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The transition to electric vehicles

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop' started by Yellow Fang, 20 Jul 2011.

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Would you drive an electric car ?

  1. Yes, they are Eco-friendly, and the car of the future.

    100.0%
  2. No, nothing will replace gas for long distance travel

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    Location:
    Reading
    I have been reading Electric Bicycles by David Henshaw and Richard Peace. I find it slightly worrying what it was saying about the reliability of the battery systems, in particular of Li-ion battery systems. IIRC, it said lead acid batteries were cheap, but heavy and could be damaged by running them flat, overcharging them or leaving them uncharged for months. NiCd batteries carried a bigger charge weight for weight, but could develop charge memory if they were not totally discharged each time, so that afterwards, you could not get full range out of your battery. The biggest concern though, were the Li-ion batteries. These have the highest charge density, but they're just not very reliable at the moment. They keep failing far quicker than they're supposed to. The price is starting to creep up as the demand for lithium increases. They can also catch fire in a dramatic way. All in all, it seems to be that NiMH is the best battery systen to go for at the moment. I was surprised to find the GoCycle used this type of battery when I saw them at the local bike shop.

    The unreliability of these battery systems is a concern, because with all the industry research in this technology, you'd have thought it would be cracked by now. We need to move over to electrically charged vehicles in order to reduce consumption of fossil fuel, and to make use of renewable energy when it's available in order to manage supply and demand.
     
  2. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    There is also the problems of...

    Recycling when they are dead and in the case of large batteries for transport there is the problem of damage/leaks.

    Imagin you are in an electric car/bike. You have a crash, which is bad enough. The crash damages the battery and you either have the vehicle surrounded by a pool of toxic liquid or in the worse case you may get splattered with it during the collision.

    I'm sure the current electric car designs with the batteries distributed along the floor of the vehicle sounds bad if you flip over and rupture the 'tank'.

    Storing electricity had never been easy and we are still searching for that breakthrough tech that will give us cheap, powerfull supply with a small size and weight.
     
  3. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    Vauxhall are currently launching their Ampera and I wondered if any of you guys have, or would consider buying an electric vehicle?
     
  4. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    I would love to. One slight problem. I would need a very long extension cable from my 3rd floor flat!

    I'll have to either wait until they install chargers in the car park or make one with a removable battery that is light enough to carry up the stairs.

    There are problems with the current versions. The batteries are like your mobile phone/laptop batteries, they will die after not that many years of use and loose power over time. To replace them costs a couple of grand. Now they could be perfect for me. I don't have a car at the moment and would not use it much if I had one. So I would like one with solar panels on the roof/bodywork so it could top up when not being used. Not quite sure how long it would take to charge though.

    I still feel that a modern day electric car is like getting a Model T Ford. They are the first gen to be mass produced, but the ones to come will make them look lame.

    So all in all I'm keeping an eye on the market and may get one if the cost/performance is good. Something like the Sinclair car/bike/thing could suit my needs for getting to and from work which is only a few miles each way. I do quite like the idea of one person cars.
     
  5. dojo

    dojo Regular Geek

    I have an Opel Corsa (we call it Opel in my country), bought in 2008. It doesn't use up too much fuel, so I don't see any reason to go electric right now.
     
  6. beanz

    beanz Staff Member Staff Member

    Personally, not yet. There needs to be investment in infrastructure and further development in battery technology (and cost of the car) before I'd consider it. At the moment, electric cars feel to me like a concept in development rather than an alternative I could switch to tomorrow.

    I'm sure that will change one day!
     
  7. Gene Gibly

    Gene Gibly Active Geek

    The future of personal transport?

     
  8. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    A "fun" project for the guys who built it, perhaps, but I can't see this taking off ... :wink: :laugh:
     
    0-markymark-0 and BoforsGun like this.
  9. BoforsGun

    BoforsGun Über Geek

    Location:
    UK
    Rush hour will never be the same....
     
  10. beanz

    beanz Staff Member Staff Member

    I may be asking the obvious, but what would happen if one of the rotors failed? Is this craft capable of making a controlled landing in such a situation?
     
    Shaun and amusicsite like this.
  11. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek

    You did see the guys headgear, right? I suspect the controlled landing would be in one direction swiftly ... :laugh:
     
  12. nigel-yz1

    nigel-yz1 Well-Known Geek

    Wow! A flying Spacehopper!! :D

    [​IMG]
     
    Gene Gibly, amusicsite and Shaun like this.
  13. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed New Geek

    The amazing new electric car, the Tesla S, developed by Elon Musk, is taking the automotive world by storm, and may completely revolutionize automobile travel in the near future. The company has plans to develop a network of solar powered charging stations for the new electric car, making it possible to drive fuel free from coast to coast eventually.
    The charging stations will offer two choices, a quick charge that you pay for, or a longer charge that is free. The longer charge would take from 20-40 minutes to charge up the car, and the shorter one will only take a few minutes.
    They have already installed the solar chargers in Norway, and California will be next, and the plan is to completely cover the US and part of Canada within the next five years.

    Right now, a $70k vehicle is out of the price range of most people, but once the technology is in place, the price will likely come down, so that most people can afford an electric car.
    I remember when the first VCRs came out, they were over $1500, and now you can get them for about $25 if you can still find one .

    Here is the video showing this incredible car and the charging stations .


    View: http://youtu.be/wgk5-eB9oTY
     
    amusicsite likes this.
  14. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  15. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  16. BoforsGun

    BoforsGun Über Geek

    Location:
    UK
    Nice, good to go to the shops in.
     
  17. Alex H

    Alex H Senior Geek

    Location:
    Central France
    "If you've got the space and the tools, the TABBY can be put together in less than in hour:"

    and there's 2 of you and you've done it before and it's already out of the box and you've got that very nice bench to work on and........;:whistling:

    We recently bought some lamp fittings for our newly completed lounge - the instructions said they would only take 1 minute to fit :roflmao::roflmao::roflmao:
     
    BoforsGun likes this.
  18. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
  19. Alex H

    Alex H Senior Geek

    Location:
    Central France
    Our local Renault dealer has the 'Twizy'

    I don't remember the cost for the vehicle, but the battery is hired for 75€/month and replaced as required

    Seems to be growing in Popularity here, our region will 'soon' have 200 charging points French newspaper link
     
  20. Shaun

    Shaun Über Geek