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Old 11-13-2013, 01:08 PM   #76
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Had a family member hit a deer once. Not a major collision from what they said.

But the car went completely up in flames within only a few minutes. Nobody could really explain it. **** just happens sometimes.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:30 PM   #77
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Had a family member hit a deer once. Not a major collision from what they said.

But the car went completely up in flames within only a few minutes. Nobody could really explain it. **** just happens sometimes.
With the amount of energy combined with highly flammable liquids and current sources, it's amazing how FEW car fires there are. All it takes is a small leak in any of hundreds of things that contain or carry highly flammable liquids near an exhaust component and poof, you have a fire.

Tesla has added a new source of fire hazard, and removed several (no gas, no oil, no transmission fluid, no steering fluid, no high temp exhaust components, better location for everything else such as brake fluids, etc.).

Think about it this way. You might have a higher chance of fire in the event of a major accident (such as has happened in these cases), but at least your car won't catch on fire just because you parked over some dry leaves...

Also, in the event you do get a fire after a crash, you're a lot better off with slow, well contained battery fire than a fast, unconstrained gas or oil fire.

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Old 11-13-2013, 10:37 PM   #78
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Does anyone on the OM own a Tesla or are you planning to buy one?
I'm planning to buy their non luxury offerings that they say they are going to build, assuming they are the best available option at that time.

I'd rather not waste money on a luxury vehicle, no matter what the power train is comprised of.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:47 AM   #79
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you can only compare brand new car fires to the Tesla as comparing it to cars that have beeen on the road for 15 yrs held together by ducktape and spit. How many new cars catch fire after small accidents compared to the Tesla. I talked to a friend in the business and he said 3 fires no big deal, but 3 fires on new cars, that only 5000 have hit the road, yeah its a problem.

mercedes sells about what 100 thousand cars a yr. So they would have to have like 60 brand new cars or more burst into flames after crashes. So dishonest to try and compare Teslas, just on the road, brand ****ing new, to car fires of regular cars. Nope has to be compared to brand new cars less then 2 yrs old.
I am one of those statistics. I had a 2001 Corolla last December when the engine caught on fire and finally my 325k car bit the dust.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:27 PM   #80
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Not saying electric cars aren't a good idea. Just saying that patting Obama on the back like his loan made it happen for Tesla, and Tesla is paving the way for American cars isn't accurate. The car was obviously produced too fast.
First of all, even Bub Lutz credited Tesla for lighting a fire under GMs ass to produce EVs. And other major automaker have followed. Really, the only major auto maker that can claim they weren't prodded into EV manufacturing by Tesla is Nissan, who were working on EVs years before the Tesla Roadster.

But more to the point: Tesla paid off its government loan in full. So why do you care?
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:10 PM   #81
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First of all, even Bub Lutz credited Tesla for lighting a fire under GMs ass to produce EVs. And other major automaker have followed. Really, the only major auto maker that can claim they weren't prodded into EV manufacturing by Tesla is Nissan, who were working on EVs years before the Tesla Roadster.

But more to the point: Tesla paid off its government loan in full. So why do you care?
GM produced an EV long before Tesla was born.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/ho...-of-electrics/

Funny thing is, the technology hasn't improved all that much. Just the consumer culture around it.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:43 AM   #82
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GM produced an EV long before Tesla was born.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/ho...-of-electrics/

Funny thing is, the technology hasn't improved all that much. Just the consumer culture around it.



Look at all this lack of improvement:

Range:

EV1: 90mi (gm est)
Model S: 300Mi (tesla est)

Horsepower:

EV1: 137 (equivalent large I-4 or very small V6)
Model S: 416 (equivalent to a small block 5L V8 in modern mustangs, etc.)

Torque (at all RPM)
EV1: 110 (not great, though still beats much larger 'speced' ICEs due to nature of EV)
Model S: 443 ft*lb (beats even high end stock sports cars like the Shelby GT 500 or Corvette Stringray due to flat torque curve)

0-60
EV1: 9 seconds (typical of economy type cars)
Model S: 4.2 seconds (typical of high end consumer sports cars)

Charging Time (110 volt)

EV1: 6 miles of range per hour of charging
Model S: 30 miles of range per hour of charging

Charging Time (240 volt and/or dual charging)

EV1: 30 miles of range per hour of charging
Model S: 60 miles of range per hour of charging

Charging Time (specialized chargers)

EV1: 30 miles of range per hour of charging
Model S: 200 miles of range in 1/2 hour

Seating capacity:
EV1: 2
Model S: 5 (std sedan) or 7 (with use of rear seats)

Style:
EV1: style compromised for efficiency
Model S: equivalent to ICE cars (i.e. no style compromised by efficiency needs)

Last edited by Fedaykin; 11-15-2013 at 03:45 AM..
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:52 AM   #83
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Look at all this lack of improvement:

Range:

EV1: 90mi (gm est)
Model S: 300Mi (tesla est)

Horsepower:

EV1: 137 (equivalent large I-4 or very small V6)
Model S: 416 (equivalent to a small block 5L V8 in modern mustangs, etc.)

Torque (at all RPM)
EV1: 110 (not great, though still beats much larger 'speced' ICEs due to nature of EV)
Model S: 443 ft*lb (beats even high end stock sports cars like the Shelby GT 500 or Corvette Stringray due to flat torque curve)

0-60
EV1: 9 seconds (typical of economy type cars)
Model S: 4.2 seconds (typical of high end consumer sports cars)

Charging Time (110 volt)

EV1: 6 miles of range per hour of charging
Model S: 30 miles of range per hour of charging

Charging Time (240 volt and/or dual charging)

EV1: 30 miles of range per hour of charging
Model S: 60 miles of range per hour of charging

Charging Time (specialized chargers)

EV1: 30 miles of range per hour of charging
Model S: 200 miles of range in 1/2 hour

Seating capacity:
EV1: 2
Model S: 5 (std sedan) or 7 (with use of rear seats)

Style:
EV1: style compromised for efficiency
Model S: equivalent to ICE cars (i.e. no style compromised by efficiency needs)
Yeah but you still have to charge them during those long periods at night...like, say, from midnight to 8am, where people are at their busiest.

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Old 11-15-2013, 06:09 AM   #84
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Look at all this lack of improvement:

Range:

EV1: 90mi (gm est)
Model S: 300Mi (tesla est)

Horsepower:

EV1: 137 (equivalent large I-4 or very small V6)
Model S: 416 (equivalent to a small block 5L V8 in modern mustangs, etc.)

Torque (at all RPM)
EV1: 110 (not great, though still beats much larger 'speced' ICEs due to nature of EV)
Model S: 443 ft*lb (beats even high end stock sports cars like the Shelby GT 500 or Corvette Stringray due to flat torque curve)

0-60
EV1: 9 seconds (typical of economy type cars)
Model S: 4.2 seconds (typical of high end consumer sports cars)

Charging Time (110 volt)

EV1: 6 miles of range per hour of charging
Model S: 30 miles of range per hour of charging

Charging Time (240 volt and/or dual charging)

EV1: 30 miles of range per hour of charging
Model S: 60 miles of range per hour of charging

Charging Time (specialized chargers)

EV1: 30 miles of range per hour of charging
Model S: 200 miles of range in 1/2 hour

Seating capacity:
EV1: 2
Model S: 5 (std sedan) or 7 (with use of rear seats)

Style:
EV1: style compromised for efficiency
Model S: equivalent to ICE cars (i.e. no style compromised by efficiency needs)
Hey yeah. Let's compare the very first generation Lead Acid EV1 to the very latest Tesla performance package that costs twice as much.

EV1 was designed to be economical. An attempt for the masses. If they wanted to make a 6-figure car, range and performance could've been substantially enhanced. And Li-ion could've been used. But it would've priced it up into the Tesla's 1%ers bracket.

That's why the comparison to the Leaf is more apt. But the jump back to the Gen 1 EV1 is comical.
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:48 AM   #85
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Hey yeah. Let's compare the very first generation Lead Acid EV1 to the very latest Tesla performance package that costs twice as much.
You're the idiot that said the tech hasn't improved very much. Clearly, it has, despite your weasily nature trying to back away from that statement now. Or are you going to attempt to claim that changing to far superior battery technology (the thing that has the most impact on range and 'refuel time') is not a technological improvement?

Also, the EV GenII+ refit was only a modest improvement in range (140mi max) due to retrofits with NiMH batteries with the same low performance motor. The Original GenII (Lead-acid) was essentially the same range.

Quote:
EV1 was designed to be economical. An attempt for the masses. If they wanted to make a 6-figure car, range and performance could've been substantially enhanced. And Li-ion could've been used. But it would've priced it up into the Tesla's 1%ers bracket.
The price difference isn't as much as you want to claim. They never actually sold EV1s (lease only), but the price tossed around as an MSRP was $34,000, or around $51,000 in today's dollar. The least rates (in today's dollars, were) $600-820, which is certainly not a "economy car" type lease obligation.

Add in the Tesla Model S is a luxury class vehicle akin to a BMW commanding a premium price, and the price difference comparing apples to apples (instead of econo-box type cars to luxury vehicles) is narrowed a lot more.

Tesla is already planning a non-luxury line by 2015, which they claim will go for around $30,000.

Quote:
That's why the comparison to the Leaf is more apt. But the jump back to the Gen 1 EV1 is comical.
The Leaf is a half assed attempt designed not with the idea to make a good EV, but to zero emissions requirements. Tesla has shown what is actually possible with EVs, because they are actually trying.

But go ahead and keep trying to claim a vehicle that can be charged 10 times faster (with optimal equipment), has 3x the range per change, and has the performance of a sports car isn't that big of an improvement. As always, your gumby impressions are quite hilarious to watch.

Last edited by Fedaykin; 11-15-2013 at 06:51 AM..
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:39 AM   #86
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The price difference isn't as much as you want to claim. They never actually sold EV1s (lease only), but the price tossed around as an MSRP was $34,000, or around $51,000 in today's dollar. The least rates (in today's dollars, were) $600-820, which is certainly not a "economy car" type lease obligation.

But go ahead and keep trying to claim a vehicle that can be charged 10 times faster (with optimal equipment), has 3x the range per change, and has the performance of a sports car isn't that big of an improvement. As always, your gumby impressions are quite hilarious to watch.
1999 Gen 2 EV1 NiMH - $48,000 in 2013 dollars, 140 mi range
2013 Tesla S 60-kwh Base - $71,000 in 2013 dollars, 208 mi range

Do the math. The percentage in range change is almost identical to the percentage price difference. Yet you laugh off the price difference as insignificant.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:38 AM   #87
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1999 Gen 2 EV1 NiMH - $48,000 in 2013 dollars, 140 mi range
2013 Tesla S 60-kwh Base - $71,000 in 2013 dollars, 208 mi range

Do the math. The percentage in range change is almost identical to the percentage price difference. Yet you laugh off the price difference as insignificant.
You're comparing apples to oranges. The EV1 was NOT a luxury class vehicle, it was an economy class.

Here's some highlights off the standard list of features for a model S (71k starting)

Sports car performance (even the base model has 302hp, 317t which is better than many sports cars starting options, especially with a flat torque curve ), electronic stability control, traction control, 12 way seats, premium seating, premium stereo system, 17" touchscreen, bluetooth, premium media center, driver seat detection, HD backup camera, premium climate control, wifi integration, alarm with immobilizer system, all glass panoramic moonroof, auto retracting door handles, automatic temperature control (3 zone) things that only come standard on luxury cars ( wheel mounted controls, rain sensing wipers, etc.)

But even if you want to look at just powertrain, trying to compare just range is idiotic. It's relatively easy to make a low performance, high range car, or a high performance, low range car. The EV1 was a low performance, moderate range car. The Model S (even the base) is an high performance, high range car. Add in the vastly improved recharge options of the Model S, and you have the full trifecta of EV qualities that are all considerably improved.

But, idiotic takes seem to be your forte, so I'm not surprised.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:46 AM   #88
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You're comparing apples to oranges. The EV1 was NOT a luxury class vehicle, it was an economy class.

Here's some highlights off the standard list of features for a model S (71k starting)

Sports car performance (even the base model has 302hp, 317t which is better than many sports cars starting options, especially with a flat torque curve ), electronic stability control, traction control, 12 way seats, premium seating, premium stereo system, 17" touchscreen, bluetooth, premium media center, driver seat detection, HD backup camera, premium climate control, wifi integration, alarm with immobilizer system, all glass panoramic moonroof, auto retracting door handles, automatic temperature control (3 zone) things that only come standard on luxury cars ( wheel mounted controls, rain sensing wipers, etc.)

But even if you want to look at just powertrain, trying to compare just range is idiotic. It's relatively easy to make a low performance, high range car, or a high performance, low range car. The EV1 was a low performance, moderate range car. The Model S (even the base) is an high performance, high range car.

But, idiotic takes seem to be your forte, so I'm not surprised.
Electric motors are very efficient. It's not like a gas engine where performance has a huge impact on mileage. X number of kilowatt hours will take you pretty close to a certain number of miles. Regardless of how fast you drive it. At least in comparison to a traditional gas engine.

The EV1 was built on cost consideration first, and performance second. They could've significantly improved performance and range with a 50% increase in cost. That's just not the market they were in. Which is why comparisons to the Leaf are much more reasonable. Every criticism you have of EV1 could be said of the Leaf in comparison to Tesla. It's not that Nissan doesn't know what they're doing. It's that they're designing a completely different car for a completely different segment of the population (the Average Middle Classers you claim to love so much)

To be honest, the luxury market segment is fun and all, but it's insignificant. It does nothing to change the dynamics or footprint of the US auto fleet.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:05 AM   #89
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Electric motors are very efficient. It's not like a gas engine where performance has a huge impact on mileage. X number of kilowatt hours will take you pretty close to a certain number of miles. Regardless of how fast you drive it. At least in comparison to a traditional gas engine.
Delivering nearly 4x the power to the wheels is still delivering 4x the power to the wheels, regardless of efficiency. An EM certainly is easier to scale because of its efficiency, but you don't magically get 4x the power without a battery that can store and deliver 4x the power. There's this thing called physics you might have heard of...

The Model S goes 3 times the distance/charge delivering 4x the power of the motor. That represents a huge improvement. Vastly outperforming any improvement in range or power delivered by ICE.

See: difference between a mature technology butting up against absolute, theoretical limits of the technology (IC engines) and technology still in its infancy relatively (batteries).

Quote:
The EV1 was built on cost consideration first, and performance second. They could've significantly improved performance and range with a 50% increase in cost. That's just not the market they were in. Which is why comparisons to the Leaf are much more reasonable. Every criticism you have of EV1 could be said of the Leaf in comparison to Tesla. It's not that Nissan doesn't know what they're doing. It's that they're designing a completely different car for a completely different segment of the population (the Average Middle Classers you claim to love so much)
Now you're just in a repeat loop. As I've show, the cost differences are significantly part of the Model S being a luxury vehicle rather than a mainstream vehicle or an economy vehicle. Tesla is targeting a $30k mainstream model, and just ripping out all the luxury features gets them down to $50-55k easily (same cost as the EV1). From there can can tune performance vs range however they see fit.

Also, your 50% increase in cost put into to range and power puts the EV1 them at the price of a Model S, without all the luxury features of the Model S...

If you pull your head out of your ass for once, you'll be able to see.

Quote:
To be honest, the luxury market segment is fun and all, but it's insignificant. It does nothing to change the dynamics or footprint of the US auto fleet.
Hitting the luxury market first is a strategic move. It allows Tesla to better fund R&D by selling a high margin vehicle.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:08 AM   #90
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Delivering nearly 4x the power to the wheels is still delivering 4x the power to the wheels, regardless of efficiency. An EM certainly is easier to scale because of its efficiency, but you don't magically get 4x the power without a battery that can store and deliver 4x the power. There's this thing called physics you might have heard of...

The Model S goes 3 times the distance/charge delivering 4x the power of the motor. That represents a huge improvement. Vastly outperforming any improvement in range or power delivered by ICE.

See: difference between a mature technology butting up against absolute, theoretical limits of the technology (IC engines) and technology still in its infancy relatively (batteries).



Now you're just in a repeat loop. As I've show, the cost differences are significantly part of the Model S being a luxury vehicle rather than a mainstream vehicle or an economy vehicle. Tesla is targeting a $30k mainstream model, and just ripping out all the luxury features gets them down to $50-55k easily (same cost as the EV1). From there can can tune performance vs range however they see fit.

Also, your 50% increase in cost put into to range and power puts the EV1 them at the price of a Model S, without all the luxury features of the Model S...

If you pull your head out of your ass for once, you'll be able to see.



Hitting the luxury market first is a strategic move. It allows Tesla to better fund R&D by selling a high margin vehicle.
Yeah, I read an article about one model Tesla was thinking about in the $40k price range. It had a range of 160. REVOLUTIONARY!

At the end of the day, they decided the value segment wasn't for them (yet)
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:10 AM   #91
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Yeah, I read an article about one model Tesla was thinking about in the $40k price range. It had a range of 160. REVOLUTIONARY!

At the end of the day, they decided the value segment wasn't for them (yet)
Ahh yes, the eternally obtuse BB. I've already corrected your idiocy of only considering range, and here you go again, only considering range.

Your rectal cavity must be very comfortable for you love having your head up there so much.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:16 AM   #92
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Ahh yes, the eternally obtuse BB. I've already corrected your idiocy of only considering range, and here you go again, only considering range.

Your rectal cavity must be very comfortable for you love having your head up there so much.
Range is THE most important shortcoming of EV's

I know you think an expensive luxury car that screams like a sports car but basically can't leave the metro area is where it's at.

But there's no significant market for that. Outside of this set:



And I've got nothing against Tesla. They know they're a niche player. They're hoping for more. It'd be great if they came up with something revolutionary. But they've got some major physics to overcome.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:24 AM   #93
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Range is THE most important shortcoming of EV's

I know you think an expensive luxury car that screams like a sports car but basically can't leave the metro area is where it's at.

But there's no significant market for that. Outside of this set:
No, recharge time is the biggest issue. Even if your unsubstantiated claim of what Tesla's mainstream offering will be is true, 160mi is perfectly fine if the recharge time is short enough. Plenty of gas vehicles that won't go more than ~200mi on a tank. And of course, only a small minority of cars are driven regularly more than 50mi per day as it is.

And stop with the straw man bull****. I have never claimed that the Model S is the answer or has a significant market. It DOES, however, represent a significant technological improvement over the EV1.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:46 AM   #94
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No, recharge time is the biggest issue. Even if your unsubstantiated claim of what Tesla's mainstream offering will be is true, 160mi is perfectly fine if the recharge time is short enough. Plenty of gas vehicles that won't go more than ~200mi on a tank. And of course, only a small minority of cars are driven regularly more than 50mi per day as it is.
Are you kidding? Name me the modern passenger vehicle that goes less than 200 miles on a tank. I'll be waiting.

From what I've heard Tesla's shooting for 200 miles in a 40k vehicle in a few years. When they previously though about releasing a car in this segment, 160 was the best they thought they could do. And they decided this wasn't good enough to bother with.

Quote:
And stop with the straw man bull****. I have never claimed that the Model S is the answer or has a significant market. It DOES, however, represent a significant technological improvement over the EV1.
The fact that Tesla can't enter the same segment with significantly better range, argues against you. Nobody knows what GM could've done in the luxury segment, because they never tried.

As we've been over before Tesla's real limitation is Battery tech. Electric motors aren't significantly more efficient than they were. Battery tech just hasn't changed all that much. Except in price. The biggest difference between EV1 and Tesla is what a 50% higher price tag can buy you.

And I'm not saying there's been no improvement. Just that it's not market-changing improvement. Especially when you can get 50mpg in sub $20k vehicles out in the real world.

There's something that was truly beyond imagination in 1999.

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Old 11-21-2013, 05:22 AM   #95
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This won't be the technology that wins out. It will be hydrogen fuel cells powering an electric motor. Why? You can power up your car in 3-5 minutes and go for over 300 miles. In 15 yrs technology like lithium ion batteries charged by plugging into something will be obsolete.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:23 AM   #96
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http://nysebigstage.com/articles/toy...cid=p_outbrain
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:43 AM   #97
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This won't be the technology that wins out. It will be hydrogen fuel cells powering an electric motor. Why? You can power up your car in 3-5 minutes and go for over 300 miles. In 15 yrs technology like lithium ion batteries charged by plugging into something will be obsolete.
The problem, cutlet, is that non fossil fuel derived hydrogen is only an energy store, not and energy source. It's a "battery".

95% of all the hydrogen produced is derived from natural gas via steam reformation. You can produce hydrogen from electricity + water (electrolysis), but you still need a power source, and the conversion is not efficient. There are other, somehwhat experimental ways to produce hydrogen (i.e. biologically) but they are a LONG, LONG way from being viable.

As always, it's all in the math:


Pure EV, assuming a very modern power plant:

Natural gas power plant: 60% efficient
Electrical transmission from plant to home/recharge station: 93% efficient -- higher in places with better infrastructure or closer to the power station
Battery charging: 80% efficient (a low end estimate of practical lithium ion battery charging, which starts at around 99% and then drops to 0 at full charge. Typical overall efficiency is between 80-90%.)
Net efficiency: .6*.93*.80 = 45% (low ball estimate)


HFC Car with hydrogen derived from electrolysis from the same plant:

Natural gas power plant: 60% efficient
Electrolysis next door to power plant: 65% efficient (this is about the best you can get in a lab, so I'm being generous)
Hydrogen fuel cell: 80% efficient (again being generous - they've gotten over 90% in a lab with the very best (and most expensive) materials like platinum, but anything over 50% commercially is good)
Net efficiency: .6*.65*.8 = 31% (high ball estimate)


HFC Car with hydrogen extracted directly from natural gas via steam reformation:

Steam Reformation (Natural Gas -> CO2): 80% efficient
Hydrogen fuel cell: 75% efficient (again being generous - they've gotten over 90% in a lab, but anything over 50% commercially is good)
Net efficiency: 0.8*0.75 = 60%

Gasoline engine: ~30% efficient


In other words, hydrogen derived by electrolysis powered by a natural gas plant is only about as "efficient" as a gas powered vehicle. And, if you want to extract the hydrogen from the natural gas directly via steam reformation, you end up with the same level of efficiency as just burning the natural gas in the car. Ultimately, you're better off with a natural gas powered vehicle than in trying to use hydrogen fuel cells. Same efficiency, much, much less complication and cost.


This is why EVs are more interesting. Even ultimately using fossil fuels as the power source, they do so at more efficiently than a gas or hydrogen powered car. Depending on the details, a hydrogen powered car might actually be LESS efficient than an ICE. My above calculations assume very high efficiency out of the HCF efficiency chain (electrolysis and the HFC itself). Likely "real world" efficiency will be less since they will have to be using cheaper material and cheaper processes.

You can, of course, use solar or wind or other non fossil fuel to produce the electricity for the electrolysis, but then it makes no sense whatsoever (from an efficiency stand point) to use HFCs instead. Why convert that electricity to hydrogen at a further 50% loss of energy, when you can use it directly with only a 20% loss in a battery? It makes sense if the challenge of battery recharge time cannot be solved, but otherwise is just a pointless loss in efficiency

Last edited by Fedaykin; 11-21-2013 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:24 AM   #98
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The problem, cutlet, is that non fossil fuel derived hydrogen is only an energy store, not and energy source. It's a "battery".

95% of all the hydrogen produced is derived from natural gas via steam reformation. You can produce hydrogen from electricity + water (electrolysis), but you still need a power source, and the conversion is not efficient. There are other, somehwhat experimental ways to produce hydrogen (i.e. biologically) but they are a LONG, LONG way from being viable.

As always, it's all in the math:


Pure EV, assuming a very modern power plant:

Natural gas power plant: 60% efficient
Electrical transmission from plant to home/recharge station: 93% efficient -- higher in places with better infrastructure or closer to the power station
Battery charging: 80% efficient (a low end estimate of practical lithium ion battery charging, which starts at around 99% and then drops to 0 at full charge. Typical overall efficiency is between 80-90%.)
Net efficiency: .6*.93*.80 = 45% (low ball estimate)


HFC Car with hydrogen derived from electrolysis from the same plant:

Natural gas power plant: 60% efficient
Electrolysis next door to power plant: 65% efficient (this is about the best you can get in a lab, so I'm being generous)
Hydrogen fuel cell: 80% efficient (again being generous - they've gotten over 90% in a lab with the very best (and most expensive) materials like platinum, but anything over 50% commercially is good)
Net efficiency: .6*.65*.8 = 31% (high ball estimate)


HFC Car with hydrogen extracted directly from natural gas via steam reformation:

Steam Reformation (Natural Gas -> CO2): 80% efficient
Hydrogen fuel cell: 75% efficient (again being generous - they've gotten over 90% in a lab, but anything over 50% commercially is good)
Net efficiency: 0.8*0.75 = 60%

Gasoline engine: ~30% efficient


In other words, hydrogen derived by electrolysis powered by a natural gas plant is only about as "efficient" as a gas powered vehicle. And, if you want to extract the hydrogen from the natural gas directly via steam reformation, you end up with the same level of efficiency as just burning the natural gas in the car. Ultimately, you're better off with a natural gas powered vehicle than in trying to use hydrogen fuel cells. Same efficiency, much, much less complication and cost.


This is why EVs are more interesting. Even ultimately using fossil fuels as the power source, they do so at more efficiently than a gas or hydrogen powered car. Depending on the details, a hydrogen powered car might actually be LESS efficient than an ICE. My above calculations assume very high efficiency out of the HCF efficiency chain (electrolysis and the HFC itself). Likely "real world" efficiency will be less since they will have to be using cheaper material and cheaper processes.

You can, of course, use solar or wind or other non fossil fuel to produce the electricity for the electrolysis, but then it makes no sense whatsoever (from an efficiency stand point) to use HFCs instead. Why convert that electricity to hydrogen at a further 50% loss of energy, when you can use it directly with only a 20% loss in a battery? It makes sense if the challenge of battery recharge time cannot be solved, but otherwise is just a pointless loss in efficiency
Not that there's a right answer to this Futurama argument, but the efficiency you're missing with fuel cells is in relative weight (an important advantage in transportation) vs massive banks of heavy metal batteries. When it comes to transportation, comparisons of efficiency can't be limited to only electrical. If an energy storage mechanism adds 30% to the weight of a vehicle, that is a huge drag on efficiency. Even though it doesn't show up when you're only looking at input efficiency.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:44 AM   #99
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Not that there's a right answer to this Futurama argument, but the efficiency you're missing with fuel cells is in relative weight (an important advantage in transportation) vs massive banks of heavy metal batteries. When it comes to transportation, comparisons of efficiency can't be limited to only electrical. If an energy storage mechanism adds 30% to the weight of a vehicle, that is a huge drag on efficiency. Even though it doesn't show up when you're only looking at input efficiency.
There are several lines of research that promise to make batteries smaller, lighter, and more energy dense. Lithium-air is one that comes to mind.

I wouldn't mind practical fuel cell vehicle succeeding in the marketplace, but I have serious doubts. First of all it's energy-inefficient to convert electricity to hydrogen and back to electricity. But the biggest obstacle is storage. Hydrogen atoms are so small they slip past any barrier. A fuel cell car will constantly lose fuel and if it's parked in an enclosed space, like a garage, leaked hydrogen could be dangerous.

I think fuels cells may make good range-extenders for EVs, but I don't see pure FC vehicles ever being practical.

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Old 11-21-2013, 10:00 AM   #100
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Not that there's a right answer to this Futurama argument, but the efficiency you're missing with fuel cells is in relative weight (an important advantage in transportation) vs massive banks of heavy metal batteries. When it comes to transportation, comparisons of efficiency can't be limited to only electrical. If an energy storage mechanism adds 30% to the weight of a vehicle, that is a huge drag on efficiency. Even though it doesn't show up when you're only looking at input efficiency.
When you can figure out why your claims about the difference between the batteries in the EV1 and the batteries in the Model S are absurd, we can talk. I've given you all the information you need, and have even spelled it out directly for you, but you're either too obstinent or just that daft.

Ironically, battery weight and size is perhaps the biggest issue...
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