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Starcrossed

Electric Cars

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I have always said that I would never buy a car. Evil things.

But what about electric cars? Is it worth going for one of those? And does the energy gain over petrol make it worthwhile?

Thanks.

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Venturi Fetish

Whoever called it the "fetish" obviously didn't think too carefully about the consequences of searching for information about it on the internet.

Just £375,000 to you sir - although that has more to do with the small volume, hand built nature of it, not the fact it is electric!

Main issues with electric cars in general:

- limited range on a single charge - okay for urban, not so good for longer journeys

- time taken to recharge

- weight and space consumed by batteries

- reliability and longevity of batteries

- motor maintenance (typical economic motors last around 50k miles before rebuild compared to 200k+ miles for ICE)

The biggest barrier is battery technology, which is moving on, but not quite there yet.

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Main issues with electric cars in general:

Don't forget spontaneous combustion: I've read of a number of cases of electric cars catching fire due to short circuits... there's a lot of energy in those batteries just waiting to get out and turn into heat.

Not sure if it's more of a risk than a petrol car, but at least petrol cars only tend to catch fire when the engine is running, not when they're sitting in the garage while you're on holiday.

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Something struck me (mentally!) when I was crossing the street the other day.

It was a narrow lane with buildings almost on the street so it's not as easy as other streets to just glance along for oncoming traffic.

Anyways, I heard a car approaching rather than see it and took evasive action.

I don't know why I thought of it but I thought "if that had been an electric car (which are nigh on silent at low speeds) it was highly likely that could have hit me"

I reckon there will be many more pedestrian/car collisions with electric cars unless they build in a sound at low speeds.

NDL

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One possibility for the future is an induction system to transfer power from cables buried under the road to pick-ups on the underside of the electric vehicles. Of course there are still technical obstacles to overcome, but it would get rid of the large battery problem. All you would need would be a hybrid car but without the huge battery pack.

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One possibility for the future is an induction system to transfer power from cables buried under the road to pick-ups on the underside of the electric vehicles. Of course there are still technical obstacles to overcome, but it would get rid of the large battery problem. All you would need would be a hybrid car but without the huge battery pack.

What would the health risks be of all this electrical activity under all the roads? Is there not efficiency problems too with induction?

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The problem with electric cars is that they are just a mobile store of energy.

I guess if every car owning household in Britain had their motor hooked up to the grid gulping current all night then that would be a serious amount of power consumption. Power generated in fossil fuel fed power stations.

I'll bet someone on here knows more about it and could do the maths?

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Get an air car - I linked to them above.

They're soon to be launced on the market.

You only need an air compressor to make them work. For a car, they're also inexpensive

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Get an air car - I linked to them above.

They're soon to be launced on the market.

You only need an air compressor to make them work. For a car, they're also inexpensive

according to your link they use:

"compressed air + fuel"

And pray do tell us by what magic fuelless process said air is compressed.

:lol:

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If you'd bothered to read the site properly instead of attempting to be humourous you'd have noticed there are two different types of technologies being used

Two technologies have been developed to meet different needs:

* Single energy compressed air engines

* Dual energy compressed air plus fuel engines

http://www.theaircar.com/thecar.html

The dual energy is compressed air + fuel, as you rightly stated.

The single energy is compressed air only.

It also states on the site, that the car tank can be refilled with high pressure in three minutes at an air station. The cost of refueling with the generator will be approximately €1.50

So it will require 3 minutes worth of electricity to power the high pressure air compressor in order to fill the tank.

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So it will require 3 minutes worth of electricity to power the high pressure air compressor in order to fill the tank.

and what makes the electricity?

Until it's all renewables rather than gas, there really is no environmental advantage, infact, the more times you convert energy the more you burn for the same amount of eventual work done. Fuel->Electricity->CompressedAir->Locomotion just has to be more inefficient than Fuel->Locomotion. That means more greenhouse gases per mile travelled.

A book called Fuels Paradise by Chapman went through this years ago.

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If you'd bothered to read the site properly instead of attempting to be humorous you'd have noticed there are two different types of technologies being used

Two technologies have been developed to meet different needs:

* Single energy compressed air engines

* Dual energy compressed air plus fuel engines

http://www.theaircar.com/thecar.html

The dual energy is compressed air + fuel, as you rightly stated.

The single energy is compressed air only.

It also states on the site, that the car tank can be refilled with high pressure in three minutes at an air station. The cost of refueling with the generator will be approximately €1.50

So it will require 3 minutes worth of electricity to power the high pressure air compressor in order to fill the tank.

It takes three minutes to fill a flat tyre from a forecourt compressor, if you're lucky enough to find one that works.

What sort of range do you get on that?

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Citroen lease electric powered versions of their smaller cars I think. Sue Dunster, wife of architect Bill Dunster has one. Article on this page about it,

http://www.zedfactory.com/zedlife/zedlife.html

I think Citroen only lease them as the batteries are A very expensive and B will only last a few years. The reality is that unless you are selling your business on it's green credentials as the wonderful Dunster's are it is far cheaper to buy and run a small diesel version of the same car.

My car a 1.1 litre petrol smart forfour does roughly 45 mpg, the diesel version does over 60mpg.

Leeds City Council had some tiny electric cars a few years ago for day hire around town but they were unreliable and ran out of juice after an hour. They were supplied by a company called Whizzgo who now use small Citroens instead.

http://www.whizzgo.co.uk/

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I reckon there will be many more pedestrian/car collisions with electric cars unless they build in a sound at low speeds.

Indeed: it will be like cyclists in 'pedestrianised' zones, only worse. Though even petrol cars these days are often pretty quiet.

Another issue that's often ignored is heating. In a petrol car you get lots of free heat as a result of burning fuel, in an electric car all that heat is wasted at the power station and you need to suck loads of energy out of the batteries to keep yourself warm in the winter.

One possibility for the future is an induction system to transfer power from cables buried under the road to pick-ups on the underside of the electric vehicles.

Mmm, free electricity! Sounds like a great idea, I'd never have to pay an electricity bill again once I wired the house up to a coil on the road.

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At first glance I am intrigued by the aircar.

I liked the solution to global warming these could provide:

"The temperature of the clean air expulsed form the exhaust pipe is between 0 and 15 degrees below zero and can be subsequently channelled and used for air conditioning in the interior of the car."

I'll keep my eye on this idea.

However, cars have always bored me senseless and I have no real idea how a conventional engine works. So it's a steep learning curve.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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