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The economic realities of electric car?
(01-20-2018, 08:21 PM)iancampbell Wrote: I agree with you, for several reasons. First are the twin problems of range and recharging time. Even if range of an electric vehicle could be got to the same as that of an IC engined one, about 500 miles, the recharging time issue might well be problematic.

Tesla supercharger can add another 270km of range in 30 minutes. A full charge to over 400km takes an hour and 15. I realise that the US has different driving habits than Europe but how often does anyone drive more than 400km in a day? Beyond that how many drive more than 670km and wouldn’t take a 30 minute break? Or an 800km journey with an hour’s break?

(01-20-2018, 08:21 PM)iancampbell Wrote: Second is the problem, not often discussed, of the expense of tooling up for electric vehicles. Both the charging stations themselves and the extra power generation and transmission capacity required.

I’ve seen that discussed frequently but where I live electric charging stations have been steadily increasing in number for years (there are two on my street and the last few motor way service stations I’ve been to have had ranks of them, they’re becoming common in supermarket carparks too). The cost isn’t a dealbreaker.

(01-20-2018, 08:21 PM)iancampbell Wrote: Third is the fact that the batteries weigh a good part of a ton, which has to affect efficiency.

The weight and volume of the batteries certainly do however the gains made elsewhere is what complies like Tesla are banking on:

(01-20-2018, 08:21 PM)iancampbell Wrote: Fourth is the hazard caused by high energy density batteries in a crash.

Is there any reason that would be worse than a tank full of fuel?

(01-20-2018, 08:21 PM)iancampbell Wrote: Fuel cells don't have any of these problems. For some types of fuel cells (methanol for example) existing fuel delivery infrastructure could be used. Fuel cells are lighter than IC engines, if anything. And recharging is as simple as filling a tank with liquid. And the fuel itself is reasonably safe, if the right one is chosen. Methanol probably - liquid hydrogen, not so much. Smile

BTW, the idea of fuel cells is often rubbished because, of course, if it's worth doing for ecological reasons the fuel has to be made. The solution to that is simple; use spare power, when the network is under light load otherwise - maybe at night.

It seems like the primary reason fuel cells are still a pipe dream for anything more than prototype commercial vehicles is that no one has figured out a way of making them economically. This issue is what has driven the electric car market in recent years; decreasing manufacturing costs. Is there anything like that on the horizon for fuel cells?
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RE: The economic realities of electric car? - by Rynn - 01-20-2018, 11:25 PM

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