Author Topic: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?  (Read 162556 times)

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Offline Fungus

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #150 on: January 27, 2018, 10:15:08 am »
Nothing of that changes when talking electric cars. They have brakes and other wear parts that do need maintenance too.

They do a lot of braking by running the motors in reverse as generators, that doesn't wear brake pads out at all.

Nuclear is going to be around for a long time to come, the energy demands of the world just keep rapidly increasing. I'd like to see some of the older more dangerous and less efficient plants replaced with more modern designs

Yep. Those old ones were designed for making bombs. Electricity generation was just how they sold it to the public.

If (eg.) the USA spend the price of a couple of F35s on energy research instead they could solve most of the world's energy problems.

but the anti-nuke lobby has been doing a fine job of keeping the old ones running by blocking the construction of newer and safer plants.

Yep. That and the fact that electricity has been privatized throughout most of the world. Private funding makes power plants hundreds of times more expensive to build.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_nuclear_power_plants#Capital_costs
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #151 on: January 28, 2018, 11:01:46 pm »
Yep. That and the fact that electricity has been privatized throughout most of the world. Private funding makes power plants hundreds of times more expensive to build.
Not really. Private funding does not make them more expensive, it only digs up the massive hidden costs that are insurance, decomissionning, waste treatment, waste storage, as well as accident cleanup costs.
These are usually simply swept under the carpet when run publicly.
Private investing doesn't work like that.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #152 on: February 02, 2018, 11:22:16 pm »
Countries are being forced to privatize everything irreversibly (including utilities, roads, healthcare, higher education, etc.) by undemocratic trade in services agreements.

And once they privatize something it becomes impossibly expensive to ever get it back. People cant just vote to get back public services.

Thats the Catch 22 as they say.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline cdev

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #153 on: February 02, 2018, 11:26:42 pm »
Depending on who bids on it the costs could go down a lot - for example if a foreign firm gets the lowest bid and wins the contract.

being foreign they can import their workforce (as long as they are temps) and they can end up paying them almost nothing.

This is a huge loophole in labor laws created by these "agreements" and it shows why they are being so dishonest about them. Greed is a powerful motivator for dishonesty.

They claim these changes are meant to help the least developed countries but thats totally bullshit.

Yep. That and the fact that electricity has been privatized throughout most of the world. Private funding makes power plants hundreds of times more expensive to build.
Not really. Private funding does not make them more expensive, it only digs up the massive hidden costs that are insurance, decomissionning, waste treatment, waste storage, as well as accident cleanup costs.
These are usually simply swept under the carpet when run publicly.
Private investing doesn't work like that.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #154 on: March 29, 2018, 10:03:28 pm »
My friend has a Bolt, he bought it used when it was about a year old, I forget how much he paid for it but it was pretty reasonable. I drove it once, that thing is scary fast. At highway speed it's only average but from a stop if you stomp on the "gas" it goes like stink, feels faster than anything else I've driven.

I have a 2017 Bolt and, yes, it's quick.  The thing is, the 2014 Chevy Spark EV I had before was even quicker - a LOT quicker.  So much quicker that Chevy had to tone things down and the Bolt is the result.  The Spark EV has been out of production for a while

Mid range passing is awesome.

The Bolt was introduced in the 2017 model year and I think we had the 2d one in our town.

200 HP of electric motor is a lot of fun!

And, no, I'm not trying to save the planet!  I'm a retired EE and have an interest in things electric.

 

Offline IanB

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #155 on: March 29, 2018, 10:16:49 pm »
I have a 2017 Bolt and, yes, it's quick.  The thing is, the 2014 Chevy Spark EV I had before was even quicker - a LOT quicker.  So much quicker that Chevy had to tone things down and the Bolt is the result.  The Spark EV has been out of production for a while

I've been in a Spark and yes, it was ridiculously quick to accelerate from low speeds.

In contrast I drove a Nissan Leaf this week. That car is tuned for "relaxation mode". It doesn't want you to race, it wants you to chill and watch the scenery.
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Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #156 on: April 01, 2018, 01:38:41 pm »
Here, the government has a department set up specifically to push 'low emission vehicles' -and it becomes apparent that the 'emissions' this refers to is CO2, not toxins.  Battery cars and charge points figure heavily.

This worries me, because it's another example of force-feeding a nascent technology to the public. We've seen this all too often before, where the force-fed technology, after huge public spending, gets superseded by better technology. The result is typically a monster scrap pile. CFL lightbulbs are a case in point.  :palm:

The tech that would kill the battery car stone dead, is a fuel cell which runs on something more easily stored than hydrogen or methane. Which may not be all that far away. The Bloom Box came as something of a surprise, and many people thought it was a scam to start with. No, it's actually a great product.  :-+

The other point that seems to have escaped them, is that the idea of supplying battery cars from renewable energy is a pipedream. After more than 20 years of deploying renewables they cannot even supply our electricity demands, let alone transport energy requirements too. So, the battery cars would simply transfer the point at which the CO2 is released to a power station, and would solve nothing. 
 

Offline paulca

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #157 on: April 01, 2018, 01:57:46 pm »
The other point that seems to have escaped them, is that the idea of supplying battery cars from renewable energy is a pipedream. After more than 20 years of deploying renewables they cannot even supply our electricity demands, let alone transport energy requirements too. So, the battery cars would simply transfer the point at which the CO2 is released to a power station, and would solve nothing.

Yep.

https://matter2energy.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/wells-to-wheels-electric-car-efficiency/

I haven't read it in a whlie, but I think he got to 6% more efficient.  However I believe there are few things unconsidered, such as how much power is lost in electrical transmission for the power plant to the charge station etc.  and how much is lost charging the battery itself.
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Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #158 on: April 01, 2018, 02:29:08 pm »
The other point that seems to have escaped them, is that the idea of supplying battery cars from renewable energy is a pipedream.

The combination of solar PV on my roof and Bolt EV I drive ~65 mi each day still gives me a net negative energy usage, especially in the summer. In the winter I expect things to further improve after I replace the resistance heaters we have in our home with heat pumps.


https://matter2energy.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/wells-to-wheels-electric-car-efficiency/

I haven't read it in a whlie, but I think he got to 6% more efficient.  However I believe there are few things unconsidered, such as how much power is lost in electrical transmission for the power plant to the charge station etc.  and how much is lost charging the battery itself.

He got 29% for a BEV and 14% for an ICE car. He took into account a 7% grid loss and a 20% loss in the battery charging process. His example BEV is a Tesla, I seem to get somewhat lower losses (about 16%) with my Bolt EV. The car tracks how much energy was used by the traction motor, and my charger tracks how much energy was used during a charge cycle. The only time there's a big discrepancy is when outside temps fall below freezing, and the car goes into battery conditioning mode where it runs a heater to keep the battery at optimum temperature.

Of course, this doesn't take into account the almost zero maintenance costs of a BEV.



Edit: inlining image
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 02:31:35 pm by radar_macgyver »
 

Offline paulca

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #159 on: April 01, 2018, 02:52:37 pm »
And how many charge cycles will the battery do before it becomes sub-par and needs replacing?

I know Lithium battery specs show a vast spectrum of figures from losing 15% capacity in 100 cycles to 1000 cycles depending on use and DOD/C etc.

In a practical sense and how a lot of people might use an EV, an overnight charge, every night sounds reasonable.  So exactly the same way you might use a cell/mobile phone.  Running between 50% charge and 100% charge daily.  We all know that the battery in a cell phone isn't at it's best after 1 year, noticably lower in capacity after 2 years and fairly useless after 3 years cutting out mid day.  I would expect the figures for EVs to be much better given how expensive they are and how much battery management goes into the thing, but even if they double that, you are talking about the battery losing a sizable portion of it's range in 5-10 years and needing replaced.  By that time it will be financially far more efficient to dump the car in the scrap yard and buy a new one than to replace the battery, which will probably cost a sizable portion of a whole new car!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 02:54:41 pm by paulca »
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Online coppice

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #160 on: April 01, 2018, 03:07:28 pm »
And how many charge cycles will the battery do before it becomes sub-par and needs replacing?

I know Lithium battery specs show a vast spectrum of figures from losing 15% capacity in 100 cycles to 1000 cycles depending on use and DOD/C etc.

In a practical sense and how a lot of people might use an EV, an overnight charge, every night sounds reasonable.  So exactly the same way you might use a cell/mobile phone.  Running between 50% charge and 100% charge daily.  We all know that the battery in a cell phone isn't at it's best after 1 year, noticably lower in capacity after 2 years and fairly useless after 3 years cutting out mid day.  I would expect the figures for EVs to be much better given how expensive they are and how much battery management goes into the thing, but even if they double that, you are talking about the battery losing a sizable portion of it's range in 5-10 years and needing replaced.  By that time it will be financially far more efficient to dump the car in the scrap yard and buy a new one than to replace the battery, which will probably cost a sizable portion of a whole new car!
Its only quite recently that the pool of fairly old electric cars, needing out of warranty battery work, has become significant. Nissan are now setting up a operation offering refurbished Leaf battery packs for sale. Time will tell if this turns out to be a cost effective way to keep older Leafs viable.
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #161 on: April 01, 2018, 03:23:06 pm »
And how many charge cycles will the battery do before it becomes sub-par and needs replacing?

I don't have a good answer, but I can make an educated guess. Tesla and Volt (with a V) batteries aren't failing in large numbers, these cars have been around for some time now. Leaf batteries have some reported failures (unacceptable loss of capacity). The big difference between the two is the Leaf does not have active thermal management for the battery pack. With some care in the charge management (and barring manufacturing defects), Lithium batteries should last a while. The Gen II Volts and all Bolt EVs use a modified LiMnCo chemistry (higher Mn proportional to Co) to prioritize battery life. Teslas, as far as I know, use standard LiMnCo chemistry, and still don't have early failures.

Cellphones are about the worst case for Lithium batteries, since they pack a lot of heat-generating electronics right up against the cells. I'd invite the curious to look up the WeberAuto Youtube channel's teardown of a Bolt EV battery pack to see how LG engineers the thermal management.

Per the evaluations done by UBS, the battery costs $12,500, which is about 1/4-1/3 the value of the car (depending on pre- or post-rebate cost). GreenCarReports indicates that including labor, it's closer to $15,700 (1/3 to 1/2). They also note that in 7 years, not a single Volt has required a battery replacement for capacity degradation.

Finally, the Bolt EV has an 8 year battery warranty. That should be plenty to take care of early failures.
 

Online coppice

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #162 on: April 01, 2018, 03:27:48 pm »
Tesla and Volt (with a V) batteries aren't failing in large numbers, these cars have been around for some time now.
I know this is anecdotal, but I only know 2 people with a Volt, and both needed their battery refurbished under warranty. They had considerable downtime, as the pack was removed from their car and sent to another part of the country for the rebuild. GM refused to tell them the extent of the rework that was needed.
 

Offline paulca

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #163 on: April 01, 2018, 03:43:15 pm »
I see the warranties.  I don't see the "Level of capacity loss required" to activate a warranty claim.
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Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #164 on: April 01, 2018, 06:09:03 pm »
I see the warranties.  I don't see the "Level of capacity loss required" to activate a warranty claim.
https://electrek.co/2016/12/07/gm-chevy-bolt-ev-battery-degradation-up-to-40-warranty/

Sounds like 40%, which is a bit high. On the other hand, data collected by a Tesla user forum seems to indicate 5% capacity loss at 50,000 mi, with little roll-off after that:

https://electrek.co/2016/11/01/tesla-battery-degradation/

Here's another listing:

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1107864_electric-car-battery-warranties-compared

I know this is anecdotal, but I only know 2 people with a Volt, and both needed their battery refurbished under warranty. They had considerable downtime, as the pack was removed from their car and sent to another part of the country for the rebuild. GM refused to tell them the extent of the rework that was needed.

Was this for reduced capacity reasons, or for failures due to manufacturing defects? I'm aware that the latter has happened, even for the newer cars like the Bolt EV. Bolt forums have a couple of posts where owners found their car would not start, indicating "conditions not right for shift" on the dashboard. These were often on cars with only a few hundred miles, and could be traced to an early lot of batteries from LG.

This was likely mentioned earlier in this very thread, the same concerns were raised when hybrid cars were introduced, and they've all done just fine.
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #165 on: April 01, 2018, 06:23:51 pm »
Worthless anecdotes aside, by all accounts of the > 100k Chevy Volts in the wild, battery failures have been extremely rare. That includes Volts with  >300K miles driven and no apparent battery degradation.

There is a very active Chevy Volt forum and like all such forums any reported failure is much analyzed and discussed.

My worthless anecdote is that I've had my Volt for 3.5 years and the only maintenance needed so far is one oil change. Next service/oil change coming up in 6 months.  Lowest cost of ownership car I've ever owned - by far..
 

Online coppice

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #166 on: April 01, 2018, 06:37:15 pm »
I know this is anecdotal, but I only know 2 people with a Volt, and both needed their battery refurbished under warranty. They had considerable downtime, as the pack was removed from their car and sent to another part of the country for the rebuild. GM refused to tell them the extent of the rework that was needed.

Was this for reduced capacity reasons, or for failures due to manufacturing defects?
The problems were massively reduced capacity, not a solid failure. Both owners believe, from dealer comments, that a substantial number of cells were replaced, but as I said before, GM wouldn't give them a proper answer.
 

Offline b_force

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #167 on: April 03, 2018, 12:00:58 pm »
What still surprises me is that most discussions in this topic are all about very minor issues.

I have been following some lectures on this whole subject recently (I am searching if I can find some papers/videos who cover the same content).
All major big cities and densely populated countries suffer from a very difficult problem; atmospheric particulate matter or in simple words, dust and grime pollution particles in the air.

Most people only know it as smog, which is a very extreme form of this. But even without having that much smog the air quality can be pretty bad and polluted (especially locally).
It is somewhat the equivalent of smoking a couple of packs of cigarettes every month.
(it more or less has the same negative effects).
It basically is the same as letting your kids smoke a cigarette every day, which naturally people wouldn't agree on.

I said it before, it's not a question if electric cars will become mainstream.
They WILL become mainstream. There is more than enough well done research and experiments to provide prove that otherwise our health will be in danger.
That's also one of the reasons why they already ban diesels and old cars in some cities.
I am not saying that I agree on all of it, but in the bigger meaning it makes sense.
And every choice has its consequences. but to be very honest if it can give as a much healthier city to live in, I am willing to sacrifice a thing or two
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Offline Fungus

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #168 on: April 03, 2018, 12:09:00 pm »
I said it before, it's not a question if electric cars will become mainstream.
They WILL become mainstream.

I agree. Electric is simply better for everything except noise.

The only thing in the way is the batteries. I'm not sure if higher capacity is really possible, what's really needed is fast charging. If we can get charging down to a couple of minutes then it solves most issues.

(apart from infrastructure needed to get enough electrons to recharging stations)

PS: Engine noise can be synthesized.
 

Offline paulca

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #169 on: April 03, 2018, 12:11:27 pm »
For me the reasons I will not, yet, consider an electric car are:

Cost.
Range.

Electric cars typically cost twice as much as petrol/diesel cars, everything else being the same.  This is somewhat offset by government subsidies though.

Performance v. Cost.  While you can get quite a few little city cars which will be nippy around town or on quick shopping trips, they are fairly under powered.  Given that I drive a 2 litre normally aspirated sports car.  Engine performance aside there are chassis performances and car type factors.  Rear wheel drive sporty electrics are not available in anything like my budget yet.

I'm sure this will change though over time.

Range.  95% of the time I drive about 50 miles a day.  So I could easily plug an electric in overnight or even for an hour at the shopping centre.  The HR girl in work drives a BMW electric (the one with the tiny generator for emergencies), she only ever plugs it in when she goes shopping.  Hasn't spent a penny on electric or fuel in 6 months of owning it.

However there are the handful of times a year when I make a 300-400 mile round trip in a day.  If I owned an average electric city car it just wouldn't be practical with the 100-150mile range.  I'd need to at least stop over at the destination for however long it takes to rapid charge the pack back up to make it home.  If you do run out on the motorway it is an offense in the UK to drive on a motorway knowing that your car is not fit for the journey, suficient fuel included.  You could be prosecuted (though highly unlikely).  Once at the side of the road though, what are your options?  Tow truck?  In a petrol car I can walk, or get a lift to a petrol station and almost all break down providers carry spare fuel.

EDIT: On that later point.  I envision "pluggable" batteries.  Standardised packs the size of a suitcase that goes where the spare wheel would have.  Garages can sell these in a swap an empty for a full one in the same way we do gas cylinders.  This would go a long way to easy range anxiety.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 12:16:57 pm by paulca »
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Offline paulca

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #170 on: April 03, 2018, 12:13:30 pm »
Copper is becoming a concern.

Already the market for copper in battery cells is putting pressure on electronics, electrics and other domains, the price of copper is rising steadily.

If electric car popularity jumps by an order of magnitude in the next 10 years that will seriously raise the price of a lot of other things.  Recycling of the batteries is lagging behind too.
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Offline b_force

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #171 on: April 03, 2018, 12:26:19 pm »
I said it before, it's not a question if electric cars will become mainstream.
They WILL become mainstream.

I agree. Electric is simply better for everything except noise.

The only thing in the way is the batteries. I'm not sure if higher capacity is really possible, what's really needed is fast charging. If we can get charging down to a couple of minutes then it solves most issues.

(apart from infrastructure needed to get enough electrons to recharging stations)

PS: Engine noise can be synthesized.
Noise? As in lack of noise you mean i guess?
Like you said, you can do something about that, although most noise actually comes from the tires.
(unless they are driving slowly)

Fast charging is just all about physics. You need a huge energy dump at once.
Which is not only very difficult to do for the grid (you can back that up with batteries to some extend), but also bad for the electronics and batteries, as well as being potentially dangerous.
Nowadays charging to around 80% in 15min is possible, which I think is already very reasonable.

It's just a matter of different thinking and planning. If you drive that far you need to take a (pee) break anyway.
I think the plugin hybrids are a very good alternative, if you're in rural areas emissions are less of an issue anyway.
So use the electric motor for slow speeds and use the combustion engine to keep your car driving around 120km/h.
(at slow speeds your combustion engine is performing bad anyway)
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Offline grumpydoc

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #172 on: April 03, 2018, 12:44:20 pm »
The tech that would kill the battery car stone dead, is a fuel cell which runs on something more easily stored than hydrogen or methane. Which may not be all that far away. The Bloom Box came as something of a surprise, and many people thought it was a scam to start with. No, it's actually a great product.  :-+
There was interest in Ethanol fuel cells, what happened to that?
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #173 on: April 03, 2018, 01:16:38 pm »
For me the reasons I will not, yet, consider an electric car are:

Cost.

Purchase price is high at the moment but running costs are far lower. If you do the math there isn't much difference in equivalent cars.

The problem is more a lack of 'equivalent' cars. Teslas are high-end luxury, Nissan leafs are low-end tiny. There's not an awful lot in between.  :(

Range.

... there are the handful of times a year when I make a 300-400 mile round trip in a day. 

You could rent an ICE car for those days.

(while we wait for them to invent fast-charging batteries)

EDIT: On that later point.  I envision "pluggable" batteries.  Standardised packs the size of a suitcase that goes where the spare wheel would have.  Garages can sell these in a swap an empty for a full one in the same way we do gas cylinders.  This would go a long way to easy range anxiety.

I envision some sort of battery-trailer attachment that you can hook up for long trips.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #174 on: April 03, 2018, 01:33:29 pm »
PS: Engine noise can be synthesized.
Noise? As in lack of noise you mean i guess?

No, I mean noise. Some people don't believe they're driving a car unless they're annoying the neighbors with an obnoxiously loud exhaust system.

It's already a solved problem - many luxury cars already have enhanced engine sound at the push of a button.

Some manufacturers are even faking it without telling the buyers. Salesman: "Listen to the engine, that's real power!" :-DD


Fast charging is just all about physics. You need a huge energy dump at once.
Which is not only very difficult to do for the grid (you can back that up with batteries to some extend), but also bad for the electronics and batteries, as well as being potentially dangerous.

The trick would be to increase the voltage, not the amps.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 01:35:22 pm by Fungus »
 


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