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Is the electric car dying?

MrSeb (471333) writes | more than 2 years ago

Power 7

MrSeb writes "Electric cars and plug-in hybrids took a beating on reliability, testing, and sales over the winter: $40,000 Tesla batteries bricking, a Fisker dying at the hands of Consumer Reports testers, a bit player going under, production suspended for five weeks on the Chevrolet Volt. Taken together, critics say, it proves electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) have finally been exposed as overpriced frauds. In reality, though, it's more likely that these events are just randomness, and bugs caused by new, relatively untested tech. The Chevrolet Volt, for example, has probably just run out of early adopters (it's too expensive for mass market) — and the Fisker Karma, which famously had a full system failure the first time Consumer Reports reached 65 mph, is a classic case of immature tech (and an immature startup) that hasn't been fully tested. The fact is, electric cars aren't dying — they're just hitting a few speed bumps, like all new tech."
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Yes the days are numbered (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 2 years ago | (#39430111)

I have always said that producing electric cars produces more CO2 than our fossil fuel cars. Conversely when you think you are being "green"; do people even think of how much fossil fuels have to be burned in order to create the electricity feed that goes into the car. False economics to the extreme.

It is time to go back to the drawing board.

Re:Yes the days are numbered (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39430369)

even think of how much fossil fuels have to be burned in order to create the electricity feed that goes into the car.

the burning of fuel in the combustion engine is so horribly inefficient, that burning it in an electric station, transmitting it to the car, storing it in the battery and taking it back out again, is MORE efficient (more miles per unit of gasoline).

Re:Yes the days are numbered (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 2 years ago | (#39438913)

even think of how much fossil fuels have to be burned in order to create the electricity feed that goes into the car.

the burning of fuel in the combustion engine is so horribly inefficient, that burning it in an electric station, transmitting it to the car, storing it in the battery and taking it back out again, is MORE efficient (more miles per unit of gasoline).

Good point. This weekend I am taking a trip on a traditional steam train! I cannot wait even though it is not energy efficient, it is still fun.

Maybe we should reserve fossil fuels for weekends only!

Re:Yes the days are numbered (1)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | more than 2 years ago | (#39434747)

Where I live we have hydro-electric power, you insensitive clod!

(Sorry, I've always wanted to use that /. standby)

Re:Yes the days are numbered (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 2 years ago | (#39438891)

Where I live we have hydro-electric power, you insensitive clod!

(Sorry, I've always wanted to use that /. standby)

Fantastic; I wish in the UK we invested more in hydro-electric instead of the highly controversial wind farms. I must concur that such an expression as "you insensitive clod" is a phrase I have not heard for many years!

Brilliant!

Electric Cars dying everytime a recharge required (1)

danlock4 (1026420) | more than 2 years ago | (#39433753)

News this evening for those of us whose car batteries remained charged until we got home.

They're taking the wrong approach. (1)

Static (1229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39434417)

Electric car makers are recreating the performance of petrol-driven cars with electric drive-trains, and then selling them as "more environmentally friendly". This is completely mis-marketing. The problem is, as many people have commented, the manufacturing techniques are not environmentally friendly.

The current prime culprit is the lithium batteries. This is touted as energy efficient storage, which it is, but it ignores two problems: whilst it is not a rare-earth, mining it and manufacturing with it has been linked with large environmental problems. And the recycling industry is minuscule. By contrast, lead-acid batteries are a very well known and mature technology, and the recyclability of lead-acid batteries is better than 97%. The only problem is that they're heavier than lithium.

I think electric car makers need to figure out how to live with that problem. It would mean they can make and sell electric cars for considerably less than they are doing at the moment. And that means people would find them affordable and would buy them. It also means they could make them user-replaceable. As for lack of performance, that shouldn't be a problem. People buy and use many many small, underpowered cars that struggle to beat a bicycle down a hill.

The other problem is the infrastructure for charging. Research proceeded apace some years ago for a paddle-based system for electric cars to charge whereever they were parked. Whilst this seems to have been abandoned, it does show that the problem of infrastructure *must* be tackled by manufacturers. They need to look at the history of how the petrol delivery infrastructure developed and see what they need to leverage to make that work. And they need to look at working together, not in competition. A battery exchange system might be one answer, but you have to be able to put Ford batteries into Mitsubishi electric cars (for instance).

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