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Old 12-04-2011, 05:13 AM   #71
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I like it. Think it looks great. Kinda like the dodge but not a dodge. I only drive 4 miles a day to work round trip so this thing would last me forever!
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:41 PM   #72
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I think its a great car. Its a REAL car, unlike the Leaf, which is terrrrrible (handling, looks, and money leaves the country etc...) BUT, but...

BEVs remind me of 8 tracks...kind of a stopgap between gasoline and hydrogen...

And I could never drive one, as its a 150 miles to visit the parents, and road trips are OUT. You need two vehicles to do what any one gasoline car can...

plus, there is no such thing as a zero emmissions car. Its like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Emissions from the car, or emissions from the power plant...take your pick I guess. Plus, I know there must be tons of extra emmisions from building the battery, which requires them to be shipped around the world to several manufacturers for completion...

There continues to be no free lunch.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:53 PM   #73
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BEVs remind me of 8 tracks...kind of a stopgap between gasoline and hydrogen...
If you are waiting for hydrogen, it will be a while. We are still ~50 yr away from a hydrogen economy, and frankly, batteries are superior in many ways to hydrogen. So, I don't expect the future to have a single fuel for cars; there will always be a niche for pure electric.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:29 PM   #74
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If you are waiting for hydrogen, it will be a while. We are still ~50 yr away from a hydrogen economy, and frankly, batteries are superior in many ways to hydrogen. So, I don't expect the future to have a single fuel for cars; there will always be a niche for pure electric.
50 years is unlikely dont you think? I mean, Honda already has the Clarity. Jay Leno (not an expert, i know) put it best, the car saved the horse, (they were used up and then killed in the street where they collapsed), and hydrogen will save the car, as we know it. (the range, performace, operation in undeveloped areas with no chargers) I think the automakers have MUCH more incentive to develop hydrogen for these reasons. Even if we were 50 years away from a total hydrogen economy, a system to support hydrogen cars is not that far off IMO. I doubt we will be able to support a majority electric-car system either. Our power grids are already about maxed, and who wants to be at the mercy of a radiation storm from a sunspot knocking out their vehicle's operation. And if you want to talk solar charging, forget it. I would rather have a local hydrogen facility instead of a 30000$ solar array just for my car, as a back up if my fuel source was affected...even IF solar could increase its efficiency by 100%, its still not affordable (props to Ford for shelling out 800000$ on the solar power at the focus plant tho!! even if does cover two football feilds, and produce only 3% of their electricity needs...)

The best part is, that companies are persuing alternatives to oil, and we will definitely get something useful like the electric Focus. Also, I am glad Ford waited on launching these electrics, as everything from the last 10-15 years (including the Leaf!) is not as capable.

Now, to figure out a new tax system for our highway infrastructure!
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:12 AM   #75
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50 years is unlikely dont you think? I mean, Honda already has the Clarity.
No. Having a few hydrogen-powered cars is one thing, having a million is something else. Many things can be done as boutique, niche products that absolutely cannot be done on an economy-wide scale. Hydrogen requires massive (and expensive) infrastructure changes--far more than simply electrifying a car fleet. It would take decades to simply implement that. I expect future cars will be tailored to their purpose, e.g., we will have more commuting specific cars (likely EVs) and long-range cars. Garbage & mail trucks will be a type of hybrid so they can regenerate losses from frequent stops while still being able to be refueled quickly.

Another fundamental problem of hydrogen is: Where do you get it? Unlike oil, coal, sunlight, etc, it does not occur in a useable form in nature--it is not an energy source, but an energy storage medium. It must be produced (from natural gas, electrolysis of water, etc.). If you make it from fossil fuels, why not just use the fossil fuel? If you make it using electrolysis, you must already have the electricity, so why not just use that?

(For comparison, electrolysis is around 70% efficient. Hydrogen engines are around 30% efficient, and fuel cells are around 40% efficient--in other words, ~20-30% overall efficiency. Compare that to batteries at 85% and electric motors at 90% for a total of 75% or more. You could go 3x as far in an EV as a hydrogen car given the same starting energy supply.)

A lot of equipment for use with hydrogen is very expensive. Fuel cells can add $50k-100k to a car. (The estimated cost of producing the Clarity is $300k) Storage tanks are much more expensive than those for gasoline, as are any form of hydrogen transport.
The benefit of hydrogen over batteries is the energy density & refueling rate. Like gasoline, you can quickly add enough hydrogen to a car to enable it to go a few hundred miles. You can't do that with batteries. If the energy expenditure needed to produce hydrogen drops and we can develop cheap ways to handle/store/transport hydrogen, then it can be practical, but I anticipate we will have just as many breakthroughs with battery tech making it cheaper, lighter, and faster thus eroding many of hydrogen's benefits.

I do expect more hydrogen cars to make it to the roads in the coming decades, but they will be very limited. I don't expect them to be common at any time before I retire. I do, however, expect EVs to rise in popularity in the same way as hybrids have over the last ten yrs. They won't make up the majority, but they will be a common sight. Also like hybrids, the price premium of EVs should decrease over the next ten years.

Your solar costs are way off. Ford is partnering to offer 2.5 kW residential systems for $10k (after fed rebates) to go with the eFocus. (This is much cheaper than systems I priced a few years ago.) Solar systems produce about 1200 kWh/kW/yr, so that system will produce around 3000 kWh/yr = 111 full fill-ups for the eFocus/yr = 8500 mi/yr. Solar panels can last ~30 or more, so lifetime costs (assuming no increase in efficiency of the EV driven) are $10k/(30*8500 mi) = $0.04/mi. (A 30 mpg Focus & $3/gal gas = $0.10/mi for comparison.) EVs do have a steep up-front cost that makes the break-even point many years down the road. Given the current rate of improvement in solar, it is not unreasonable to expect cost/kW to drop by 50% in ten years.

The issue of the electric grid's capacity is also off. It is maxed out at peak loads now, but not at average load. We have gobs of over-capacity at night, and if EVs are charged then, we won't need much new grid infrastructure; our base electric generation would be more stable/consistent, meaning it can be generated more efficiently. However, it is unreasonable to expect everyone to only charge at night. But I've already started seeing utilities to push peak-pricing, which forces shifting consumption to night. Additionally, as solar (and other on-site power generation) gets cheaper/better, more systems will be installed, which reduces the need for increasing the capacity of the grid.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:29 AM   #76
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Don't like electric. But I think that front end is awesome!
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:18 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by st falcon View Post
I think its a great car. Its a REAL car, unlike the Leaf, which is terrrrrible (handling, looks, and money leaves the country etc...) BUT, but...

BEVs remind me of 8 tracks...kind of a stopgap between gasoline and hydrogen...

And I could never drive one, as its a 150 miles to visit the parents, and road trips are OUT. You need two vehicles to do what any one gasoline car can...

plus, there is no such thing as a zero emmissions car. Its like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Emissions from the car, or emissions from the power plant...take your pick I guess. Plus, I know there must be tons of extra emmisions from building the battery, which requires them to be shipped around the world to several manufacturers for completion...

There continues to be no free lunch.
You are right that there is no such thing as a zero emission vehicle, but study after study has shown that the total pollution that is generated to build electrics AND their batteries is paid back very rapidly compared to traditional vehicles... this is similar to the arguments that big oil has pushed for years that solar panels "create more pollution in their manufacture than the save during their use" which has been 100% proven false, but people still like to spout it as if it's a fact (a modern generation solar panel will "pay back" it's full manufacturing "pollution load" in just 3-4 years of operation, everything after that is a net pollution savings).

Remember that with a traditional vehicle you are not only generating pollutants, but there is an entire inefficient distribution system which also generates pollution just to get fuel to hundreds of thousands of filling stations all around the country, not to mention fuel spills, tank leaks, etc.

It is also much easier to control the pollution of a few thousand power plants than to control the emissions of tens of millions of individual cars.

Final point, the entire idea that the electric grid will be overloaded by a a few million electric cars is utter rubbish. Overwhelming percentage of charging will take place in the evening, during "non peak" grid usage, when the grid is completely under-utilized... even if EVs become wildly successful they are a decade or longer away from making up even 20% of the vehicle fleet, which is more than enough time to further beef up the electrical grid.

If anything, smart charging technology in which an EV owner might "feed back" some of their battery power to the grid during the day, at peak times, because they don't need all of it, could reduce or eliminate the need for extremely expensive peak load power stations that only fire up a few times a year during peak hours.

The thing that I find most distressing about discussion of EVs is just how much misinformation there is about them.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:56 PM   #78
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My misinformation is your information and visa versa...it just depends on which political pole the scientist is on.

Those of you who believe the electric car is our future will be sad to learn that our Executive branch (you know of whom I speak) has all but outlawed the expansion of one source of electricity (nuclear) and is well on his way to sharply regulating and restricting the use of clean coal out of existance. I have no affiliations with these industries, but it is clear our government thinks that all electricity should be solar, which it certainly cannot be, not at our current or foreseeable levels of solar tech. The EPA has also made it clear that they will not allow full exploitation (such a BAD BAD word nowadays) of our countries rare earth minerals that are used to create batteries. So I guess we will go on making batteries from Chinas minerals...until they have enough power and money to shut us out...SO many issues with electricity...seems alot like those that come along with oil...

How can the electric car ever take off if its fuel source is being squeezed, right along side the use of fossil fuels? By the way, it is a fact that our power grid is about maxed out AS IS, but I agree a "smart grid" such as the one Ford uses at its Focus assembly plant a few miles from me could work...

PERHAPS, a solution...large hydrogen power facilities to power the grid? Instead of portable hydrogen systems in every car, a hydrogen power plant just for cars?

I am all for conservation, and the electric Focus is really a great car. But if I had my choice between gasoline, electric, or hybrid...for about the next 20 years, I will take gasoline.

Besides folks, China is going to (and already does) produce more pollution that any other nation on Earth (YES, even the US, they passed us), and anything we do to reduce our emissions is only going to put a small dent in the pollution released.

I just hope politics doesnt become the controlling factor (read: Solyndra) in where cars go next...let the market decide...and by market, I dont just mean the consumer, although they have the ultimate decision...but just as the market killed electric in the early 20th century, let it bring them, and other propulsion systems BACK!

Couldnt resist:
The electric car owners second ride...
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:17 AM   #79
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I see that you now want to turn this into a political debate. No thanks. However, your complete mischaracterization of the current administration position on the energy grid in general and nuclear power specifically is easily proven false by anyone who can use Google.

The current administration has been pushing for MORE nuclear power, until that annoying accident in Japan occurred and a safety review indicated that the US ability to respond to a similar incident here would be just as poorly botched as it was for the Japanese.

The problem with coal is that it's filthy. Maybe if the coal industry spent millions investing in carbon capture technology instead of running millions of dollars worth of ads trying to brain wash Americans into believing that coal is already "clean" we wouldn't be having this discussion.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:23 AM   #80
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I see that you now want to turn this into a political debate. No thanks. However, your complete mischaracterization of the current administration position on the energy grid in general and nuclear power specifically is easily proven false by anyone who can use Google.

The current administration has been pushing for MORE nuclear power, until that annoying accident in Japan occurred and a safety review indicated that the US ability to respond to a similar incident here would be just as poorly botched as it was for the Japanese.

The problem with coal is that it's filthy. Maybe if the coal industry spent millions investing in carbon capture technology instead of running millions of dollars worth of ads trying to brain wash Americans into believing that coal is already "clean" we wouldn't be having this discussion.
Well, the topic is inherently political, so....
I refuse to use google for my information on these things, after all, as we have just demonstrated, anybody can put anything on the internet, even at "reputable" site.

I have considered what you have said, and there is some merit there, I try to keep an open mind to what my "opponent" is saying.

Take it easy, and just remember something our president cannot..Keep an open mind.
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