I don't think you can buy an Aptera outside of California until at least 2010, maybe longer. The thing about Honda's fuel cell vehicle, they have a home fueling station available. I wonder if the Government is not allowing them to sell it, or if there is some other problem with it? Maybe they think the car and the home fueling station would be to expensive at this point in time. I really wanted my next car to be an Aptera or a fuel cell. Wonder if my Insight can make it to 500,000 miles? Almost half way there now.james said:Good news, I think, unless they also develop a fuel cell that runs off liquid fuel. Looking at what's involved in producing, storing & distributing large quantities of hydrogen, it seems pretty obvious to me that the losses in infrastructure far outweigh anything you gain in vehicle efficiency.
But there is good news in that article, buried near the bottom: "...also developing the CR-Z hybrid sports car and will add a hybrid option to the Fit..." Of course by then I may be able to buy an Aptera
Bring back the EV1!!! The infrastructure is already there (power lines) as is the technology (NiMH or Lithium batteries) to achieve acceptable range (200-250 miles) to get a person to work. And there is a growth path to eliminate coal and use solar energy captured off rooftops, thereby making it a clean renewable fuel.james said:Good news, I think, unless they also develop a fuel cell that runs off liquid fuel. Looking at what's involved in producing, storing & distributing large quantities of hydrogen, it seems pretty obvious to me that the losses in infrastructure far outweigh anything you gain in vehicle efficiency.
This is definitely true, at least with the technology we have now anyway.ElectricTroy said:I don't have any great love for EVs, but they make a hell of a lot more sense than cracking water, trucking the hazardous hydrogen across the U.S. (ticking timebombs), and then reversing the process to get water again. EVs are simply more efficient.
Attach a generator that burns gasoline & creates electricity. That's how Toyota drove their RAV4 EV across the entire continent.james said:I don't think pure EVs make sense either, with current technology. So you have say a 200 mile range: what if you want to travel 250 miles?
The electric motor produces waste heat to keep the cabin warm, and any additional heater (as might be need in Minnesota) is trivially small compared to how much energy is burned pushing a 3000-pound car through resistive air at 60 miles an hour.Then you have issues with for instance cabin heat in the winter.
Been thinking about that. The disadvantage of a series compared to the current hybrid is that ALL the energy (at least for the extended range) comes from burning gas, converting it to electricity, storing it in the battery, releasing the energy from the battery as electricity, and using that to provide propulsion. There are losses at every step.james said:What does make sense is the series hybrid. Primary electric drive with a 40 mile or so range, so the batteries aren't too heavy. A small auxilary power unit that comes on line either to extend range or provide heat, which only needs to be large enough to provide cruising power (10-15 hp, maybe), so would be small & light, and could be a much more efficient gas turbine or Stirling engine.
Electric motors don't produce all that much in the way of waste heat.The electric motor produces waste heat to keep the cabin warm...
Only if you think the only use you will ever have for the car is to drive it to work. (And if you're that close, why not bike, or telecommute?) But that's actually why the hybrid works better. You can do that 25 mile commute on electricity (unless you need heat) from the grid, then when you need to do a 300 mile trip, or you forgot to plug it in when you came home late, you just check that there's fuel in the tank, and go...Since most Americans live within 25 miles of their job, the 250-mile range is actually overkill.
No. Think about it some more With smart controllers (or an involved operator) none of the energy generated by the engine would ever have to be stored in the battery.The disadvantage of a series compared to the current hybrid is that ALL the energy (at least for the extended range) comes from burning gas, converting it to electricity, storing it in the battery, releasing the energy from the battery as electricity, and using that to provide propulsion.
Still an unnecessary conversion from gas to electric to propulsion.james said:Say your car requires 10 KW (about 13.7 HP) to travel at highway speed on level ground, and you have a 10 KW engine/generator in it. So you start out on a long trip, then as you're driving along on the flat, all the electricity the engine produces is going straight to the electric motors powering the wheels.
You don't, due to the aforementioned losses. Definitely true on my Insight that the bars I lose on the uphill are not replaced at the bottom of an equivalent downhill on the other side. The charge must be replaced by running the motor-generator, which burns gas (or diesel), with all of the conversion losses. A different strategy would be to use the battery until it runs out and then run the motor-generator.james said:You come to a hill where more power is needed, the engine still produces the same 10 KW, with some being added from the battery (which you charged off the grid last night). On the downhill, you recoup most of that by regeneration, just as with the Insight.
Bike 50 miles a day??? I don't think so.james said:
Instead you're carrying around a 1000-pound hybrid engine that is hardly used. That wastes even MORE energy than if you left the engine at home, and only used it as needed (i.e. summer vacations).Furthermore, you wind up using less energy overall. The batteries needed for a 25 mile range weigh less than a tenth as much as those needed for a 250 mile range.
Then how am I going to use the clean solar energy off my roof? Or the nearby windmills?With smart controllers (or an involved operator) none of the energy generated by the engine would ever have to be stored in the battery.
Then you're still using gasoline on a daily basis, which doesn't solve the problem of pollution or scarcity.james said:But the extra batteries to have a 250 mile range instead of 25 will weigh 1000 lbs or more, so you'll need more structure to support the weight, and more battery power to accelerate & climb hills.
Perhaps, but when the oil runs to $1000 a barrel due to scarcity, electric may be our only practical replacement.If you look at the whole system, I think it's debatable whether a pure EV is cleaner.
Solve, no. Reduces it considerably, though, if a large fraction of commuter vehicles are getting an effective 100 mpg instead of 20 mpgThen you're still using gasoline on a daily basis, which doesn't solve the problem of pollution or scarcity.
Sure, if you can just wave your magic wand and say "make it so". In the real world there are always tradeoffs. Batteries cost money & have weight, and the factories can only crank out so many. So if the batteries needed for a 100 mile range cost $10K and weigh 1000 lbs, and factory capacity is 1 million sets per year (just pulling some numbers out of the air - substitute your own if you like), what's the best way to use them to reduce overall fleet consumption. You can either make 1 million vehicles that have the 100 mile range, or you can make 4 million that cost $7500 less and weigh 750 lbs less. I'll argue that the second option will cut total gasoline consumption 2-3 times as much as the first, the exact number of course depending on trip length statistics.Better to make a car that can go at least 100 miles as a pure electric vehicle, thus making the use of gasoline a RARE occurence instead of a daily occurence.
By increasing mileage dramatically we reduce demand, and alternatives such as ethanol & biodiesel become practical. Besides, it's not so much the cost per barrel, but the cost of filling your tank - the reason $4 gas doesn't affect me. It costs me $40 to fill up instead of $20, where the SUV driver went from $100 to $200: which puts a bigger dent in the paycheck?...but when the oil runs to $1000 a barrel due to scarcity, electric may be our only practical replacement.