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Wed May 24, 2017, 05:13 AM

Why electric cars will never be a big thing:

Cars are among the biggest drain of energy in humanity's society. If we replace combustion-cars with electric cars, we will simply shift the energy-need from chemical energy to electric energy.

The problem:
With nowaday's electricity-grid, it's impossible to supply a fleet of electric cars. We would need:
* an infrastructure where you can exchange an empty battery for a full battery (similar to a gas-station)
* a completely refurbished and revised electricity-grid that has the capacity and flexibility to get the electric power to where it's supposed to go
* more nuclear reactors

You simply cannot supply the energy-demand of a whole fleet of electric cars by wind and solar alone. A large-scale switch away from nuclear power is only possible if we reduce our consumption of electric energy. But with electric cars, we would INCREASE the consumption of electric energy.




The choice is simple:
More nuclear reactors
or
more public transportation and less cars.

And here we have the problem that the efficiency of public transportation depends on how the city is built: If the city is compact (Europe, Asia, East-Coast of the US...) then public transportation is more efficient than a car. If the city is wide or the landscape rural (West-Coast, Mid-West of the US...), then cars are more efficient than public transportation.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why electric cars will never be a big thing: (Original post)
DetlefK May 2017 OP
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2017 #1
diane in sf May 2017 #3
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2017 #11
csziggy May 2017 #13
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2017 #14
csziggy May 2017 #16
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2017 #17
csziggy May 2017 #18
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2017 #20
csziggy May 2017 #21
safeinOhio May 2017 #9
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2017 #15
diane in sf May 2017 #2
ExciteBike66 May 2017 #4
TreasonousBastard May 2017 #5
YOHABLO May 2017 #6
Voltaire2 May 2017 #7
Blues Heron May 2017 #8
Cicada May 2017 #10
msongs May 2017 #12
kristopher May 2017 #19

Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 05:21 AM

1. Another issue is that some of us want do drive

more than 200 hundred or so miles at a time.

I often go on long drives that are sort of beyond the range of electric cars. The convenience of being able to refuel along a drive, and not having to worry very hard about when the next refueling point will occur, is huge. I can drive and drive and feel confident that I'll find a refueling point at a convenient interval. If electric refueling points become as common, well hurray. But how long will an electric refuel take place? If it's much longer than the five or so minutes I currently spend at a gas station, then forget it.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #1)

Wed May 24, 2017, 05:28 AM

3. Tesla and other outfits are working on fast charging. I have a friend who has driven his Tesla

Across country many times. You can time your charge stop to pee and have a meal and not waste too much time.

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Response to diane in sf (Reply #3)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:08 AM

11. Where are those fast charging stations?

Does your friend cover 500 miles in a day? Or does he do it in 150 mile increments?

I notice the rare charging stations I see, and I haven't yet noticed them along the interstates or along the secondary roads I also use.

Meanwhile, there are gas stations everywhere.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #11)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:17 PM

13. Here is a map of Tesla charging stations

The one here in Tallahassee is just north of the interstate.

The problem with charging an electric car is why I like my hybrid (Prius) and why we're planning to get another one soon. With reasonable driving we've been getting about 48 MPG, so even with the tiny tank in the original style Prius we can go a long way on a tank of gas - almost as far as the 40 gallon tank will take us in our Suburban that gets maybe 13 MPG.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #13)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:32 PM

14. Alas, you didn't actually include the map.

I really do want to see it.

Never mind. A quick Google got it for me. But I appreciate you pointed me in that direction.

So how many miles can an electric car go without needing a recharge? I live in Santa Fe, and often drive to the Kansas City area, where I have friends and family. The only charging stations between here and there are in Tucumcari or Dodge City, neither of which I drive through, and then finally in Wichita, which I do drive through, but is 566 miles away.

I do realize that eventually there will be charging stations as common as today's gas stations, but until then, I'll stick with my conventional car.

Oh, and are those Tesla stations usable by anyone with an electric or hybrid car?

And I can't begin to imagine owning a car that gets only 13MPG any time after 1970 or so. Honest. I've always driven small, fuel efficient cars, and absolutely do not understand why anyone would own a behemoth that gets such crappy mileage.

More to the point, the 40 gallon tank costs how much to fill, as compared to the ten or eleven gallons of gas I put into my Honda Civic which will take me nearly 400 miles on the one tank when I'm doing highway driving. For a quarter the cost of filling a tank that is four times the size.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #14)

Thu May 25, 2017, 12:21 AM

16. Sorry about that - my husband came in interrupted me

I have no clue about the Tesla charging stuff other than one station was a location when I was playing Geoguessr and shortly after that I noticed they had put one in here in town. I have no ambition to ever own a Tesla. They are cute and all, but have little carrying capacity and I'd rip the undercarriage out on my driveway.

As for the fuel inefficient Suburban, it's a three quarter ton truck with a 454 engine. I had to have a 3/4 ton when we were hauling horses all over the place, hauling our tractor on the flatbed, and hauling 75-100 bales of hay on the flatbed. They don't even make them with that engine anymore. When I bought it, it was as a working truck and it does do that.

It's a 1999, I bought it off lease when it was five years old and have owned it for twelve years. I figure that it should have another 200,000 miles left on the engine (it has almost 170,000 miles now), if we take care of it. Since we're not hauling regularly, it should last me the rest of my life or at least as long as I might ever need to have a truck for. It's paid for, so I'll hang on to it as long as I can get it repaired and get gas for it.

That's why we bought the Prius for my husband to use when he was working in town - the truck is simply too expensive to use for every day driving, unless we have to haul stuff. Now that he is retired, he wants us each to have two efficient cars and he's planning to look for a Prius v so we have slightly more carrying space and he will have more room for his legs. I'll get to drive the older Prius to appointments and to my meetings. The Suburban is just too damn hard to park in most parking lots today and it takes a good chunk of gas to get from our farm to anywhere.

We buy used and drive the vehicles to death. The old (2006) Prius was $8500 almost four years ago. We'll spend a little more for a slightly newer Prius v since we're going on more trips these days - that's why we need the carrying capacity, for luggage, photo equipment, needlework stuff, folding chairs, etc.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #16)

Thu May 25, 2017, 12:43 AM

17. Thanks for the explanation.

I really like your practicality with your vehicles.

Once someone here (this goes back a very long time ago) said that anyone who owned a home of course needed a pick up truck. Excuse me? I will certainly not tell someone else they shouldn't have a pick-up, but I am simply not that kind of a homeowner. You, clearly, are a person who needs -- and more to the point uses -- the Suburban.

I will suggest that many people think they need a bigger vehicle than they really need. I own a 2004 Honda Civic, and let me tell you, the trunk is a two, possibly a three body trunk. It's huge. In fact, many conventional cars have as much or more carrying capacity than SUVs, and most people don't get that. I know for a fact that my trunk is bigger than that of a Honda Accord of similar vintage.

Hauling bales of hay is one thing. But luggage, needlework stuff and folding chairs? Again, come visit me and see what we can cram into my car. You'll be astonished.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #17)

Thu May 25, 2017, 11:08 AM

18. Oh, we can pack a lot into the 2006 Prius - but the leg room is a little short

With all the years we used to travel in the Suburban, we never learned to travel light. Despite that, the family joke is that my husband can fit an elephant into the glove compartment. We can fit stuff in, but the problem is finding what we need at each stop and getting to it.

We had a Honda Accord at one point and I loved it, plus we could pack it with plenty to take on trips - but my husband got leg cramps because he was so crunched up driving it. So when my Dad bought a new Buick and offered me his Buick Century sedan, I took it. My husband's legs thanked me, but we suffered from the relatively low gas mileage. And it didn't carry any more than the Toyota did.

No, my husband has his heart set for a Prius V. They are not that much bigger than the original Prius, and the mileage is not that much lower (40/44 MPG vs. the 48 MPG we get with the little one). My sister has one and loves it - but she carries her life in her car at all times so it is stuffed to the gills. My husband sat in the driver's seat and found he was more comfortable in the Prius V than in the old Prius.

Just now I started our serious search for a Prius v. A friend sells Hondas and we had tried out the various models - not one had leg room for my husband. Last time I found the old Prius at Cars.com and jumped on it since we needed a commuter car immediately (my husband was t-boned and totaled his car so he was commuting in the Suburban). This time I'm hoping to throw some business to my friend and he can keep an eye out for just the right car for us.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #18)

Thu May 25, 2017, 09:18 PM

20. Since I am a bit short,

only 5' 1.5" and have shorter legs than that height would suggest, I'm quite fine with small cars, but I do sympathize with someone who has long legs.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #20)

Thu May 25, 2017, 09:45 PM

21. Yeah, I know - I am now 5'4"

Which is weird because I was 5'3" most of my life - until I got my knees replaced. What with the new knees and no longer being bowlegged, I have been an inch taller since 2012! Same as you, until then my legs were short for my height since I have a long torso.

On the other hand my husband is about 6'2" with long legs for his height so I am comfortable with smaller cars than he is. On the other hand, I do love driving the Suburban, with its height advantage and loads of room. The Car Talk guys once recommended trucks for the altitudinally disadvantaged and I concur with their opinion!

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #1)

Wed May 24, 2017, 07:54 AM

9. 200 miles is reduce to less than 100

when the temp drops below zero.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #9)

Wed May 24, 2017, 11:36 PM

15. Uh, oh.

While I don't often experience those temps, as I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico which really doesn't get that cold and gets little snow which invariably melts within a few hours, I have lived in plenty of places that get that cold, so I'd take that into consideration.

Maybe most people only ever drive to and from work and never do a serious road trip. I make such trips several times a year: to Colorado Springs, to Tucson, to Kansas City, to Denver, and so I'd either need two cars, which is dumb for someone who lives alone in my opinion, or I'd have to give up those trips, which would never happen, or I'll stick to my conventional car.

It may well be that I'll get a hybrid at some point down the road. I actually test drove one several years back when in the market for a replacement car. I don't recall why I didn't buy it, and don't want to try to guess what my thinking was at the time. I do recall being a bit thrown by how quiet it was. I'm used to a reasonable amount of engine noise, and so the silence was disconcerting.

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 05:25 AM

2. There are a lot of unfounded assumptions in this post:

Electric cars can now get 200+ miles to the charge. One simply has to come home and plug it in. Most people drive about 11 miles to work. The majority of people would find this range meets their needs.

Most power companies have a problem of surplus night time power generation. So cars being plugged in at night is a solution to this problem.

People will pay around 1/3rd of what they pay for gasoline for electric power to charge the car. And the cars are much cheaper to maintain than internal combustion cars. Many people will be adding solar panels with power storage to their roofs as solar and batteries become ever cheaper. So this starts to ease potential grid problems.

Nuclear power is one of the most expensive ways to generate electricity. Wind, solar, efficiency, and natural gas are all cheaper and less toxic. Coal and nukes are getting bypassed in spot markets because they are much more expensive than the cleaner power sources, which is making them unprofitable. Economic forces are killing coal and nukes, not environmentalists.

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 05:29 AM

4. I like nukes, but

this OP is a bit like saying back in 1910 that cars will never be a thing because there are no gas stations.

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 06:11 AM

5. Never say never...

The future will bring a lot of changes. One change might be forgetting about car ownership and buying into a system of self-driving electric cars on special roadways, or at least lanes. Press an app on your phone, and a fully charged car shows up.

Better batteries and chargers are on the horizon, and who drives 500 miles without stopping anyway? Interchangeable battery packs have been designed, and might become reality. And the Chevy Volt is available today as a decent solution. Others are making similar similar plug-in hybrids.

Kids today aren't hung up on cars like we were. Many see them as expensive, clumsy things that are becoming more of a hindrance than a help in daily life. When I lived in Manhattan, one of the things I appreciated was getting rid of the damn car. Once a month or so that I really needed one, renting one takes minutes.

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 06:44 AM

6. 11 miles is the average commute distance?

 

Perhaps you haven't checked out rush hour in the D.C area; or how about Atlanta? People have moved way out, and I mean 40 to 60 miles out. No, I'm sorry, but because of many economic factors, people can't afford to live and work in the cities anymore. I'm all for public transportation but do you honestly think we'll get it with the Republicans in office?

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Response to YOHABLO (Reply #6)

Wed May 24, 2017, 07:04 AM

7. Yeah its actually 15 miles.

Point being that electric cars currently are doing 200+ miles on a charge and that is going to improve to 300 or more. So commute distance really isn't a factor.

Source: https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/omnistats/volume_03_issue_04/pdf/entire.pdf
http://www.statisticbrain.com/commute-statistics/

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 07:20 AM

8. The choice is simple:

Tesla or Volt

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 10:39 AM

10. We can build an improved electric grid

We can afford an improved electric grid.

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Wed May 24, 2017, 12:16 PM

12. automobiles will never replace horses... nt

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Thu May 25, 2017, 07:53 PM

19. BMW Wants to Put an EV Charging Station In Every Street Light

BMW Wants to Put an EV Charging Station In Every Street Light
Posted: 17 Jun 2015 04:01 PM PDT

BMW's MINI Plant in Oxford UK is showcasing a high-efficiency street lighting system that doubles as a charging station for electric vehicles (EVs) during the city’s second Low Carbon Oxford Week.

Known as Light & Charge and demonstrated for the first time in the UK, this innovative system is the outcome of a pilot project developed by the BMW Group and is a state-of-the-art LED street light that combines energy-efficient lighting with affordable EV charging.

Allowing cities to significantly reduce energy consumption, its integrated charge point also provides a cost-effective and simple solution which can be grafted straight onto the existing local authority street lighting infrastructure, substantially increasing the number of public charging stations. EV charging stations can be set up at any location where suitable parking is available, simply by replacing conventional street lights with Light & Charge systems.

“Light & Charge is a simple and innovative solution which aims to integrate a charging station network into the urban landscape and this is essential if we want to see more electric vehicles on the road in our cities in the future. I’m delighted that the MINI plant is the first location in the UK to showcase BMW Group’s technological expertise not only in developing electric vehicles but also as part of a much wider commitment to electric mobility,” said Frank Bachmann, Managing Director, MINI Plant Oxford.

Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council are currently working in partnership...

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/pEcq/~3/g5PVZQzXPws/bmw-wants-to-put-ev-charging-station-in.html

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