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Electric cars?

Would you buy an electric car?

  • Already own one

    Votes: 4 3.7%
  • Yes - would definitely buy

    Votes: 27 25.0%
  • Yes - preferred over petrol car if price/power/convenience similar

    Votes: 47 43.5%
  • Maybe - preference for neither, only concerned with costs etc

    Votes: 23 21.3%
  • No - prefer petrol car even if electric car has same price, power and convenience

    Votes: 9 8.3%
  • No - would never buy one

    Votes: 6 5.6%

  • Total voters
    108
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Hi All,
Interested to know what peoples opinions of electric cars are. I personally would prefer an electric car, but not for environmental reasons. I think the cheaper refueling and possible higher power-to-weight ratios would be a big plus. I also think that it might be a car I would have some chance of being able to fix myself, since it is more electrically based than the conventional highly mechanical petrol car.
I can see some disadvantages though, namely current battery technology (the cars power weakens with use, like a cordless drill).

Thoughts on the electric car?
 
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Electric cars will still have the same running gear as petrol powered vehicles i.e
gearbox,crankshaft,pistons and diffs etc so basically the mechanicals would be the same.
With the current technology we are in my opinion years away from a viable form of
electric powered vehicle.
Give me a whomping fuel chomping V8 anytime, at least you can hear me coming:knightrid
 
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I'm a big fan of the Tesla and word has it, it's going to come to Australia.

Electric supercar - beats a Ferrari in 1/4 mile
 
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In the long term it's either electric or reasonably conventional liquid fuels made from unconventional sources (most likely algae). Which will win out 100 years from now is anyone's guess.

Hydrogen - nice idea but where are going to get the primary energy from to produce the hydrogen? It's an incredibly inefficient process unless you've got effectively free electricity to start with (and where are we going to get that from on a global scale?). The hydrogen could alternatively be obtained directly from natural gas, but in that case why not just run the car on natural gas and forget messing about with costly and difficult to handle hydrogen?

Natural gas - a very likely interim fuel largely because it can be made to work in conventional petrol engines in already built cars. There are a few issues, but it beats walking if there's little petrol available (quite a likely scenario in my view - note the gradual dismantling of free trade in oil and locking in of supplies by certain countries, thus leaving Australia etc with decreasing access to imports amidst a situation where the total quantity of oil exported by all countries looks to be declining anyway).

Another thing we'll almost certainly at least try doing in the medium term is turning coal into liquid fuels.

Would I buy an electric car now? As a second car for commuting or going to the shops - yes, the technology is good enough. As an only vehicle - no, the range and recharging infrastructure are too limited to be practical for long distance trips.

If your aim is efficient transport by car then at the moment I'd argue that either a diesel or a proper LPG engine (NOT a converted petrol engine, not even if converted at the factory unless we're talking about significant internal mechanical changes not just a different fuel system) is the most sensible choice for a "go anywhere" vehicle. Failing that, a direct injected petrol engine beats the other petrol fuel systems pretty easily.

Hybrids don't really stack up all that well if the engine is petrol, and natural gas or electric have very limited refuelling infrastructure unless you only want to travel not too far from home (eg a commuter vehicle). Either that or it's a gas / electric company vehicle which does change things somewhat.
 
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Long lasting battery is my sore point, or rather lack of it.

Another problem is that electricity supply might not hold with too many power socket evening charges.

We have en-masse Air Conditioners, now with many cars connected to grid might just kill it.
Califonia style blackouts, would not go well with happy electric car owners to wake up to half empty car battery.
 
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Inevitable
You mean inevitable you would buy one?
Smurf1976 said:
If your aim is efficient transport by car then at the moment I'd argue that either a diesel or a proper LPG engine.
More worried about power-to-weight and reliability.
Long lasting battery is my sore point, or rather lack of it.
Another problem is that electricity supply might not hold with too many power socket evening charges. We have en-masse Air Conditioners, now with many cars connected to grid might just kill it.
California style blackouts, would not go well with happy electric car owners to wake up to half empty car battery.
Hmm good points. I would say in regards to the loading, if the cars are taken up slowly (and they probably would be), it would give time for power generation to expand to fit the increasing load. I also think constant blackouts are an unnatural situation, since a high demand for electricity raises the price, and causes new stations to be built to profit (removing the blackout).
Also people would probably purchase a portable generator if they purchased such a car and there was a risk of blackouts - just in case.
 
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Or electric skateboards. I am SERIOUS. Not only are they so easy to ride and get on/off of, they are lighter and smaller than electric bikes, they are cheaper, and they are (arguably) more cool. When you finish your commute, you can tuck it under your arm, walk into work and put it under your desk.
Gliding through a park on the bike-path on a sunny day on such a board is really enjoyable, I can tell you. :D

Of course, the barrier to its use at the moment, are like most other things, a result of the government :mad:. In Queensland, they are power-limited - not speed-limited, to 200W. This means you cannot climb any kind of gradient, even if it is small. Other states outright ban them. Again, typical case of governments proving their primary nature - making peoples lives worse.
 
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With the current technology we are in my opinion years away from a viable form of
electric powered vehicle.d

Buffet owns chunk of this company

It gets interesting a 5.30
 
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With regard to charging, provided that it is done so as not to add to peak demand on the system then there is no real impact on electricity supply.

If the majority of charging could be done overnight using off-peak power (the same principle as hot water heaters) then that would achieve this objective.

Beyond that it's just a matter of a higher off-peak load which, in practice, is just a matter of putting more fuel into existing power stations.

The only exception in the Australian context is Tasmania, where everything electrical has always been upside down due to being energy constrained rather than peak capacity constrained (not necessarily a bad thing, it's just what happens when you use renewable energy as the main source of generation rather than fossil fuels). In that state (and also New Zealand and a few other places with predominantly renewable generation) there would need to be an expansion of supply, though not to a massive extent.:2twocents
 
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330 km / charge
top speed of 140
10 year battery life

and instores in 2011, sounds exciting.
 
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330 km / charge
top speed of 140
10 year battery life

and instores in 2011, sounds exciting.
I wouldn't get too carried away by the general EV hype.....especially with regard to battery life. I have an electric bike powered by a combo of Lithium ion & LiFePo batteries. While I love the extra "boost" and greater freedom it gives my old legs to ride longer distances, I can assure you that battery performance slowly but SURELY degrades over time and no. of charges. There is NO WAY you will get a "guaranteed" 330km per charge out of that vehicle, even after 5 years or only 50% of battery "life" (unless you always drive like a miser, well under the speed limits, on flat ground, at perfect ambient air temps - then you just might squeeze it out!)

There are plenty of people who live in a unit, flat or house where they have no secure off-road area to re-charge an EV overnight? How would THEY cope? Can you imagine the vandalism that would occur to street EV charging points?

Maybe converting all current fuel Service Stations to incorporate Battery Quick Change Services (where you pull in and and a qualified EV mechanic takes say 10mins to swap your half-charged or near empty battery(s) for already fully charged one(s) is probably the best solution to this quandary - but imagine the infrastructure cost for that? Not any time soon....

Here's some sage advice from an article in a country well ahead of Oz with regard to considering the pros and cons of EV's - the LEAF in this instance -

Nissan has admitted that these batteries will degrade over time and you won’t get the same range after five years that you will get when you first drive the car.

The (Nissan) survey said: “All batteries, like those in cellphones, laptops and vehicles, lose their capacity over time. At full charge when new, the Nissan Leaf will have an approximate range of 100 miles, but can be more or less depending on usage and climate.
http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...good+for+hilly+areas&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

Will the "dream" of all-electric V's on our streets one day turn to reality? I seriously doubt it. A quantum leap in battery technology/pricing is what's needed here. While it's nice to dream, the odd nightmare can always shock one back to reality.... :eek:

Chiz,

aj
 
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I wouldn't get too carried away by the general EV hype.....especially with regard to battery life. I have an electric bike powered by a combo of Lithium ion & LiFePo batteries. While I love the extra "boost" and greater freedom it gives my old legs to ride longer distances, I can assure you that battery performance slowly but SURELY degrades over time and no. of charges. There is NO WAY you will get a "guaranteed" 330km per charge out of that vehicle, even after 5 years or only 50% of battery "life" (unless you always drive like a miser, well under the speed limits, on flat ground, at perfect ambient air temps - then you just might squeeze it out!)

There are plenty of people who live in a unit, flat or house where they have no secure off-road area to re-charge an EV overnight? How would THEY cope? Can you imagine the vandalism that would occur to street EV charging points?

Maybe converting all current fuel Service Stations to incorporate Battery Quick Change Services (where you pull in and and a qualified EV mechanic takes say 10mins to swap your half-charged or near empty battery(s) for already fully charged one(s) is probably the best solution to this quandary - but imagine the infrastructure cost for that? Not any time soon....

Here's some sage advice from an article in a country well ahead of Oz with regard to considering the pros and cons of EV's - the LEAF in this instance -

http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...good+for+hilly+areas&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

Will the "dream" of all-electric V's on our streets one day turn to reality? I seriously doubt it. A quantum leap in battery technology/pricing is what's needed here. While it's nice to dream, the odd nightmare can always shock one back to reality.... :eek:

Chiz,

aj
BYD are the global leaders in battery technology, and their batteries are said to be miles ahead of the competition.

But also battery technology is rapidly improving and you can easily upgrade to battery in say 5 years to what ever the latest and greatest battery is.

In regards to recharging, BYD are rolling fast charge stations where they can rapidly charge the battery, plus with home charging most people wouldn't require it.

There are challenges to the technology, but I think it is closer than you think.

Hybrids are common all over the world now,
Plugin Hybrids are selling common is some areas
Full electric is starting sales in USA this year.

If we can go from Horses to petrel powered vehicles surly the leap to electric is far smaller.
 
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Horse to internal combustion was a major leap in mobility whereas petrol to electric is not.
 
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Horse to internal combustion was a major leap in mobility whereas petrol to electric is not.
Not in the beginning. Their were many arguements that could be placed against internal combustion.

They were expensive
they were fragile, unreliable
Roads were not good enough,
loads that could be hauled were small ( compared to a stage coach )

Many would have seen the benefits of a good stallion over the initial problems with the automobile as a sign that the automobile was a fad.
 
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Not in the beginning. Their were many arguements that could be placed against internal combustion.
Perhaps I was a little too specific.

The technological leap from horse to internal combustion (or more generally,from animal/human labor to energy from burning fossil fuel) was a major leap forward in our ability to produce and use energy.

While electric vehicles are in their infancy and should improve with time, it's hard to see them matching the leap forward above in the absence of new ways of generating the energy (electricity) to run them.

One would therefore expect their adaptation into the mainstream (if ever) to be longer.
 
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Perhaps I was a little too specific.

The technological leap from horse to internal combustion (or more generally,from animal/human labor to energy from burning fossil fuel) was a major leap forward in our ability to produce and use energy.

While electric vehicles are in their infancy and should improve with time, it's hard to see them matching the leap forward above in the absence of new ways of generating the energy (electricity) to run them.

One would therefore expect their adaptation into the mainstream (if ever) to be longer.
I'll agree to disagree, Because I can easily see that mankinds leap from fossil fuels to renewable energy ( in all it's sources ) will be equal in importance to man learning to exploit oil.
 
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Perhaps I was a little too specific.

The technological leap from horse to internal combustion (or more generally,from animal/human labor to energy from burning fossil fuel) was a major leap forward in our ability to produce and use energy.
The ability to profitably (in energy terms not necessarily financial) extract oil is however temporary such that internal combustion is at best a stepping stone to some other technology.
 
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with wireless electricity currently under research
maybe we can even charge it while we are waiting for the red light? :)
 
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