.  The tens of thousands spend goes into creating yet more pollution.  The car salesman use his commission to take his kids to dinner, that is yet more energy consumed...  The car maker use his income to fly to Disney, that is yet more energy consumed.

Want to be less an energy hog?  Buy the cheapest of anything.  The less it cost, the less resource was consumed in creating it.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #64 on: September 29, 2013, 11:27:28 am »
Otherwise an EV produces just as much CO2 as an economic car on fuel.

That is simply not true.  You can't make a valid comparison unless you know where the power is coming from in the first place, but the "well to wheel" efficiency of an EV is massively higher than that of a combustion powered engine.
As usual you have no numbers to back your claim and you are twisting my words. I already posted the mathematical proof an efficient car with a combustion engine produces just as much CO2 as the average EV on fossil fuel electricity. The gas and coal needed to feed a power plant need to be mined, processed, transported as well. So that goes into your EV 'well to wheel' efficiency as well. Not to mention the extra amount of energy needed to produce an EV. So if you want to make an EV really more efficient then you'll need to source electricity which has a very low CO2 footprint.

Other things you claim aren't true either. For starters an EV needs a complicated cooling/heating system to keep the batteries ar their most effective operating temperature. Also the electronics need fluid based cooling and electronics must stay a lot cooler than an combustion engine. To cool the EV's electronics a heat pump (air conditioning) is required. Inside the combustion engine the temperatures are so high that keeping the coolant at 85 deg. Celsius is enough to cool the engine by just pumping the coolant through the engine and a radiator. If you just compare the motor of an EV a combustion engine then the combustion engine looks massively complicated. If you look at the big picture an EV is just as complicated as a car with a combustion engine. Each have their own unique problems to solve.

Also EVs are not new. Not by a long shot. Over 100 years ago when cars got invented the ratio between EV and combustion engine powered cars was 1 to 1. Later on the combustion engine 'won' because of the range and ease of re-fuelling. Car manufacturers around the world have been experimenting with EVs since then. If you use Google you can find most of them have a web page showing their early attempts. All unsuccesful because of the range and excessive cost. The only reason EVs are affordable today is because governments hand out money to people who buy them.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 11:38:07 am by nctnico »
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #65 on: September 29, 2013, 12:10:25 pm »
Before CD-ROM burners there were no external storage formats with the same mix of low media cost, rapid read access and compact size. The market paid for something that had no competition.

There, you see the pattern. The market would not pay for something that has an established competition that is as good.

I don't think you are getting it. The market will pay to solve a problem that is not yet solved.

But that is not the case here. The problem of personal road transport is solved.

What can you do with an electric car that you cannot already do with a conventional car?

Is it faster? Irrelevant, there are speed limits.

Is it cheaper to buy? Electric cars today are twice the price of comparable conventional cars. No advantage there.

Does it have a longer range? Demonstrably not.

Is it quieter? Sure, but current cars are quiet enough. If cars are too quiet people don't hear them coming, and anyway surface road noise is the biggest contributor to traffic noise in the environment.

Does it pollute less? Yes, but catalytic converters have essentially solved that problem already.

Does it have a lower running cost? Not if you take the battery renewal cost into account.

So really, what is the point of an electric car? There is no market for them except among people who want to make a personal statement or who want to experiment with something novel. And that's a very small niche.

You definitely have a point here, and i see that i picked my examples poorly  :palm: in an attempt to illustrate that new tech usually has high entry cost which will drop if mass production picks up. Sorry about that. I am trying to stay away from making silly metaphors ;)
In the end, essentially we are having the same opinion of e-cars not (yet) being a viable mass-market product, incapable to compete with petrol cars yet.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 12:13:31 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #66 on: September 29, 2013, 12:24:50 pm »
Want to be less an energy hog?  Buy the cheapest of anything.  The less it cost, the less resource was consumed in creating it.

Not entirely true. Cheap products come from cheap labor too, not just because they needed less resources to make them...
And you can't really compare the cost of a manufactured product (where labor costs are a substantial part of) with the cost of a (processed) natural resources -- it's like comparing apples and oranges...
 

Offline amyk

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #67 on: September 29, 2013, 12:39:28 pm »
EVs is one area where China has focused a lot of development effort on, and it shows in their price/value (if not safety). They are a lot more common there and there are many more manufacturers producing them. For example, this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BYD_e6
 

Offline ElectroIrradiator

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #68 on: September 29, 2013, 03:19:53 pm »
Want to be less an energy hog?  Buy the cheapest of anything.  The less it cost, the less resource was consumed in creating it.
...and the cheapest car is frequently the one you already own.

Both cars and fuel are very expensive in this country, due to heavy taxation on both. Yet despite this, then it still makes economic sense for me to keep my Lexus LS-400 running, compared to buying practically any new car. Despite paying higher 'green taxes' due to the (much) larger engine, a premium on insurance and triple the gas consumption, then I am still paying less for the annual upkeep on the Lexus, compared to paying the fixed expenses on a new loan plus upkeep for even a VW Up!, or any comparable compact city car.

The only reason why it is even a race this year, is due to the Lexus needing a trip to the paint shop before the winter for some touch up work. Plus the engine is due for its /80'000 km valve adjustment (mechanical valve lifters).

Of course this only works out, because my driving needs are fairly low, ensuring the fuel bill doesn't kill the Lexus budget. The comparison might come out completely reversed, if I had a long, daily commute.

I know which eco car I prefer... :D
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 03:37:36 pm by ElectroIrradiator »
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #69 on: September 29, 2013, 05:51:42 pm »
Want to be less an energy hog?  Buy the cheapest of anything.  The less it cost, the less resource was consumed in creating it.

Not entirely true. Cheap products come from cheap labor too, not just because they needed less resources to make them...
And you can't really compare the cost of a manufactured product (where labor costs are a substantial part of) with the cost of a (processed) natural resources -- it's like comparing apples and oranges...

(I probably should not have posted that first note I did.  I was waiting for an email and it was late and I was tired and cranky.  Be that as it may, now that I opened the pandora's box...)

Yeah, it is not entire true.  The statement is merely an "in general..."  Like saying: "in general, the more expensive DMM will likely be the more accurate one."

I was just taken back that folks here would judge the quality of a DMM by the probe alone.  Probe - the part we touch and use.

No doubt the probe has a measurable impact.  But a lot more goes into the accuracy of a DMM beyond the probe.  But what should be self-evident is that there is a lot more to DMM's accuracy that is inside beyond the parts we touch.

Labor is energy too.  Human need to eat.  The people need to be moved from place A (home) to place B (factory).  Everything is energy.  Making the windshield is energy, making the tire is energy.

- More money = more resources.
- More resources = more energy
- More energy= more pollution.

Looking at energy consumption of driving alone and think you are doing the environment a favor is like getting a DT830B at $5 and spend some $ on a $60 fluke probe and think you made your DMM better is true - but well, it is ill-advised.

To argue that a better probe help or not is silly.  I know it helps.  It is just not the best way to deploy our money (mony = limited resources).  You will have far better result getting a $65 DMM than $5 for the DMM and $60 for the probe.

If you keep that old clunker and drive it to the ground, you are doing the environment a much bigger favor than abandoning a working product than starting the pollution cycle entirely anew with small changes in the rounding error.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #70 on: September 29, 2013, 05:52:32 pm »
For those who aren't ready to buy a new car, consider "ecomodding" your existing one. And don't forget hypermiling, which can be very effective in any car.
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Online Mechatrommer

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #71 on: September 29, 2013, 06:11:20 pm »
5 pages huh, i dont care... i want to file a complaint can i?... i cant find one single car that:
1) so spacious that fit all my kids and family, AND...
2) 4x4 so i can go to jungle and rough road, AND...
3) fuel economy as economic as a scooter, AND...
4) can fly.

no! you wont get everything what you want, and above all you wont get a car that satisfies all people. pick what suites you and move on. probably there is reason why only one company that choosed luxurious and long range ecar out of many. probably they played with statistics (or probability thereof) and pick there side ??? lets see which company survives this 5-10 years to come, you and i are waiting. and, if a company needs 5-10 years from meeting to manufacture, then they deserve to be bought, hire a new boss or something, our local company can do alot better.

btw, if i have to choose between 1x double priced car and 2x regular priced cars that have different purposes, i'll choose 2x regular priced cars, and i bet the decision will be similar to 99% of community in my state, the normal joe type guys, not the electron wrangler nuts type ;)
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Offline NANDBlog

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #72 on: September 29, 2013, 06:31:30 pm »
Nissan cannot give you bigger batteries, as if the batteries were bigger, more people would buy the car, and they just don't have the capacity to make that many batteries. It is simple economics. Ina few years, majbe the leaf will have bigger range.
Tesla sells fraction of the number of cars. They have the luxury to outsource the battery factory. Nissan doesn't. Also, 1/3-1/2 of the cost of the car is the battery. If they make it twice the size, it will be ridiculously expensive.
Also, you are comparing the running costs of the cars, while you live in the US. The region called ROW, has fuel prices that are simply the double what you have there. It is simply cheaper to drive an electric car here in europe, where they ask 1.7 EUR for a liter of gasoline. 120 km is not a bad reach also. it covers 95% of my daily commute. I would only need a different car if I go to the next country.
And leasing a battery is like having an insurance on the most expensive part in your car. Battery cells do brake, and I dont want to drive my car around praying for Jesus Christ. I just drive to the nearest swap station and replace it with a good condition one if something breaks.
So if I use my car 100.000 Kms and I spend half on fuel, it is well worth. Not to mention the tax brake, and here there are cities, you park free, and charge free. And I would expect to ban not hybrid or electric cars from the downtown area of most cities.
 

Offline Phaedrus

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #73 on: September 29, 2013, 06:44:56 pm »
I drive a '99 Crown Vic and get ~18mpg city (24mpg highway)


But I've driven from LA to DC and back to LA in it, hauling a trailer! with nothing worse than a flat tire. Give me an electric that can match that level of reliability, and an electric charging infrastructure that can let me charge even if I'm out in the middle of goddamn Nowhere, Bupkis, and I'll sign on. Until then... Well, I might buy one for around-town driving if it makes economic sense, but I'm gonna keep my Ford until the wheels fall off.
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Offline woodchips

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #74 on: September 29, 2013, 07:25:21 pm »
Perhaps the secret is in the words 'don't fit a bigger battery' in where does it go? Are there really thousands of cells in the battery? Each is some few cubic centimetres, or inches, and that adds up to a huge volume. Perhaps the impressive electric car, can't remember what it is called, is a sportscar simply because it is the only body style with lots of room to hide lots of batteries. Remember seeing the engine in an E type once, that sort of thing.

There also seem to be minor problems like the recharging current. If you are the only person with an electric car, then fine. But when the whole road gets them then the mains distribution is not going to like the consequent current being taken.

They are an obvious place we are heading to, but aren't there lots of intermediate steps first? Like regenerative braking, a DC generator dumping the power into some fast charge batteries or supercapacitors. The electronic engine management takes an astonishing current draw, I measured over 10A on just a simple ECU, so this generated power can be used quickly, within minutes. If you are in a jam then the regenerative brake can also do duty as a motor to trickle you along. Seems pretty basic, and simple, to me but no car has it. Why?
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #75 on: September 29, 2013, 07:34:35 pm »
They have the luxury to outsource the battery factory. Nissan doesn't.
Also, 1/3-1/2 of the cost of the car is the battery. If they make it twice the size, it will be ridiculously expensive.

And leasing a battery is like having an insurance on the most expensive part in your car. Battery cells do brake, and I dont want to drive my car around praying for

1) Tesla builds the battery right here in Fremont, just like 90% of the car. Even the motor is built in house. No importing cheap crap from china. 90% of the car component is made in silicon valley. They stamp their own body panels from rolls of aluminum. They assemble their own circuit boards as well ( yes they have their own pick and place machines !) Find me a car maker that can say that ... the only parts they buy is the glass, the leather for the seats, the steering wheel and levers and the speakers and rims and tires. Everything else is done in the plant in Fremont. They even make their own plastic parts. They got injection molders, stamping presses (They own the largest stamping press in the US ).

Making a car in one of the most expensive area's of the world (in terms of labor cost, factory cost, production cost)... and still making a hefty profit.

The individual cells are made by Panasonic with Samsung and LG now have gotten a licence to make the cells (the cell technology,read chemistry and internal cell construction)  is Tesla owned technology. It is a modified li-ion chemistry with a different electrode construction but does fit the standard laptop cell form factor 18650 or whatever it is called.) They added an intumescent to make the cell self-extinguishing and a small circuit board that can eliminate the cell from the loop should it fail or degrade.

2) yes the batter is 1/3 the cost of the leaf. Which costs 38000$. Double that battery pack. It'll add 10000 but it will make the range acceptable !

3) Tesla gives you 8 years no questions asked warranty on the battery AND the drive train (motor+reduction gearbox). The Tesla battery pack can be repaired as it is constructed if individual cell clusters. The nissan ? probably a whole swap is needed...
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #76 on: September 29, 2013, 07:35:59 pm »
Perhaps the impressive electric car, can't remember what it is called, is a sportscar simply because it is the only body style with lots of room to hide lots of batteries. Remember seeing the engine in an E type once, that sort of thing.

If you would ignore safety/crashworthiness regulations, your assumption would make sense. You don't really want to have a huge lithium battery running amok in case of a crash...

The reason why sports cars: Guaranteed attention (nobody really dreams about a VW Golf) and because sports cars will never be discussed/examined as serious everyday general-purpose vehicles.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #77 on: September 29, 2013, 07:52:34 pm »
Perhaps the secret is in the words 'don't fit a bigger battery' in where does it go?

go take a look at how Tesla did it. You are sitting on it... it is a pancake , 3 inches thick the entire width of the car and fits between the front and rear axle. there is so  much room leftover you can use the place under the bonnet as an additional trunk.
Not in the leaf. They crammed that compartment full of batteries because they did not want to re-engineer the structure of the car from the ground up.
Like i said 'incremental change' is all what they seem to know. The traditional car makers seem to be unwilling or incapable of re-engineering from zero..
Take out petrol engine, drop in battery pack and electric motor.  That is all they did. This has been tried over and over and it doesn't quite work right.

Use the available room under the car ! you don't have an exhaust system , no drive shaft , no fuel lines, no brake lines and none of the other crap you have in a regular car. If you slap the engine in the rear between the wheels, and if you make the battery part of the cars frame it hides itself ! This is not what they did on the leaf. That entire space is left unused... not smart...

&elgonzo . crash and safety ? The Tesla is the safest car ever tested. It outperforms any car in any test. It even outperforms all cars in different categories in all tests. They couldn't make it roll for the roll test , they had to artificially flip it and when they tried the test to see what would make the roof cave in the Tesla destroyed the testing machine... Most cars collapse the roof at 2 to 3 times the weight of the car. They hit 4 times the weight of the Tesla (which is , at 2 tonnes, more than your average car) at which point the test machine broke... the roof doesn't move. Turns out it is not welded on , but bolted on using the same kind of bolts used to put wings on an aircraft ... the struts holding the roof are part of the main car structure and give it its rigidity.

The Tesla only looks like a car. It is in every aspect , when it comes how it is constructed, totally different from what anyone else does.
Why can't other car makers do that ? are they so set in their way of work they can't innovate anymore ?
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Offline reagle

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #78 on: September 29, 2013, 08:08:26 pm »
I've visited a local plug in day as well, and I drive hybrid so here are my two cents
First impression- look at all these cars that did not exist a few years ago! We had Leafs, Volta, Teslas, Rav 4EV, Honda Fit EV,  Zero bikes and tiny things like MiEV. And they were represented by their owners, not sales droids. Huge difference. You get to see real people who are happy with their cars and can tell you their real life experience. I am not at all surprised that a given sales droid from a stealership was clueless. This is why Tesla does not want their cars sold by dealers.

As far as the best car for your usage- with such a commute Leaf is not a good idea. A Tesla (If you can afford one),or a plain hybrid or even plugin hybrid will do just fine and give you reasonably high mileage without range anxiety since once a smallish battery is empty it behaves like a regular hybrid. In our family, I'd probably have one of the cars an EV and the other- a hybrid. Covers all usage patterns for us and we could swap as needed.

On taking the power plant from Tesla to another car- good luck there. Model S was designed from ground up as an electric car. That's why when you see  a bunch of EVs at a car show, all but Teslas have engine-like things under their hoods. That's the space they had to jam electronics. Tesla has a "frunk" instead ';)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 08:11:05 pm by reagle »
 

Offline reagle

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #79 on: September 29, 2013, 08:13:33 pm »
Forgot to mention- a model S owner was nice enough to give us some fun rides. The thing accelerates like a jet liner, minus the shaking and vibration. You just keep waiting for it to take off. Pretty insane!

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #80 on: September 29, 2013, 08:24:57 pm »
&elgonzo . crash and safety ? The Tesla is the safest car ever tested. It outperforms any car in any test. It even outperforms all cars in different categories in all tests.

You certainly misunderstood. Flipping the car or even doing artistic barrel rolls with it would not impress the battery much (i hope so).

It is impact crash scenarios (you crashing into something, or somebody else crashing into you)  where battery safety
is a concern.  :o
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #81 on: September 29, 2013, 08:31:01 pm »
Forgot to mention- a model S owner was nice enough to give us some fun rides. The thing accelerates like a jet liner, minus the shaking and vibration. You just keep waiting for it to take off. Pretty insane!

If you ever took a ride in an electric high-speed train, or took one of these many crazy rides in amusement/theme parks, you know what is possible. Asynch AC motors are not only powerful while being compact, they also forgive a lot of abuse :)


 

Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #82 on: September 29, 2013, 08:37:40 pm »
Forgot to mention- a model S owner was nice enough to give us some fun rides. The thing accelerates like a jet liner, minus the shaking and vibration. You just keep waiting for it to take off. Pretty insane!

Even a tiny Spark EV can leave gasoline vehicles for dust at the lights. I was in one once, car plus three large adults. Driver in the other lane thought, "Hmm, toy car, I'll just nip ahead of it and cut across into their lane". Well, before their gasoline engine had finished revving up they were a receding image in our mirrors.

Unlike gasoline engines (which have zero torque at zero revs), electric motors have high torque at zero revs. Furthermore, electric drive trains don't have power sapping devices like clutches or torque converters in the power train. You get instant acceleration on demand.

One thing I've often been puzzled about is why cars have never been designed with electric transmissions like diesel railway locomotives. You could have a Prius sized battery, electric drive train, and small, lightweight gas turbine/generator set to charge the battery. You would get a light, fuel efficient, high performance vehicle.
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #83 on: September 29, 2013, 08:51:06 pm »
One thing I've often been puzzled about is why cars have never been designed with electric transmissions like diesel railway locomotives. You could have a Prius sized battery, electric drive train, and small, lightweight gas turbine/generator set to charge the battery. You would get a light, fuel efficient, high performance vehicle.

Simply costs. The advantage of diesel electric locos compared to diesel hydraulics is fuel savings (since the diesel can almost always run in its optimal operation range), but which only becomes significant in a high power scenario and the high fuel requirement that comes with it.

Diesel electrics are substantially more expensive than diesel hydraulics, and they do not pay off in any other than high power scenarios. Not surprisingly, even today new low/mid power diesel hydraulics are built, such as the Vossloh G18.

Gas turbine is a dead end for such applications (unless someone has a smart idea about it).
Also look at locos for an example. Many railway companies used / experimented with gas turbine locos (mechanical transmission as well as electric transmission), and they were not a success. Guzzling gas instead of saving it :)

I think you can apply this similarly to a hypothetical diesel/gas-electric car...
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 09:08:52 pm by elgonzo »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #84 on: September 29, 2013, 09:52:33 pm »
Buzzz. The reason to use a diesel-electric (or diesel hydraulic) drive in a locomotive has everything to do with fine traction control. You'll have a hard time to get a diesel loc to pull up without spinning the wheels or wearing the clutch really fast. With an electric drive the power control is much more fine grained. In a car you'd just add more conversion losses. A combustion engine with a turbo can be made very efficient in a wide RPM range. That is exactly what the car manufacturers (with BMW in the lead) are doing nowadays. They use the turbocharger to adjust the (virtual) volume of the cylinder to make the engine run efficiently.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 09:56:51 pm by nctnico »
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Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #85 on: September 29, 2013, 10:10:18 pm »
Right, but we don't have to suppose that the reason for diesel electric traction in a locomotive is the same reason for using it in a car.

Consider that electric cars already have all the drive and traction components anyway. If we apply diesel electric traction arguments to cars we would conclude that electric cars don't make sense (isn't that what this thread is all about?).

However, people think electric cars can make sense. So far the biggest problem to be overcome is the size of the battery required and limitations on the range. So suppose we replace most of the battery with a small and light generator set. Doesn't that address the energy storage concerns, while leaving other benefits of electric motive power intact?

Now, it is true that we no longer get the cost saving of mains electricity over gasoline. On the other hand gas turbines can burn other lower cost fuels than highly refined gasoline, so they can still have a cost and ecological advantage. It has already been proven that jet aircraft can run on 100% biofuel.

Gas turbines historically do not work in cars because they have the wrong speed and torque characteristics to couple to an automotive transmission. But they have the perfect speed and torque characteristics for connecting to a generator. Add to this that a gas turbine can be made the size of a coke can (maybe a little bigger for automotive power requirements), and you have a viable alternative to a big, heavy gas or diesel engine.

This hybrid electric transmission is of course exactly how hydrogen powered vehicles would be expected to work (replace the generator with a fuel cell). So it is not a completely crazy idea.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 10:11:56 pm by IanB »
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Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #86 on: September 29, 2013, 10:23:43 pm »
Right, but we don't have to suppose that the reason for diesel electric traction in a locomotive is the same reason for using it in a car.

Consider that electric cars already have all the drive and traction components anyway. If we apply diesel electric traction arguments to cars we would conclude that electric cars don't make sense (isn't that what this thread is all about?).
Now you are twisting my words  ;D Again: diesel-electric drive trains in locomotives aren't about saving fuel but about fine grained traction control. In a car you don't need fine grained traction control so a combustion engine can drive the wheels directly.
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #87 on: September 29, 2013, 10:47:20 pm »
They are an obvious place we are heading to, but aren't there lots of intermediate steps first? Like regenerative braking, a DC generator dumping the power into some fast charge batteries or supercapacitors. The electronic engine management takes an astonishing current draw, I measured over 10A on just a simple ECU, so this generated power can be used quickly, within minutes. If you are in a jam then the regenerative brake can also do duty as a motor to trickle you along. Seems pretty basic, and simple, to me but no car has it. Why?
Actually, hybrids do have that, and even a few non hybrids have that as well.
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Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #88 on: September 29, 2013, 11:01:15 pm »
Now you are twisting my words  ;D Again: diesel-electric drive trains in locomotives aren't about saving fuel but about fine grained traction control. In a car you don't need fine grained traction control so a combustion engine can drive the wheels directly.

I'm not twisting your words. I'm just saying that different reasons may apply for hybrid electric transmission in cars than in diesel locomotives. We don't have to say that the only reason for diesel electric transmission is fine-grained traction control, just because that is the reason in one application. (Actually, I don't necessarily agree with that reasoning either. The primary reason for diesel electric traction on railways is that mechanical or hydraulic transmissions are not able to handle the power requirements of the largest locomotives.)

In cars, you need motive power that has usable torque over a wide range of speeds. An internal combustion engine sucks at this, which is why cars need complex devices like clutches and gearboxes with many interchangeable gear ratios. What's more internal combustion engines need to be made larger to cater for the maximum demand, which means they run inefficiently at lower speeds.

Electric motors solve all these problems. They have strong torque at low speeds, so they don't need lots of gears. They don't waste power when stationary or running slowly. They don't need a clutch to prevent them stalling. Their speed and torque can be adjusted over a huge range using only electronics.

In engineering terms, electric motors are a far more suitable motive power source for cars than internal combustion engines are. The only reason combustion engines power cars as well as they do today is years and years of refinement to overcome the problems.
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Offline ampdoctor

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #89 on: September 29, 2013, 11:06:41 pm »
Every time I see discussions about electric cars, all I can think about is the massive screw ups our govt made in promoting green energy.  Think about it for a minute.  If when uncle sam bailed out GM they inserted the provision that you won't get dollar 1 unless every car you make is either fully electric or at a minimum 1/2 to 2/3 the physical production, the mfg's would be busting their asses coming up with solutions to all the major and most of the minor problems.  And with that quantity of electrics hitting the roads from one end of the country to the other, there would be no shortage of charging stations either.

The way it stands currently, no pun intended, unless you're a white collar worker making 100k/yr and living in a major metro area electric cars are a non starter.  Once you get into "fly over country" the vast majority of people can put every bit of 100 miles a day on a car without batting an eye. With average incomes substantially less than 50k/yr they better be damn cheap, have a lot of range, and be able to charge up right now! And that demographic covers one hell of a lot of people.

So the trick in my view is that for electrics to be viable in this country the major hurdles that need to be addressed are 1. they need to be available sub-20k for a utilitarian vehicle, 2. the usable range needs to be doubled at a minimum, 3. they need to be fully chargeable in around 15 minutes, 4. stations need to be made available in every one horse town from coast to coast.

I know most people here would say that those are unrealistic standards. But, if you want to get rid of fossil fuel vehicles that's the standard that needs to be achieved. Until that happens, electrics will be viewed as not much more than a toy for a bunch of urban yuppies with more money than brains whether it's a true statement or not. That's the hard reality of it even if it's a bitter pill to swallow for a lot of people.
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #90 on: September 29, 2013, 11:19:59 pm »
Buzzz. The reason to use a diesel-electric (or diesel hydraulic) drive in a locomotive has everything to do with fine traction control. You'll have a hard time to get a diesel loc to pull up without spinning the wheels or wearing the clutch really fast. With an electric drive the power control is much more fine grained.

Nope, sorry, but wrong. That was not the reason why diesel electrics became the standard for heavy freight and passenger trains (on unelectrified lines) during the 1960s.

Old diesel electrics don't provide superior traction contol. Spinning wheels were avoided in the past by the generous use of sand.

Older electric locos by the way were lacking fine control too. They controlled motor power by using big power resistors. The traction control/limitation of old electrics was actually so bad, that powerful freight locos could push the railbed/sleepers.

On the contrary, diesel-hydraulic transmission was and is is preferred in switchers/shunters because it offers a rather smooth change of power which is important due to frequently occurring accelerating/decelerating with freight. And no, they don't need a clutch.  :o

Clutches you will find only in low-power light-weight passenger units, as mechanical transmission is not a good choice for any train with a bit of weight...

Fine traction control for electric drive train started to become a reality in production locos during the 1980s with the emergence of reliable high-power IGBTs which allowed the use asynchronous AC traction motors as well as efficient, fine traction control.
However, diesel electric traction predates this development several decades, and your argument would only make sense if you have a time machine.  ;D
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 11:34:22 pm by elgonzo »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #91 on: September 29, 2013, 11:57:30 pm »
Now you are twisting my words  ;D Again: diesel-electric drive trains in locomotives aren't about saving fuel but about fine grained traction control. In a car you don't need fine grained traction control so a combustion engine can drive the wheels directly.

I'm not twisting your words. I'm just saying that different reasons may apply for hybrid electric transmission in cars than in diesel locomotives. We don't have to say that the only reason for diesel electric transmission is fine-grained traction control, just because that is the reason in one application. (Actually, I don't necessarily agree with that reasoning either. The primary reason for diesel electric traction on railways is that mechanical or hydraulic transmissions are not able to handle the power requirements of the largest locomotives.)

In cars, you need motive power that has usable torque over a wide range of speeds. An internal combustion engine sucks at this, which is why cars need complex devices like clutches and gearboxes with many interchangeable gear ratios. What's more internal combustion engines need to be made larger to cater for the maximum demand, which means they run inefficiently at lower speeds.
The latter is not quite true. A combustion engine doesn't have a single point where its most efficient. It runs most efficient when it needs to provide near full power at a given RPM. This means that for a given speed the gear ratio must be choosen in a way the RPM of the engine is as low as possible. I tested this with my own car by tuning it to have more power at low RPM so I can drive in a higher gear. This resulted in a fuel saving of about 5%. The use of a turbo charger can increase the range in which the engine runs most efficient.

And please don't use torque. Torque is a function of RPM and power (power= torque * rotation speed in rad/s). What you want to accellerate a car is power (energy over time). If you get a constant amount of power from an engine the torque actually gets lower with increasing speed. Since power (energy!) cannot be lost the car will still accellerate. If you have an engine with a constant torque you start with very little power which increases as the RPM rises. In other words: torque works counter intuitive. Lots of torque doesn't mean fast accelleration and torque getting less doesn't mean the car is slowing down.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 12:03:22 am by nctnico »
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #92 on: September 30, 2013, 12:03:51 am »
I've visited a local plug in day as well, and I drive hybrid so here are my two cents
-snip-
 And they were represented by their owners, not sales droids. Huge difference. You get to see real people who are happy with their cars and can tell you their real life experience. I am not at all surprised that a given sales droid from a stealership was clueless.
-snip-
 Model S was designed from ground up as an electric car. That's why when you see  a bunch of EVs at a car show, all but Teslas have engine-like things under their hoods. That's the space they had to jam electronics. Tesla has a "frunk" instead ';)

Here is a bit of information deliberately left out of the conversation so far, to see where this would go. (It is a RANT after all. i wanted to see what other people, informed and uninformed think about it. i use this information to get a better view of how people look at these cars.)

I also talked to OWNERS of Nissan Leaf ( 3 of them and this was AFTER my interaction with the official dealer ) and the FIRST thing all three told me is that it is ONLY a COMMUTER car. Don't expect it to be able to become your only car. One even admitted that he drives from San Francisco to the lower bay area every day and HAS to charge it where he works. Frequently he has to send emails to his colleagues or chase em down if they will please move their electrics when done charging so he can charge to get home.... sometimes he works late because the car is still charging...The actual owners were honest.

I also talked to Volt owners and Tesla owners. Those guys seem to be the happy crowd without the range anxiety. So are the plug-in hybrid owners. The Rav4 EV .. there was only one and he had mixed feelings about it.

And yes, you are right. ALL electrics that were on show had all the stuff crammed in the area where the normal combustion engine would be. Only the Tesla is engineered to be electric from the ground up.

So this leads me back to another question i keep on asking :

 Why can't the other car makers do that (engineer it from the ground up)?

- Are they so set in their ways they can't change ? They have become dinosaurs that have lost the ability to evolve ?
- They can't innovate ?
- They are simply not interested in it ?
- They are scared of it ?
- They want it to go away ?
- They are technologically retarded ?
- they are afraid the higher price will turn people away ? ( the Tesla outsells basically all other cars in its price category like BMW M5 and 7 series , Audi A8 and many others ... so that can't be it)
- it is a deliberate attempt at sabotaging it ?
- it is a conspiracy because the manufacturer-dealer-petrolpump business model is threatened ?

What is it ? one , multiple, or all of the above ?

It CAN be done. the Tesla is living proof of it. I drove one yesterday at the plug-in event and i drove one at the factory this morning (yesterday was rush rush and they didn't go over all the things the car has, so i went to the Tesla store at the factory to get the full details).

Technologically this car is completely different and the end result is something unlike our perception of an electric car. It does take off like the enterprise going into warp. The charging technology is unlike anything out there. It's got the range and it is a very comfortable luxury car on top of that.

 It really leaves all the old stuff behind. Both in the technology and engineering of the machine and at the stoplight...
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #93 on: September 30, 2013, 12:04:58 am »
Consider that electric cars already have all the drive and traction components anyway. If we apply diesel electric traction arguments to cars we would conclude that electric cars don't make sense (isn't that what this thread is all about?).

However, people think electric cars can make sense. So far the biggest problem to be overcome is the size of the battery required and limitations on the range. So suppose we replace most of the battery with a small and light generator set. Doesn't that address the energy storage concerns, while leaving other benefits of electric motive power intact?

If you take costs out of your consideration, everything that is possible within the confines of physical laws and doesn't harm humans should be possible :)

What you suggest we have already in a somewhat different way, which is called hybrids. The idea behind these is (i just noticed that, loosing interest in hybrids long ago, i actually don't what their current selling point is. So please forgive me if i now start to utter total BS :-//) that the e-drive takes over from the gas engine when the gas engine would need to operate in an unfavourable range. Uhm, is that what hybrids do??? ;)

Consider a hybrid to be converted into a petrol-electric. Without considering any engineering details, you would need to swap the gearbox and the hybrids weak e-motor with a generator plus e-traction motors. Again, if you don't mind cost, it should be possible. If you mind cost... but let's rather stop here... it's like beating a dead horse :)

Gas turbine. Honestly, i don't know. There was not much visibly going on with gas turbine-related transportation in the last 30...40 years, except the odd concept, prototype, testbed or gas-turbine bus here and there. Russia dabbles a bit more seriously in gas-turbine-electric locos, but they are the largest exporter of LNG and have 2nd largest natural gas reserves in the world, so that would count as a special case.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #94 on: September 30, 2013, 12:17:30 am »
And please don't use torque. Torque is a function of RPM and power (power= torque * rotation speed in rad/s). What you want to accellerate a car is power (energy over time).

I'm an engineer. I have to use torque  ;)  Torque is what is required to convert power into speed.

There's a rather unfortunate consequence of your equation above. If a machine is stationary, the rotation speed of the wheels is zero. This means that the applied power is torque * zero = zero. According to this formula, no stationary vehicle will ever start moving...
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Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #95 on: September 30, 2013, 12:23:00 am »
Gas turbine. Honestly, i don't know.

I don't know either. Small gas turbines are used quite effectively in any number of executive jets out there. They run for hundreds or thousands of hours with only a moderate amount of servicing. Large gas turbines run in power plants 24 hours a day with no problems at all.

I'm not at all sure why gas turbines have such a hard time getting outside their current application areas. It's probably due to a lack of familiarity and availability of service personnel. If your car had a gas turbine in it hardly anyone would know how to service it.
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #96 on: September 30, 2013, 12:37:30 am »
It really leaves all the old stuff behind. Both in the technology and engineering of the machine and at the stoplight...

While i never had the chance to drive a Tesla myself, i can totally imagine how you feel.

Just look at the power requirements of these amazing amusement park thrill rides (here an older version of the Mondial web site, the current web site doesn't seem to show tech. specs.). Seldomly they need more than 200kW, often less or just a bit more than 100kW. If you have once looked at those power requirements, you can't help but smirk at the driving performance of petrol cars. And never ever again you can look at a Bugatti Veyron without maximum ROFL...
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #97 on: September 30, 2013, 01:13:18 am »
Gas turbine. Honestly, i don't know.
I'm not at all sure why gas turbines have such a hard time getting outside their current application areas. It's probably due to a lack of familiarity and availability of service personnel. If your car had a gas turbine in it hardly anyone would know how to service it.

Perhaps it is one of those forgotten technologies.
Like NASA, who lost expertise in heavy lifter rockets (Saturn 5), and has to study the decades-old F-1 rocket engines, to re-learn what their grandfatherly engineers were doing in a time long before our time.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 01:16:53 am by elgonzo »
 

Offline Psi

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #98 on: September 30, 2013, 01:44:15 am »
Again, with the utmost respect, it sounds to me that you just wanted to put the poor car guy in his place and show him how big your intellectual dick is. 
No it doesn't. If he'd told me. Well our car is targeted as a short commuter car or for people that want to use it as a second car, i would have thanked him and walked away. With those premises set : short commuter, or ise as second car it would have been acceptable.

Him going off telling me to buy a second gasoline powered car or suggesting me to rent one

They would never say upfront that the cars only suitable for X and you need a 2nd car for the long trips.
It goes against everything taught in sales/marketing school. eg
- Never voluntarily mention the negatives of the product
- Always provide solutions if the customer asks about the negatives

Don't get me wrong I find this annoying too.
Stupid marketing people leaving out the important facts, but you can't verbally attack them for it.
It's the entire marketing system/culture that has the problem. They're just doing their job and trying to get you to buy the product.

Attacking them for doing their job is like killing the messenger, and calling them out in front of other potential buyers (who may be perfectly suited for the product) is just sad.

« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 01:47:29 am by Psi »
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #99 on: September 30, 2013, 01:58:02 am »
And please don't use torque. Torque is a function of RPM and power (power= torque * rotation speed in rad/s).

No, not RPM. Diameter...

Big diameter = High speed, low torque:


Small diameter = Low speed, high torque:


Now, don't come and tell me that trucks usually have bigger tires than sports cars. I wouldn't know what to say  :-//

But thank you for giving me the opportunity to post pictures of steam engines in a thread about electric cars  O0

(EDIT: I know, that this is not the correct defintion of torque, but i simply couldn't resist... )
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 02:17:52 am by elgonzo »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #100 on: September 30, 2013, 02:33:54 am »
They would never say upfront that the cars only suitable for X and you need a 2nd car for the long trips.
It goes against everything taught in sales/marketing school. eg
- Never voluntarily mention the negatives of the product
- Always provide solutions if the customer asks about the negatives

Don't get me wrong I find this annoying too.

I don't see that as a negative. There is nothing wrong with stating the truth !
The car is suitable for short commute driving and a perfect fit for that kind of usage. If you do longer trips you will need a second car.

If he had been upfront about it that it is designed for that purpose i would have had no problem at all. If they would state clearly that this is a car designed for that i wouldn't even have bothered him.That's not what i'm looking for, i would have gone to the next brand. But they hide the numbers until last... so you have to inquire. When you react disappointed upon hearing the numbers all of a sudden its your fault , you just should get a second car or rent one.... that simply doesn't fly with me. It's not my fault i am disappointed in your product. You make it come off as a great product and then the balloon pops.

I don't do marketing bullshit. Show me the numbers. Don't hide things. There is a reason they hide that number. They want to 'massage' you first so the number becomes less of a blow. If they were upfront half of the people would just walk by and look at brands with larger range ... they'd shoot themselves in the foot.
Imagine they change their marketing campaign and put this in big bold letters at the top :

The perfect electric car for your daily commute . Up to 100 miles range and charges overnight.

If i were in the market for that kind of solution i'd be immediately wowed. If that is not what i'm looking for i move on. But, i hate having to poke and prod to get all the details so i can decide if it fits my purpose. if i tell them ithat does not fit my purpose they try to convince me otherwise. Why not ? because i like to take a drive to the ocean. Well how many times do you do that a year ? . does it matter ? why are YOU even questioning MY behavior ? Your car doesn't fit me. Thank you . no hard feelings. And then they just
tell you well get a second car.
Sorry. that doesn't fly with me.

It's like telling me: (T=they , M=Me)

T - Here is a great allround scope.
M- How fast does it sample ?
T- Well it actually works only on repetitive signals as we undersample ...
M- Oh. Ok thank you , i start walking away and am called back :
T- Wait wait, why don't you like it. it's really great for repetitive signals !
M-  That may very well be , but it is undersampling and thus aliasing. I look at non repetitive signals 50 times a year.
T- Well just buy a second scope then. Or you could rent one. Maybe a nice analog one that doesn't suffer from aliasing?
M:  -verbal explosion-

i didn't call him out on purpose. i can't help it if other people behind me are listening in on the conversation.

I just hate marketing crap. i want to compare between products and its like a game of hide the information so you can't really compare. After talking to 5 vendors you are still wondering : is there anything else they didn't tell me ...
Marketing people should learn that, if the customer tells them : your product doesn't fit my criteria that that's it. Don't go on prodding and tell the customer he is wrong and should change his criteria or behavior. rule 1 in marketing is : customer is always right.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 02:43:26 am by free_electron »
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #101 on: September 30, 2013, 04:17:48 am »
It started out very civilized , up till the point he told me to just buy a second gas powered car , or rent one. That is where i lost it.

Why do i need two cars ? I can only drive one at a time! I dont have room for two cars. And i'm single.
Why do i need to spend 38000$ on a leaf and spend another 38000 on a gas powered car to cover for the deficiencies of the leaf ?

I think your frustration was probably more with the marketing guy sticking to the corporate line then, wasn't it?  I can't blame him.. it's not really his job to do anything but that.


Quote
I drive longer trips almost every weekend, i like going to carmel or SF . You expect me to own a second car just for the weekends ? You expect me to go rent a car every weekend. 52 weeks a year, 10 years in a row. Do you have any idea what that would cost ? It would be cheaper to buy a gas fueled car and drive it all day. It would cover the car and the fuel... So there goes your eco friendly , cheap in power consumption car. Poof. Gone. Vaporised.

But you're not in that 85% group then, because most people would be fine with a 100 mile range car and it would save then money (on operating costs).  A once-per-week usage need requiring an alternate vehicle is too much to swallow, but for most people they don't venture outside the cars' capabilities that often.

Quote
Anyway that point is irellevant. I dont want a second car. I want 1 car that does what my current car does (a chrysler sebring convertible). As i am looking at a new car i took a look at electrics.
And they don't compare to an average car. They don't have the range. It's as simple as that.

An electric is not what you want then - going back to my earlier point - anymore than a Corvette is what a construction guy wants.  I think you're getting hung up on the range being a standard non-issue for other vehicles that any that has range compromises is therefore not usable.  But that is only the case for those who fall into a usage pattern where an EV range would be burdensome, which isn't most drivers. 

It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #102 on: September 30, 2013, 04:19:59 am »
Whether you are digging a hole for the metal (steel), or rubber (tire), or melting glass, all takes energy.  Looking at just the SMALL difference of how it stores the energy is completely missing the point.  That is rounding error comparing to the total energy consumed in creating that car.

The amount of cost to create the car is in tens of thousands (USD).  The cost of fuel is in thousands over the life of the car.  That alone should tell you that the cost of creation of the car consumes an order of magnitude more resources.  Just maintenance cost alone exceeds the fuel cost over the life of the car.  Energy is the currency of nature.  You can't avoid it.  The tens of thousands spend goes into creating yet more pollution.  The car salesman use his commission to take his kids to dinner, that is yet more energy consumed...  The car maker use his income to fly to Disney, that is yet more energy consumed.

Want to be less an energy hog?  Buy the cheapest of anything.  The less it cost, the less resource was consumed in creating it.

That is completely untrue - all of it, I'm afraid.  Costs and energy used to create are not related in the manner you suggest.   And you forgot to cite the source for EV's being much worse polluters  :blah:
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #103 on: September 30, 2013, 04:27:32 am »
As usual you have no numbers to back your claim and you are twisting my words. I already posted the mathematical proof an efficient car with a combustion engine produces just as much CO2 as the average EV on fossil fuel electricity. The gas and coal needed to feed a power plant need to be mined, processed, transported as well. So that goes into your EV 'well to wheel' efficiency as well. Not to mention the extra amount of energy needed to produce an EV. So if you want to make an EV really more efficient then you'll need to source electricity which has a very low CO2 footprint.

You posted something in the other thread, as I recall, which was easily debunked with available data - and I believe your response was to cite a few cases where the EV polluted more, which were only true in very specific cases and certainly nowhere near true as a blanket statement as you suggested.  I remember citing all the government websites which proved my statement true - and it is.

Quote
Other things you claim aren't true either. For starters an EV needs a complicated cooling/heating system to keep the batteries ar their most effective operating temperature. Also the electronics need fluid based cooling and electronics must stay a lot cooler than an combustion engine. To cool the EV's electronics a heat pump (air conditioning) is required. Inside the combustion engine the temperatures are so high that keeping the coolant at 85 deg. Celsius is enough to cool the engine by just pumping the coolant through the engine and a radiator. If you just compare the motor of an EV a combustion engine then the combustion engine looks massively complicated. If you look at the big picture an EV is just as complicated as a car with a combustion engine. Each have their own unique problems to solve.

Yes, each type of car has their own unique problems to solve.  EV's have MANY less such problems to solve.  That is a fact.  Massively less moving parts, "free" braking (as an ICE gives you free heating), etc, etc.  It is poppycock to say an EV is just as complicated.  Nonsense.

Quote
Also EVs are not new. Not by a long shot. Over 100 years ago when cars got invented the ratio between EV and combustion engine powered cars was 1 to 1. Later on the combustion engine 'won' because of the range and ease of re-fuelling. Car manufacturers around the world have been experimenting with EVs since then. If you use Google you can find most of them have a web page showing their early attempts. All unsuccesful because of the range and excessive cost. The only reason EVs are affordable today is because governments hand out money to people who buy them.

EV's are "not new" just as rockets are "not new" because the Chinese were using them centuries ago.  We both know that's a silly analogy.  EV's benefit from improved battery and power management which was not available before.  That tips the scale into the "feasible" category.  The idea that there is some worldwide collusion to push EV's by throwing money at buyers is silly.  Just like religion, with EV's there are people who already have their mind made up and will cherry pick data points to support their crusade. 

For-profit companies are throwing billions into EV's because they see that EV's make economic sense and are the future of the automobile. 
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Offline AndyC_772

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #104 on: September 30, 2013, 07:09:01 am »
It's quite interesting to see that the discussion has gone on for this long without anybody really mentioning taxation, and how it has (and will no doubt continue to) influence the vehicle market.

The massive difference between the fuel costs for oil vs electric vehicles certainly isn't due to their different energy needs, it's down to the fact that fuel "for road use" is subject to much higher taxes than the energy which we draw from our power sockets.

There's no technological difference there, it's purely political - and a weird anomaly, IMHO. Personally I've never understood why the fuels (gas and electricity) that I use to heat my home and cook my meals should be widely regarded as essential and subject to one (low) tax rate, but the fuel I need to get to work, to travel to buy food and clothing, and (gasp!) visit family and friends should be regarded as 'bad', and taxed at a punitive rate.

Whatever the political motivation, as EVs become more popular, politicians will no doubt start to twig that they're not longer getting quite so much in tax revenue from the petrol pumps, yet people are now using electricity "for road use".

Does that mean the electricity used by EVs will start to be regarded as 'bad' in the same way petrol and diesel are now?

How long before we end up with two electricity meters? One for domestic use, and a separate one for the charging point in the garage - the garage one being much, much more expensive because (historically) road fuel has always been much more heavily taxed than fuel used for any other purpose.

If you're considering an EV right now, would it influence your decision if "road" electricity were taxed at the same level that other road fuels are today?

For how long do you believe it won't be?

Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #105 on: September 30, 2013, 07:42:58 am »
High taxation of petrol is a particularly UK (or European) perspective. Here in the US gasoline is not taxed to anything like the same punitive extent.

As to why petrol and other road fuels are taxed so highly, it is nothing to do with "bad" or "good". (That's just a sugar coating on the pill to help taxpayers swallow it.)

The truth is that the government has to raise more and more taxes every year and it will tax anything that moves if it can get away with it.

But it's a very valid point that the 400% tax rate on petrol is completely at odds with free public charging points for electric cars. If there was a widespread take-up of electric cars then they would no longer remain cheaper to run than petrol cars (in Europe at least).
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Offline ElectroIrradiator

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #106 on: September 30, 2013, 07:53:49 am »
Why can't the other car makers do that (engineer it from the ground up)?

They can and already have. GM have had at least two 'flat bottom' concept cars around 2005. Yep, two thousand and five. One was the 'skateboard', the other was called Sequel. There was a fuel cell version plus a battery powered EV edition, I forget which is which.

In both cases the fundamental idea was identical to the Tesla S: You have a flat frame, with a very low center of gravity, containing the energy package (batteries or fuel cells), and an electric 'motive power package' in each corner. One of the GM concept cars even had complete 'fly by wire' technology, meaning no mechanical steering linkage. This allows complete flexibility as to what the 'car' put on the flat chassis should look like. One of the GM concept cars showed just one choice of top, a futuristic luxury sedan very much like the Tesla S. However it was stressed at the time, that the configuration could be anything you liked. For instance an adaptive, low floor, high ceiling vehicle for a wheelchair user, a single seat flatbed truck or whatever.

Ford made a very similar concept car around the same time frame, and so did at least one of the large European manufacturers. I forget which one exactly.

Why didn't they bring this idea to market? My guess is simply what you almost say yourself: Supply chain issues. A very large fraction of the individual parts of a (standard) car are, well, standardized. This allows the car manufacturers to play all their suppliers out against each other, thus always getting rock bottom prices on their pattern parts. By your words Telsa is making about 90% of the parts for the S themselves, including the electric motors and (the engineering for) the battery packs. Which must mean there are practically no COTS parts, which can do the job required to Tesla's specs.

Maybe the big manufacturers are kind of hoping, that an EV build on a frame for a IC powered car is 'good enough'. If it is, then they and their suppliers wouldn't have to rebuild practically all of their supply chain.

Unfortunately for them Mr. Musk decided to throw some serious brain power at the project, and showed the world how an EV is supposed to be built... >:D
 

Offline Psi

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #107 on: September 30, 2013, 08:03:31 am »
One of the GM concept cars even had complete 'fly by wire' technology, meaning no mechanical steering linkage.

Hehe, so i can hack the car to use a gamepad for control :P
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Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #108 on: September 30, 2013, 11:13:10 am »
As usual you have no numbers to back your claim and you are twisting my words. I already posted the mathematical proof an efficient car with a combustion engine produces just as much CO2 as the average EV on fossil fuel electricity. The gas and coal needed to feed a power plant need to be mined, processed, transported as well. So that goes into your EV 'well to wheel' efficiency as well. Not to mention the extra amount of energy needed to produce an EV. So if you want to make an EV really more efficient then you'll need to source electricity which has a very low CO2 footprint.

You posted something in the other thread, as I recall, which was easily debunked with available data - and I believe your response was to cite a few cases where the EV polluted more, which were only true in very specific cases and certainly nowhere near true as a blanket statement as you suggested.  I remember citing all the government websites which proved my statement true - and it is.
You recall wrong. If I look at my electricity bill I see 1kWh produces 475grams of CO2 so an average EV (Volt, Leaf, Tesla S) produces about 105 grams of CO2 per km (based on EPA tests). If you live in Germany that number grows to 127grams per km and if you live in Australia where each kWh produces about 900 grams of CO2 per km that number is 198 grams of CO2 per km.  As a comparion: my 14 year old car produces 142 grams of CO2 per km and I could . Modern cars with a combustion enginge are already getting below the 100grams of CO2 per km mark in realistic driving conditions. So tell me how an EV is more efficient by default? Like I said before: an EV only helps to reduce the CO2 production (and fossile fuel consumption) IF the electricity comes from a truly renewable source. Then again a combustion engine can also run on renewable bio-fuel. So what does the extra cost of an EV buy you?

Quote
Also EVs are not new. Not by a long shot. Over 100 years ago when cars got invented the ratio between EV and combustion engine powered cars was 1 to 1. Later on the combustion engine 'won' because of the range and ease of re-fuelling. Car manufacturers around the world have been experimenting with EVs since then. If you use Google you can find most of them have a web page showing their early attempts. All unsuccesful because of the range and excessive cost. The only reason EVs are affordable today is because governments hand out money to people who buy them.

EV's are "not new" just as rockets are "not new" because the Chinese were using them centuries ago.  We both know that's a silly analogy.
[/quote]
Well fortunately you are making the silly analogy. Mercedes for example has made several electric (concept) cars in the past 40 years:
http://www.daimler.com/dccom/0-5-1391922-1-1401035-1-0-0-1402053-0-0-135-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.html
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #109 on: September 30, 2013, 12:45:50 pm »
It's a bit late now but to the OP: Cars like the Leaf are not intended to be your own car. To paraphrase you would INSANE to only own a Leaf. Most people these days live in households with more than one car though, so if you commute less than about 40 miles/day to work you could have a Leaf for that and use your partner's petrol car when you want to go further.

That's the same for us. My POS vectra is on it's last legs, and I can't picture myself getting another petrol car to replace it. Given that virtually every trip I do is within range of an electric, and I can easily charge it at home with my solar.
If I do need to get several hundred km, then I take the wife's car.

Quote
On the other hand I'd be completely happy having a Tesla as my only car.

The Tesla S is nothing short of awesome, but I don't even want to know what it will costs here.
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #110 on: September 30, 2013, 01:10:49 pm »
Normal cars with an ICU have one huge advantage that EV's currently don't have. If the manufacturers would step back for a while and get over their "we are oh so special" attitude, EV's could have an equal advantage. Which is: there is a huge and dense net of gas stations. You simply drive up the gas station, and in a few minutes the tank is full again and you are ready to go.

And get this: it doesn't matter what brand of car you have, you can use any gas station, the hose will fit!

But with EV's, everyone is making his own battery, often hard to remove, and often requiring a long time to charge. Heck, if you are on the road, i guess that even 15 minutes can be too long a recharge time. Not to mention that such quick recharging may put a lot of stress on the battery, shortening it's lifespan.

I think the EV manufacturers should get together and come up with modular, quickly reeplaceable battery packs. Maybe two or three different types, and depending on the car you swap one, two, three, whatever many battery modules. You would drive up to a station, get the batteries swapped, and are good to go in a matter of minutes. The batteries could then be recharged and serviced in a better controlled environment. If that would happen, the current restriction on the milage you can get out of a typical EV wouldn't matter that much anymore, if at all.

Imagine if every equipment/appliance manufacturer would create his own battery type, each with a different size and voltage, and none are compatible to some other appliance. Instead we have a range of standard cells, thus we can quickly change the batteries. Why can't EV manufacturers do the same?

There shouldn't be much of a logistics problem either. Gas stations already have storage for the different type of fuels, which are constantly refilled by gas trucks. So the basic principle is already in place for a long time now. Have the station recharge batteries and exchange worn out ones with new ones. Having only a small range of battery packs means that a lot of things can be standardized, which in turn would reduce manufacturing cost. It would also make recycling/servicing easier.

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #111 on: September 30, 2013, 01:45:17 pm »
It's a bit late now but to the OP: Cars like the Leaf are not intended to be your own car. To paraphrase you would INSANE to only own a Leaf. Most people these days live in households with more than one car though, so if you commute less than about 40 miles/day to work you could have a Leaf for that and use your partner's petrol car when you want to go further.

On the other hand I'd be completely happy having a Tesla as my only car.
And that is exactly what the leaf owners i talked to told me off the bat. Talk to the factory and it's all moonlight and roses.... Not a peep about 'second car'... U til you prod around.
Go to the website. Read the first three pages. They are long and full of the usual feel-good stuff associated with electric. Not a peep about range ... Even on the dedicated rang page you need to scroll all the way down before you can find a morsel of information. It is buried ...

@mamalala. And this is where tesla flipped the world upside down too. They sprung the battery swap card on the u suspecting world a couple of momths ago. They kept this secret. Nobody knew it was designed to be able to do this from the start.

There exists a fully automated drive-up battery swap station. 1 minute and 30 seconds from driving on to driving out. All the model S cars that have already been made can do it. The station here in Gilroy is being converted to have it. You drive up, A panel opens in the ground, a robot arm with camera locates the bolts, removes em, lowers the pack and slides it i to an underground charger shelf. Grabs a freshly charged one , bolts it in and off you go.



Superchargers are free, this will cost money. The equivalent of fueling a regular car.
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #112 on: September 30, 2013, 02:02:34 pm »
You recall wrong. If I look at my electricity bill I see 1kWh produces 475grams of CO2 so an average EV (Volt, Leaf, Tesla S) produces about 105 grams of CO2 per km (based on EPA tests). If you live in Germany that number grows to 127grams per km and if you live in Australia where each kWh produces about 900 grams of CO2 per km that number is 198 grams of CO2 per km.  As a comparion: my 14 year old car produces 142 grams of CO2 per km and I could . Modern cars with a combustion enginge are already getting below the 100grams of CO2 per km mark in realistic driving conditions. So tell me how an EV is more efficient by default? Like I said before: an EV only helps to reduce the CO2 production (and fossile fuel consumption) IF the electricity comes from a truly renewable source. Then again a combustion engine can also run on renewable bio-fuel. So what does the extra cost of an EV buy you?

Your numbers are dubious, but even if they were correct it would really depend on the individual. The average might be about the same as an ICE car but if your house has solar or most of your energy comes from nuclear then it will be a lot lower.

I think nctnico was just a bit bad with his wording/example.

Nowadays, a significant amount of electricity is created by coal power stations. Coal is a significantly worse carbon emitter than oil. Also, such stations can be and are operated in places/countries with inferior environmental standards.

According to Wikipedia (i know, i know, that is just a second-hand-source) approx. 1/3 of the global electricity production in the year 2008 came from coal. And that was before everyone started to be worried about nuclear power because Fukushima...

Assuming the numbers from his electricity supplier are just based on continent-wide or global statistical averages, they really don't look that dubious. Whether they are actually true, i can't tell.

EDIT: Just to make clear, coal power stations are not only the ones burning the black coal. The term also includes stations burning lignite. Germany's biggest coal power stations for example are lignite burners. It is a dirty business...
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 02:16:59 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #113 on: September 30, 2013, 02:04:55 pm »
@mamalala. And this is where tesla flipped the world upside down too. They sprung the battery swap card on the u suspecting world a couple of momths ago. They kept this secret. Nobody knew it was designed to be able to do this from the start.

There exists a fully automated drive-up battery swap station. 1 minute and 30 seconds from driving on to driving out. All the model S cars that have already been made can do it. The station here in Gilroy is being converted to have it. You drive up, A panel opens in the ground, a robot arm with camera locates the bolts, removes em, lowers the pack and slides it i to an underground charger shelf. Grabs a freshly charged one , bolts it in and off you go.

That's nice, didn't know about that. Now, if only all the other EV manufacturers would do the same, _and_ (this is important, i think) agree on a few standardized form factors, so that every EV can go up at every station and have the batteries swapped without the station needing to have a gazillion different battery packs in stock, that would be perfect.

Greetings,

Chris
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #114 on: September 30, 2013, 02:48:20 pm »
You recall wrong. If I look at my electricity bill I see 1kWh produces 475grams of CO2 so an average EV (Volt, Leaf, Tesla S) produces about 105 grams of CO2 per km (based on EPA tests). If you live in Germany that number grows to 127grams per km and if you live in Australia where each kWh produces about 900 grams of CO2 per km that number is 198 grams of CO2 per km.  As a comparion: my 14 year old car produces 142 grams of CO2 per km and I could . Modern cars with a combustion enginge are already getting below the 100grams of CO2 per km mark in realistic driving conditions. So tell me how an EV is more efficient by default? Like I said before: an EV only helps to reduce the CO2 production (and fossile fuel consumption) IF the electricity comes from a truly renewable source. Then again a combustion engine can also run on renewable bio-fuel. So what does the extra cost of an EV buy you?

Your numbers are dubious, but even if they were correct it would really depend on the individual. The average might be about the same as an ICE car but if your house has solar or most of your energy comes from nuclear then it will be a lot lower.
How can my electricity bill and the test results from the EPA be dubious? You say my electricity supplier is lying and EPA can't test the milage of cars properly? I already stated the CO2 savings depend on where your electricity is coming from; you can't just assume an EV is more efficient.

@elgonzo: the CO2 emissions from my electricity supplier is the amount of CO2 emitted per kWh I pull from the sockets in my home. Its not some kind of average or random number. The amount of energy tax is based on it so it has to be undisputably correct to avoid endless lawsuits. If you use Google you can find the CO2 emissions for almost every electricity supplier.

Quote
You also have to consider that there is a vast difference between an ICE spewing out CO2 directly into the atmosphere and pollution right outside your door, and generating electricity on a large scale where emissions can be captured. Even just the physical distance between the power station and people's homes makes a huge difference to human health.
Transporting electricity over large distances is not economic; most of the power plants are close to your back yard. Don't rule out the wind either. It will spread all kinds of dirt for (ten) thousands of kilometers. A few times per year my car is covered with sand from the Sahara dessert which is about 3000km to the south of me. To make things worse: the emission standards for power plants are not as strict as they are for newer cars. Power plants can run for 30 to 40 years and if they are old their polution control systems are not up to the latest standard. Over here the emission limits on power plants depend on the age of the power plant. And don't even think that they filter everything from the exhaust of a power plant! Economics kick in and electricity companies run their power plants on (not at, ON) the edge of the emission limits. OTOH a car gets replaced much sooner (on average every 8 years) so stricter emission limits have a positive effect within a few years.

Regarding battery changing: Tesla is not the first to use that method. An Israeli company already provided such a service but went belly-up a couple of months ago. Then again Tesla seems to be the Apple of car makers and keep doing things their own way with a big stack of cash to back them up.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 02:51:55 pm by nctnico »
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #115 on: September 30, 2013, 02:51:08 pm »
Standardization is going to be key. But that too is problematic. There is a standard for chargeplugs for electric J1772 or somethinglike that. Tesla deliberately chose not to use it. Why ? Because it took 10 years to craft the standard and by the time it became available , there wasa. Competing standard (the japanese... So now there are two and they are incompatible....) and it was outpowered.

Tesla has an adapter that you plug on a j1772 and then charge the car. But the specs of the 'standard' charger are mediocre' its no better than what you do at home.

Again a classic case of where the 'established industry' turns out too be too slow to create something and by thetimeit is available it is outdated.
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #116 on: September 30, 2013, 03:16:07 pm »
Normal cars with an ICU have one huge advantage that EV's currently don't have. If the manufacturers would step back for a while and get over their "we are oh so special" attitude, EV's could have an equal advantage. Which is: there is a huge and dense net of gas stations. You simply drive up the gas station, and in a few minutes the tank is full again and you are ready to go.

And get this: it doesn't matter what brand of car you have, you can use any gas station, the hose will fit!

But with EV's, everyone is making his own battery, often hard to remove, and often requiring a long time to charge. Heck, if you are on the road, i guess that even 15 minutes can be too long a recharge time. Not to mention that such quick recharging may put a lot of stress on the battery, shortening it's lifespan.

I think the EV manufacturers should get together and come up with modular, quickly reeplaceable battery packs. Maybe two or three different types, and depending on the car you swap one, two, three, whatever many battery modules. You would drive up to a station, get the batteries swapped, and are good to go in a matter of minutes. The batteries could then be recharged and serviced in a better controlled environment. If that would happen, the current restriction on the milage you can get out of a typical EV wouldn't matter that much anymore, if at all.

Imagine if every equipment/appliance manufacturer would create his own battery type, each with a different size and voltage, and none are compatible to some other appliance. Instead we have a range of standard cells, thus we can quickly change the batteries. Why can't EV manufacturers do the same?

There shouldn't be much of a logistics problem either. Gas stations already have storage for the different type of fuels, which are constantly refilled by gas trucks. So the basic principle is already in place for a long time now. Have the station recharge batteries and exchange worn out ones with new ones. Having only a small range of battery packs means that a lot of things can be standardized, which in turn would reduce manufacturing cost. It would also make recycling/servicing easier.

That is exactly what needs to happen if battery or charging tech cannot be advanced significantly. For that case, battery swap would be the only feasible option if you think about essentially replacing the petrol-car with an e-car on a large scale and not just thinking about cities. (Or you come up with a revolutionary vehicle concept to reduce the motive energy required -- but that is a bit utopian, i guess...)

But if you just look at city operation, situation and solution can be different: Assume having current-gen electric city cars (that's what curren-gen e-cars essentially are) handle a day of a-bit-above-normal use in the city just fine without running out of juice. In that case you just need to charge them overnight (i think Dave or someone else mentioned it already).

And that is the good thing (from technological point of view) regarding cities: You can equip basically every parking lot/house/bunker with charge points. Getting electricity and charge terminal to these places shouldn't be a problem.
The problem here will be how to do the billing. Because nothing will really start moving on a large scale unless all involved parties have agreed upon billing... :)

Having only dedicated "hot spots", like gas stations, equipped with recharge terminals is not a good idea to grow e-car user base in urban concentrations (i don't think anyone will go down this route anyhow). Let me explain...

On a gas station you spend 3-5 minutes refuelling and paying (might vary from country to country due to how much petrol/minute goes through the nozzle).

If recharging an e-car (to whatever amount to keep the e-car usable) takes substantially more time, you will see cars piling up at the ramp to the "gas/recharge station" waiting to be recharged. Think about a petrol gas station with petrol cars piling up at rush-hour and multiply this according to the required average recharge time. Uh... not good...  |O

Now, at a gas station you cannot simple increase the number of charge points to accommodate for this, because you would need real estate on which the recharging cars can stay -- which is a bit tricky in cities, i would say.

In my opionion, it's the parking lots/houses/bunkers that would need to be equipped primarily if you want to go large scale. Because real estate is a non-issue there.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 03:21:59 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #117 on: September 30, 2013, 03:42:45 pm »
Transporting electricity over large distances is not economic; most of the power plants are close to your back yard.

I think you don't mean "economical", but rather "incur electrical losses".
It might or might not be economical to transport electricity over large distances. That depends entirely on the overall cost figures (building/operating power plants, regulation, subsidies, demand&supply).

How do you define "back yard"?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 03:45:41 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #118 on: September 30, 2013, 04:24:18 pm »
But if you just look at city operation, situation and solution can be different: Assume having current-gen electric city cars (that's what curren-gen e-cars essentially are) handle a day of a-bit-above-normal use in the city just fine without running out of juice. In that case you just need to charge them overnight (i think Dave or someone else mentioned it already).

And that is the good thing (from technological point of view) regarding cities: You can equip basically every parking lot/house/bunker with charge points. Getting electricity and charge terminal to these places shouldn't be a problem.
The problem here will be how to do the billing. Because nothing will really start moving on a large scale unless all involved parties have agreed upon billing... :)

We could also have every parking lot and garage equipped with a fuel pump and reservoir, but we didn't do that either. It's a waste of resources, in my opinion. Why install a massive amount of charging stations that are probably not used for most of the time anyways? Plus, just the stations alone isn't enough, the whole issue of power distribution is very important here. After all, EV's dont't just use a hand full of AA cells that need to be recharged. We are talking about kW's of power for just a single car. It _may_ work in some suburban area with a low population density, but just imagine inner city, big houses with, lets say, 40 people wanting to recharge their cars. And the same for the next house, and the next, etc.

I think it is a much better use of resources to equip the gas stations with beefy power lines and have the charging done there.

Having only dedicated "hot spots", like gas stations, equipped with recharge terminals is not a good idea to grow e-car user base in urban concentrations (i don't think anyone will go down this route anyhow). Let me explain...

As said above, we didn't put fuel pumps all over the place either, but use a dense network of gas stations. And hey, it works!
On a gas station you spend 3-5 minutes refuelling and paying (might vary from country to country due to how much petrol/minute goes through the nozzle).

If recharging an e-car (to whatever amount to keep the e-car usable) takes substantially more time, you will see cars piling up at the ramp to the "gas/recharge station" waiting to be recharged. Think about a petrol gas station with petrol cars piling up at rush-hour and multiply this according to the required average recharge time. Uh... not good...  |O

Yes, and that is why i think that using a gas-station like network where you simply pop in a new battery is far better. True, sometimes you will get a pile up, as is the case with petrol cars. But that situation already exists, so having the same for EV's to get a fresh battery is neither worse nor better. Plus, again, i strongly suspect that the battery lifetime will be longer if they are recharged properly under controlled conditions (and maybe properly discharged first if there is any charge left in them, if needed). Also, it would be much easier to spot faulty batteries, or units that are close to the end of their life, and have them replaced in bulk, instead of having the average Joe figuring out what's going on.

Keep in mind that we are talking about EV's being a suitable replacement for petrol cars, and hope to get a really widespread use of them. For only a "few", your proposal might be OK, but i just can't see that working on a more massive scale.

Also, there are many cases where a local charging station is pretty much not feasible at all. People don't always have fixed usage times for their cars. What about cars that are shared amongst family members? Then you are left with very little time for plugging it into the charger. So you end up with a half empty battery that is, at best, topped up only slightly (and thus still not fully charged) before it is used the next time. And what about stuff like public transport, taxis, police cars, firefighter trucks, etc? They all depend on being able to be refueled very quickly, since they are in use for very long times at once.

Oh, and another benefit of a gas-station like battery-swap system: since those stations would use a lot of electricity, they are in a position to get much better prices for the electricity. Of course it is doubtful that the end consumer will benefit from that price-wise, but instead be used to just increase the profit of the station owner. But then, this might be a good incentive for them to establish such a system.

Greetings,

Chris

Edit: Of course that is not to say that EV's should have no means of being recharged and only allow swapping the battery. That should still be possible, of course, for people who want that. It would be very useful for folks who produce their own electricity. And even then, having a standardized battery pack format can be very beneficial: instead of having a charger specific to one brand/type of EV, it would be a generic one. If you get a new EV, you can re-use the existing charger and battery pack, etc.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 04:32:19 pm by mamalala »
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #119 on: September 30, 2013, 05:10:21 pm »
@Chris:

What i tried to say is that in cities, you can probably "get away" with just establishing a network of charge points.
That is a lesser logistic effort than building a network of battery swap points from ground up.
Also, you can start implementing a recharging infrastructure right away without waiting for the industry/politics to agree on a battery swap standard...

Just compare the efforts to install and operate a pack of recharge points in a park house with the efforts required to operate one single battery swap station...

Battery swap becomes essential with longer required ranges, though. (Or, we plaster all roads with inductive charger... and then we wonder why the birds suddenly migrate to Arctica instead southwards  >:D )

EDIT: If you speaking about a place just to replace dead batteries (akin to a service point) then it would indeed make sense to do that at gas stations, because many already have a service corner/garage for simple/quick car maintenance anyhow. I am not sure about any battery handling and safety requirements, though, so there might be some more aspects to consider i am currently not aware of.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 05:16:48 pm by elgonzo »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #120 on: September 30, 2013, 05:51:57 pm »
But if you just look at city operation, situation and solution can be different: Assume having current-gen electric city cars (that's what curren-gen e-cars essentially are) handle a day of a-bit-above-normal use in the city just fine without running out of juice. In that case you just need to charge them overnight (i think Dave or someone else mentioned it already).
IMHO pure city operation requires a whole new way of thinking about transportation. If you look at big cities like Paris, Rome, Jakarta, etc then you see that the streets cannot handle the traffic volume. Small electric vehicles like the Renault Twizzy
(cute chick not included) are far more suitable for driving around within a city. Because they are much lighter they can be charged within a reasonable time at home and they usually are tax free. These and electric motorcycles are already viable and affordable means of fully electric transportation.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 05:53:46 pm by nctnico »
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Offline AndyC_772

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #121 on: September 30, 2013, 06:12:18 pm »
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it only takes a picture of a machine like the Twizy to see one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the adoption of electric vehicles.

It looks ridiculous.

In fact I really feel sorry for the engineers who designed it, because I don't doubt for a moment that they're passionate about their work and have solved all manner of technically difficult problems to make such a product viable and affordable - but all that work has then been wasted by a marketing and branding department who have decreed that an electric vehicle needs to look "cute", or "futuristic", or in some other way different to the cars people have been buying for years.

If there even was a demographic to whom vehicles like that would appeal, then there's nothing stopping manufacturers from producing them with petrol engines. Something that size could no doubt be built with, say, a motorcycle engine under the seat, and with its small size and low weight it could be as efficient as any other petrol-powered vehicle on the road. 'Eco' boxes get ticked either way. But there's no market for tiny, absurd-looking little cars, and sticking in an electric motor instead of a conventional engine isn't going to change that.

The Tesla looks conventional, and cool, like something Lotus might have made. Then again, Tesla Motors doesn't have years' worth of investment in internal combustion engines that they want to protect from obsolescence.

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #122 on: September 30, 2013, 06:14:12 pm »
IMHO pure city operation requires a whole new way of thinking about transportation. If you look at big cities like Paris, Rome, Jakarta, etc then you see that the streets cannot handle the traffic volume. Small electric vehicles like the Renault Twizzy
(cute chick not included) are far more suitable for driving around within a city. Because they are much lighter they can be charged within a reasonable time at home and they usually are tax free. These and electric motorcycles are already viable and affordable means of fully electric transportation.

I would like to point that there is no new way of thinking as you suggest.
Firstly, the city car is not a new thing, there are plenty of small(est) petrol cars on the market for exactly that purpose. Secondly, these are current-gen e-cars...

What did you try to say? :o
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #123 on: September 30, 2013, 06:18:09 pm »
It looks ridiculous.

No, she doesn't look ridiculous, not at all.  :-*
Oh, wait...
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #124 on: September 30, 2013, 06:42:27 pm »
IMHO pure city operation requires a whole new way of thinking about transportation. If you look at big cities like Paris, Rome, Jakarta, etc then you see that the streets cannot handle the traffic volume. Small electric vehicles like the Renault Twizzy
(cute chick not included) are far more suitable for driving around within a city. Because they are much lighter they can be charged within a reasonable time at home and they usually are tax free. These and electric motorcycles are already viable and affordable means of fully electric transportation.

I would like to point that there is no new way of thinking as you suggest.
Firstly, the city car is not a new thing, there are plenty of small(est) petrol cars on the market for exactly that purpose. Secondly, these are current-gen e-cars...
What did you try to say? :o
The thing is that even small petrol cars are still large and easely have a weight of over 1000kg. Inner city traffic is a niche which could be filled by electric crossovers between a car and a motorcycle. These need much less energy so they both help to conserve energy and reduce traffic jams. IMHO the idea behind the Twizy isn't bad and the next generation of these vehicles may make it as a product. The current Twizy version has no windows which quickly turned out to be a showstopper for many people so Renault is now selling it with a make-do solution.

@AndyC_772: Yes it looks very hideous and yet I've seen quite a few of them driving around in Paris. French people like French design  ;) One of the design challenges was probably not to make it look like a small car for people with a handicap. Maybe they made it so ugly so the next version will be acceptable for more people. Its probably still ugly but people got used to it. And ofcourse you could fit it with a small 4 stroke engine which is just as efficient. However the gimmick is that you can actually charge a Twizy like vehicle at home within a reasonable time frame and never have to go to a fuel station again.

Edit: Just some pondering. Maybe the car makers are going about it the wrong way. With the current EVs people will need a second car for long trips. Even though 99% of the trips are short enough for an EV people buy a car which can do the 1% special trips like going on a holiday or hauling a trailer. So instead of trying to replace regular cars they could concentrate on small second cars. These cars don't have to go fast. They don't have to go far. They just need to get the driver from A to B comfortably.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 07:17:39 pm by nctnico »
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #125 on: September 30, 2013, 06:57:08 pm »
It looks ridiculous.

If there even was a demographic to whom vehicles like that would appeal,

absurd-looking little cars

:clap:

You noticed that too ? I always wondered why the first attempts at creating hybrids (like the Honda insight and original prius) are butt-ugly. The prius has gotten better over the years. The Volt is a decent looking car.

"Oh it's for aerodynamics". Well, here's news: the Tesla has the drag coefficient  of 0.24 ... in fact it beats ALL production supercars .. only the EV1 and a Volkswagen XL1 does better. the EV1 is dead and XL1 is not in production yet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile_drag_coefficient

The Tesla looks like an Aston Martin and the Insight looks like a bad knockoff of an old Citroen DS...

like a small car for people with a handicap.
You mean the little cars 'for people without a drivers licence' like Ligier and Aixam ...

Yes, and this is for our non-european readers, there is actually a CAR (there are multiple brands. Ligier and Aixam are the best known) for people that don't have a drivers licence.  Hooray for european regulations  :palm:
Now that is -REALLY- scary ....
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 07:00:10 pm by free_electron »
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Offline JoeyP

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #126 on: September 30, 2013, 07:09:38 pm »
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it only takes a picture of a machine like the Twizy to see one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the adoption of electric vehicles.

It looks ridiculous.

I think many people who buy these types of cars wear their ugliness as a "badge of honor". I noticed that about the hideously ugly Prius very early on. It lets people give the impression of making the sacrifice of driving an ugly car to demonstrate that they are proud "saviors of the planet". I'll bet Toyota does it on purpose, purely for marking purposes.
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #127 on: September 30, 2013, 07:19:45 pm »
The thing is that even small petrol cars are still large and easely have a weight of over 1000kg. Inner city traffic is a niche which could be filled by electric crossovers between a car and a motorcycle. These need much less energy so they both help to conserve energy and reduce traffic jams. IMHO the idea behind the Twizy isn't bad and the next generation of these vehicles may make it as a product. The current Twizy version has no windows which quickly turned out to be a showstopper for many people so Renault is now selling it with a make-do solution.

Wait, you do not seriously believe the weight is because of the petrol engine?
It is because of the interior, and has nothing to do whatsoever with traction.

Just look at the old / first generation models of the Fiat Panda or Fiat 500, for example, or the famous 2CV.

For christ's sake... :palm:
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #128 on: September 30, 2013, 07:25:09 pm »
The thing is that even small petrol cars are still large and easely have a weight of over 1000kg. Inner city traffic is a niche which could be filled by electric crossovers between a car and a motorcycle. These need much less energy so they both help to conserve energy and reduce traffic jams.

Heavy weight is a side effect of conventional car design with a proper roof, windows, crash structure and creature comforts - the weight of the power train is secondary.

The engine in my motorbike produces about 130 bhp, and the whole bike weighs about 220kg... it's not as though having a petrol engine inherently makes a vehicle heavy. The superior energy density of petrol compared to batteries makes it the exact opposite for a vehicle with reasonable range.

Just look at the old / first generation models of the Fiat Panda or Fiat 500, for example, or the famous 2CV.

Ugh... I fully agree with your point, but they're far from shining examples of the future of vehicle design! My first car was an original Panda... a horrible, awful machine, though admittedly preferable to catching public transport.

Maybe I'd have cited the Caterham 7 or Lotus Elise instead...

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #129 on: September 30, 2013, 07:37:56 pm »
Ugh... I fully agree with your point, but they're far from shining examples of the future of vehicle design! My first car was an original Panda... a horrible, awful machine, though admittedly preferable to catching public transport.

Maybe I'd have cited the Caterham 7 or Lotus Elise instead...

No, not in the context of city cars. Two of the cars i mentioned (500 and 2CV) are design icons, and commonly known, even if you are not a car enthusiast. Fiat Panda i mentioned, because it (together with the Seat Marbella, which was a badge-engineered Panda) was very common across (Western) Europe as cheap secondary car.

EDIT: The reason i mentioned them was to a) highlight that increase in weight came with the creature comforts (as you said), and b) that the statement "small cars are still large and heavy" is total bollocks...

But i totally agree otherwise. Caterham 7 CSR is actually my favorite car.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 07:49:11 pm by elgonzo »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #130 on: September 30, 2013, 07:49:18 pm »
The thing is that even small petrol cars are still large and easely have a weight of over 1000kg. Inner city traffic is a niche which could be filled by electric crossovers between a car and a motorcycle. These need much less energy so they both help to conserve energy and reduce traffic jams. IMHO the idea behind the Twizy isn't bad and the next generation of these vehicles may make it as a product. The current Twizy version has no windows which quickly turned out to be a showstopper for many people so Renault is now selling it with a make-do solution.
Wait, you do not seriously believe the weight is because of the petrol engine?
No. The weight is because cars got bigger and bigger and bigger and have all the luxuries for long distance travel. I'm saying that 'we' need to somehow step away from that without ending up in cars for people with a handicap  :-DD

@free_electron: actually you need a 'light' drivers license to drive a microcar or small motorcycle nowadays.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 07:50:58 pm by nctnico »
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Offline cimmo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #131 on: September 30, 2013, 07:52:45 pm »
Gas Turbines - there has been some mention in this interesting thread about the use of gas turbines in hybrid vehicles. FWIW, I think a gas turbine hybrid would be a good compromise vehicle.
But it needs to be understood that gas turbines do not scale down well, efficiency is lost (compared to large aviation/marine/industrial appications) because it becomes very difficult to make small air cooled (hollow) turbine blades, so combustion temperatures need to be limited to avoid melting them (maybe ceramic technology might help here?). Also the gaps between the fixed and rotating parts of the engine become a greater percentage and therefore more air 'leaks' around the compressors/turbines rather than go through them. If the gaps are made smaller then differential thermal expansion results in the parts rubbing (not good). This affects more advanced designs like multi-stage axial compressors more than simple centrifugal compressors.

Having said that, the basic technology is not new, have a look at the 1960's designed Chrysler Turbine car. This used a very simple gas generator configuration (single stage centrifugal compressor and turbine - just like a turbocharger, plus a single power turbine) but the clever thing was the regenerator (AKA recuperator),  a heat exchanger in the exhaust transferring waste heat back into the turbine inlet.

The other fundamental limitation of gas turbines is that the efficiency drops off significantly away from the design point of the engine (usually maximum or near maximum power). They aren't very good at part throttle or idle situations (which is why they are no longer used in locomotives). But in a hybrid, where the turbine would only need to start and run at a fixed/optimal speed to charge the batteries this would not be a limitation. Also they don't need a cooling system, will burn any combustible liquid and the power to weight ratio is better than your equivalent reciprocating engine.
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Offline AndyC_772

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #132 on: September 30, 2013, 07:59:49 pm »
My mum had a 500, it was a terrible car. I had a mate with a 2CV too, and it's possibly the only car I've ever been in that was even worse.

If we're looking for examples that show off the advantages of small size and light weight, look no further than the Honda CBF125. I bought one a few years ago, it cost me £2000 and did over 130 miles per gallon. No lengthy charging, no batteries to replace halfway through its useful life, no dependency on non-existent infrastructure, and all for less than the price of a year's railway season ticket.

I honestly have no idea why there aren't full page ads in the papers to this effect.

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #133 on: September 30, 2013, 08:02:00 pm »
@free_electron: actually you need a 'light' drivers license to drive a microcar or small motorcycle nowadays.
Not in Belgium...
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #134 on: September 30, 2013, 08:04:26 pm »
No. The weight is because cars got bigger and bigger and bigger and have all the luxuries for long distance travel. I'm saying that 'we' need to somehow step away from that without ending up in cars for people with a handicap  :-DD

Yes, absolutely. But that would be a different field of expertise than e-car or whatever.
The small cars became what they are today because that's what the people wanted.

Car makers generally are very happy when someone comes up with a cost-effective way of how to "lighten up" the interior while retaining all the comfort and safety. After all, less weight means better performance, less fuel consumption/higher range, or both. Which are valid and substantial selling points... whereas sacrificing comfort for performance would only make a particular group of people happy (like me ;) )
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 08:06:24 pm by elgonzo »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #135 on: September 30, 2013, 08:41:20 pm »
My mum had a 500, it was a terrible car. I had a mate with a 2CV too, and it's possibly the only car I've ever been in that was even worse.
My parents where at least sensible enough not to buy a new car but a 'decent' used one like a Lada 2105.
Quote
If we're looking for examples that show off the advantages of small size and light weight, look no further than the Honda CBF125. I bought one a few years ago, it cost me £2000 and did over 130 miles per gallon. No lengthy charging, no batteries to replace halfway through its useful life, no dependency on non-existent infrastructure, and all for less than the price of a year's railway season ticket.
When I was still commuting I thought about getting a motorcycle often. The problem is that I would probably do stupid things on a motorcycle. A four wheel vehicle is way more forgiving in that respect. Besides that there is a bit of comfort like heating in the winter and shelter from rain. Although there are motorcycles with a roof like the BMW C1.
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #136 on: September 30, 2013, 08:56:08 pm »

You noticed that too ? I always wondered why the first attempts at creating hybrids (like the Honda insight and original prius) are butt-ugly. The prius has gotten better over the years. The Volt is a decent looking car.

The Prius was originally sold only within Japan. And the Japanese do quite some strange/funky car designs for their domestic market. (Sometimes it happens that these designs become somewhat popular outside of Japan. Nissan Cube or the Figaro are popular examples...)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 08:59:12 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #137 on: September 30, 2013, 09:07:54 pm »
I was interested to note that this year's outright winner of the Pikes Peak hill climb (for motorcycles) was an electric bike, 21 seconds ahead of the nearest petrol powered competitor.

I know short sprint races tend to allow electric vehicles to play to their strengths, but it's undeniable that the technology to compete with internal combustion is getting there. Take a look at the steady improvements that have taken place in the Isle of Man TT Zero results since the event began a few years ago, there's some fantastic engineering going on there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TT_Zero

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #138 on: September 30, 2013, 09:11:58 pm »
My parents where at least sensible enough not to buy a new car but a 'decent' used one like a Lada 2105.
My uncle's family had a Lada 1300 in the early 80s, i believe. Who-hoo, 4 headlights :)

Quote
Although there are motorcycles with a roof like the BMW C1.
It's sad that BMW marketing screwed up so badly with the C1.
It is a fine machine (if you like the concept). If they would have tailored the price for young buyers and/or couriers, it might perhaps have been more successful. But then again a BMW must be "premium"...
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #139 on: September 30, 2013, 09:26:45 pm »
I was interested to note that this year's outright winner of the Pikes Peak hill climb (for motorcycles) was an electric bike, 21 seconds ahead of the nearest petrol powered competitor.

I know short sprint races tend to allow electric vehicles to play to their strengths, but it's undeniable that the technology to compete with internal combustion is getting there. Take a look at the steady improvements that have taken place in the Isle of Man TT Zero results since the event began a few years ago, there's some fantastic engineering going on there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TT_Zero

Polyphase double or triple squirrel cage AAC motors can deliver high torque over the full speed range.
You will always lose against such motors if power supply is not an issue.  :-+  (Shame on you, shitty batteries, shame on you :rant:)

 

Offline Phaedrus

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #140 on: September 30, 2013, 09:34:52 pm »
But if you just look at city operation, situation and solution can be different: Assume having current-gen electric city cars (that's what curren-gen e-cars essentially are) handle a day of a-bit-above-normal use in the city just fine without running out of juice. In that case you just need to charge them overnight (i think Dave or someone else mentioned it already).
IMHO pure city operation requires a whole new way of thinking about transportation. If you look at big cities like Paris, Rome, Jakarta, etc then you see that the streets cannot handle the traffic volume. Small electric vehicles like the Renault Twizzy
(cute chick not included) are far more suitable for driving around within a city. Because they are much lighter they can be charged within a reasonable time at home and they usually are tax free. These and electric motorcycles are already viable and affordable means of fully electric transportation.


Drive one of those around LA and you will be squashed by massive SUVs within seconds of going on the freeway. And if you stay off the freeway, good luck getting anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, and you'll still be squashed by assholes in SUVs.

Ditto for every other major American city I've lived in. Only one where it might make sense is New Orleans. They'd still need a dedicated lane on the bridges though.
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Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #141 on: September 30, 2013, 10:06:16 pm »
Drive one of those around LA and you will be squashed by massive SUVs within seconds of going on the freeway. And if you stay off the freeway, good luck getting anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, and you'll still be squashed by assholes in SUVs.

Ditto for every other major American city I've lived in. Only one where it might make sense is New Orleans. They'd still need a dedicated lane on the bridges though.

People do in fact drive electric golf carts around town in various smaller cities. I've seen it here in California and also in Colorado.
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #142 on: September 30, 2013, 10:44:57 pm »
Whether you are digging a hole for the metal (steel), or rubber (tire), or melting glass, all takes energy.  Looking at just the SMALL difference of how it stores the energy is completely missing the point.  That is rounding error comparing to the total energy consumed in creating that car.

The amount of cost to create the car is in tens of thousands (USD).  The cost of fuel is in thousands over the life of the car.  That alone should tell you that the cost of creation of the car consumes an order of magnitude more resources.  Just maintenance cost alone exceeds the fuel cost over the life of the car.  Energy is the currency of nature.  You can't avoid it.  The tens of thousands spend goes into creating yet more pollution.  The car salesman use his commission to take his kids to dinner, that is yet more energy consumed...  The car maker use his income to fly to Disney, that is yet more energy consumed.

Want to be less an energy hog?  Buy the cheapest of anything.  The less it cost, the less resource was consumed in creating it.

That is completely untrue - all of it, I'm afraid.  Costs and energy used to create are not related in the manner you suggest.   And you forgot to cite the source for EV's being much worse polluters  :blah:

I did not say EV is a worst source of polluter.  I suspect they are but I did not say that.    I have such suspicion because battery (lithium, nickel) is so harmful to the environment so much so that you can not dispose normally.

What I did say was: since EV is made like other vehicles, all the pollution factors are the same except for how they store energy.  How energy is stored is a small fraction of the pollution as compare to other pollution done during manufacturing of the car, during disposal of the car, and the maintenance of the car, so forth.  Thus, you are working on improving just the rounding error.

I fail to see how a modified drive-energy storage would make manufacturing of the windshield more "e-friendly", and would make the manufacturing of the leather seat e-friendly...  Those other things consume far more energy than merely moving the car during it's expected life.

As I said in my analogy, if you keep the guts of the $5 DT830B DMM, and get a new $60 probe.  Yeah, that helps - it got more accurate.  But most of the other factors remain.

EDIT - corrected two spelling errors.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 10:56:03 pm by Rick Law »
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #143 on: September 30, 2013, 10:45:57 pm »
Drive one of those around LA and you will be squashed by massive SUVs within seconds of going on the freeway. And if you stay off the freeway, good luck getting anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, and you'll still be squashed by assholes in SUVs.

Ditto for every other major American city I've lived in. Only one where it might make sense is New Orleans. They'd still need a dedicated lane on the bridges though.

People do in fact drive electric golf carts around town in various smaller cities. I've seen it here in California and also in Colorado.

Golf cart: the poor man's Sport Utility Vehicle   :-DD
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 10:50:41 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline Phaedrus

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #144 on: September 30, 2013, 11:04:30 pm »
Drive one of those around LA and you will be squashed by massive SUVs within seconds of going on the freeway. And if you stay off the freeway, good luck getting anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, and you'll still be squashed by assholes in SUVs.

Ditto for every other major American city I've lived in. Only one where it might make sense is New Orleans. They'd still need a dedicated lane on the bridges though.

People do in fact drive electric golf carts around town in various smaller cities. I've seen it here in California and also in Colorado.

Of course. And people drive motorcycles in Taipei, and bikes in Mumbai. What I was hinting at is that the infrastructure of large US cities is not amenable to using small, slow-moving vehicles for mass transportation. LA, DC, Chicago, are all laid out and designed around mass transport via car on freeway. Getting consumers in these megalopolises to switch to a small electrical vehicle cannot happen without major changes to the infrastructure.
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #145 on: September 30, 2013, 11:15:49 pm »
Of course. And people drive motorcycles in Taipei, and bikes in Mumbai. What I was hinting at is that the infrastructure of large US cities is not amenable to using small, slow-moving vehicles for mass transportation. LA, DC, Chicago, are all laid out and designed around mass transport via car on freeway. Getting consumers in these megalopolises to switch to a small electrical vehicle cannot happen without major changes to the infrastructure.

That's what the Tesla S is for. The American city car  >:D
 

Offline Phaedrus

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #146 on: September 30, 2013, 11:47:20 pm »
Yup! It's the only EV I'd consider buying at the moment, if I had the cash. Maybe after my upcoming move I could afford to lease one... Though I think I'd rather spend the extra money elsewhere.
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Offline JoeyP

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #147 on: October 01, 2013, 12:14:05 am »
In case you haven't seen this:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/unclean-at-any-speed

Quote from article:

"The National Academies’ assessment didn’t ignore those difficult-to-measure realities. It drew together the effects of vehicle construction, fuel extraction, refining, emissions, and other factors. In a gut punch to electric-car advocates, it concluded that the vehicles’ lifetime health and environmental damages (excluding long-term climatic effects) are actually greater than those of gasoline-powered cars. Indeed, the study found that an electric car is likely worse than a car fueled exclusively by gasoline derived from Canadian tar sands!"
 

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #148 on: October 01, 2013, 03:27:06 am »
I'd buy an EV, and even though i fall into the 85% category (75km round trip to work), the cars are all pretty horrible for rough or dirt roads, which is a lot of what my driving is done on :(
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #149 on: October 01, 2013, 05:53:16 am »
In case you haven't seen this:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/unclean-at-any-speed

Quote from article:

"The National Academies’ assessment didn’t ignore those difficult-to-measure realities. It drew together the effects of vehicle construction, fuel extraction, refining, emissions, and other factors. In a gut punch to electric-car advocates, it concluded that the vehicles’ lifetime health and environmental damages (excluding long-term climatic effects) are actually greater than those of gasoline-powered cars. Indeed, the study found that an electric car is likely worse than a car fueled exclusively by gasoline derived from Canadian tar sands!"

There you go..

This IEEE article made the exact point with Solar Panel as I was making about e-car.  Their number "Solar cells contain heavy metals, and their manufacturing releases greenhouse gases such as sulfur hexafluoride, which has 23 000 times as much global warming potential as CO2 23 000 times as much global warming potential as CO2..."

Instead, all the discussion focus on just the part we touch - operation of the car or solar panel while ignore what the manufacturing of that panel/car costs the environment.  Exactly as my analogy: upgrading the $5 DMM's probe with a $60 fluke probe so as to increase accuracy.  Not exactly the best way to improve.

Yeah, it helps, no argument there.  But why just work on merely at the scale of the rounding error but at huge cost?

I think such push to merely deal with the visible part hurts the environment more since it wasted the resource that can be use to attack the real problem.

My rule of thumb is: buy the cheapest whenever possible.  The less resource went in, the less energy went in.  The less energy consumed, the less pollution.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #150 on: October 01, 2013, 06:08:46 am »
The need to drive on rough roads can be addressed, though - there's no technological barrier there, just a need for someone to fit an electric power train to a vehicle with long-travel suspension. I don't doubt for a moment that such vehicles will be developed when the use of electric power becomes more mainstream.

At 75km you're probably OK for distance, though one thing I've not seen much mention of is how a vehicle's range is affected as the batteries wear out.

My regular daily commute is 12 miles each way, which any EV can manage. But I also have customers to visit who are about 40 miles away, and then the issue of battery condition beeomes much more significant. If an EV is advertised as able to do 85 miles on a charge then, theoretically, I can use one to get from home to a customer site and back again. No, problem, right?

But, what if after a couple of years that range has dropped to 75 miles? Now I'll still get there OK, but on the way home I'll find myself sitting on the hard shoulder of the M3 waiting for a tow. The vehicle has become useless to me, I need new batteries already. Its range when new is academic; the really important figure is the guaranteed absolute minimum range that can be achieved, and the warranty on the batteries. If it won't do at least 80 miles on an overnight charge, it's no longer fit for (my) purpose.

I'm not sure whether battery swapping as opposed to charging actually helps this problem or makes it worse. Maybe I could call in for a battery swap somewhere near my customer's site? It seems a shame to do that having only used half the available charge, it's probably doubled my fuel cost for the trip. But if I don't swap at that point, how do I know I'll get home? The batteries I'm using since my last swap might be near the end of their useful life, will only get me 75 miles, and I'm going to spend the afternoon on the hard shoulder of the M3 again.

Offline resistor

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #151 on: October 01, 2013, 06:25:26 am »
free_electron, I live in the South Bay as well, and the Leaf (and similar EVs) is a perfect match to my family's driving patterns.  My wife and I both need cars, but my daily drive is a very predictable 12 miles each way from San Jose to Cupertino, easily within the Leaf's range.  It would make a lot of sense for me to drive a Leaf for my daily commute and while she could drive a more traditional hybrid for her longer and less predictable traveling.  And of course any long trips, we'd take the hybrid.

Given the prevalence of two car households in the US, I don't think our usage model is that weird.
 

Offline ElectroIrradiator

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #152 on: October 01, 2013, 06:47:07 am »
(...)  But why just work on merely at the scale of the rounding error but at huge cost?

Because it makes people feel good without actually having to face the difficult issues: Developing useful public transport ("Heretic! Firewood! Torch!" :D ), changing how we build cities, changing lifestyles.

I am fortunate to live where public transport is an option, which means I rarely have to fire up the gas guzzler when going downtown. But for various reasons this is currently not an option everywhere, forcing people to use a car all the time. Working toward changing *that* would really matter in the grand scheme of things.
 

Offline johansen

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #153 on: October 01, 2013, 07:00:22 am »
Exactly as my analogy: upgrading the $5 DMM's probe with a $60 fluke probe so as to increase accuracy.  Not exactly the best way to improve.

here's an example:
in regards to my comment "i would rather have 10 of these meters than 1 of the well known 40,000 count Fluke equivalents.

You say that because you can't afford a fluke prrrrrrrrr
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #154 on: October 01, 2013, 02:02:46 pm »
Because it makes people feel good without actually having to face the difficult issues: Developing useful public transport ("Heretic! Firewood! Torch!" :D ), changing how we build cities, changing lifestyles.

Individual vs. public transport is not just about infrastructure.
The reason why many people prefer to take the car in the city (even if it means sitting in a traffic jam), is because they like the privacy and the relative quietness (or loudness, depending on your musical tastes) in their cars. They always have a seat and never have to transfer. It's part lifestyle, part psychology, part convenience, i guess...
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 02:13:02 pm by elgonzo »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #155 on: October 01, 2013, 02:25:34 pm »
(...)  But why just work on merely at the scale of the rounding error but at huge cost?

Because it makes people feel good without actually having to face the difficult issues: Developing useful public transport ("Heretic! Firewood! Torch!" :D ), changing how we build cities, changing lifestyles.
IMHO public transport (especially a subway) is great for crowded cities but as soon as you move further away public transport takes you from a place where you aren't to a place you don't need to be. Even in a crowded country like the NL public transport is a workable solution for a minority of the people.
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #156 on: October 01, 2013, 02:38:44 pm »
IMHO public transport (especially a subway) is great for crowded cities but as soon as you move further away public transport takes you from a place where you aren't to a place you don't need to be. Even in a crowded country like the NL public transport is a workable solution for a minority of the people.

For me, as a rail fan, public transportation is a journey, not a destination.
But, yeah, i am just BSing myself...  ;D
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #157 on: October 01, 2013, 04:10:25 pm »
free_electron, I live in the South Bay as well, and the Leaf (and similar EVs) is a perfect match to my family's driving patterns.  My wife and I both need cars, but my daily drive is a very predictable 12 miles each way from San Jose to Cupertino, easily within the Leaf's range.  It would make a lot of sense for me to drive a Leaf for my daily commute and while she could drive a more traditional hybrid for her longer and less predictable traveling.  And of course any long trips, we'd take the hybrid.

Given the prevalence of two car households in the US, I don't think our usage model is that weird.
I agree. the Leaf fits your mode of operation well.
In my case  not so. single guy, 1 car, does not want nor has the room for a second car.

If i need to buy a 38K$ leaf ( i want the nice one... ) and throw a second car on top because of its shortcomings the total bill is more than a base model Tesla... A tesla that has 3 times the range of the leaf, can do battery swaps (which the leaf can;t) and can be supercharged in 25 minutes, which the leaf can't either.

Being told to buy that second car or rent one becasue of design deficiencies... that rubbed the wrong way.

I read some articles from the wall street journl , Battery technology (a magazine dealing with batteries and some papers from conventions )
It turns out the battery pack in a 'traditional electric' car is in the 500 to 600$ per kilowatt/hour cost ..
Take the leafs 24KWh battery pack and you have 12000 to 14000 $ in batteries. Since the leaf is essentially a Nissan versa , which costs 14K) it adds to 28K$ which is the base price of the leaf.

Now, the Tesla battery is in the 200 to 300$ per kilowatt/hour cost... Tesla claims it is actually less than what the industry thinks it is. Tesla says their battery is less then 1/4 of the total cost of the car (COST, not sales price) so that 85Kwh battery pack is in the 15K to 20K$ range ... but has more than TRIPLE the energy than the leafs.

So this raises the question.
Why on earth do the traditional car makers keep mucking about with obviously obsolete battery technology.

- it is 3 times more expensive
- it can't be swapped
- there is no supercharging it

The traditional car makers are just not 'in' to it. they just make 'an' electric car. they are not out to make 'the best electric car' , nor ais their intention to make 'the best car' . it is just another product. Their design mode is : here is the profit we want, here is the allowed budget , slap it together and flog it. While the bunch of yahoo's at tesla set out to make 'the best'. The 'drive' just isn't there with the traditional carmakers. They have grown lazy and complacent.

a german test burea ( and germans anre knwon for their 'grundlichkeit' ) did an ecotest on a bunch of cars. Eco-diesels, electrics , the whoe shebang. Who wins ? tesla. with a score of 98 out of a possible 100... Second best: the Renault zoe with a score of 92 points..
Have you seen the zoe ? it's an overgrown golf cart, with no luxury whatsoever and a deplorable 70 mile range in winter and 95 mile in summer. Is that really the best automakers can do ? It is a disaster. The tesla has 23% less power consumption....

http://www.adac.de/sp/presse/meldungen/test/sonstige_tests/eco_test_renault_zoe_tesla_model_s.aspx

http://www.renault.com/en/vehicules/aujourd-hui/renault-vehicules-electriques/pages/zoe.aspx
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 05:34:29 pm by free_electron »
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Offline Rufus

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #158 on: October 01, 2013, 04:24:05 pm »
Now, the Tesla battery is in the 200 to 300$ per kilowatt cost... Tesla claims it is actually less than what the industry thinks iti is. Tesla says their battery is less then 1/4 of the total cost of the car (COST, not sale s price) so that 85Kw battery pack is in the 15K to 20K$ range ... but has more than TRIPLE the energy than the leafs.

So this raises the question.
Why on earth do the traditional car makers keep mucking about with obviously obsolete battery technology.

- it is 3 times more expensive
- it can't be swapped
- there is no supercharging it

The other question it raises would be is Tesla full of shit?
 

Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #159 on: October 01, 2013, 04:32:21 pm »
Take the leafs 24Kw battery pack...
...so that 85Kw battery pack...

Just for clarity, do you mean kW or kWh with these numbers?
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #160 on: October 01, 2013, 05:02:30 pm »
IMHO public transport (especially a subway) is great for crowded cities but as soon as you move further away public transport takes you from a place where you aren't to a place you don't need to be. Even in a crowded country like the NL public transport is a workable solution for a minority of the people.

For me, as a rail fan, public transportation is a journey, not a destination.
But, yeah, i am just BSing myself...  ;D

If you use a train instead of flying on a jet, you are increasing global warming.

911 was a sad day for the USA.  I spend most of the day worry about a relative in NYC.  But it was one of those "solar eclipse moments" for atmospheric science.  Shortly after the attack, all US flights were grounded for three days.  In that contrail-free three days, average temperature in the USA increased 1.1F to 1.8F (1.8F = 1C).  This is a scientific fact reported by most major scientific journal such as Scientific Americans and Nature magazine.

[EDIT:  Some magazine reports 1.1C, some reports 1.1F.  I am not sure which one is correct, but either one is at least an order of magnitude higher than the CO2 warming/year.]

The effect was immediate and the match perfect.  No jets, and and the temperature increased was measured immediately.

So, we saw that if we have Contrail in the USA alone, we held down temperature by 1C.  Western Europe is 400million-ish people vs US’ 300ish million.  So it stands to reason that if W. Europe switch over from train to jet, we will hold down temperature there by 1C or there about.

If global warming from CO2 is indeed the concern, why is there no research to repeat, to confirm (or not), and to further study the effects.  If confirmed, we can continue on say making ConTrail more persistent?  Say, making commercial flight jet engines more ConTrail friendly?  You can practically look at jets like trimpots: too hot?  Send up two fleets of 747 equipped with “extra-contrail” equipments (and loaded with water so it generates contrail even at drier/higher altitudes...)

Nope!  No follow-up research but instead mere arguments.  Arguments of "you measured wrong" (hard to believe all US weather stations made the same mistake) or "Nope! the weather just happens to follow our jet's presence/absence for that exact 3 days."

That any follow-up research in contrail is entirely absent tells me neither CO2 nor the warming is the real worry, -- OR --, the ones pushing the current solution are too dumb to join the dots, -- OR --, they have other motives.  If these folks have other motives or are so dumb with something so immediately obvious, why would I trust whatever they promote?

Am I making it up?  Here are some references:

Wiki: September 11, 2001 climate impact study
The grounding of planes for three days in the United States after September 11, 2001 provided a rare opportunity for scientists to study the effects of contrails on climate forcing. Measurements showed that without contrails, the local diurnal temperature range (difference of day and night temperatures) was about 1 °C (1.8 °F) higher than immediately before; however, it has also been suggested that this was due to unusually clear weather during the period.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrail

Quote of Nature magazine from GreenMedInfo: "The Phenomenon: A 1.8 Degree Celsius Increase In Temperature in North America"
The study found "...an anomalous increase in the average diurnal temperature range (that is, the difference between the daytime maximum and night-time minimum temperatures) for the period 11-14 September 2001."
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/artificial-weather-revealed-post-9-11-flight-groundings

You can find info all over the place searching for "ConTrail" together with "911".

« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 05:17:25 pm by Rick Law »
 

Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #161 on: October 01, 2013, 05:13:07 pm »
In that contrail-free three days, average temperature in the USA increased 1.1F to 1.8F (1.8F = 1C).  This is a scientific fact reported by most major scientific journal such as Scientific Americans and Nature magazine.

...

Am I making it up?  Here are some references:

Wiki: September 11, 2001 climate impact study
The grounding of planes for three days in the United States after September 11, 2001 provided a rare opportunity for scientists to study the effects of contrails on climate forcing. Measurements showed that without contrails, the local diurnal temperature range (difference of day and night temperatures) was about 1 °C (1.8 °F) higher than immediately before; however, it has also been suggested that this was due to unusually clear weather during the period.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrail

Quote of Nature magazine from GreenMedInfo: "The Phenomenon: A 1.8 Degree Celsius Increase In Temperature in North America"
The study found "...an anomalous increase in the average diurnal temperature range (that is, the difference between the daytime maximum and night-time minimum temperatures) for the period 11-14 September 2001."
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/artificial-weather-revealed-post-9-11-flight-groundings

You understand your references do not support your statement, right? They do not say the average temperature increased by 1°C.

The fact that a temperature increase was not measured would be why people are "ignoring" this effect--there is no effect to look at.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #162 on: October 01, 2013, 05:22:26 pm »
In that contrail-free three days, average temperature in the USA increased 1.1F to 1.8F (1.8F = 1C).  This is a scientific fact reported by most major scientific journal such as Scientific Americans and Nature magazine.

...

Am I making it up?  Here are some references:

Wiki: September 11, 2001 climate impact study
The grounding of planes for three days in the United States after September 11, 2001 provided a rare opportunity for scientists to study the effects of contrails on climate forcing. Measurements showed that without contrails, the local diurnal temperature range (difference of day and night temperatures) was about 1 °C (1.8 °F) higher than immediately before; however, it has also been suggested that this was due to unusually clear weather during the period.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrail

Quote of Nature magazine from GreenMedInfo: "The Phenomenon: A 1.8 Degree Celsius Increase In Temperature in North America"
The study found "...an anomalous increase in the average diurnal temperature range (that is, the difference between the daytime maximum and night-time minimum temperatures) for the period 11-14 September 2001."
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/artificial-weather-revealed-post-9-11-flight-groundings

You understand your references do not support your statement, right? They do not say the average temperature increased by 1°C.

The fact that a temperature increase was not measured would be why people are "ignoring" this effect--there is no effect to look at.

Which statement does it NOT support?  All of them support my statement about 1C/F increase during that 3 days.  (I edited, because there is some reports 1.1C-1.8C, some report 1.1F-1.8F, but C or F doesn't matter, this number is "an anomalous increase" to use Nature Magazine's words.

I am saying: if temperature is such a worry, and no one looks into such huge change "that happens to match the absence of our jets", they are too dumb to propose any worthy solution or they have other motives.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #163 on: October 01, 2013, 05:28:21 pm »
Which statement does it NOT support?  All of them support my statement about 1C/F increase during that 3 days.  (I edited, because there is some reports 1.1C-1.8C, some report 1.1F-1.8F, but C or F doesn't matter, this number is "an anomalous increase" to use Nature Magazine's words.

Please review and carefully understand the meaning of the following phrases:

Quote
local diurnal temperature range (difference of day and night temperatures)

Quote
average diurnal temperature range (that is, the difference between the daytime maximum and night-time minimum temperatures)

They do not mean what you think they mean.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #164 on: October 01, 2013, 05:32:55 pm »
Take the leafs 24Kw battery pack...
...so that 85Kw battery pack...

Just for clarity, do you mean kW or kWh with these numbers?
KWh. i'll fix that
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #165 on: October 01, 2013, 05:41:09 pm »
The other question it raises would be is Tesla full of shit?
I don't think so as it trumps all other cars, electric or not, in any test they throw at it.

Part of the cost of the battery is the form factor. The traditional car makers all insist on having a custom made brick shape to build the pack. This requires custom tooling, custom assembly lines etc. Tesla went with a well known form factor. So they did away with all the overhead. it already existed. They altered the chemistry a bit (which has no impact on assembly line ) and squirt an intumescent around the cells.
So they profit form economy of scale.

And this is only the individual cells. The pack itself is another cost.The traditional car makers have to find a way to cram it in the engine compartment. Tesla's is a very simply pancake box. the cells go in vertically. I think the cost of assembly is much lower on the tesla pack than the custom odd shaped pack for the other makers.

I don't know, part of this is speculation on my end. There is a lot of unknowns. Fact is Tesla has proven it can be done, but it has to be done from scratch.
So far all other makers are still in the 'convert a conventional car' phase. and that has been tried for 20 years and proven it just doesn't work quite right. So why keep on kicking the same stone ?
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #166 on: October 01, 2013, 06:10:04 pm »
Which statement does it NOT support?  All of them support my statement about 1C/F increase during that 3 days.  (I edited, because there is some reports 1.1C-1.8C, some report 1.1F-1.8F, but C or F doesn't matter, this number is "an anomalous increase" to use Nature Magazine's words.

Please review and carefully understand the meaning of the following phrases:

Quote
local diurnal temperature range (difference of day and night temperatures)

Quote
average diurnal temperature range (that is, the difference between the daytime maximum and night-time minimum temperatures)

They do not mean what you think they mean.

My main points are:
1. There was a huge increase absence jet contrail
2. It matches the exact pattern of presence/absence of jet
3. There was no followup research but mere arguments.
4. Someone who fails to look into such large delta with such immediate impact is either too dumb to lead or has other motives.

All these articles support the first 2 statement.  At least Wiki reports the "difference idea" about it is a coincidence or actual impact.  The magnitude difference is mere arithmetic.    That there is an absence of followup research is self evident.  (No citations of any followup research from any of these articles.)  PBS-NOVA had a show on it, but it was based on opinion (argument) and not actual research.

The worry is fractional-degree increase/year.  The 3 days in question is a full degree (F or C).   Any one who propose dealing with the rounding error first before looking at effects that is an order of magnitude greater should be suspected.  It doesn't pass the "smell test".

Thus statement number 4.  My conclusion based on 1, 2, and 3.

EDIT - Sorry..corrected a couple of grammatical errors.  "is" to "was" types.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 06:14:29 pm by Rick Law »
 

Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #167 on: October 01, 2013, 06:24:51 pm »
The 3 days in question is a full degree (F or C).

No. There was no such increase.

What is being reported is the range between cyclic maximum and minimum temperatures day to night. It says nothing at all about whether average temperatures went up, went down, or stayed the same.

It's like the amplitude of a wave. It's entirely possible for the amplitude of a wave to increase but for the average level to go down. The two measurements are independent of each other.
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #168 on: October 01, 2013, 06:33:44 pm »
Please review and carefully understand the meaning of the following phrases:

Quote
local diurnal temperature range (difference of day and night temperatures)

Quote
average diurnal temperature range (that is, the difference between the daytime maximum and night-time minimum temperatures)

They do not mean what you think they mean.

I know understand what it means.  That is why it is important.  I figure everyone else do, so at first I was not replying to that as it seems too argumentive (argumentative?) ... but I suppose I should.

The only warming is caused by the Sun.  A planet of pure carbon dioxide will be frozen absence the sun.  The worry is not the carbon dioxide itself warms, but the sun warming more.

My take is, the difference of night and day highlights the impact of how Contrail affects the sun's warming of the earth.  The worry of carbon dioxide is how it affects the sun warming.  Exactly the point is question.  If you take the eco-community reports at face value, carbon dioxide increases temperature by fractional degree/year.  This three days in question is about a full degree (or almost two if it is 1.8C instead of 1.8F).

Hand the difference be in average temperature, something with an order of magnitude difference would still be a something one should look at.  A number that big is not something a careful researcher should ignore
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #169 on: October 01, 2013, 06:46:45 pm »
The other question it raises would be is Tesla full of shit?
I don't think so as it trumps all other cars, electric or not, in any test they throw at it.
IMHO not really. Range is still a problem even for Tesla. The review in the NYT from last winter made that painfully clear. The biggest mistake EV makers make is to have a range indicator in their cars. The graphs provided by Tesla clearly showed the range the computer showed was way too optimistic during the NYT test drive. If they put a charge indicator in their cars drivers can learn for themselves how far they can go on whats left of the charge. Just like it works in a petrol powered car.
Quote
Part of the cost of the battery is the form factor. The traditional car makers all insist on having a custom made brick shape to build the pack. This requires custom tooling, custom assembly lines etc. Tesla went with a well known form factor. So they did away with all the overhead. it already existed. They altered the chemistry a bit (which has no impact on assembly line ) and squirt an intumescent around the cells.
So they profit form economy of scale.

And this is only the individual cells. The pack itself is another cost.The traditional car makers have to find a way to cram it in the engine compartment. Tesla's is a very simply pancake box. the cells go in vertically. I think the cost of assembly is much lower on the tesla pack than the custom odd shaped pack for the other makers.
That is not quite true. Both the Leaf and the Volt have the batteries underneath the car. Although Chevrolet and Nissan stayed closer to the conventional car shape they did adapt the chassis to make a place for the batteries underneath the car (Nissan even more than Chevrolet).

@IanB: IMHO the effect Rick is pointing at is that the absence of contrails has an effect on the temperature extremes. If you look at the pictures on the Wiki page about contrails you can see the contrails are easely visible from space and can cover a significant surface. Clouds work as an insulating blanket keeping the earth cool during the day and warm during the night. Absence of the contrails (artificial clouds) could have an effect on the temperature extremes but that doesn't mean they have any effect on global warming/cooling.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 06:53:13 pm by nctnico »
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Offline IanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #170 on: October 01, 2013, 06:50:37 pm »
@IanB: IMHO the effect Rick is pointing at is that the absence of contrails has an effect on the temperature extremes. If you look at the pictures on the Wiki page about contrails you can see the contrails are easely visible from space and can cover a significant surface. Clouds work as an insulating blanket keeping the earth cool during the day and warm during the night. Absence of the contrails (artificial clouds) could have an effect on the temperature extremes but that doesn't mean they have any effect on global warming/cooling.

I understand. But Rick said "average temperatures went up by 1 degree during those three days". That is simply not true.

If Rick had said "temperature fluctuations between day and night went up by 1 degree and maybe that points to something worth exploring" then we would not even be having a debate.

In all things technical, precision is everything.
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Offline Phaedrus

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #171 on: October 01, 2013, 07:09:04 pm »
Disappointing that even EEs (or wannabe EEs) can be scientifically illiterate too.
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Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #172 on: October 01, 2013, 11:09:06 pm »
@IanB: IMHO the effect Rick is pointing at is that the absence of contrails has an effect on the temperature extremes. If you look at the pictures on the Wiki page about contrails you can see the contrails are easely visible from space and can cover a significant surface. Clouds work as an insulating blanket keeping the earth cool during the day and warm during the night. Absence of the contrails (artificial clouds) could have an effect on the temperature extremes but that doesn't mean they have any effect on global warming/cooling.

I understand. But Rick said "average temperatures went up by 1 degree during those three days". That is simply not true.

If Rick had said "temperature fluctuations between day and night went up by 1 degree and maybe that points to something worth exploring" then we would not even be having a debate.

In all things technical, precision is everything.

In all things technical, precision may be everything, but in reality, one cannot even determine if Schrodinger's cat is alive or not.

If it makes you happy, I will word it this way: "the average of the day-max/night-min changes by 1.8F averaged over the three days in question."  That however is a distinction without a substantive difference.  Since the day max is reached by the sun's warming, therefore, one can assume that the difference is with the sun's warming - unless there is such a coincidence in weather.

I am not even arguing that ConTrail induced cooling is real or not.  I am however saying: when the group proposing a solution ignore a huge number with exact day/geographic match, they are either too dumb to propose a viable solution or they have other motives.

This is my last reply in this thread.  I don't want to hijack this thread to discuss a side issue.  So, should you want to put in the last word, I will ignore it with no disrespect.
 

Offline Phaedrus

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #173 on: October 01, 2013, 11:19:26 pm »
Last word is mine!

It is a typical tactic of climate change deniers to point out an aspect of climate science, say "This has a cooling effect!", claim that scientists are ignoring it, and move on to another topic before they can be called out on it.

The fact is that in almost all of these cases, scientists are investigating these phenomena. It just doesn't make for sensationalist headlines because in almost all cases the effects are shown to either be negligible, or in support of anthropogenic global warming.

In regards to albedo and clouds, read this summary:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/earth-albedo-effect.htm
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Offline tom66

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #174 on: October 01, 2013, 11:35:25 pm »
I don't even think climate change is relevant.

Whether or not the climate is warming (it most likely is) we cannot go on using oil which is becoming more political and even harder to find.

We also cannot use biofuels because, in my opinion, it is morally wrong to take something which is usable as a food product and which is restricted by supply, and use it for fuel. It will only cause food prices to rise which will hit the most needy hard.

We must use an alternative fuel or power source.

Hydrogen looks neat... until you do the math. Car companies love to trump hydrogen fuel cells as the future saviour from all this mess. Truth is, at the current prices of platinum (a necessary part of a fuel cell) a decent size fuel cell would cost on the order of $50,000 to $250,000. This will only increase as demand for hydrogen cars increases. Those prices make electric cars seem like a bargain.  Also, hydrogen is currently produced from hydrocarbons... which currently comes from crude oil. Doesn't really help.

Electric cars are a good solution in many respects because they are fuel agnostic. They can run on solar, wind, nuclear, natural gas, coal even gasoline, all depending on what is burnt at the power station. So, even if we do find hydrogen to be a good solution, it makes more sense to keep it agnostic and burn the fuel at the power station and turn it into electricity for the cars to charge or run from. It's far more efficient to burn fuel in a large, efficiently designed, expensive engine than a low-cost consumer car engine.

What I'm wondering is how long till we see dodgems like prototypes - electric wires above a road and a grounding strip along the surface... If battery technology fails to keep up with needs, it might be the only solution, as crazy as the idea seems.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #175 on: October 01, 2013, 11:38:24 pm »
Last word is mine!

It is a typical tactic of climate change deniers to point out an aspect of climate science, say "This has a cooling effect!", claim that scientists are ignoring it, and move on to another topic before they can be called out on it.

The fact is that in almost all of these cases, scientists are investigating these phenomena. It just doesn't make for sensationalist headlines because in almost all cases the effects are shown to either be negligible, or in support of anthropogenic global warming.

In regards to albedo and clouds, read this summary:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/earth-albedo-effect.htm

Since you are not IanB to whom I said I wouldn't reply, and since you are suggesting that I am moving on to other topics because someone "calls me out", I suppose I should reply.

No, I am not moving on because "someone call me out."  I am however aware that there comes a point when discussion is no longer productive or interesting.  He is not seeing my point that "something an order of magnitude different should be investigated."  I am not seeing his point on why "average matters more than max and min".  So further discussion is no longer of use.

You are certainly right that "in almost all of these cases, scientists are investigating these phenomena."  That is what makes it more interesting that it is entirely ignored in this case.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 11:42:27 pm by Rick Law »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #176 on: October 01, 2013, 11:46:46 pm »
I don't even think climate change is relevant.

Whether or not the climate is warming (it most likely is) we cannot go on using oil which is becoming more political and even harder to find.

We also cannot use biofuels because, in my opinion, it is morally wrong to take something which is usable as a food product and which is restricted by supply, and use it for fuel. It will only cause food prices to rise which will hit the most needy hard.
That will change very soon (although a lot of bio fuel is already being made from used fats like vegetable oil used to fry food). In the near future (starting next year) there will be large scale factories which use agricultural leftovers to produce bio-fuel (www.poet-dsm.com). This means no food or land useful to grow food gets lost. Food may actually become cheaper because more of the crops can be used (well, the farmers probably get richer >:D ). Currently bio-fuel already accounts for about 3% of the world's fuel consumption for transportation.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 11:59:12 pm by nctnico »
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Offline Rufus

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #177 on: October 02, 2013, 11:51:40 am »
<snipped>
 This means no food or land useful to grow food gets lost. Food may actually become cheaper because more of the crops can be used (well, the farmers probably get richer >:D ). Currently bio-fuel already accounts for about 3% of the world's fuel consumption for transportation.

Don't forget water. Water is the key resource that will limit bio-fuel. And everything else.

4/5ths of the globe is kms deep in water. Where I live around 800,000 gallons just falls from the sky for every man woman and child in the country every year. Water is 100% recyclable and we have a solar powered purification plant the size of the planet.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #178 on: October 02, 2013, 02:53:49 pm »
IMHO not really. Range is still a problem even for Tesla. The review in the NYT from last winter made that painfully clear.

Actually that article make it exceptionally clear just how adequate the Tesla's range is. Broader had to try really, really hard to make it run out of juice, repeatedly giving it less and less time to charge up, driving well above the speed limit, turning the heating up high and basically doing everything he could to flatten the battery. The fact that he found it so hard shows just how much better the range was than he expected, and how far you can really go in a Tesla.
Did you actually read the article? Broder got tired of waiting (in the bitter cold) and charged to Tesla until the range indicator showed he had enough charge to make the trip planned for the next day. However the next morning it became clear the cold batteries had lost a significant amount of charge. Secondly the range indicator isn't pessimistic. If you read the follow up article showing Tesla's graph you can clearly see its way too optimistic. You can argue what you want but Tesla basically says you should drive slow to achieve the range the range indicator shows and that you shouldn't turn on the heater even if your fingers are freezing off. That doesn't make for a compelling argument to buy an electric vehicle.

A lot of technical people see users make stupid mistakes because the user doesn't seem to understand the underlying technology. IMHO that is a failure of the technical people. They should make a product in a way the user doesn't have to understand the underlying technology.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 03:02:24 pm by nctnico »
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Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #179 on: October 02, 2013, 04:33:01 pm »
Did you actually read the article? Broder got tired of waiting (in the bitter cold) and charged to Tesla until the range indicator showed he had enough charge to make the trip planned for the next day.

Which was moronic. Who stands there in the bitter cold waiting for the car to charge instead of just going indoors or sitting in the car and checking their email on the nice 17" LCD screen in the dash?
I stand next to my car when I pour fuel in it and most gas stations require to turn of the ignition so waiting outside for an electric car to charge isn't abnormal behaviour. Maybe Tesla should somehow encourage drivers to sit inside the car and wait for it to charge. For people used to gasoline powered cars its far from obvious to sit inside the car while its being 'fueled'.
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Offline SgtRock

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #180 on: October 02, 2013, 11:42:34 pm »
Greetings EEVBees:

--Ah yes, the Dolt continues to lose traction. Sales down 38% even with a $5000 price reduction. The good news is if you want to lease a Volt in the US, you could end up paying $4000 or less, for a two year lease. See the two below articles:
http://nlpc.org/stories/2013/10/02/chevy-volt-september-sales-plunge-cost-taxpayers-over-13-million
http://nlpc.org/stories/2012/09/13/gm-admits-there-no-market-chevy-volt

--It has been argued in this thread (with supporting citations) that total lifetime energy costs for EVs are not markedly different from that of ICE equipt vehicles, if the energy used in construction is counted. If one were to assume arguendo that this contention is correct, then the argument for taxing the working poor in order that the more well to do can drive EVs, loses much of its raison d'être, with or without AGW. Yes? And, of course similar arguments could be made with regard to Wind and PV Solar. The exception being Passive Solar which is a proven winner, at least here in the Southern US, and similar Latitudes.

--I am not against EVs. Far from it. If that is what people want and the market is willing to provide it, more power to them both. But if it does not fit, do not force it. If Dave can save money and headaches by using PV to power an EV "Peevy Eevy", plus have a whole lot of good electronics fun, which is one of the reasons for owning gear, I say good on ya. I would likely do the same, if I could, not for the Polar Bears but just out of plain cussedness. For now I have to get along, by recycling other peoples discards be they vehicles, appliances, or what have you.

--Also, Tom makes a very good point about EVs being indifferent to the ultimate end source of their electrons, a point very much in their favor. If I want to use my electric lawn mower, or weed eater, I do not have to drive and ICE or and EV to the Gas Station to get fuel.

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Barack Hussein Obama 1961 -

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Offline Phaedrus

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #181 on: October 02, 2013, 11:51:39 pm »
Broder also drove his Tesla in circles in a parking lot for several hours to force it to drain battery...
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Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #182 on: October 02, 2013, 11:55:51 pm »
Not several hours. About 15 minutes IIRC. My wife also does that trying to find a parking spot she thinks is the closest to the shop.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 12:10:27 am by nctnico »
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Offline Fluxed Matter

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #183 on: October 03, 2013, 02:26:31 pm »


Just saw this on the news this morning. According to the new the driver hit something in the road that caused damage to the battery packs which caused the fire. They had to cut the battery pack open to put it out.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 02:54:52 pm by Fluxed Matter »
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Offline Poe

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #184 on: October 03, 2013, 05:12:33 pm »

I can't wait to own an electric car, but I don't think battery tech is there yet.

The OP comparing the Tesla/Leaf/Gas cars is very silly though.  That's like being amazed clothes at WalMart are not as nice as the cloths you purchase at 5x the price.

Just out of HONEST curiosity, I would have asked these questions:

1. How much would the Tesla models cost without subsidies and tax waivers (given to manufacturers and buyers)?  Some reports as much as +60% MSRP when all said and done.  How does the Leaf compare?
2. Raw materials now account for 75% of lithium cell cost, so future savings are highly unlikely.  Do they foresee a way to produce a less expensive car without a new battery technology? 
3. When Tesla engineers decided to use 18650 cells, I can only assume it was for their low price per Joule.  Unfortunately we in the industry know that low price was due to Panasonic going crazy over producing that format while the industry started to move away toward foil bags for smaller size.  Do they foresee battery pack cost increasing considering the cost of these cells is expected to rise significantly?
4. The Prius only uses 40% of it's total battery capacity to increase lifespan and number of usable cycles.  It keeps it's battery between 40% - 80% to eek out 10 years to 75% capacity.  Do you have to do this in the Tesla for their claimed seven years / 100k miles?  Once per week I travel 220 miles round trip.  No owners on the forum appear to do this kind of driving.  Reports of tests performed on 100k battery packs were lightly cycled.  Nissan appears to just underrate and electronically limit usable capacity to 60% based off some articles.
5. What kind of warranty or replacement program do they have for those batteries?  I know Tesla's battery-quick-swap is temporary and you get charged a rental fee until your return it.  They stopped the $12k replacement program when it became apparent they were going to loose money.  How much to get a whole new pack after the seven years ($40k?).  How much is the Leaf's battery and how long is it expected to last?
6. When factoring the cost of battery replacement alone every seven years, wouldn't I have to travel over 200k miles in those seven years before it STARTED to be cheaper to operate than a car which gets ~20mpg? 
7. I see in the warranty that I'm responsible for rbattery eplacement if it ever completely self discharges.  What happens then?  Looks like it would happen on vacation if your airport isn't close by.  Tesla's solution is to leave it plugged in, but that doesn't sound ideal.  e.g. No road trips or airports where you can't rely on a hotel that gives power line access.  What happens if an electrical breaker trips or cable comes unplugged and I don't catch it because I'm on vacation?  $40k is a big mistake for just missing a breaker.  Their phone call alerts depend on your car's wireless signal.  I would be pissed to cut short a vacation because my car needed charged.  Why can't they completely disconnect the batteries at 5%?
8. Have there been any long term testing in (real) cold climates?  Knowing what I do about how lithium batteries and cold, I wouldn't expect good performance.
9.  Speaking of cold weather, I understand the batteries are heated.  Some reports claim as much as 4kiloWatt hours per day in IDLE electricity usage.  Is this primarily due to the battery heater, or some other set of electronic systems?  Although that's plenty of wasted power, ~$200 bucks in additional electricity usage isn't a big issue I guess.  I'm kind of curious if a fix is possible or is it an essential technical compromise due to lithium's cold weather performance.  Maybe it's the sum product of all the individual battery monitors?
10. When using a supercharge station, how does that affect your battery?  I can see busy people only using the supercharge station as they currently only use gas stations.  Would these quick 20min charges prematurely wear out your battery's capacity?  I would love to see residual capacity of a battery after 100k miles were put on it via charged at home to 100% then discharged to nil and supercharged to 50% then topped off again at home each cycle.
11. As I understand it, the amount charged during the initial 20min interval depends on the car's present charge.  So a half full battery can only charge to 50% in 20min if empty.  If you need to go on a 150mile trip and your car has enough for 100miles, you'll need to wait much longer than 20min.  Is this correct?  Where can I find some better detail?
12. Is regenerative braking really disabled in cold weather?  Why? 
13. Cold weather range is 160 miles based on some reports.  What is typical?  Sorry for all the cold weather questions, I don't live in Cali.
14. Tesla has so far only sold about as many cars as GM sells in a week, has service kept up with their growth?  I don't want to spend luxury car money and get Nissan quality service.
15. How long and how much do repairs take?  I have seen some pretty painful reports, but can't tell if those were outlier cases.  I see none have caught fire.  That's good, but how many have been in a bad enough accident that the battery shell was compromised?  I don't see how they prevent the simple chemical reaction of Lithium + Oxygen + Heat.



 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #185 on: October 03, 2013, 05:27:40 pm »


Just saw this on the news this morning. According to the new the driver hit something in the road that caused damage to the battery packs which caused the fire. They had to cut the battery pack open to put it out.
incorrect.
The driver hit something that went in the front of the car. it punctured the standard 12 volt battery that sits there , that caught fire ,melted the brake and steering fluid lines and that stuff got fire.
The main battery pack was never damaged, the firewall between cabin and nose was not breached.

So essentially this is a non-event. take any car , set its 12 volt nose mounted battery on fire and you will have the same, or worse (since there is also gasoline), outcome...

Here is what is in the nose of a tesla , under the cargospace. the battery sits even more forward in the bumper area, like most cars
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Offline Rufus

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #186 on: October 03, 2013, 06:13:04 pm »
incorrect.
The driver hit something that went in the front of the car. it punctured the standard 12 volt battery that sits there , that caught fire ,melted the brake and steering fluid lines and that stuff got fire.
The main battery pack was never damaged, the firewall between cabin and nose was not breached.

Yeah I'm sure you are correct as usual while 5 minutes on the web will reveal lots of incorrect people like Tesla themselves stating....

"The fire was caused by the direct impact of a large metallic object to one of the 16 modules within the Model S battery pack. Because each module within the battery pack is, by design, isolated by fire barriers to limit any potential damage, the fire in the battery pack was contained to a small section in the front of the vehicle."
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #187 on: October 03, 2013, 06:35:18 pm »


Just saw this on the news this morning. According to the new the driver hit something in the road that caused damage to the battery packs which caused the fire. They had to cut the battery pack open to put it out.
incorrect.
The driver hit something that went in the front of the car. it punctured the standard 12 volt battery that sits there , that caught fire ,melted the brake and steering fluid lines and that stuff got fire.
The main battery pack was never damaged, the firewall between cabin and nose was not breached.

So essentially this is a non-event. take any car , set its 12 volt nose mounted battery on fire and you will have the same, or worse (since there is also gasoline), outcome...

Here is what is in the nose of a tesla , under the cargospace. the battery sits even more forward in the bumper area, like most cars
I've never seen a car with the battery behind the bumper (it would be hard to get a good rating on pedestrian-collission safety). Its always as close as possible to to the front window and in newer cars the battery is often placed in the rear. Oh and who said an electric car isn't complicated? I spot several electric coolant pumps and high pressure lines from a heat pump system running across the entire front.
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Offline ElectroIrradiator

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #188 on: October 03, 2013, 06:49:38 pm »
I've never seen a car with the battery behind the bumper (it would be hard to get a good rating on pedestrian-collission safety). Its always as close as possible to to the front window and in newer cars the battery is often placed in the rear. Oh and who said an electric car isn't complicated? I spot several electric coolant pumps and high pressure lines from a heat pump system running across the entire front.

Not sure if this is what is meant by 'behind the bumper', yet a Lexus LS-400 has the battery right behind the LH front headlight, to the left of the radiator fan shroud. It sits just below the hood.

Many other Japanese cars have a similar battery placement, or possibly in the other side. So do some smaller German cars.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 07:01:59 pm by ElectroIrradiator »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #189 on: October 03, 2013, 08:33:18 pm »
I've never seen a car with the battery behind the bumper (it would be hard to get a good rating on pedestrian-collission safety). Its always as close as possible to to the front window and in newer cars the battery is often placed in the rear. Oh and who said an electric car isn't complicated? I spot several electric coolant pumps and high pressure lines from a heat pump system running across the entire front.

Not sure if this is what is meant by 'behind the bumper', yet a Lexus LS-400 has the battery right behind the LH front headlight, to the left of the radiator fan shroud. It sits just below the hood.

Many other Japanese cars have a similar battery placement, or possibly in the other side. So do some smaller German cars.

in my chrysler it sits in the before the front  left wheel. you need to take the left front wheel off to be able to remove it.
My volkswagen golf had the battery also front left of the nose. Same for my dad's renault Scenic.
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Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #190 on: October 03, 2013, 08:40:49 pm »


Yeah I'm sure you are correct as usual while 5 minutes on the web will reveal lots of incorrect people like Tesla themselves stating....

"The fire was caused by the direct impact of a large metallic object to one of the 16 modules within the Model S battery pack. Because each module within the battery pack is, by design, isolated by fire barriers to limit any potential damage, the fire in the battery pack was contained to a small section in the front of the vehicle."
The information i posted is based on what was known on wednesday from the firemans report (jalopnik) . So apparently Tesla knows more now. Good. i am confident they'll figure it out. It was an accident.
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Offline tom66

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #191 on: October 03, 2013, 08:59:39 pm »
Normal car on fire: Huh. That sucks. Hope they're OK.
Tesla on fire: Oh my god! Tesla cars are unsafe!

Still, it's worrying why the intumescent material did not prevent the cell fire from spreading out of the pack. A pack being punctured is quite easy given the under-belly battery design. Maybe they'll reinforce the bottoms of the pack in some way in future cars.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #192 on: October 03, 2013, 10:16:54 pm »
I stand next to my car when I pour fuel in it and most gas stations require to turn of the ignition so waiting outside for an electric car to charge isn't abnormal behaviour. Maybe Tesla should somehow encourage drivers to sit inside the car and wait for it to charge. For people used to gasoline powered cars its far from obvious to sit inside the car while its being 'fueled'.
Yes, you stand there when you pump flammable liquid into it. In Europe you actually have to old a lever down to make the petrol come out, otherwise nothing happens. With an EV you plug in and walk away. If you are not using a supercharger it can take hours to charge up, and clearly no one (except you) is going to stand there for hours waiting.
We where talking about the supercharger. And I'll like to see your face if some culprit unplugs your electric car at a charging station while you are off doing god knows what  >:D
Quote
For what it's worth the owners manual does state that you don't need to stand next to the car watching it for half an hour while it charges. Tesla even provide a way to remotely monitor the charging process from you phone, so you can be notified as soon as it is ready.
Who reads manuals these days? Today I had an interesting discussion with a customer about this. He also sells devices to consumers. He told me the less buttons the better; the ideal device only has a mains plug. The key phrase to keep customers happy is 'managing expectations'.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline amyk

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #193 on: October 04, 2013, 01:47:19 pm »
Just saw this on the news this morning. According to the new the driver hit something in the road that caused damage to the battery packs which caused the fire. They had to cut the battery pack open to put it out.
Was an automatic fire-extinguishing system (like what they have on planes) too expensive?
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #194 on: October 04, 2013, 02:35:48 pm »

We where talking about the supercharger. And I'll like to see your face if some culprit unplugs your electric car at a charging station
Doesnt work. The tesla locks the plug in the socket. It will not release until the owner is around . As far as i know the remote that unlocks the doors needs to be within range for the charger to release as well.

Anyway. Tesla drivers are a civilised and courteous. They even have a tesla-nod now :)

There is more news about the fire.
So it is apparently confirmed the battery pack got damaged. And a pack ( not an individual 18650, but a group of them combined. The tesla batterypack is like a honecomb structure inside. The individual 18650 are clustered in packs.) hot damaged and started burning.

The honeycomb did its work. The intumescent activated and prevented the fire from spreading to adjacent packs. So the mechanically damaged packs burned out.

Apparently that pack was he closest to the front of the car. The damage from the impact had also severed hydrolic lines (brakes , uspension, steering) containig oil. So that is why there was the big blaze.

And then the firemen threw water on it....

There is no damage inside the passenger cabin. There is, just like in regular cars, a firewall between front and cabin. The tesla also has a firewall between cabin and battery.

So. If tesla is smart they will do 1 thing: change the hydrolic fluids to non flammable ones.
Surely there has to exist synthetic oils that are not flammable.

Then there is still the question of what was hit ? Lets say that was a leafblower or hedge trimmer that fell off a maintenance truck ( i've seen a few along the roadside..). Those contain a cannister with gasoline !

The firemen also hacked into the battery to try to exti guish it... Bad move ! They could have damaged more packs doing that making things worse
This actually raises another important question: we will need new strategies to deal with electric car fires... Just dumping water on it doesn't work !

And here is another succulent detail: amount of cars catching fire in one year ? 165000. But when a Tesla catches fire it is frontpage news. I remember certain ferrari series have a born in propensity to catch fire all by themselves if you just drive em. I also vagueley remeber boeing airliners having battery problems. And the chevy volt also had fires because of their batteries.

Anyway. I don't care. It is a non-event. It passed all crash testing and safety testing and they never managed to set the battery off. This is just a freak accident. Accidents happen.
Gottago dome some math now...
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Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #195 on: October 04, 2013, 07:43:49 pm »
And then the firemen threw water on it....

What sort of firemen try to extinguish a car fire with water?

Even if they falsely assumed that a petrol car was on fire, you would not use water, but powder/dry/foam extinguisher. If you would try to extinguish a gas(petroleum) fire with water, the gas would just swim on the water film, continuing burning while it is flushed all over the road, not to mention the potential environmental contamination such action might cause.

Water would only be used for cooling in exceptional cases (for example, to cool a tanker whose cab is on fire).

Hacking onto/punching into the car while it is on fire is also an odd behavior for firemen.

That report really sounds somewhat strange to me...
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 08:39:25 pm by elgonzo »
 

Offline tom66

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #196 on: October 04, 2013, 08:50:29 pm »
Maybe they assumed electric cars are different? It does say "water is a suitable extinguishing medium".
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #197 on: October 04, 2013, 09:14:50 pm »
Maybe they assumed electric cars are different? It does say "water is a suitable extinguishing medium".

Yes, for small batteries water is okay; i guess because the environmental impact is limited(?) or their reactive mass smaller(?).

But for large car batteries, what would be the risk of environmental contamination, if compounds from within the battery are flushed into the soil with the water?

I have to admit, i don't have knowledge about that. But usually it is disallowed to dump (Li) batteries into the general waste, so i guess they contain substances that are harmful to the environment.

To minimize the risk of contamination, especially when dealing with large batteries such as in cars, i would expect firemen to use either CO2 or (if the fire is larger) foam, but not water. The burning battery might also ignite other parts of the car made of rubber or plastics, in which case extinguishing with water would pose an additional potential for environmental contamination.

Somehow, water does not make sense at all...

EDIT: I stand corrected. German DEKRA did some tests with burning car batteries approx. 1 year ago (English here, German original here)and water is useful for cooling the burning battery, but it was less effective as extinguishing agent in its liquid form. A water-based gel would be among the preferable solutions, the DEKRA report suggests.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 09:43:50 pm by elgonzo »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #198 on: October 04, 2013, 10:05:59 pm »
Hacking onto/punching into the car while it is on fire is also an odd behavior for firemen.

That report really sounds somewhat strange to me...
If reporters had a proper education they wouldn't be reporters  >:D AFAIK all firemen have already been trained dealing with electric cars.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #199 on: October 04, 2013, 11:23:31 pm »
excerpt from the official report

"In an incident report released under Washington state's public records law, firefighters wrote that they appeared to have Tuesday's fire under control, but the flames reignited. Crews found that water seemed to intensify the fire, so they began using a dry chemical extinguisher.
After dismantling the front end of the vehicle and puncturing holes in the battery pack, responders used a circular saw to cut an access hole in the front section to apply water to the battery, according to documents. Only then was the fire extinguished. "

so they did throw water on it first, only later switched to a dry chemical
and yes they did hack into it... with a circular saw nonetheless.

time for some re-education...
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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #200 on: October 05, 2013, 01:00:23 am »
Not really. They did put the fire out without causing a major dissaster and they wouldn't start cutting into a battery pack (most probably the outer shell, not the batteries themselves) if they wheren't absolutely sure it was safe. There is always the option to let something burn while watching from a distance.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline ElectroIrradiator

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #201 on: October 05, 2013, 06:07:33 am »
Some random dude named Elon Musk has this to say about putting out the battery fire:

Quote
When the fire department arrived, they observed standard procedure, which was to gain access to the source of the fire by puncturing holes in the top of the battery's protective metal plate and applying water. For the Model S lithium-ion battery, it was correct to apply water (vs. dry chemical extinguisher), but not to puncture the metal firewall, as the newly created holes allowed the flames to then vent upwards into the front trunk section of the Model S. Nonetheless, a combination of water followed by dry chemical extinguisher quickly brought the fire to an end.
(Emphasis added.)
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #202 on: October 05, 2013, 09:12:24 am »
I just read the tesla blog as well.

Interesting how you can throw water on it. Lithium ion batteries and water generally dont mingle very well... Especially lithium and water.

Anyway. They cut into the battery pack and that should not be done . The pack apparently has vents that dorect flames downward.

But the whole point is moot. The car did hit a large piece of metal that fell of a truck and pierced the bottom of the pack. Read the report at teslas website. No car could survive thise, fire or not. It would do serious damage.
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Offline ElectroIrradiator

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #203 on: October 05, 2013, 09:30:37 am »
Not all Li-ion rechargeable batteries are created equal. The types used in cars and similar large capacity applications, use a different chemistry compared to the batteries in, say, cell phones. The car batteries are safe to douse with water, yet the high energy density may still make an apparent 'flare up' if the battery packs are punctured as part of an attempt at extinguishing a fire.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #204 on: October 05, 2013, 02:08:22 pm »
Having seen and put out burning cars I can safely say that they burn pretty fast once started. Saw a Ford Escort go from first flame to pool of fire in under a minute, and similar with an Alfa. Put out a Izuzu before it got the fuel on fire, and the owner was very grateful of saving his livelihood.

Electric fire you just need to train the fire depts a little on how to handle, ie spray foam, damp down with fine spray for vapour control and contain the area of run off water. Then leave for properly trained people ( like the dealer who should have training on how to handle a battery fire) to safe the vehicle and remove it for evaluation.
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #205 on: October 05, 2013, 06:04:12 pm »
@free_electron: Thanks for the clarification!
 

Offline tom66

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #206 on: October 05, 2013, 06:47:42 pm »
I have put out a model RC LiPoly pack with water. I completely submerged it in a bucket. This is the correct procedure to use if available. LiPoly batteries are incredibly violent when punctured. I believe LiIon to be less violent but still troublesome.
 

Offline lagman

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #207 on: October 07, 2013, 12:29:21 am »
I wonder if there is enough lithium on the planet that can be extracted at a reasonable price to power all the cars on the planet... Lithium is quite rare isn't it?
Is lithium safe for the environment? (If disposed in the nature)
What's the cost to recycle the batteries?
 

Offline johansen

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #208 on: October 07, 2013, 12:59:21 am »
I wonder if there is enough lithium on the planet that can be extracted at a reasonable price to power all the cars on the planet... Lithium is quite rare isn't it?
Is lithium safe for the environment? (If disposed in the nature)
What's the cost to recycle the batteries?

recycle the batteries: very high. i've heard one hybrid car manufacturer has a factory set up where robots disassemble the batteries to extract the active materials without mixing them all up again.

i've spoken with a chemist friend of mine about grinding up electronic waste, melting it down in an arc furnace, condensing out the phosphorous and chlorine gas, hydrochloric gas, and Cx CLx Hx, and other nasties, and then electrolytically separating the copper, aluminum, lead, steel, gold, silver, etc out of the bottom
response: "you're crazy"

to do that with batteries would be just as difficult.

lithium is allegidly one of the reasons we went to war in afganistan. those mountains have never been mined....
 

Offline lagman

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #209 on: October 07, 2013, 01:18:47 am »
recycle the batteries: very high. i've heard one hybrid car manufacturer has a factory set up where robots disassemble the batteries to extract the active materials without mixing them all up again.

i've spoken with a chemist friend of mine about grinding up electronic waste, melting it down in an arc furnace, condensing out the phosphorous and chlorine gas, hydrochloric gas, and Cx CLx Hx, and other nasties, and then electrolytically separating the copper, aluminum, lead, steel, gold, silver, etc out of the bottom
response: "you're crazy"

to do that with batteries would be just as difficult.
Isn't the lithium metal easier to get out of the batteries? I heard it's just a sheet that can be peeled off.

lithium is allegidly one of the reasons we went to war in afganistan. those mountains have never been mined....

Then I guess there is nothing of value in Syria!  :-\
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 01:25:58 am by lagman »
 

Offline nack

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #210 on: October 07, 2013, 09:21:02 am »

Imagine, a situation where the Audi A3 would have been given a spanking new awesome gadget or fancy head lights way before the Audi A8 or Audi R8. This would make the A8 and R8 immediately look outdated -- absolutely not good for the brand identity...

This, i fear, is one of the key reasons.

Imagine taking the A3, dropping in an 15000$ electric system. All the A6 and A8 owners would be fuming ! That electric A3 still only costs half the price of theirs , consumes 1/3 the money of theirs and at the traffic light they can't even keep up with that little 'electric toy'. They would fail miserably in the dick measuring contest...

Virtually overnight the sales of the hi ends could collapse.

That's the point currently with the traditional (petrol) car manufacturers, their new electric car with sufficient range will kill their current own internal combustion engined (ICE) car lineup. That's why they don't provide a range comparable to their ICE cars lineup. Testla doesn't have this problem... The ICE cars manufacturers are just stretching the use of ICE in their lineup until they feel they really need to change focus on electric cars completely.
 

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #211 on: October 07, 2013, 05:16:07 pm »
recycle the batteries: very high. i've heard one hybrid car manufacturer has a factory set up where robots disassemble the batteries to extract the active materials without mixing them all up again.
It's quite cheap actually, because the battery packs are made up of individual cells. When the car reaches end of life most of the cells will be fine and can be re-used without any expensive recycling.
Are you kidding? If that where true they'd just disable the bad cells. In reality batteries are constructed so that all cells wear evenly. So all cells are equally bad.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #212 on: October 07, 2013, 07:38:32 pm »
Greetings EEVBees:


That's the point currently with the traditional (petrol) car manufacturers, their new electric car with sufficient range will kill their current own internal combustion engined (ICE) car lineup. That's why they don't provide a range comparable to their ICE cars lineup. Testla doesn't have this problem... The ICE cars manufacturers are just stretching the use of ICE in their lineup until they feel they really need to change focus on electric cars completely.

--What company would not want to be first out of the shoot with a product that would replace most ICE vehicles. I think I will file this one with the story about the oil companies killing the guy with the 700 MPG carburetor and destroying his research. Of course that theory would explain the Volt.

"I see, Its a profit deal"
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Best Regards
Clear Ether
 

Offline nack

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #213 on: October 07, 2013, 07:51:51 pm »
What if a specific car company went completely electric instead and killing their own ICE lineup, and what if their new electric car lineup wouldn't sell due to whatever reason (customer perception, base price etc)? That would be a massive risk. And one the current ICE car manufacturers probably are not willing to take.

If Tesla really is getting successful, and are able to sell a passenger car at a reasonable price and sufficient range, the ICE car manufacturers will follow suit. I am convinced about that.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 07:53:41 pm by nack »
 

Offline tom66

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #214 on: October 07, 2013, 07:54:58 pm »
Not at current prices. The £7,995 supermini will still sell. But the £45,000 electric will also sell well. These manufacturers need to innovate or die: or Tesla (or another startup) will beat them to it.
 

Offline SgtRock

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Re: [Rant] Electric cars, in particular Nissan Leaf
« Reply #215 on: October 07, 2013, 08:04:08 pm »
Greetings EEVBees:

What if a specific car company went completely electric instead and killing their own ICE lineup, and what if their new electric car lineup wo