JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Each electric car could add costs of $2000 per year for “our” electricity network

What was that Ms Gillard said about not wanting to “gold plate” our electricity networks? The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) released a warning in December that electric cars will cost a lot more than just the purchase price and the electricity:

Electric vehicles in particular are another new “appliance” which is set to place new demands on Australia’s power system. This review has found that each electric vehicle could impose additional network and generation costs from $7500 up to $10,000 per vehicle over the 5 years from 2015 to 2020 in the absence of appropriate pricing signals and efficient charging decisions.

Who pays for the extra generation capacity? You do.

AEMC Chairman, John Pierce, said today that each electric vehicle could result in additional generation and network costs that, under current market arrangements would be shared by all consumers.

AEMC recommends several ways to split up the pricing, sort our metering so houses can figure out what was “the car” and what was “the house”. Me, I recommend we charge the EV owners the real cost, and let the free market do what it does best.

The AEMC last word — it’s easy to sell natural gas cars:

The final advice concludes that no significant changes need to be made to market arrangements to cater for the uptake of natural gas vehicles.

I just wish I could buy my electricity from a generator which produces not-for-car-electrons…

As it is, it takes so much energy to make those big electric-car batteries, that people who own an electric car need to drive about 130,000 km before they even start saving any CO2. It’s quite possible that electric vehicles might produce more CO2 over their lifetimes than the equivalent petrol powered cars does. Not to mention that electric car factories are more toxic than normal car factories and that electric cars were deemed to be worse for the environment in a study by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

The best thing about electric vehicles is that in Australia, almost no one buys them. We have 15 million cars on the road, and in 2011 only 49 new cars were electric. That’s nearly one new one each week…

h/t Scott the energy trader

See also:

 

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160 comments to Each electric car could add costs of $2000 per year for “our” electricity network

  • #
    Cynic

    You omitted the worst problem with electric cars. The pedestrian cannot hear them. I predict deaths will occur due to this.


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    • #
      Streetcred

      … and the hideously expensive batteries have a 3 – 5 year life span with the added cost of toxic disposal.


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    • #
      Hasbeen

      It will probably only be those walking along texting who will not notice that big bad electric car coming, so electric cars could produce a net improvement in the gene pool.

      Never having owned them I don’t know, so someone tell me. Can people with one of these sexy music devices, with earphones in their ears, hear propper cars, or are this devices also making their contribution to the gene pool also. If so I shall think more kindly of them in future.


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      David

      Cynic they already do elsewhere. I worked on a project in Shenyang, China, where there is an extensive electric trolley bus system. They are deadly quiet and at night the drivers don’t put the headlights on. We christened them Shenyang Crocodiles as the first you knew of them was when they bit you. Local Public Security people attributed a lot of pedestrian deaths to their lack of noise and the failure to use headlights. And that was without a lot of wankers walking around with earplugs blasting out music[?] or texting on their mobiles.


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    • #

      I’m quite optimistic about electric vehicles:
      * Batteries might be more expensive, but you don’t oil, radiator, (in in some designs no diff or gear box), and more.
      * You don’t need to regularly have oil changes and tune ups!
      * If you charge at home overnight (off-peak), if the power goes out, you can run your house on your massive car batteries!
      * Too quiet? I find that cars drive on the road and that you need to look out for both silent EVs and coasting combustion cars.
      * Self-driving cars are going to be great – and probably safer, avoiding pedestrians who insist on walking on the road all the time.

      Power transmission:
      * I’d imagine electricity transmission could become troublesome with increased use – why not have a small nuclear (thorium?)/coal powerplant for each city?
      * If you were to charge your car at home you would find yourself slipping into the higher price bracket from the amount of usage.


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    • #
      Gbees

      You got it Cynic. I almost became a victim in Nelson Bay last weekend!


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  • #
    PeterB in Indianapolis

    When you have leadership the world over that are all the products of an educational system which was specifically designed to kill common sense (which was never all that common to begin with), all of these debacles are extremely predictable.

    The governments are made of of people lacking common sense, the people (who lack common sense) have very little trouble simply believing (and usually ardently supporting) whatever the governments tell them, and the vanishingly few people who actually do possess any real common sense are labeled as “fringe”, “right-winger”, “lunatic”, “denier”, etc. when they attempt to point out that the WHOLE ENTIRE SITUATION IS COMPLETE NONSENSE!

    There is a good reason that Thomas Paine’s book about freedom from tyranny was named “Common Sense”. It takes a LOT of common sense to understand freedom and liberty, and to see why they are the only moral system under which humanity can freely operate. Without common sense, there is no freedom, no liberty. There is merely varying degrees of tyranny and oppression. This is why the “modern” educational system has been systematically designed to eliminate common sense from the population wherever, and whenever possible.

    A very sad state of affairs, really.


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      … governments are made up of people lacking common sense, the people (who lack common sense) have very little trouble simply believing …

      I think you are being far too kind. In my experience politicians simply lack common sense, period. I am not sure they can stretch to actually believing in anything, other than what is expedient at the time.


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    • #
      Rod Stuart

      Herein lies the reason for state provided education.
      How many times have I argued that if the Soviet experiment proved that government can’t produce ANYTHING, such as refrigerators, automobiles, food then what leads people to think that governed can provide services in education and health?
      The answer always is “it’s not affordable” or “there are some that would be uneducated”. My response has always been “How can we afford to allow the brokers in government to provide then?” and “Is it better that NO-ONE is educated?”
      The real reason that the Elite wanted to avoid a competitive, free market education approach was so that the populace could be “dumbed down” and common sense killed off. We have been deceived by our own avarice and greed.


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    • #
      amcoz

      Common sense died the day ol’ Tom did as he was the first person to really provide good reasons why it is so, in that long lost age when it was more common to have reasonable sense.


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  • #
    turnedoutnice

    The purpose of the electric cars in the simple minds of politicians and Marxist dupes is that by providing decentralized energy storage, they can make the windmills work.

    However, this cannot work because the round trip efficiency is ~20% and the cost is far too high.

    But remember that the likes of the reptilian Gillard are only interested in the next election, not fairness or common sense.

    Ropes and lamp posts.


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    • #
      AndyG55

      “Gillard are only interested in the next election”

      I can’t believe that is true,

      If it was really interested in the next election, most of the policies it has brought in, would not be there.

      The CO2 tax wouldn’t exist, mining tax either .(oh wait, it doesn’t really exist, economically)

      And it would start telling the truth instead of the perpetual lies and spin !!

      It’s actions and words, and those of it’s fellow ALP/Green politicians, are the main reason they will lose badly in the upcoming election.


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      • #
        Allen Ford

        It’s actions and words, and those of it’s fellow ALP/Green politicians, are the main reason they will lose badly in the upcoming election.

        I can hardly wait to hear all the lame excuses trotted out when they come that God awful cropper.


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      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        I have asked my local member if Tony will give me a number one Senate ticket at the next election on the basis that I am a completely ordinary person.


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  • #
    Mark D.

    This stupidity goes hand-in-hand with wind power folly. It really boils down to excessively talented salesmanship. (Same for the banking crash for that matter).

    Very successful sales people tend to not care about the realities behind the product. Make the sale and move on. If customers minds have been softened by media hype and “save the world” falsehoods, well the salesman isn’t going to care. This doesn’t matter if it’s a car or a windmill.


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    • #
      Aynsley Kellow

      I have been rather too preoccupied with other things to explore the ‘gold-plating’ argument that Gillard has been running, but intuitively it seems that she has been overdoing it downplaying the effect of subsidised renewables on the cost per unit of electricity consumed.

      Gold-plating is a well-enough known result of what is called rate-of-return regulation. But if you add a lot of solar panels and wind farms to an electricity grid, they will both lower the load factor on the poles and wires – the transmission system for wind farms and the distribution system for PV solar. (Wind farms have low load factors and domestic consumers still want to draw on the grid whenever the sun isn’t shining – which at least every night).

      The cost of the poles and wires in total (transmission and distribution) must be spread over a smaller number of units of electricity sold. The transmission and distribution companies can still apply to the regulator (and likely be granted) price increases to maintain the acceptable rate of return on their investment – but now it must be recovered from lower kWh sold, so up go the prices.

      I suspect, therefore, that the MRET, carbon tax and other subsidies for renewables cannot be separated out from ‘gold-plating’ as Gillard would have us believe. We are all paying higher prices (carbon tax, other revenue to provide subsidies, higher electricity prices) for all of this – and one can expect that those higher prices are also resulting in more conservation, suppressing utilisation of poles and wires still further.


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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    I just wish I could buy my electricity from a generator which produces not-for-car-electrons…

    Well, it has often been said that the primary difference between Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering, is that the Electronic Engineers are friends with their electrons, and know each one by name.

    But there is another difference. Electrical Engineers are more focused on how the electrons will be harvested, and then distributed. Electronic Engineers are more concerned on how the electrons are to be delivered, stored, and then used.

    Most of the discussions around the mass use of electric cars I have seen to date, seem to focus on the battery technology. As well they might. That is not cheap technology, neither is it clean technology.

    But there is a wider issue, which is the one of “the last metre” in the distribution chain. How do you actually get the electricity to the vehicle? The assumption seems to be that you will drive your car into your garage and plug it into a standard 10 amp AC power socket.

    But what if you don’t have a garage, and you park on the street? Are you going to have to run an extension lead across the pavement? Health and safety alarms ringing here.

    What if 10 amp AC is not the most efficient and fastest way to charge the next generation of batteries? Is that going to require extensive changes to your domestic wiring?

    What about charging your car at your work place? Will commercial buildings or car parking buildings need to be retrofitted with charging facilities?

    In short, I have seen no evidence that the logistical problems (and costs) associated with the infrastructure issues from this technology have even been considered, let alone addressed.

    But that is all right, because it will be somebody else’s problem to solve.


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    • #
      Rod Stuart

      “But what if you don’t have a garage, and you park on the street? Are you going to have to run an extension lead across the pavement? Health and safety alarms ringing here.”
      “What about charging your car at your work place? Will commercial buildings or car parking buildings need to be retrofitted with charging facilities?”
      These issues might loom large to a Southern Hemisphere resident.
      However, having spent most of my life in Northern Canada, where an automobile must be parked near about 1500 watts if it can be expected to start (in winter) these appear to me as no issue at all. (Typically 750 block heater and 750 watt interior car warmer.
      The issue is the cost in this locale. It wasn’t a problem at 3 cents per kWH. It is at 23 cents. Inexpensive energy is the key to Western civilisation, which is the reason that those intent on trashing it have created the Sky Dragon myth in the first place.


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    • #
      Andrew McRae

      One solution I saw being suggested by an Israeli entrepreneur a few years ago (with working prototype) was changing out the whole battery tray underneath the car with a set of pre-charged batteries.
      It’s undoubtedly the quickest way, comparable to the time it takes to refill a 40L petrol tank today.

      But the limitations of this design are obvious. Firstly it has to be built into the pavement underneath existing servo stations. Secondly not all electric cars will have the same kinds of batteries and their battery assemblies won’t all be the same shape, size, and location (unless made so by dunderheaded pre-emptive regulation). This would require robot arms more versatile than the one-size-fits-all simple sliding rail mechanism that he showed to the media.

      It was a nice try and it made good TV, but back to the drawing board, comrades!


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  • #
    Cookster

    Jo, thanks for bringing the real cost of Electric Cars to our attention. I agree we should charge the EV owners the real cost and this problem will disappear real quick (user pays). Unfortunately EVs fall under the rest of the Renewable bandwagon and simply can’t survive unless subsidised by fossil fuels. What is going to happen when taxes on carbon emissions rise so high to subsidise these “environmental” solutions that there is no longer a bottomless pit of fossil fuel money as the demand for fossil fuels has fallen too far? What is going to subsidise the renewable price then ? I suppose governments will need to subsidise the price which will eventually show up via ever escalating and unsustainable public debt levels. Until someone develops economically competitive non subsidised energy alternatives nobody should buy subsidised electricity. It is just creating an even bigger headache for future generations one way or another.


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      It is just creating an even bigger headache for future generations one way or another.

      Surely a moral socialist government wouldn’t excessively borrow from unborn generations? /sarc


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      • #
        Kevin Moore

        Another question -

        If the institution called the Australian Government has a Constitutional right to print as much money as it needs – debt free – then why is there a national debt and why therefore an income tax?


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  • #
    Richard111

    Hang on. Surely the electricity companies must now work hard to beef up their systems to cope with the projected 15 million electric cars that will require extensive charging facilities around the country? This will need heavy subsidisation to bring into service in the restricted time scale projected by the government. /sarc


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    • #
      Mark D.

      Richard111, you were a bit fast and lose with the sarc there. Surely the private generators (US) know what they can do with billions in subsidies?

      Your /sarc may have been premature.


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  • #
    C.W Schoneveld

    Fortunately, hybid cars produce their own electricity.


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Ooo … magic …


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    • #
      Mark D.

      Check the price tags on those hybrids. Hy bid is right.

      produce their own electricity.

      I should get one before the grid power is completely unreliable (due to carbon wacko-ism). I can back feed from the car to my house……..


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      old44

      With a 4 km range before the petrol kicks in all you are doing is lumping another 400kg around, they maybe ok in heavy traffic.
      If you want to convince me, buy or hire a hybrid and we can do a Melbourne-Newcastle-Melbourne run at the speed limit with 2 people and a weekends luggage with you keeping up with my Commodore. You had better be prepared to beat 8.6l/100km


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    • #
      AndyG55

      “Fortunately, hybid cars produce their own electricity.”

      Using fossil fuel.


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      • #
        Byron

        And burning more of it than a modern diesel car to do the same job


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        • #
          janama

          Most of the taxis these days are Toyota Hybrids because they are cheaper to run than conventional cars, they have more torque at low speeds so are ideal for city traffic conditions. They also conserve energy when braking and travelling downhill. Their engine lasts longer because it runs efficiently turning a generator. It’s the same system as used by diesel electric trains.
          It’s NOT an electric car, it’s A hybrid.

          The Tesla Model S is the only real electric car and it’s batteries are fully recycleable and need to be replaced every 8 years. (Tesla recycle them) they offer three batteries: 40 kWh, 60 kWh, and 85 kWh. Travelling at a constant speed of 55 mph,(85km/hr) these kWh figures translate to 160, 230, and 300 miles (482km) of range. You need a 240V/80amp power outlet for the fastest charging.

          http://www.teslamotors.com/models


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          • #
            Byron

            No disputing here that there are definitely some niche applications for hybrid and electric vehicles , just that they`re a long way from the conventional energy and pollution free lunch as the environuts seem to think and they perform poorly to woefully outside of those niches when compared to either petrol or diesel


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    • #
      Ace

      C.W.Schoenfeld…oi, you were meant to be replaced by Brandenburg last summer, you aint got time to tarry here talking politics mate.

      Aw, juss kiddin, I love the old bus-stop, jess a long walk to the feckin S bahn is all.


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  • #
    C.W Schoneveld

    correction hybrid


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  • #
    UzUrBrain

    All electric car charging stations should (shall) have a separate meter and a separate billing rate that pays for this needed extra infrastructure.

    Look at all of the super toxic sites created by the lead/acid battery makers that billions were paid to clean up. How long till we discover that the materials we now consider “safe” in these new batteries are discovered just as harmful as the lead was. I can remember when lead was considered so safe it was used everywhere for everything – red-lead pain to prevent rust, white-lead for that nice white house, anti-nock in gasoline, etc. etc. And the list of chemicals that are later found to be dangerous is endless.


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    chris y

    The charging time for batteries is another big problem for electric vehicles. Consider the energy transfer you routinely receive at the gas pump.

    A typical gasoline pump can dispense about 8 gallons in one minute. A gallon of gasoline can propel a car an average of 25 miles. Thus, the gasoline energy transfer rate is about 200 miles per minute. Affordable (not Tesla or Fisker) electric vehicles can achieve about 0.3 kWh/mile. A 200 mile charge requires transferring 60 kWhr of electrical energy into the battery in 1 minute. Since the charging efficiency is about 90%, this is about 66 kWhr of energy in 1 minute. The power transfer rate is 66,000*60 = 3.96 Megawatts. For a 400 VDC charging voltage, the charging current is about 10,000 Amps. This power level requires extreme safety interlocks to avoid explosive discharges, severe burns, etc. More than a dozen 4/0 welding cables in parallel would be needed for the umbilical cable, making it almost impossible to handle by the average consumer.

    With a typical service station having 12 filling spots, it will need a power feed of at least 50 MW, which will require a dedicated 25kV or higher voltage feeder from the nearest substation. You could alternatively store electricity locally in buried flywheels or batteries, but at extreme cost.

    This highlights the energy density and handling ease associated with gasoline. It is the ideal energy storage nanomaterial, capable of storing large amounts of hydrogen in a liquid state.


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    • #
      Mark D.

      Chris y, good analysis. One challenge though, I expect that the theoretical charging efficiency would be less than 90% at those current flows. There’s going to be some impressive heat and inductive losses (even into the steel reinforcement bars in the concrete beneath the cables).

      Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be within 10 meters of that setup. and the lights in the whole neighborhood are going to be fun to watch.

      In the end, rather than build the existing grid to support this, I think that it would cost less and be more practical to build an induction system into the roadways. Cars could pick up the energy needed as they roll over the road. Start with the freeways and use battery power only for the “last mile”.

      But then I think the whole electric vehicle idea is just stupid unless you have lots of nuke plants built soon.


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      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        The interesting thing about this idea is that it is so old. Science fiction writers have been using exactly this idea for utopian worlds for. Logan’s Run for example, used little monorail cars to transport you around the complex automatically without driver input. It’s a plausible idea for small scale communities.

        Cost wise;
        Inductors under an asphalt road would be hell expensive to install and maintain, but would allow free travel by the drivers.
        Monorail systems would likely be cheaper, but eliminates free travel by the drivers.
        Light rail systems emulating a road systems would be cheaper yet, but noisy, shaky and with limited free travel.


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      • #
        chris y

        Mark D

        Good comment on charging efficiency. It is difficult to estimate this number, because a battery that can be charged at this rate does not currently exist. Double layer capacitors can be charged at this rate, but they take up 100 times more space than a Li-ion battery pack of equal energy capacity.

        Until we have a practical way to charge electric vehicle batteries at gasoline equivalent rates, the electric car will always be a niche product.

        Edison praised Ford’s invention of the ICE in 1896-
        “Young man, that’s the thing; you have it. Keep at it. Electric cars must keep near to power stations. The storage battery is too heavy. Steam cars won’t do, either, for they require a boiler and fire. Your car is self-contained—carries its own power plant—no fire, no boiler, no smoke and no steam. You have the thing. Keep at it.”

        http://www.masterresource.org/2009/08/thomas-edison-to-henry-ford-forget-electric-cars-worth-re-reading-weekend/


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    • #
      Cookster

      The charging time is being addressed by proposing refuelling stations that automatically replace your car’s battery while you wait – very quickly. Linked is an example. Existing EV designs like the Tesla would need to be modified to allow for the removable battery located under the vehicle. You drive over the refuelling point and the battery is automatically replaced with a new one in similar time to what it takes to fill your car’s tank.

      I think it could work, but as I stated in an earlier post, the required infrastructure should never be subsidised by the government unless there is a proven positive net economic return on the investment to the taxpayer. That the supplied link says refuelling energy comes from 100% ‘green’ energy seems to confirm that Better Place is yet another member of the Global Warming bandwagon.

      http://www.betterplace.com.au/


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      • #
        chris y

        Cookster-

        Swapping batteries is an interesting concept that won’t work in the real world. Each swapping station will need to invest in at least 100 battery packs of inventory to have on hand each day, multiple (8, 12, 24?) robot swapping bays to replace the batteries, and attendants to make sure everything works smoothly. It is hugely uneconomical compared with the current gasoline solution.

        The pack is the most expensive component of the EV, and the most vulnerable to damage and wear, especially Li based battery chemistry. It is the last item you want to have easily accessible in a vehicle.


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        • #
          Cookster

          Thanks Chris. I suspected the battery packs would be too expensive in the real world. Yet again another green ‘solution’ that can’t stand on it’s own feet without subsidies. Anyhow I thought it was worth sharing in context of the discussion as I had been made aware of Better Place some years ago but never gave it another thought until now :-)


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  • #
    DougS

    JN:

    “….We have 15 million cars on the road, and in 2011 only 49 new cars were electric. That’s nearly one new one each week…”

    It’s still staggeringly high – considering how useless they are!


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  • #
    old44

    Currently at Carsales.com there are 6 used EV’s for sale with only 3 having done more than 1500km, customer satisfaction?
    Given that EV owners only drive extremely short distances the amount of CO2 they save is minimal. Batteries have to be replace after 5-8 years at massive cost.
    Has there been a per/100km distance comparison done between the CO2 generated by petrol or diesel and the “clean” electricity generated at the Yallourn coal fired power station?


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    • #
      Rod Stuart

      A few years ago I made serious application to Mitsubishi Motors Australia to trial an IMiEV.
      The company had indicated its intention to have six vehicles trialed prior to the commercial release.
      The argument I made was that I had the background and experience necessary to report professionally on the vehicle’s performance, I was a long time Mitsubishi owner, and that as technical manager at a power station it would be an ideal application for the technology to transport me 30 km each way to and from the power station.
      They turned me down because they weren’t interested in any trials in Tassie.
      Come to think of it, that was almost the ONLY practical use for an IMiEV.
      (I thought, probably mistakenly, that the company would allow recharging while parked at work for the PR benefit.)
      Perhaps it is really just a “glorified golf cart of limited use“.


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    pat

    25 Jan: Bloomberg: Niklas Magnusson: Saab Hometown Prays for Revival With China Electric Push
    Saab’s new parent, owned by a Chinese renewable energy investor, intends to start churning out 9-3 sedans and convertibles in August, according to a letter sent to parts suppliers and obtained by Bloomberg News. Sales of the diesel- powered vehicles are intended to help fund Saab’s conversion into an electric-car manufacturer…
    “The likelihood of this project turning into a success is very small,” said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at Germany’s University of Duisburg-Essen. “Even in China, selling electric cars is a very difficult business.”…
    “The business plan is well thought out and completely realistic,” said Paul Aakerlund, one of the town’s three mayors, who drives a Saab 9-3 and worked at the manufacturer for more than 30 years. “Imagine if the world’s first large-scale electric-car venture starts in little Trollhaettan. It’s undoubtedly very tickling and exciting.”…
    China’s goal is to increase sales of alternative energy vehicles to 500,000 by 2015, from 12,791 last year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
    “China realizes the need to meet the climate challenges through electric vehicles,” Mikael Oestlund, a spokesman for Nevs, said by phone…
    Nevs is in turn owned by National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company that also controls renewable power-plant builder State Power Group, which last year opened plant in Beijing to make batteries for cars and buses…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-24/saab-hometown-prays-for-revival-with-china-electric-push.html


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    Roy Hogue

    Electric vehicles in particular are another new “appliance” which is set to place new demands on Australia’s power system.

    Well surprise, surprise, surprise! At least someone realizes that TANSTAAFL stands for, “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!” And in the case of electric cars it may well be a much more expensive free lunch than they think considering the problem of disposing of the used up batteries and the mess from making them.

    I saw hybrid mentioned. They do well, high gas mileage; however, the Prius — and I know this from knowing Prius owner — can only go two to three miles on the battery before the engine must kick in. Newer ones may be better but still, all the energy to run the car comes from gas burned in the engine. And all the energy needed to run those electric cars must also come from the same sources from which we get electricity now: hydro (those damned dams); coal (accursed from its birth until now); natural gas (also CO2 emitting); oil (also CO2 emitting); nuclear (never to be allowed for fear of the radiation bogy man).

    So how do we benefit from electric cars?

    I don’t think we do.


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    pat

    hardly an “exclusive” when Brulle has been “estimating” Koch funding long before now, with no evidence to back up his claims. even if his “estimate” were correct, the amount pales into insignificance when compared with CAGW alarmist funding:

    24 Jan: UK Independent: Steve Connor: Exclusive: Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science
    Audit trail reveals that donors linked to fossil fuel industry are backing global warming sceptics
    The Kochs, for instance, have overtaken the corporate funding of climate denialism by oil companies such as ExxonMobil…
    Robert Brulle, a sociologist at Drexel University in Philadelphia, has estimated that over the past decade about $500m has been given to organisations devoted to undermining the science of climate change, with much of the money donated anonymously through third parties.
    Dr Brulle said: “We really have anonymous giving and unaccountable power being exercised here in the creation of the climate countermovement. There is no attribution, no responsibility for the actions of these foundations to the public.
    “By becoming anonymous, they remove a political target. They can plausibly claim that they are not giving to these organisations, and there is no way to prove otherwise.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exclusive-billionaires-secretly-fund-attacks-on-climate-science-8466312.html

    rightwing Daily Mail takes up the Independent’s story:

    25 Jan: UK Daily Mail: Meghan Keneally: Revealed: Secretive funding organisation ‘providing millions to climate change counter-movement on behalf of fossil fuel industry’
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2268070/Billionaire-Charles-Koch-secretive-fund-casts-doubt-climate-change.html

    University of Oregon: Dept of Sociology: Book: Living in Denial by Kari Marie Norgaard
    “This is an original and extremely important intellectual contribution. The analysis of social responses to climate change information has primarily focused on individual values and beliefs. Norgaard’s work moves beyond this individualistic focus and brings a social dimension to the analysis of climate denial. She demonstrates that climate denial is a social process in which collective actions are taken to restore a sense of equilibrium and social stability. This book advances our understanding of climate denial and lays the ground for new approaches to climate change communication.”
    — Robert J. Brulle, Professor of Sociology and Environmental Science, Drexel University
    http://sociology.uoregon.edu/faculty/living%20in%20denial/index.php

    oh no…not more coverage!!!

    7 Jan: Columbia Journalism Review: Curtis Brainard: Climate coverage rebound?
    Maybe, but the press has a long way to go
    Boykoff’s outlook on climate coverage was more positive than Brulle’s, however. With Sandy brining the subject back into the nation’s sociopolitical discourse, and with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report and the United States National Climate Assessment both coming out later this year, he thinks “there are great possibilities coming together for sustained media attention in 2013.”…
    http://www.cjr.org/the_observatory/climate_change_global_warming.php?page=all


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    pat

    UPDATE 1: SocGen cuts EU carbon price forecasts for 2013-2015 by 30 pct
    LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Societe Generale cut its forecasts for average European Union carbon prices from 2013 to 2015 on Friday by around 30 percent, given falls to record lows this week, analysts said in a research note.
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/reutersnews/1.2153436

    Allocation of 2013 carbon permits to be delayed: EU Commission
    LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Companies covered by the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme will not receive their allocation of free CO2 allowances for 2013 by the end of February as previously expected, the European Commission said late on Friday….
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/1.2154213


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  • #
    Peter Miller

    Here, as with almost everything associated with ‘climate science’ and ‘green solutions’ the Law of Unintended Consequences applies.

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it” is something the Ecoloons need to learn about our planet’s climate.


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    MadJak

    Please can we stop referring to these things as being Electric Cars!

    They’e Coal Powered!

    Good Old Coal provides a large amount of Australias cleanest baseload energy!

    Awesome how coal is enabling Pius people drive around in their coal powered vehicles in a vain attempt to save the planet from the dem evil fossil fuels.

    But hey – it never was about saving the planet, was it – it’s about projecting the right propoganda to gain membership into the pius tribe.


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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      hi MJ

      You are missing the association.

      Everybody under 30 Knows that the specific power for these “Electric Vehicles” will come from the “Renewable” quota being produced for our grids.

      Don’t bring reality into it; it hurts the cause to say that it is actually from coal generated power stations.

      KK :)


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        old44

        This 30 of which you speak, IQ or age?


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          KinkyKeith

          You want me to say both, don’t you.

          But we should remember that anybody can be brainwashed given a relentless bombardment of government sponsored “facts”.

          It’s a reflection on misuse of government resources for personal gain and not so much a refection on intelligence of newer generations.

          KK (old46) :)


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      Byron

      MadJak,
      Rather than an impractical fossil fuel—> steam—> electric—> battery powered car I`d much rather an impractical fossil fuel—>steam powered car , loads of fun and so much more class


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  • #

    Here’s a summary which I wrote a few years ago. Still applicable as none of the “promising breakthroughs” in battery technology have manifested in affordable product.

    Electric Cars in their Time and Place


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      Byron

      Spot on Bernd ,
      I`ve often likened much of the forced application/subsidizing of enviro-fashionable tech to as if , during the Victorian era , in order to fix the “London Mud” (horse dung ) problem England had set about bankrupting itself to subsidize traction engines as personal transport .

      Put simply , most of the “Green” tech is either a dead end , no where near developed enough for regular use or being forced into applications it`s simply not suited to .

      The worst part of it is that there is a slacking off in development in many of the techs involved because the manufacturers know they can sell them or get wildly subsidized for them anyway , regardless of how badly they suck


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    KinkyKeith

    Ask the Dreamliner Team about battery back-up power units for aircraft!

    Having seen what happens to LiPo batteries when they go wrong it would seem that good batteries are a long way from matching current petrol power for safety.

    KK


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    pat

    worth watching:

    25 Jan: Brisbane Times: Bridie Jabour: Wivenhoe to release water – but not on Seqwater’s advice
    Instead it came from Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle who, along with Premier Campbell Newman, told reporters it was designed to reassure people who were concerned about river flooding…
    Mr Newman said Seqwater “fully supported” the decision and 41,000 megalitres would be released from Wivenhoe Dam over 24 hours from Friday afternoon…
    The Wivenhoe Dam’s water supply capacity is currently at about 91 per cent…
    Once it reaches 100 per cent, it can hold another 100 per cent of water for flood mitigation.
    In January 2011 the Wivenhoe Dam reached about 170 per cent after months of sustained rain.
    During the flood dam releases peaked at 645,000 megalitres.
    This weekend’s release of about 41,000 megalitres represents about 1.8 per cent of Wivenhoe Dam’s total capacity.
    On Thursday Seqwater engineers advised the government there was no need for a water release.
    When directly asked if its advice had changed, Mr Newman refused to answer.
    “The situation is changed, the BOM forecast is changed, the rainfall estimates are much higher now from the BOM,” he said.
    “And as a result there has been, obviously, a re-evaluation…
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/weather/wivenhoe-to-release-water–but-not-on-seqwaters-advice-20130125-2dbkl.html


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      handjive

      Surely the current release of water from Wivenhoe Dam NOW is an act of admittance that they made wrong decisions in the 2011 floods?

      Either the official advice of no more rain was wrong, prompting late release, or, the current release is wrong.

      Someone must be held accountable.

      The *2011 flood was indeed man made, and could have been avoided.

      * see page 12:
      1974-
      “In situations where the major flood contribution occurs in catchments below Somerset Dam and the proposed Wivenhoe Dam, there are considerable problems in deciding when to empty the flood storage.

      If floodwaters were retained by the dam for too long not only would there be major and prolonged flooding upstream from the storage but the dam would become virtually useless for flood mitigation downstream in the event of a repetition of excessive rainfall.

      Meteorologically such a situation has already occurred (in 1893 when there were three floods within a month) and a recurrence appears inevitable.”
      .

      They can’t say they weren’t warned.


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        AndyG55

        The whole original plan was for one dam for flood mitigation and one of water supply

        One dam can NEVER effectively operate as both in a partially-random chaotic climate system.

        They are contrary purposes. (Just like hydro power and water storage are contrary purposes.)

        Wolfdene should have been built……. who was responsible for that idiotic decision, I wonder !!!.


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    Ian Macmillan

    My domestic consumption is about 25 kWH per day, and I estimate that the energy required to commute 30+30 kM in a modest electric car would also be about 25 kWH. This means that double the energy per day would be required. So what with the cost of 25c/kWH plus forthcoming increases due to the carbon tax, a mandatory reduction in goldplated infrastructure (particularly in bushfire prone areas), the closure of nasty coal fired power stations, the ineffectiveness and cost of renewable energy, the Green dismissal of nuclear power, the lack of a suitable battery technology (especially for Dreamliners), and the technical difficulties of fast charging high capacity batteries, just to name a few. It aint gonna happen real soon.


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    pat

    here we go again, but the people commenting aren’t buying it:

    24 Jan: Vancouver Sun: Misty Harris: Exposure to conspiracy theories has dramatic consequences
    Researchers from the University of Kent in the U.K. found that simply reading a conspiracy theory increased people’s feelings of powerlessness, which ultimately reduced their desire to politically engage. And this effect occurred even when the information wasn’t directly related to government.
    Exposure to pro-conspiracy material on climate change, for example, not only made people less motivated to reduce their carbon footprint, it also negatively affected their interest in voting.
    “When you’re exposed to a conspiracy – say, that the government is involved in secret plots – it can make you feel as though your actions won’t make a difference,” said doctoral student Daniel Jolley, the study’s co-author. “(It) appears to trigger a conspiratorial mindset.”…
    Those who read the conspiratorial material were more likely to report feelings of climate powerlessness, uncertainty and disillusionment, which in turn reduced their desire to act in environmentally friendly ways…
    But they also note that conspiracy theories potentially lead to societal disengagement – and, as their research shows, a waning interest in political and environmental participation.
    “Conspiracy theories aren’t necessarily just harmless fun,” said Jolley. “They may have potentially serious social consequences.”…
    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/national/Exposure+conspiracy+theories+dramatic+consequences/7866992/story.html


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    Rod Stuart

    Just in case anyone forgets that there is no free lunch:
    “The AEMC last word — it’s easy to sell natural gas cars:”

    For twenty years I worked for a very large fully integrated natural gas enterprise in Canada. That company had a whole fleet of CNG vehicles on the road. It certainly was not for cost saving reasons or for convenience. It was for PR. How could the public be convinced to use natural gas unless the gas company used it?
    Reasonably successful, however, CNG never took off I suspect due to the following drawbacks:
    a) In a full sized passenger car, such as a Dodge Diplomat, almost the entire boot was occupied by the fuel tanks. In a full sized North American pickup (ute) it is more practical, unless one chose the ute in the first place to carry cargo. The “cargo” you end up carrying is the fuel tanks, but the range is reasonable.
    b) The Canada Safety Board had demonstrated time and time again with crash tests that CNG is safer in a vehicle collision than petrol. However, since the range is only about 200 km on CNG, they all retained the petrol fuel system, so in fact were LESS safe, albeit to an almost insignificant extent. Because luggage and other packages then had to be in the back seat rather than the boot, they were considerably less safe. Vehicles on CNG only don’t start at all in cold weather. Even in summer they operate best when started on gasoline before switching to CNG.
    c) While the cost of the FUEL was remarkably less as the natural gas was essentially at no cost (even considering that due to the lack of range they also went considerable distances on gasoline (petrol), the LIFECYCLE cost wasn’t so hot, since the CNG fuel system cost over $3,000 installed, and when the vehicles were retired at 100,000 km fetched even less at auction. On top of this there were significant additional maintenance costs. In addition, since CNG refueling opportunities were nearly non-existent, the company had installed its own refueling sites at compressor stations at about $100,000 each.
    CNG is probably a more viable vehicle fuel in Australia, but just bear in mind that it would increase the cost of each vehicle significantly, and the cost of the additional infrastructure to make frequent refueling stops would be very expensive. New Zealand after the 1970 Arab oil embargo achieved this CNG Utopia, but the CNG refueling facilities died an early death.
    An alternative to gasoline with drawbacks it is, and practical whereas electric cars are not, but it certainly carries a cost.


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    • #
      Gamecock

      People are touting natgas for long-haul truckers here in the U.S., replacing diesel in 18-wheelers. Do you think that’s viable?


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        old44

        Only if they put in a massive amount of infrastructure first, guarantee that it will remain in place and start using road trains.


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        Rod Stuart

        It is very viable. Maisland Transport in Canada has been doing it for about 30 years. But that is LNG, and is not applicable to passenger cars. Maisland drive from sea to shining sea non-stop, and schedule maintenance to coincide with an empty fuel tank. When the tractor stops, the relief valves on the tank open right away. Even with a foot of insulation, the heat transfer rate into the fuel tank is sufficient to boil off fuel at the rate the engine consumes it. When you stop trucking, the fuel continues to boil. Logging truck operators are using LNG here in Tasmania as well. Natural gasa is a lot more expensive here than in Canada so I don’t think it is nearly as successful.


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      • #
        Dennis

        A US citizen told me that her brother is recycling old cars with LPG conversion successfully as a business.


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      • #
        Dennis

        Yes it is, straight gas or mixed with diesel or diesel/gas.


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    peterfitzroy

    have been available for longer periods there is no supporting evidence for the extra costs as mentioned in this article.


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  • #
    AndyG55

    Where’s all the CAGW sympathisers today?

    Oh of course, its Australia day, and they are all waiting for Gillard’s staff to trigger an ANTI-Australia event !!


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    • #
      Kevin Moore

      AndyG55

      Do you mean this staged event?

      On Australia Day 2012, nearly 200 indigenous protesters surrounded a restaurant in Canberra, trapping Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, opposition leader inside.

      When will we celebtrate independence day? Independence from what is the next question.


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    wayne, s. Job

    When a free energy device or a small portable and safe nuclear generator with enough power output to tow a caravan, then electric vehicles will be viable.

    Until some thing like that happens electric vehicles will remain a green wet dream.


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    • #
      Ace

      Nuclear powered automobiles were being designed in the Fifties. They seriously intended to mass produce them.


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        MadJak

        Nuclear powered cars,

        Now that would’ve been cool.

        Now here’s a reason not to be an idiot on the road – the car you hit is carrying a nuke.

        It sure would be an incentive for me to slow down and behave…


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  • #

    About a century ago there was a pseudo-economist called Thorstein Veblen. He claimed that the wealthy engaged in conspicuous consumption. They spent money not to meet immediate needs, but to show-off their wealth. Expenditure was on impractical, but luxurious objects. Superficially he was right – though his economic policies to deal with the situation were ultimately anti-poor. In the modern age, when the conspicuousness of the celebrity rich is “saving the planet”, electric vehicles show the new form of flaunting of wealth – impracticality and expensive, without the luxury.


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      Ace

      Absolutely. Eco is an identity issue and an expression of new types of social class conscioussness.


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    • #
      Streetcred

      In the modern age, when the conspicuousness of the celebrity rich is “saving the planet”, electric vehicles show the new form of flaunting of wealth – impracticality and expensive, without the luxury.

      … and subsidised by the poor !


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      • #
        Byron

        “… and subsidised by the poor !”

        And that`s the bit that REALLY gets Me going , It`s the complete opposite of the old “flaunting of wealth – impracticality and expensive” which required highly skilled craftsmen and tradesmen to produce the status symbols of the day and They could charge the wealthy whatever the market would bear .Money went from rich to poor , not always at the ideal rate but at least it got there

        Now , almost every green scheme going subsidizes the wealthy eco-loons symbols of status and enviropiety by charging/taxing the ones who can`t afford it , in many cases hitting the ones who can least afford it the most


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    Joe

    Too all those dissing EV’s based on math. Here’s some for you.

    Reciprocating lumps of metal engines waste 80% of the fuel as heat, and use only 20% for motive power.

    Gas turbines can be up to 60% efficient, that’s a 3 fold improvement.

    Hydrocarbon fuel cells can be up to 60% efficient.

    Electric motors can be up to 90% efficient, that’s a 4 fold improvement.
    Combined with gas turbines and you get .9x.6 = 54% efficiency, pretty much the same for fuel cells.

    That’s why EV’s are the holy grail of vehicles.


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      Ace

      But you need to generate the electricity and distribute it first.


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      Rod Stuart

      You know of a simple cycle GT at 60% efficiency?
      You need to go out and sell them.
      Since 40% is stretching the band pretty hard on a big machine, and 30% is great over a broad load range, I’m sitting here on the floor laughing out loud at the idea of an automotive GT being more efficient than a diesel. And I’ve been working on them, in them, around them, for damned near fifty years!


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    • #

      “Joe” wrote:

      Reciprocating lumps of metal engines waste 80% of the fuel as heat, and use only 20% for motive power.

      That “20%” is so 1960′s and also can (mis)lead people to think that the rejected heat is waste.

      1) modern engines, especially turbo-diesels have efficiencies of around 50%; even the small ones. Petrol engines ar a little behind in efficiency but with the increasing use of small, variable turbochargers, their efficiency is also substantially better than 20%. You may not have noticed it but brake specific fuel consumption has approximately halved for gasoline engines in passenger cars since the 1970′s; and is around 50% better for the diesels.

      2) any heat engine that does useful work has to be able to reject heat; as heat. It is impossible for a practical heat engine to convert all of the energy from the heat source into mechanical power. The heat which is rejected by a heat engine in doing useful work is essential for it to do useful work; therefore that heat isn’t waste.

      3) heat rejected by heat engines is often used to enhance the operation of the process or that of the whole system. For the process; turbochargers convert exhaust gas heat and residual pressure into useful work in compressing inlet air; allowing e.g. a small engine to seem like a bigger one when the need arises and overall, by reducing the engine’s usual pumping losses. As a system benefit, heat from the engine is frequently used for the comfort and safety of vehicle occupants.

      4) although electric motors can be more than 90% efficient; it is entirely incorrect to assume that they will be operating near that efficiency sweet spot (determined by load and speed) for much of the time. Electric motors can become 90%-efficient heaters at the “wrong” speeds and loads.

      5) simple gas turbines don’t come near 60% efficiency; and you certainly cannot afford to put one which could have that efficiency into a motor car. The exhaust temperature would be enough to melt any vehicles following. Do the numbers; materials to yield such efficiency are esoteric/exotic. You are perhaps confused with gas-turbine powered combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plants which use the heat from the exhaust gas to generate steam, driving a steam turbine or distributing the steam/hot water as process heat for e.g. chemical plants or cooking food.

      6) fuel cells, in your language; waste heat. A heck of a lot. About as much as a diesel engine. That is, in itself, not a problem; not if you can find Engineers to design heat exchangers to stop stuff getting too hot to work. Here in Perth, we had a small fleet of fuel-cell buses (hydrogen “powered”) which were just as intolerant of the heat as the buses in trials in cooler parts of the world. The other factors (re)revealed included the inability of the fuel cells to rapidly change power output in response to the load (IIRC; they dumped excess power into a bank of resistors) and the very finite life of the fuel cell elements.


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      Roy Hogue

      Electric motors can be up to 90% efficient, that’s a 4 fold improvement.
      Combined with gas turbines and you get .9x.6 = 54% efficiency, pretty much the same for fuel cells.

      That’s why EV’s are the holy grail of vehicles.

      Unfortunately, where the electricity is generated the efficiency isn’t anywhere near the 90% that an electric motor can give you.

      As I stated earlier — the power to run the electric vehicle must come from sources we now use. And most of that burns some kind of fuel, making heat, which either runs the generators directly by means of gas turbines or generates steam which runs turbines. Turning the generators is where the problem is. The efficiency at this end is discussed by Bernd Felsche above.

      That is why EV’s are not the holy grail of vehicles.

      If fuel cells could be cost competitive with the gas powered car and if the problems of storing hydrogen safely and obtaining the huge amounts of it required to run a highly mobility dependent society, then I could start to become a fan. But you need to show me that it’s starting to happen before I’ll change my mind. If the demand for it looks good at some future point then private capital will continue to work on it. But don’t start spending huge amounts of the taxpayer’s money.

      And then H2O could conceivably become a pollutant, just like CO2, maybe? After all, it is a greenhouse gas.


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    Tim

    The Plasma Battery is a great breakthrough. Problem is, inventors just can’t stay alive long enough to get them to market.

    peakoil.com/alternative-energy/plasma-battery-inventors-disappearing-regularly/


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    Kneel 8250

    The guy 3 houses down from me owns a Nissan Leaf. He admits to an increased power bill of $70.00 a month just for the car. He also has to have another petrol powered car as the Leaf has a very limited range.
    Now think about this. He pays 2 registrations a year and 2 lots of insurance plus the maintenance costs of running 2 cars as opposed to running one. Charging time on the Leaf is 12 hours after he returns from work as he thinks $1500.00 for a fast charger is excessive. Fast charging is around 4 hours. After only 2 years his battery life is already diminishing and he is complaining to Nissan about it.
    The Leaf was more expensive than the petrol powered car of the same size.
    Yes the Leaf is super quiet coming down the road.
    This is the real World testing in customers hands. If nothing else we live in interesting times.

    Kneel.


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    Sean

    Clearly the fair thing would be for all electric car owners to pay an electric car tax of $2000 per year to pay for the infrastructure needs of their cars.


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    Kevin Moore

    The word govern-ment means mind rule.

    “Just the theorizing coupled with government power and financial resources changes human behavior.”

    Likewise, in 1994 English sociology prof Anthony Giddens wrote that “even should the thesis of global warming prove mistaken,” the “overall consequence” would still be “the creation of new types of feedback effects and system influences.”

    CAGW is a political theory that accretes economic and social power to government officials and their designated cronies. It offers a reason to exert control over private transactions and property and human activities and those system effects and influences are just too useful to pass up. Giddens went on to mention the UN’s IPCC and pointed out it will be setting up four possible emissions (carbon dioxide) scenarios. He was then brutally honest in what is clearly not designed to be read by us that these scenarios “could reflexively influence what it is they are about.” Just positing the theory and scenario, especially if it gains voluntary or formal adoption, changes behaviors in desired (if you are a statist schemer) ways.

    So if you are a scientist or just an interested citizen reading Paul Ehrlich’s latest hype of catastrophe or that US National Climate Assessment draft, please don’t forget Giddens’ quote above when the science quoted or the models used make no objective sense.

    Just the theorizing coupled with government power and financial resources changes human behavior. Gives an excuse for economic reorganization. A reason for more regulation. Think of it as a full-employment at taxpayer expense for political favorites theory. Because that is what it really is.

    http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/about-me.html


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    chris edwards

    The BBC ran a Prius round a test track and followed it with a M5 BMW guess which one was the most economical? Look how safe Boings are with LiOn batteries? having a vulnerable cell with a nearly explosive electrolyte what can go wrong??


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    rukidding

    Sorry electric cars are verboten

    Because.

    Electric cars require mining and mining is certainly VERBOTEN


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    Mat

    Good on you Jo for supporting more transparency in the electricity market. I guess you also support charging owners an air-conditioners true cost – about $7000 per unit per year which is paid by all consumers, not the owner (Energy White Paper 2012 page XIV).


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      Rod Stuart

      Now that is a propaganda piece in the true Red Gillard tradition!
      Who wrote that shite? Oh yes, none other than Fartin’ Merguson.
      The estimate is well ant truly ridiculous, as is nearly everything published by this mob GangGreen.
      Whatever he is on about, there is a simple solution.
      Gas fired adsorption air conditioning would put the load on the gas delivery system, which is not fully loaded in summer, rather than the electricity distribution system.
      The problem? Instead of $1,500 for the air conditioner the homeowner would be spending $8,500!
      They get you coming and going. Some day even solar powered might be possible.
      However, Fartin’ Merguson is not in search of a solution. Not to that problem at least. He just won’t admit that it is the stupid Green crap, solar panels, windmills, needles bookkeeping for the NGER bureaucrats etc that is the real root of the cost increases. Just like McDonalds, the ALP is led by a red-headed clown. Merguson is just following orders.


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      Dennis

      The climate is changing again, colder conditions, I have carefully researched practical common sense heating and have chosen timber or wood heating, and after 2020 it will be worth gold.


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    janama

    Read up in the specs for this totally electric car – you can buy one for around $60,000.

    http://www.teslamotors.com/models/specs

    The future IMHO


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    • #

      I hope the battery system is better than the one in the B787. Would you park one of those things in your house?

      I’ve done a bit of research on lithium batteries as I’m using some in a project of mine. I’m not planning on charging them in the vehicle in use or afterwards. They will be removed and placed in a fireproof cabinet for that. There will also be under voltage protection to shut off the battery(can cause fires with lithium too). I REALLY don’t want to have to use my parachute.

      I can’t figure out Elon Musk. He’s a smart guy, builds the world’s best rockets and spacecraft(SpaceX would be where I’d want to work if I was 30 again – turning cold refined steel into the dreams of spaceflight) but he’s swallowed the enviro crap hook, line and sinker. I can only think that Tesla Motors is a super scam which will leave him with heaps of money and smelling like roses. I said he was very smart.


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      • #
        janama

        The Tesla sports version has been around since it was presented in 2006 – it became available commercially in 2008 and 2,400 have been sold in 31 countries around the world. The lithium batteries are manufactured by Tesla in their own factory. There have been no reports of problems with the battery system to date.

        Perhaps Boeing should get Tesla to make their batteries.


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          wayne, s. Job

          It is my understanding that tesla cars use the same rechargable batteries that we all use in your childrens toys only ship loads of them. That makes the Tesla a scaled up childrens toy. No new battery tech just a tax payer sink allowing rich idiots to buy a subsidised hot wheels.


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        • #

          You’d be better off just having bought a Lotus Elise which it is based on. They use laptop batteries, 6000 plus change of them. They also go to lots of trouble to keep them cool and to prevent one cell failure from destroying the entire battery which reduces the energy density per unit mass to half that of the bare cells.
          It is a boondoggle and Tesla have a loan from the US government of $400 million or so IIRC.


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      Dennis

      Heavily subsidised price from the Obama US government for Tesla.


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    • #

      It’s easy to produce impressive specifications.

      Very much more difficult to live up to expectations in the real world.

      A 2-ton car isn’t going to go very far with just 40kWh. Don’t plan long drives. Especially not if the weather is cold, or hot. And best not to turn the volume of the 200W audio system up to “11″ … because 200W is the audio power; rather less than what it’ll be sucking from the battery.

      The “10kW capable” charger is going to be aching for somewhere to get that amount of juice. Normal domestic power outlet provides 10A in Australia. 15A for the heavy-duty version. i.e. around 2.4 or 3.6kW at nominal voltage. So, with optimistic charge (peak) efficiency; it would take more than 12 hours to recharge the 40kW battery fully; if the battery could ever be discharged that deeply. Lithium batteries aren’t deep-cycle. Their controllers will shut off the battery when its state of charge is around 20% to conserve the life of the battery. The day-to-day useful capacity of the battery is therefore closer to 32kWh.

      Trying to get “the last mile” out of the batteries repeatedly will result in getting the last mile out of the batteries; forever.

      Being based on Li-Ion; operational temperatures are also quite limited. They’d have to run an active cooling system (airconditioning) to facilitate charging at ambient temperatures above about 35⁰C; which makes for a rather poor utilisation of energy. Similarly; when hot, the batteries cannot deliver their full current; so performance will be restricted if e.g. the car has been carelessly parked in a concrete parking lot in the full sun all day during summer.

      Claimed range is carefully specified at constant speed… because acceleration, especially brisk, greatly decreases the operating efficiency as the batteries and drivetrain are seldom in their “efficiency sweet spot” … so don’t try too many acceleration runs to 100 km/h from standstill. The car has liquid cooling for a number of reasons!

      And don’t count too much gain on “regenerative braking”. The ability of the batteries to accept current is restricted (to prevent destruction/explosion/fire), the regeneration will only be able to harvest effectively from artificial “engine braking”. Full braking in a motor car dissipates well over 100kW. The kinetic energy is dissipated from e.g. 100km/h in 3 to 4 seconds… crunch the numbers. Rapid charging at anywhere near that power reduces the life of (at least) the batteries.


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    John Brookes

    I must be missing something, because I don’t get how electric cars will impact so heavily on our electricity generation system.

    You would normally charge them overnight, I presume on a timer, so they’d be consuming power when not much else was. Rather the direct opposite of air conditioners, which add directly to peak consumption.

    But look on the bright side, all that new real estate coming on the market as service stations shut down…


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      Dennis

      No need to burn fuel to capture electricity?


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      Truthseeker

      Johnny boy, you are missing many things. Let’s see what happens when we have 15 million electric cars on the road. That is 60 kWH per charge per car. So that is 60 kWH x 365 (daily car usage) x 15,000,000 = 328,500,000,000 kWH per year. That is the equivalent of the annual output of 14.2 Bayswater power stations required just for the cars.

      You clearly have no understanding of the real world. You just think that power comes from a wall socket and there is unlimited amounts of it.

      Keep smiling Johnny boy. You clearly live in a fantasy world.


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      Andrew McRae

      JB, You could try reading above at Chris’s electrical comparison with petrol and then apply a bit of your own math on top of it.

      If the car is charged over 6 hours instead of 6 minutes, estimate the number of cars that refuel every day, multiply it by Chris’ power estimate of 3.96MW per car during charging, divide by the speed factor of 60, and the answer should be additional load placed on the national grid over those 6 hours, measured in MW.

      I’ll guess a million cars refuel per day, which is 1/14th of the total number of cars so it is in the ballpark if some people refuel every week and some only every fortnight.

      1,000,000 * 4 / 60 ~~ 66,000MW extra load.

      Happy for the indefatigable TonyFromOz to make adjustments and homogenisations where needed. :)

      Now to answer your question “I don’t get how electric cars will impact so heavily on our electricity generation system.

      The amount of spare generating capacity the national market is meant to have at any time is 850MW.

      The amount of total generating capacity in Australia in June 2000 was… only 43,000MW

      Even if you allowed for say 15% of cars recharging 2 hours later in Perth than on the East coast, you still have a 4 hour overlap each night where we would need to double Australia’s electricity generation capacity.

      So the answer there, JB, is that electric cars do not impact heavily on our electricity generation system at all because virtually nobody is buying electric cars, and thank heavens for that!


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        Andrew McRae

        Some other factors were omitted from my calculation and a correction is in order.

        The comparison used the petrol car’s energy requirement as the starting point. Petrol cars are around 50% efficient, so let’s be generous and say that electric cars were 80% efficient (though in practice they probably are not as Bernd has pointed out.) The energy needed by the EVs for the same journeys is then 5/8ths of what was calculated above. (~ 42,000MW overnight)

        This is (barely) within today’s electrical generation capacity of Australia, though you would still have to cut into the scheduled reserve safety margins. But it is still not possible to actually do this due to all the other refrigeration, lighting, telco, etc demands which create the base load power demand (around 17000MW at 4am from memory).

        As Roy pointed out, whether the efficiency of electric generator plants (~40%) has to be multiplied in to the EV’s total efficiency depends on whether you make a CO2-inclusive or exclusive comparison. Personally I’d ignore the CO2 and treat the wall plug as the starting point, but for JB the comparison may get even worse.


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          Rod Stuart

          “Petrol cars are around 50% efficient”
          In your dreams, Andrew.
          While one of these modern inject engines, with turbo chargers, might approach that on a dynamometer, when new, and at full load, it just doesn’t take into consideration that virtually any heat engine loses thermal efficiency at part loads. Your vehicle might well have “140 kW” listed in its spec sheet, but on level ground at constant speed under the speed limit it need only develop 30 kW. Under these conditions the efficiency suffers quite dramatically.


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      AndyG55

      “I must be missing something, ”

      A functioning brain !!


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        Now, now!

        JB’s inability to do the arithmetic to check if the “solution” will scale to the size of the “problem” doesn’t indicate a non-functioning brain. It does rather reflect the prevalent “perspective” of those recluded in academia during the income-”earning” phase of what they imagine to be their lives.

        After dinner with an emeritus professor and a few other friends a week ago, an invitation arrived from UWA to *pay* to celebrate the university’s 100th anniversary. As it happened, dinner conversation had reminded me of a poem, written by Henry Lawson a few years before the University was founded. The emailed invitation from UWA gave me a fresh insight into that poem; Lawson’s “Australian Engineers”; reading as I had not done before.

        It struck me, that for all the persistent brouhaha and “intellectual” self-congratulation; that not much has been achieved to improve Australia’s condition in a century. Aspirations unfilled.

        We must ask; “If not to improve the condition, what is the purpose of universities and education?”


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      AndyG55

      To make electric cars economically viable we would need to build several dozen new COAL FIRED power station (or nuclear), plus the delivery infrastructure to go with it.

      All that yummy copper production !! (and another few new COAL FIRED power stations needed)

      No other technology can possibly provide the power needed for a significant percentage of electric cars.


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      Ace

      Saint Brookes of Erehwon says:
      “You would normally charge them overnight, I presume on a timer, so they’d be consuming power when not much else was.”

      Not much else was…like the whole of heavy industry, pillock.

      What kind of world these twats live in that they think everyone is comfy tucked up in bed like they are!


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      Mark D.

      John Brookes, the math might be easier for you if you work it out this way: 104 liters of gasoline = about 1 megawatt-hour (potential at 100% efficiency). This is about 27.5 US gallons and a little less if diesel.

      So go search the records for fuel sales in AU in liters, simple math and assume 60% efficiency. Then compare that to generating capacity nation wide.

      You’ll be amazed at just how much energy is sloshing around in petrol tanks.

      Here is a handy converter I found on the web: http://www.convertunits.com/from/gallon+%5BU.S.%5D+of+automotive+gasoline/to/megawatthour


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      John,

      What you are saying is that there is a lot of wasted electricity that the cars would use. There are two sides to this. One the one side, (at least in Britain), there is a lot of investment in power generation to minimize the waste. For instance, use of gas-fired power stations which can be brought on-stream quite quickly. On the other side is the extra power demand on the grid. A car battery might contain 20-30kw of power. My small house uses less than half that daily (including for cooking, but not for heating or water). Even with our low mileage (7000 p.a. per car – my wife has a car as well)- our household electricity consumption would double or quadruple. If the majority of drivers went electric Britain’s (or Australia’s) total demand for electricity would more than double.

      Your claim about real estate coming free from filling stations closing is bunkum for the foreseeable future. Electric vehicles have a limited range and a recharge period of several hours. For electric cars to be really viable they would need to have an internal combustion engine to take over when the battery goes flat to enable longer journeys. There has to be a step change in the technology, as well as a massive cost decrease in the vehicle cost for that to happen.


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      Sean

      you are missing a lot of things brookes, most of all a correctly functioning brain


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      John M

      I guess we can all be excused once for having a ‘blonde moment’ !

      John B – If we all had electric cars and charged the batteries at night then the grid would literally collapse. This extra EV demand would be around double our current energy demand so there would no longer be an off-peak period at night. Also, the grid is only ~20% efficient, so it makes no sense to burn 500% more (fossil fuel) energy than currently required. Not to forget the limited lifespan (~5yrs) of current batteries and the resulting waste and environmental issue of discarding all the toxic used cells on mass.

      btw – just consider the biggest issue of converting everyone to EVs…
      Our total national security dependance would be on the grid. Thus, when there were natural disasters and the grid was impacted for days or weeks (as happens almost every year with cyclones, floods, etc) then whole regions would be paralised and lives put at risk. Not to mention wartime where your enemy could target the grid with immediate crippling impacts. It is essential to maintain our existing domestic petrolium based energy and transport for this very reason.

      IMO – Any political organisation that advocates a push towards 100% EVs should not be taken seriously.


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        Rod Stuart

        It is all completely political. The sole intent of the public school system and its subsequent deterioration, the clamour for Federal control of everything, the centralised planning mindset of bureaucracy, the attacks on freedom of speech, the GHE myth and its attack on our energy production and distribution, the NBN to monoplise all communication, is all part of a political posturing to hasten teh decline of Western civilistation. The electric vehicle propaganda fits the bill, since with one single EMP burst the whole shebang; energy, communications, transportation, would be all shut down. Just as putting all your eggs in one financial basket is dumb, putting the entire basis of your civilisation in one electricity grid is suicidal. To these we can add the attacks on family, (the conerstone of of a community), attacks on religion, etc.


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    janama

    I should add:

    4 year or 50,000 mile, whichever comes first, new vehicle limited warranty
    40 kWh battery has a 8 year or 100,000 mile, whichever comes first, warranty


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    Dennis

    I own and operate three motor vehicles, two are 4WDs and one is a FWD wagon. The FWD wagon has 4 cylinders and 2600cc capacity and runs on petrol, I use 95 octane and achieve 9.5-10.0 litres per 100KM.

    The other wagon is 3500cc capacity and runs on Liquid Petroleum Gas and petrol 95 octane to start and warm up or on long trips when the LPG runs out, my son drives it mostly. It uses 13 litres of petrol per 100KM or 15 litres of LPG. If it was the latest injected LPG the consumption differential would be minimal.

    The third is a 4WD diesel van people mover equipped with LPG injection, it runs on a mixture of diesel and LPG combined. Consumption typically 9.5-10.0 litres of diesel plus 20% LPG or max 1.7 litres per 100KM.

    By mixing LPG and diesel combustion is about 95% whereas diesel by itself would be about 80% and the unused diesel would be black smoke and extra soot in the engine oil. So, mixing these fuels the oil stays cleaner for longer, oil changes 10,000KM instead of 5,000KM.

    Obviously emissions are lower for diesel and LPG and LPG emissions are lower than petrol.

    Australia has more LPG than we can use, store or export.

    The Howard Coalition government recognised this and created an incentive program to encourage conversion to LPG. Labor have wound back that scheme and have increase LPG tax.

    Electric offers many advantages but at this point in time electric vehicles are too expensive and are impractical for most user applications.

    I believe the best is from Tesla US, but heavily subsidised by the socialist government doing what socialists do, picking winners and using taxpayer monies to make it happen.

    Of course manufacturers will make whatever the market wants if they can make money, government subsidies, taxpayer money, is of course an incentive to create whatever, profit is profit.

    But the future of electric vehicles should not be subsidised, when the technology is right the price will be right and the user friendly technology will be right.


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      Dennis

      Please explain how Australian governments, federal and state, can subsidies vehicle manufacturing with taxpayer’s monies, now all borrowed, and then buy imports? How could they drive Toyota Prius (Greens too) and ignore the local vehicles and LPG?

      Madness.

      Socialist Green stupidity and lack of common sense.


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    Dennis

    I forgot to add that conversion to diesel/gas, diesel/lpg, the power and torque increases by 20% measured by dynometer at the rear wheels.


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    Ace

    What amuses me is all the guff about hydrogen as a fuel.

    The rocket industry has been grappling with that since WW2. Hydrogen is far superior liquid rocket fuel compared to kerosene. But storing and handling it has been found so immensely difficult, expensive, technically demanding and risk laden that current preference is for kerosene based propulsion.

    Using hydrogen for fuel…yes IT IS “rocket science” and the idea of powering automobiles with it is as batty as fitting them with nuclear reactors.

    Now, nuclear propulsion for rockets DOES make sense.


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    JDK

    The government sponsored academics models predict that there will be record-breaking heatwaves across the entire continent.
    However the empirical evidence is clear, climate change is a hoax and a scam.


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    Tim Crome

    Living in Norway you get a lot of exposue to EVs. The authorities here do eveything possible to encourage them. No duty, no road tax, free use of buss lanes, free parking in city centres, free charging, etc.. The end result is that wealthy families, especially west of Oslo, have an EV in addition to their other cars to cater for their daily commuting needs, instead of using public transport. For the weekends and longer trips it’s back to the SUV.

    In 2011 I drove 4500km in Europe in 3 weeks in the summer holidays. We counted EVs during the trip and ended up with a grand total of 4, 2 of which were seen on the outskirts of Munich during the rush hour. Not long afterwards, while sitting in the morning queue to work I counted 75 EVs going past in the bus lane. If I wasn’t aware of the real issues asso ciated with them I’d be tempted!


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    David

    Here, in the People’s Republic of Cambridge, for the piffling amount of £12000 (Sterling), in 2008 the City Council installed a charging point for electric cars.
    Its been used…. three times…
    Oh – and last night a sudden snowfall stranded hundreds of cars on the M6 motorway for eight hours (cue building of snowmen in the fast lane – and snowball fights beween the northbound and southbound motorists)…
    Now – just imagine for a moment if they’d all been electric cars….!


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      Ace

      A friend of mine was trapped in snow in Somerset last week and had to spend the night in his MX5. I guess if he had been in an electric cart the battery would have died and so would he of hypothermia. I suppose that’d be OK by our Eco-twats though as it would help “save the planet”..


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    janama

    wow – what a lot of BS here. Yes we would need to build a new set of power stations to feed these new electric cars – so what! It’s better the power generation is in a central base where it can be controlled as opposed to hundreds of cars spewing out exhaust willy nilly as we do today.

    Electric motors and charging systems are very efficient. Way more efficient than the liquid petrol/diesel systems we currently operate.


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      No they aren’t when complete cycle efficiencies are calculated.


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      Rod Stuart

      I suspect you have not the faintest idea of what “efficiency” means!


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      John M

      Ah yes, only a Green mind would conclude that burning more fossil fuel in power stations and then sending it to households via the grid to charge electric cars, where 80% of this energy is lost in the grid as inductive loss, is a great idea.

      Why not just continue to burn the fossil fuel in the car ?


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      John Brookes

      Agreed. Central power generation and electric vehicles will be more efficient than burning petrol/diesel/lpg in individual cars.


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        Rod Stuart

        Are you certain? What does “efficiency” mean to you?
        I notice you use the term “will be”.
        You might have noticed that only 49 silly government departments purchased IMiEV’s.
        Does that make “will be” some sort of certainty in your mind?
        To put it another way, is your expectation that everyone in the country will lose their cotton-picking mind?


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        Mark D.

        ….and electric vehicles will be more efficient than burning petrol/diesel/lpg in individual cars.

        Way waaaayyy to simple JB .

        I vehemently disagree with what you said.

        (again)


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