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  1. #1
    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Who Killed the Electric Car?

    Here is a story of a local man who has made his own electric car.

    Here is a movie that was made in 2006.

    I would totally drive one. What are your thoughts?
    Time is a delicate mistress.

  2. #2
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jen View Post
    Here is a story of a local man who has made his own electric car.

    Here is a movie that was made in 2006.

    I would totally drive one. What are your thoughts?
    The major car companies (along with their cohorts in the federal government) are great at squeezing out competitors and getting bailouts (see: the Tucker, the Dymaxion, and Chrysler). In Hollywood, the hot new car is the Tesla Roadster, which is a very high-performance sports car that shifts through all gears smoothly and runs for 300-400 miles on a full battery.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    Also, Chevy is coming out with the Volt (I think next year, or in 2010), which should bring cheap electric cars to the masses.

    Personally, I like my internal combustion engine, I'm more interested in the potential of algae-based gasoline. If it can be scaled at reasonable cost, it would mean carbon-neutral fuel, that would work in the existing millions of cars.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Jive A Turkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
    Also, Chevy is coming out with the Volt
    I don't like that model name, Volt. It rings like a product designed to strip the masculinity out of its owner.

  5. #5
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    The Volt looks awesome. I'd definitely want one, but for the time being it's out of my price range. Overall I'd say electric cars are where we are going in the future, but the progress toward them will be slow. If we can make power plant energy both cheaper and cleaner then the transition to electric will be much swifter.
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    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Yes.. but how do we make the electricity in a way that's more efficient and cleaner than the existing modern petrol engine? At the moment, it's not a step forward to buy an electric car and plug it in.

    Hydrogen fuel cells are the future, I'd say.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Yes.. but how do we make the electricity in a way that's more efficient and cleaner than the existing modern petrol engine? At the moment, it's not a step forward to buy an electric car and plug it in.

    Hydrogen fuel cells are the future, I'd say.
    Hydrogen fuel cells are less efficient than electricity at the moment. (since the hydrogen either has to be made from a fossil fuel, or from some energy using process like electrolysis, where the energy could also be used to produce electricity. There are also a lot of storage issues that cause energy losses.)

    I'm not sure if I'm missing some other issues, but what electricity seems to provide is a lack of pollution in wherever the car is being used, as well as some flexibility to use other types of energy sources that aren't easily used sot produce fuel. Wind, solar, nuclear power, an possibly other types of sources seem to be better for producing electricity than fuels at the moment, though this could always change, and I may be missing information.

  8. #8
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    Hydrogen fuel cells are less efficient than electricity at the moment. (since the hydrogen either has to be made from a fossil fuel, or from some energy using process like electrolysis, where the energy could also be used to produce electricity. There are also a lot of storage issues that cause energy losses.)

    I'm not sure if I'm missing some other issues, but what electricity seems to provide is a lack of pollution in wherever the car is being used, as well as some flexibility to use other types of energy sources that aren't easily used sot produce fuel. Wind, solar, nuclear power, an possibly other types of sources seem to be better for producing electricity than fuels at the moment, though this could always change, and I may be missing information.
    Oh, I quite agree. Hydrogen isn't there at the moment - it needs money thrown at it. You know, all those billions thrown at Iraq and other oil related messes would do it.

    You are quite right, electricity has the potential. The problem is getting a decent quantity of renewables involved. Just remember, if you get rid of oil, you'll need that huge supply of electricty for the millions of electric cars to be charged. So you have to ramp up the supply dramatically at non peak times if people are charging overnight.

    At the moment, fossil fuels dominate. The US statistics are here :

    Electric Power Annual - Net Generation by Energy Source by Type of Producer

    So, if you use an electric car, you are really using what is mostly a fossil fuel fired one (when talking carbon footprint).

    Edit : isn't it depressing, no real improvement in hydroelectric and other renewables electricity generation for the period 1995-2006

  9. #9
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Oh, I quite agree. Hydrogen isn't there at the moment - it needs money thrown at it. You know, all those billions thrown at Iraq and other oil related messes would do it.
    I don't want the government spending my money on either the war on or hydrogen. The only way that things are going to change permanently is for it to make economic sense for the masses. And you're right about the electricity generation. The #1 cause of air pollution in the United States is not the combustion engine, but coal-powered electricity generation. Hydro, solar, and nuclear would help the situation significantly.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    The major car companies (along with their cohorts in the federal government) are great at squeezing out competitors and getting bailouts (see: the Tucker, the Dymaxion, and Chrysler). In Hollywood, the hot new car is the Tesla Roadster, which is a very high-performance sports car that shifts through all gears smoothly and runs for 300-400 miles on a full battery.
    Tariffs reduce competition from foreign sources. Regulations reduce competition from domestic sources. The combination allows the Big Three to stay on top, squashing competition. The UAW is in on it, too. You know, to protect jobs and all that.

    It's not economically viable to start up a new automobile manufacturer (due to labor unions and regulations that benefit the Big Three), otherwise one would have been created in the last few decades to challenge the Big Three. And the Big Three aren't competing on an even playing field with foreign automakers because tariffs drive up the cost of those Hondas.

    If consumers demand electric cars and the Big Three don't provide them, they shouldn't be fined or mandated by the government. That penalty is far too weak. They should go out of business. And the way to do that is to increase competition. Unfortunately, neither the Big Three or the UAW will ever allow that to happen. And yes, the UAW is equally culpable. They're partners in crime.

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