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Electric cars

  1. Mar 11, 2009 #1
    Am trying to know*how electric cars could be more desirable to own and the public views on the future of electric cars?

    [spam deleted]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2009 #2

    neu

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    Electric cars are unnatractive as they take hours to charge and you need lots of filling stations before anyone buys a car, so buisness needs to make a big leap before anyone considers it.

    But a good idea I heard was that instead of charging your own battery, you lease one. And when you run it down you pull in to a depot and just replace the battery with a fully charged one.

    It's also a lot less hastle and much safer than having millions of gallons of petrol being transported and stored everywhere.

    Of course you still have the question of where the electricity comes from.
     
  4. Mar 11, 2009 #3
    The best thing i see about electric cars is the reduction of pollution in city areas. Even though they run on electricity and it is ultimately produced by 'unclean' sources, at least the powerplants are usually positioned away from the populace. Since being in a city, you dont need huge acceleration and or longevity on battery life.
     
  5. Mar 11, 2009 #4

    neu

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    ultimately you want to get people out of cars altogether, especially in the city, and onto public transport.That way even with combustion engines you're hugely reducing the CO2e per head.
     
  6. Mar 11, 2009 #5
    The one hazard I noticed while walking in a historic area, that ran many old electric cars, was that you could not hear them coming.
     
  7. Mar 11, 2009 #6

    LowlyPion

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    They need to outfit them with speakers playing the sound of a revving engine I think.
     
  8. Mar 11, 2009 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    I'll take one of these right now! It is only $100K or so.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm6gD6r3-cw
     
  9. Mar 11, 2009 #8

    russ_watters

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    In case no one noticed, the OP was just spam.....I'll leave the thread open since it seems to have generated some real discussion, though.
     
  10. Mar 11, 2009 #9

    LowlyPion

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  11. Mar 11, 2009 #10
    We just need a cleaner burning fuels. Then everything can stay pretty much as is. We've had this discussion numerous times. A strictly electric vehicle doesn't have the energy capacity needed by most commuters. For example, most people I work with live at least 30 miles away. Look at all the energy needed to heat/cool a vehicle and move it from A to B across diverse terrain. Sure it can be done, but not at a price the masses will buy into. In order for the costs to come down, everyone would have to buy into it, our infrastructure would have to change significantly. Nice ideas but I don't see it ever happening on a large scale.
     
  12. Mar 11, 2009 #11

    russ_watters

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    Define "clean". All fossil fuels will emit carbon dioxide, which today is considered a pollutant.
     
  13. Mar 12, 2009 #12

    neu

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    hydrogen can be implemented like natural gas (but with a lower power/volume ratio) and is clean. Hydrogen can be produced by electrolysis using electricity from renewables but this is only ~30% efficient, Or potentially harvested from photocatalytic metal oxide surfaces, but a long way off yet. And it's difficult to transport large volumes of H compared to natural gas.

    W.r.t to transport, we can still have massive cuts in emmisions by changing the way we travel. As I mentioned, a more efficient and pleasent public transport system, if it were used by everyone, would reduce emissions per person hugely without changing our source of fuel.

    There is no panecea, e.g. electric cars, we cannot go on living the way we do, e.g. 1 person per car, we have to change, not necessarily for the worse, our entire way of life, particulaly in the developed world, in order to give ourselves any chance of stemming climate change
     
  14. Mar 12, 2009 #13
    You can't stop climate change. If all human activity stopped tomorrow the climate would still "change".
     
  15. Mar 12, 2009 #14

    DaveC426913

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    Fine. Insert the phrase "human-activity-induced global warming" if that works better for you.
     
  16. Mar 12, 2009 #15
    I keep telling my family not to eat so many beans.
     
  17. Mar 12, 2009 #16
    That will never work. You have to set up bean eating quotas and strict sanctions for violating them.
     
  18. Mar 12, 2009 #17

    mgb_phys

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    A modern small diesel engine does better end-end efficiency and lower CO2 than most electric cars, especially when 50% of your power is from coal.
     
  19. Mar 12, 2009 #18

    LowlyPion

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    Coal is clean. I've seen the commercials now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-_U1Z0vezw
     
  20. Mar 12, 2009 #19

    russ_watters

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    Since all electricity is transported on the same wires, you can't just say 'this power is coming from renewables'. It just doesn't work that way. If you power something with electricity, it's energy comes from whatever the mix of energy sources is that provides the electricity. In our case, that's 50% coal.

    Even if you build a dedicated solar plant that only powers an electrolysis plant, the net effect is the same: you could have plugged the solar plant into the grid and offset some coal based power instead.
     
  21. Mar 12, 2009 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    Esp when the diesel is burning biodiesel derived from algae - approximately CO2 neutral. Note also that a mix of oils from algae and jatropha was tested, in flight, on a 737. The biodiesel performed just as well as the regular fuel and was more efficient [higher mileage].
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/01/08/airline.biofuels/index.html?iref=newssearch

    There is also a good chance that biologically produced hydrogen is [will be] the solution to the H2 supply problem. A group at MIT is pursuing the algae-to-hydrogen option right now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
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