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Old 12-19-2007, 09:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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problems with EVs

Ok, I was just thinking of problems that the mainstream public would have with EVs.

- It seems to me that EVs are best suited for short trips or to commute to work and back. Then you park it in the garage and charge it when you get home. So, what if you don't have a garage (many people who live in the city don't have such a luxury)? So, it seems to me that city dwellers would be a hard sell on EV without a good charging infrastructure built up.

- Everybody who is apposed to EVs will bring up the range. So, what if average joe wants to road trip 1,400 miles in an EV?

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Old 12-19-2007, 09:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think, at least for what I see as the next ten or twenty years in affordable technology, EVs will never be able to go 1400 miles, and that when trains, planes, rentals, or borrows will shine.

These are some of the arguments that make looking into hydrogen important.
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Access to a plug is a key issue for a lot of people. No other way around that than infrastructure improvements, or long extension cords. That cuts a lot of people out of the EV picture.

The Volt, if it ever gets built (and other plug-in hybrids), removes the issue of "what do I do when I want to go road-tripping on the weekend?" Plug-in and drive electrically for short commutes, and the ICE comes on automatically on the longer trips when you exceed the plug-in pack capacity.

I think pure EV's are most likely to be adopted as second or 3rd cars in multi-car households. Unless of course the price of advanced chemistry batteries comes down.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, plug in hybrids seem to be the logical step for the general public. I still think we are 10 to 20 years away from seen lots of plug in hybrids/EVs on the road (the volt won't sell that well).
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Having a place to plug your EV in is important.

That would be a big discouragement to people who don't have a garage.

In the long run, it would be easy to create parking meters that have a plug in them, or have electricity available in big city parking garages.

I have noticed that Christmas is a great time to find out where electric outlets are.

My local grocery store has outlets on all the parking lot light posts, which they wrap with Christmas lights.

In the downtown of the small city I live 2 miles from, they have electric outlets by the base of the trees planted in the space between the road and the sidewalk proper. They also plug X-mas lights in there in the winter. I don't know if they turn power to those outlets off the rest of the year or not.

A person could parallel park their EV, plug right in to the outlet, go shopping or to a restaurant (bringing money into the local economy) unplug their EV and zip off to somewhere else.

I have only plugged-in in public once or twice so far, at the grocery store. I did talk to the manager. I told him about my EV project and how I would like to charge in public and spend my money at his store.

He told me the parking lot is actually owned by some giant real-estate management company, and that I would have to check with them. He said he was personally OK with it.

If it looks like your car has a bad battery and you are just toppping it off with a charger you happened to have with you so you get it going again, I don't think anyone would stop you.

If your car says "Electric Vehicle!" in huge lettering, and it looks like you are STEALING electricity, you might get in trouble.

I still sort of want a small metal sign with a magnet on it that says "OFFICIAL Electric Vehicle Charging Station" - then I can just slap it on whatever outlet I happen to be charging from.
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igo View Post
- Everybody who is apposed to EVs will bring up the range. So, what if average joe wants to road trip 1,400 miles in an EV?
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The American public is barely capable of putting air in a tire; I'd like to see how they maintain batteries.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The American public is barely capable of putting air in a tire; I'd like to see how they maintain batteries.
For that reason alone, floodies are out. Part of the expense of other battery types (LiIon) is having the electronic battery management system for each battery.
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Old 01-11-2008, 07:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Aren't there in big cities public plugs?
If you know where they are, nobody has parked in front and you don't find some lost-looking autodriver trying to figure out where to insert the coin to get the parking ticket (they look a little like some stylish tiket printer for along-the-road parking), there are a few by now in the bigger cities here where I am. In Rome we have some 30+ plugs spread here and there and it's even for free by now!
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The long trip thing seems to be best addressed with trailers having ICE in them. The car industry is bent on having hybrids simply because they can make more money producing replacement parts and performing maintenance on them versus a pure EV. However, I agree owning EV's in the city would require infrastructure.

There is a senior project at my university, for mechanical engineers, that is involved in testing hydrogen cars and the fueling station. Montpelier, VT is the testing center outside of CA because of it's extreme temperatures (-45 to 100 F), mountains, and greenies. Anyways, the hydrogen fueling station is ran off of a windmill. There are some pretty large losses in creating the hydrogen and in storing it. It's looking worse and worse as we start actually measuring the efficiencies of the equipment and car. Batteries may be less convenient but they are FAR superior.

I can report back in April with the final testing results and had numbers if you guys are interested.

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