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kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want one simple question answered.

If electric cars are such a great idea, then why can't anyone build them without large subsidies/tax breaks/special favors?
FoxtrotBravo





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The chart you quote does not include Lithium-air technology which is at the forefront of current research efforts, and which may have a practical energy density of upwards to 1000 Watthours/Kg (many times the energy density of Lithion-ion, and orders of magnitude more then lead-acid.)

In my opinion, the future of electric vehicles in the short term (8-20 years) is not to completely replace gas powered cars, but to reduce their numbers by 50%. Most families have two cars; I think the practical goal should be to make one of them electric ... or non-gas. I think the killer in the whole electric vehicle design is actually the passenger compartment heating required in the winter: you're going to end up needing propane (or something else to burn) to heat the interior ... which sort of defeats some of the purpose of the electrics.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A rough rule of thumb for technology propagation is that is takes a generation for something to go from a luxury item for the wealthy to commonplace possession of the middle class, and yet another for pretty much everyone to have one.

We're getting to the point where maybe, an electric car might be viable for wealthy people. As more of them buy it improvements in technology might make it accessible to middle class suburbanites - but it's got a long way to go before it makes sense for anyone living outside a major urban centre.
Craig
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
If electric cars are such a great idea, then why can't anyone build them without large subsidies/tax breaks/special favors?


They can't yet. But you seem to have the opinion that because they aren't economically viable today that they never will be.

Only two months ago a breakthrough was made allowing batteries to be charged in two minutes instead of six hours. It will take several years to bring that breakthrough to market. And it will take a few more breakthroughs before the gasoline engine dies. But it WILL happen.

Subsidies for emerging industries are nothing new. I would challenge you to find an industry that doesn't, or hasn't, received substantial government subsidies at one point in time. I'm willing to bet that agriculture receives more subsidies from the government than the green industries.
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:
A rough rule of thumb for technology propagation is that is takes a generation for something to go from a luxury item for the wealthy to commonplace possession of the middle class, and yet another for pretty much everyone to have one.

We're getting to the point where maybe, an electric car might be viable for wealthy people. As more of them buy it improvements in technology might make it accessible to middle class suburbanites - but it's got a long way to go before it makes sense for anyone living outside a major urban centre.
I could buy two generations from now, but doesn't that mean efforts to build and market a general consumer level car NOW are doomed to failure?

As for the faith in technology angle, I have just two words for you; flying car. Also I can reverse the argument; just because people are trying to make it economically viable now does not mean they are guaranteed of success in the future

People have been predicting the advent of the flying car for close to 100 years now, and it simply hasn't happened. Just because people want it to happen, and people are working on it, and there are breakthroughs that look promising, does not mean it ever will actually happen. Often big discoveries happen in areas that no one expects (and no one is funding or paying much attention too), it could be that some such discovery makes electric cars obsolete before they even become practical. It is also possible that someone invents a battery that has the energy density of diesel, takes only minutes to charge, is non-toxic, doesn't explode or operate at hundreds of degrees, can deal with cold and warm environments, is relatively cheap and has a long life in terms of charge/discharge cycles (tens of thousands). Until then, why can't we just use what works today, instead of paying handsomely for electric cars that we know do not work today?

PS. I thought Conservatives were against corporate welfare? Just because governments have doled out cash does not make it right, either then or now. Just let private venture capital take care of the funding, those guys expect to fail 9 times out of 10 anyway.
Craig
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
As for the faith in technology angle, I have just two words for you; flying car. Also I can reverse the argument; just because people are trying to make it economically viable now does not mean they are guaranteed of success in the future

People have been predicting the advent of the flying car for close to 100 years now, and it simply hasn't happened. Just because people want it to happen, and people are working on it, and there are breakthroughs that look promising, does not mean it ever will actually happen.


Right - because we haven't accomplished EVERYTHING we should pessimistic and assume that it won't happen.

Quote:
Until then, why can't we just use what works today, instead of paying handsomely for electric cars that we know do not work today?


What do you mean by "do not work"? The Tesla roadster is faster than a Ferrari and costs 1/3 as much. Sure it isn't as reliable but that doesn't mean that it "doesn't work". Electric cars are very close to working. And if you want to make a bet on that I'd be happy to pony up.

Quote:
PS. I thought Conservatives were against corporate welfare? Just because governments have doled out cash does not make it right, either then or now. Just let private venture capital take care of the funding, those guys expect to fail 9 times out of 10 anyway.


I didn't say it was right. Once again you have put words in my mouth. I said that you seem to single out this industry. Agriculture isn't viable in Canada without subsidies either.
Craig
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh - and we do have flying cars. They are called airplanes. They drive down the runway and then they fly...
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was making a general comment that was in no way supportive of any kind of subsidy to produce or research electric cars. I think they can eventually be viable for some people - but it's possible that they'll never be viable for long haul transportation, industrial applications, or people living and working in rural areas.

The idea that we're only a few years away from a mass conversion to electric vehicles is a delusion. And even if it were possible, it'd do practically nothing for 'climate change' - because all we'd be doing would be shifting the energy requirement from fuel for the engine to fuel for a power plant, at a considerable loss in efficiency.

Really, they can't even sell hybrids at a profit - the Prius only this year started becoming profitable for Toyota, and that's with big subsidies, tariff protection in Japan, and huge market share.
Craig Smith





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:
The idea that we're only a few years away from a mass conversion to electric vehicles is a delusion.


I will archive this post and hopefully you will still be around here in three years so I can serve up some crow.

Quote:
And even if it were possible, it'd do practically nothing for 'climate change'


Who gives a shit about climate change. I just want to stop subsidizing the spread of Islam.

Quote:
because all we'd be doing would be shifting the energy requirement from fuel for the engine to fuel for a power plant, at a considerable loss in efficiency.


Centralized power generation is significantly more efficient than distributed internal combustion engines which average an energy conversion efficiency of 20%.

Quote:
Really, they can't even sell hybrids at a profit - the Prius only this year started becoming profitable for Toyota, and that's with big subsidies, tariff protection in Japan, and huge market share.


Hydrids are a flawed model. They are a fad. Two drivetrains in a vehicle doesn't make sense from a weight, efficiency, or cost perspective.
Craig Smith





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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man - this facebook integration pisses me off. Sometimes I post as "Craig" and other times as "Craig Smith".
Steve Lafleur





Joined: 08 Mar 2009
Posts: 1


PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrote a report about the state of the electric car industry that can be found here: http://www.cascadepolicy.org/2.....-vehicles/

Electric cars are not currently viable on a large scale, but advances in battery technology will likely make it so in the next decade or so. Subsidies are not necessary, and may be counterproductive.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
I will archive this post and hopefully you will still be around here in three years so I can serve up some crow.

It's best that you do the serving, since you'll be doing the eating :lol: . I bet electric cars won't make up even half of personal vehicles on the road in three years, let alone commercial vehicles.
kwlafayette





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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF_Canuck wrote:
Craig wrote:
I will archive this post and hopefully you will still be around here in three years so I can serve up some crow.

It's best that you do the serving, since you'll be doing the eating :lol: . I bet electric cars won't make up even half of personal vehicles on the road in three years, let alone commercial vehicles.
They would be lucky to be 1/10,000 of the cars on the road in 3 years. I don't understand how people can have such faith in this "Tesla". They basically do not exist. No one I know has one, or has seen on in person. The same goes for everyone on this board. They probably won't have even 500 units on the road in 3 years time. Tesla is already running into problems with battery supply.

Just checked their website. It says they are "available now", but if you bought one, delivery is still weeks or months away. If they had a 419 area code.... As I said, I will believe it when I actually see it.

In areas where they are allowed, some people do use low speed electric vehicles. Normal people call them golf carts. There are not that many jurisdictions that actually allow them on the road though.

I believe the first person to ever declare that electric cars were superior and poised to conquer the market did so in 1870, so don't feel bad about being wrong, you are not the first, and you likely will not be the last.
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Unlike GMís well documented, and ever accelerating ramp to production with the Volt, it appears that Chryslerís progress had been tied directly to achieving government support.


http://gm-volt.com/2009/10/24/.....abandoned/

Interesting. Clearly the new management do not believe they can make money without subsidies. Also clearly, they are willing to miss out on what many people think is the next big thing, if they do not get that government support.

Wikipedia says there is something like 470 million vehicles in the US. Obviously, it is impossible that they get to 200 million electric vehicles in 3 years. Lets take the 1 in 10,000 measure as the crow line. Does anyone seriously believe that within 3 years, there will be even 47,000 all electric vehicles on the road?
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig Smith wrote:

Hydrids are a flawed model. They are a fad. Two drivetrains in a vehicle doesn't make sense from a weight, efficiency, or cost perspective.
Funny how you disparage hybrids, when they are actually selling well, and people want them. I actually have seen hybrids driving around town, whereas the only place I have seen electric vehicles is the golf course, and lifting things off the shelves at Home Depot. There may already be a million hybrids on the road, and the Chevy Volt, another hybrid, is garnering a lot of interest. If all electric vehicles are even 1/100 as successful as hybrids within the next 3 years, I would be very surprised.
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