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Old 11-05-2010, 06:42 AM   #81
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A $41,000 car that can go 50 miles on batteries. Then a 74 hp engine recharges the batteries (compared to the old VW Beetle' 54 hp engine). Don't forget to plug in the car at night and fill up the tank with gasoline in the day. Oh, yea, and that electricity from your house current is twice as expensive as gasoline. Both house electricity and gasoline are fundamentally fossil fuels.

Sorry tree huggers, this care isn't a green car, it is a lemon based on engineering data and environmental data alone. If you want a "greener car", renovate an old VW bug. That option is far more environmentally friendly. Battery powered cars are a fad. Buy one, put it in storage, and sell it as a collectors item in 25 years!
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:13 AM   #82
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If you want a "greener car", renovate an old VW bug.
No! The 60s, 70s VW bugs were very economical back then, but very far behind the Civics and Corollas of the 80s and 90s in fuel economy, power, safety and reliability.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:30 AM   #83
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No! The 60s, 70s VW bugs were very economical back then, but very far behind the Civics and Corollas of the 80s and 90s in fuel economy, power, safety and reliability.
If anyone has actually driven a bug from that era recently, you quickly realized that they, nostalgia aside, were a pretty pi$$ poor car. No power, no heat, no sound packaging, lousy handling...................cute, though.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:33 AM   #84
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Until they come up with an electric car that has a worst case range of 300 miles, can be recharged in less than 10 minutes at a charging (gas) station, and is less than $25,00, I'm not going to even think about it
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:22 AM   #85
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No! The 60s, 70s VW bugs were very economical back then, but very far behind the Civics and Corollas of the 80s and 90s in fuel economy, power, safety and reliability.
This thread is about battery powered cars, their inefficiency and failure to meet any environmental goals. Pick any example you want and GM's Volt is a failure.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:00 PM   #86
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Pick any example you want and GM's Volt is a failure.
We need more trash talk like this.

I'm hoping that in 3-4 years these things are selling on Craigslist for $10K, at which point I'll drive one around the neighborhood (or as far as my favorite surf locations) and recharge it from our photovoltaic array. That'll save approx $1000/year at current gas prices, and I'm sure inflation will hasten that savings rate.

The biggest problem will be making sure that the gasoline has enough fuel stabilizer in it.

Eventually GM will get it right on the third try and then start forcing Prius prices down too.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:05 PM   #87
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... Oh, yea, and that electricity from your house current is twice as expensive as gasoline. Both house electricity and gasoline are fundamentally fossil fuels.
Sorry, but this seems a generalization and the first part wrong in most cases.
My solar panels supply more than enough electricity to power my EV. Granted, I am in the minority in the USA in having solar panels.
Regarding cost, it costs me about 1.5 cent/mile to drive my EV (based on fuel alone). A car getting average mileage would cost about 13 cents/mile.
So while your statement may be true for you (tough to imagine), it isn't true for everyone. Just as my case is not the same for everyone.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:58 PM   #88
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I think that in another 10 years or so as hybrids start to hit the junk yards, DIYers will have a blast with all the hardware - generators, electric motors, batteries and inverters.

Sorry to hijack, back to the rants!
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:07 PM   #89
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Regarding cost, it costs me about 1.5 cent/mile to drive my EV (based on fuel alone).
What fuel costs are you basing this on? If you're talking about power from your solar panel array, does that include amortizing the cost of the array itself? Or, if you could sell power to the power company, do you use the opportunity cost of not selling what you use to charge the batteries as your basis?
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:07 PM   #90
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Oh, yea, and that electricity from your house current is twice as expensive as gasoline. Both house electricity and gasoline are fundamentally fossil fuels.
Huh


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My solar panels supply more than enough electricity to power my EV. Granted, I am in the minority in the USA in having solar panels.
Regarding cost, it costs me about 1.5 cent/mile to drive my EV (based on fuel alone). A car getting average mileage would cost about 13 cents/mile.
.
Can you elaborate on the 1.5 cent/mile? How did you arrive at that number?
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:47 PM   #91
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If you're talking about power from your solar panel array, does that include amortizing the cost of the array itself? Or, if you could sell power to the power company, do you use the opportunity cost of not selling what you use to charge the batteries as your basis?
Some of us have already generated enough electricity (and tax credits) from our PV arrays to have paid off the initial investment.

Most residential feed-in agreements are net metering, which means that the power company will compensate for generated power at the retail rate but will not pay for excess power. To handle seasonal variations they'll only carry over the excess for a certain amount of time before cutting it off (here it's a rolling 12 months). So the ideal situation is to generate just as much power as you need (year-round) and not a kilowatt-hour more.

Even if you generate exactly what you use, most power companies have a minimum fee to stay connected to their grid. Considering the design compromises required to get off the grid, especially with large loads like air conditioning and the cost of batteries, being able to swap power off the utility's grid is very convenient and much appreciated. HECO charges us $16/month for the privilege.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:54 PM   #92
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Nords,

How many kwh did your solar panels generate in the past 12 months? And what is the total capacity of your panels?

HECO $16/month: Is it the same as the connection charge whether you have net metering or not?

Thanks
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:42 PM   #93
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Now look at the cost per kWh. Natural gas is competitive with oil. Taken from Oil versus Gas fuel for your Heating needs Admittedly old data, but a useful comparison none the less.

Price kWh content $/kWh Efficiency $/kWh
Oil $2.000 per Gallon / 40.1734104 = $0.050 / 80% = $0.0622
Nat. Gas
$1.500 per Therm / 28.9017341 = $0.052 / 80% = $0.0649
Propane $2.000 per Gallon / 26.300578 = $0.076 / 80% = $0.0951
Electricity $0.150 per kWh / 1 = $0.150 / 100% = $0.1500
These figures are useful in determining relative costs of these fuels in heating a house, but aren't very useful in determining either the cost or efficiency of these fuels in moving a car. All of the combustion fuels need to be converted to mechanical energy using a combustion engine of some kind, and these have fairly low efficiency (18-20 percent in actual use). On the other hand, electricity can be converted to mechanical energy with electric motors with efficiencies routinely exceeding 80%. Charging and battery losses typically result in another 20% loss, but the efficiencies are still way ahead of any IC engine.

Now, if we assume that the natural gas is going to feed a fuel cell, then the efficiency might be higher. But that's not mature commercial technology at this point.

In most areas, plug-in EVs will have considerably lower fuel costs than vehicles powered by fossil fuels. Of course, that doesn't mean that they will have lower costs per mile for most drivers.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:12 PM   #94
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Some of us have already generated enough electricity (and tax credits) from our PV arrays to have paid off the initial investment.

Most residential feed-in agreements are net metering, which means that the power company will compensate for generated power at the retail rate but will not pay for excess power. To handle seasonal variations they'll only carry over the excess for a certain amount of time before cutting it off (here it's a rolling 12 months). So the ideal situation is to generate just as much power as you need (year-round) and not a kilowatt-hour more.

Even if you generate exactly what you use, most power companies have a minimum fee to stay connected to their grid. Considering the design compromises required to get off the grid, especially with large loads like air conditioning and the cost of batteries, being able to swap power off the utility's grid is very convenient and much appreciated. HECO charges us $16/month for the privilege.
OK thanks Nords. I was just trying to get a handle on how Zathras was calculating that 1.5 cents per mile number he gave. That's a very attractive number if it doesn't have strings attached (like an assumption your system is already fully amortized). If it could be readily duplicated by the average home owner/EV owner, I'm sure it would be a very popular arrangement where conditions would allow it.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:18 PM   #95
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In most areas, plug-in EVs will have considerably lower fuel costs than vehicles powered by fossil fuels.
Yes. Houston's current rate is about $0.10/kwh. So fuel cost will be at most 1/3 of gasoline.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:17 PM   #96
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Not to be too picky, gasoline engines are about 30% efficient at converting gasoline input to motive power, diesels are a bit better.

Electric motors are around 80%. Charging of batteries, and counting non-useable battery capacity, then upconverting the DC to whatever sort of 3 phase AC or single phase AC, or pulse width modulating the current to drive a DC motor is likely to be overall in the 60% range does complicate things.

Now if they run six pulse ac, things get even more mired.

But then again I've had a few alcoholic refreshments along with a very nice dinner with DW at the Eastwood Inn. A charming old world establishment, in the past hour or so.

Numbers is hard ;^)
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:35 PM   #97
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Yes. Houston's current rate is about $0.10/kwh. So fuel cost will be at most 1/3 of gasoline.
Here's my wag:
Converted to handy units:
Gasoline = 114,000 BTU/gal
Electricity= 3412 BTU/KWh

"motive energy units" per dollar = energy cost x efficiency
Gasoline: (114000/price per gallon) x .2 =
Electricity: (3412/price per KWH) x .64 =

Sample: If gasoline is $2.80/gal and electricity is $0.10 per KWH:
Gasoline motive energy unit per dollar= 114000/2.8 x .2 = 8142
Electricty motive energy units per dollar = 3412/0.10 x .64 =21,836

So, in this case, moving a car with electricity, even after charging and battery losses, costslests than 1/2 as much as moving the car with gasoline.

Of course, for most of us, the fuel costs are one of the smaller costs of driving a car. A prudent buyer would need to crunch a lot more numbers before deciding a particular electric car was really the best buy for his/her use.

Edit: This was a re-post due to "bad maths" in the first attempt. This one could be wrong, too.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:51 PM   #98
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Not to be too picky, gasoline engines are about 30% efficient at converting gasoline input to motive power, diesels are a bit better.
Not to be picky , but I think the SAE would LOVE to see 30% efficiency in a commercial otto cycle engine. I think I was generous at 20%. This EPA page cites 18.2% out of the engine, and that matches other things I've heard.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:16 PM   #99
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OK. Can't argue with that graph.

Curiously they don't seem to show a full driveline like the gasoline engine, showing an AC plug as a power origin, then power losses all the way to the asphalt, in similar detail. Surely it is my error in finding it.

Can safely exclude the idling inefficiency at 17.2 %. They do not discuss how to heat a vehicle in January in Manitoba using battery power. While the the gasoline engine's waste heat takes care of the problem nicely for 5+ months of the year.

There are tradeoffs, in my relatively mild western PA, compared to say the Dakotas, I would not want to deal with an electric vehicle year around. Could be an OK toy in the summer. On second thought, maybe not at all, In January the electric rates will be de-regulated. Kiss byby to 10 cents per KWH.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:28 PM   #100
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Can you elaborate on the 1.5 cent/mile? How did you arrive at that number?
Two different things actually. I mention the solar panels to raise the point that not all people are burning fossil fuels to generate electricity.
As to the price, my EV averages 4 miles/Kwh (over 4500 miles so far). As I mentioned before, this case is specific to me, I don't know that anyone outside of my electric cooperative can get a deal like this.
I am part of a pilot program that allows me to charge an EV or PHEV during overnight hours at a rate of 4.6 cents/Kwh. 4.6/4 gives me roughly 1.15 cents/mile.
At my normal rate it would be 9.6/4 =~ 2.4 cents/mile which is still pretty respectable.
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