Where is my electric car? part 2

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Where is my electric car? part 2

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

A continuation of this thread where we very briefly touched on the subject of flying cars.

 

I remember reading somewhere that it was mentioned that the 'flying car' would never be tolerated because it could become a huge security problem with regard to country borders.

 

That made me think of this article about the early airplane industry: The Aviator

 

excerpt:

 

McCurdy joined what they called the "aeronautical circus," and did shows (for $500 each) in almost every major city east of the Mississippi - in D.C., he circled the Washington Monument; in Brooklyn and Palm Beach, he became the first pilot to transmit and receive wireless signals on board; in Ontario, he won a race from Hamilton to Toronto against another member of the flying fraternity by cutting over the lake. Accidents, many fatal, abounded on the circuit and McCurdy had his share of close calls. In Chicago, his plane caught fire after coming into contact with live wires. In Allentown, Pennsylvania, his motor stopped 800 feet in the air, and wind capsized the plane, before he righted it and glided to a violent landing. McCurdy continued to believe the plane would play a role in future wars, and in exhibitions he would drop oranges, which he called bombs, on targets identified as battleships to prove his point. Some Japanese observers at a U.S. airshow took note, and wasted no time placing orders for planes on behalf of their military.

 

Even the onset of the First World War didn't change the mind of the Canadian government, though, with Sam Hughes, the minister of militia and defence, blustering at McCurdy: "The aeroplane is an invention of the devil and will never play any part in such a serious business as the defence of the nation." "I am sure," the young man said quietly, "you will live to regret those words, General Hughes."

 

 

 

ETA: if there's ever flying cars, they'd probably go to the military first.Frown

Maysie Maysie's picture

Hey Boom Boom, just to let you know, all caps in thread titles is a no-no. So I've changed it. I think the other one wasn't changed because CF and I were on break and we let it go.

Now, we're back on the job. Let the fun-squelching begin.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

A reminder from the earlier thread, originally posted by Dreamfilm:

 

 

Just wanted to let you all know about a documentary you'll be interested to see. It's called X-CARS and it airs Thursday Jan 6th on Discovery Channel Canada. 8pm ET and 9pm PT. It's about a group of guys from Maple Ridge, BC who built an innovative (mostly) electric car called the eVaro and competed in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE competition. Check it out at www.x-cars.ca 

 

(that's tonight)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Electric cars, flying cars... how about this:

A U of T engineering student has become the first ever to fly a human-powered “ornithopter”

 

excerpt:

 

Last August, in Tottenham, Ontario, Reichert became the first person to fulfil the vision Leonardo DaVinci set down in his notebooks in 1485 - of flying a human-powered vehicle through the air like a bird. "This is the original aeronautical dream," Reichert says. "Humans have always wanted to fly like birds."

KenS
Noah_Scape

 

   Great! - the electric car market appears to be opening up slightly. The espionage at Renault is an indication of that.

The article also says that Renault is getting serious about EVs -

Quote: "Renault aims to become the first volume automaker to make electric vehicles available to the mass market and, with Japanese alliance partner Nissan Motor Co., is jointly investing 4 billion euros ($5.3 billion) in EV programs.

Renault plans to build more than 200,000 EVs a year by 2015-2016. This year, the automaker will launch three EVs in Europe -- the Fluence sedan, Kangoo delivery van and the two-seat Twizy. Nissan currently is rolling out its Leaf electric hatchback globally."

I like the Leaf; they may soon be available in Canada!

 EV me!!

 

Jingles

Given the choice, I'd much rather take one of these:

[img]http://www.classycars.org/Plymouth/plymouth.1957.fury.jpg[/img]

over a greenwashed electic car any day of the week.

Not because it consumes incredible amounts of fuel, but because it's honest. Electric and "hybrid" cars are a way for well-off consumers to continue to consume, but without all that icky guilt about killing cute polar bears.

In fact, the electric car would do nothing to stop (and may even encourage) the rampant sprawl that is a consequence of car ownership.

At least that Fury has style. And, it can kill you if you piss it off. Just ask Moochie Welch.

Fidel

Now that's a nice car! My gas guzzling '89 Fleetwood winterbeater has all kinds of electrics on-board. It's very electrical. I spend a lot of time figuring out how to shut them off.

Searosia

Cheer jingles, it's nice to see someone calling the electric car for what it is...suppression of guilt for consumption.  The ultimate answer to the 'how do we keep consuming while feeling good about it?' question

mmphosis

Electric vehicles are here.  Where I live, I see people riding/driving them on the road almost everyday.  And, don't forget about compressed air vehicles.

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/vehicle/emerging/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed_air_car

http://www.tigertruck.com/electric/star/

http://www.rapidelectricvehicles.com/

http://www.purolator.com/media/news/may_27_05.html

http://www.zenncars.com/

Companies are converting fleet vehicles to electric.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Electric motorcycles have been around for a few years, here is what I think is the best:

Brammo Empulse All Electric Motorcycle

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

dp

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Last summer I along with a certain ex-babble mod purchased e-bikes or as some would call them e-scooters.   We ride them back and forth to work every day and love them!   Top speed regulated here in Ontario at 32 kph and 60 km on a full charge.   We just plug them in when we get home from work and we're all ready for the next day.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Electric motorcyles are out of my price range, but I'm looking at getting a GIANT electric bicycle.

 

(anyone else getting weird formatting tonight?) 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Been reading about a coming jump in the cost of electricity not only here in Quebec, but elsewhere as well. I wonder what that will do to purchases of electric cars - can't be good.

Noah_Scape

Actually, BOOM, electric cars could actually help the electric grid. Plugging them in during off-peak hours late at night [using timers] will not be a drain on the grid when demand is highest. Also, there is the idea that EVs could be used as electricity storage somehow, with the idea of making the grid more efficient.

News this week past said the Nissan Leaf and the Volt were excellent in crash safety testing.

So, NOPE - no drawbacks, low cost, helps reduce CO2 emissions -

   But WHERE THE HECK IS MY ELECTRIC CAR?? - it is MAY now, FIVE months into 2011, and I have yet to see an electric car. Or even an ad for an electric car, which is weird because every other new car gets a big promotion campaign. Maybe it is because there is a LONG WAITING LIST for EVs??

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Wish I had the $9,000 for a electric motorcycle - they look great!  I'm going to price electric scooters next.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

They're coming, they're expensive, and they're subsidized

excerpt:

Volt buyers in Quebec are eligible for an $8,000 provincial sweetener for being among the first to adopt the pricier electric technology, while Ontario Volt owners will receive an $8,230 rebate, making for an effective starting price of $33,315. In comparison, the Leaf's starting price of $38,395 (including navi and Bluetooth) will become $29,895 after its maximum $8,500 Ontario rebate is factored in, or $32,395 for the fully loaded Leaf SL model with quick charge port, before freight, dealer fees and taxes.

excerpt:

Remember that the plug-in Volt's main claim to fame is that it simply switches to gasoline-derived electricity once the 40-80 km worth of plug-in battery juice is depleted, allowing it to travel up to 580 km on a full tank and charge, making spontaneous trips to the cottage or Niagara Falls a range-anxiety-free affair. But this also means having two power sources on board, the Volt's 16 kW battery and the 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine, which in theory should make the Volt significantly pricier than the (Nissan) Leaf and it's battery-only design.

Bubbles

Why is the Ontario government subsidizing the sale of elecric cars?

Is it not in the automotive multinationals own interest to promote more efficient and environmentaly friendly cars?

Would a NDP government put a stop to that?

Seems to me it would be more rational to put in a tax on polution.

KenS

I'm not clear Bubbles.

What is the relation between your fist and second questions?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Bubbles, I think the $8,000 subsidy is an obvious bribe to get folks to switch from regular to hybrid or all-electric cars. If enough people hop on to the idea of electric (or hybrid) then presumably 1) pollution will be cut and 2) less gas will be consumed - two very good goals indeed, although I suppose it is indeed debateable as to whether a $8,000 bribe is the best way to further these goals. Why do you think a NDP gov't should put a stop to this? Is a tax on pollution (carbon tax?) indeed the better way? Or would it just breed resentment in voters and a downfall of the gov't in the next election?

Noah_Scape
Bubbles

[quote=KenS]

I'm not clear Bubbles.

What is the relation between your fist and second questions?

[/quote]

 

I am just wondering why the Ontario government, of all things, is subsidizing the use of electricity, when so much of their elecricity is still derived from coal and uranium and they are subsidizing solar electricity to the tune of 50 to 70 cent per kilowatt hour. I have not done the math but can you imagine if a million gas guslers get replaced by electric cars in Ontario what that will do to the governments budget and or the environment.

With the inevitable higher and higher gas prices the automotive industry has a huge motivation to remain in their market, the onus is on them, I would think, to prove that they can remain an alternative to public transit and rail service.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Good point - more electric vehicles means more demands on the electric grid. Not such a problem here in Quebec where we're actually exporting hydroelectricity.

Noah_Scape

Gasoline Prices and EVs

   "Demand" is a major factor in the price of gasoline right now.

  One of the factors for demand is that US inventories are low [earlier this year Pres. Obama released much of that inventory to help keep the price low, which delayed this price rise].

   Another factor of the current increased demand on gasoline supply, and hence the price rise, is that this is "driving season" in the USA.

   All that is just to say that yes, in fact, DEMAND is a major factor in the current high price of gasoline. My real point is about how EVs will help us avoid this situation.

   When just 1% of people drive EVs, the demand for gasoline will drop, and therefore the price of it will drop.

Etc ramble:
     Not only that, but of course by driving an electric vehicle ["EV"] you simply avoid the high price of gasoline altogether.
 * Secondly, your CO2 footprint is reduced, if that matters to you then get an EV [it surely matters to you if you believe that CO2 increases ocean acidification and accellerates global warming].
 * Thirdly, your accelleration is amazing with an EV - all the power goes to the wheels right away, unlike that delayed reaction of internal combustion engines [the Tesla Roadster EV goes "0 to 100" more quickly than a Lambourgini. just 4.6 sec].
 * A FOURTH advantage of EVs is the quietness while driving, if you like quiet, but if not then the EV car stereo even sounds better than stereos in cars with a gasoline engine because it isn't competing with the engine noise.
 * FIFTH is the smell of exhaust - toxins aside, the smell is gagging enough to want an EV. Okay, I am stretching for ideas here... just please let me have an EV!! Where the %(# are they??

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

To those who have an electric scooter - do you need a motorcycle license to operate it?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Not electric, but still worthy of attention:

Volkswagen 1-Liter Car

excerpt:

The 1-litre car is powered by a one-cylinder diesel engine, centrally positioned in front of the rear axle and combined with an automated direct shift gearbox. The crankcase and cylinder head of the 0.3-litre engine are of an aluminium monobloc construction.

The naturally aspirated, direct-injection diesel engine employs advanced high-pressure unit injection technology to generate 6.3 kW (8.5 bhp) at 4,000 rpm. This gives the vehicle, which weights just 290 kg, an astonishingly lively temperament.

Fuel consumption is a mere 0.99 litre per 100 kilometres. With a 6.5-litre tank, this gives a range of some 650 kilometres without refuelling.

Noah_Scape

A lovely People's Car!! - but isn't it going to be difficult to fit a person into a "1 liter car"?

Anyway, whatever saves gasoline for one person helps bring down the cost of gasoline for everyone - hey, thats a lot like socialism!!

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

It's a two seater, inline. I'm not sure I'd ever take it onto the highway, too light maybe to stand up to crosswinds. Plus, it's such a small vehicle that a big truck right behind you might not see you at all. Would make a good city/suburbs commuter, maybe.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Electric does not have to be dull: Silent but deadly

excerpt:

Of course, it’s not as if there have been many bikes to challenge that title. But, it’s progress – electric bikes are getting faster and faster, and their batteries are lasting longer and longer. Zero-emissions races like the TTXGP series will only serve to advance motorcycle technology the same way that gasoline-powered races have done already for over a century.

Policywonk

[quote=Boom Boom]

It's a two seater, inline. I'm not sure I'd ever take it onto the highway, too light maybe to stand up to crosswinds. Plus, it's such a small vehicle that a big truck right behind you might not see you at all. Would make a good city/suburbs commuter, maybe.

[/quote]

I think the 1-litre is referring to the fuel economy.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Yes, you're right. The engine is a 0.3 liter one cylinder - amazing!

Noah_Scape

And... HERE IT IS!!!!!

 The Nissan Leaf is being advertised on television in Canada. "Available in [?month?] 2011" - I didn't catch the month because my eyes were tearing up, lol.

  While googling it I found two other ads, the Polar Bear one is a bit of a tearjerker itself:

Polar Bear Ad > http://www.cleanbreak.ca/2010/09/11/2627/
Stab at Chevy Volt -shown in final frame at a gas pump - ["gas powered everything" ad] > http://www.carnationcanada.com/blog/blog/nissan-2/

Nissan Leaf Facebook page> http://www.facebook.com/NissanLEAFCanada

---

and Google also found that Canadians can order Volts now > http://www.canadianautoworld.ca/article/100651/

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Ford just introduced a 2012 Focus that is 100% electric, but only gets 75 miles in between charges. Available in the USA, not sure about Canada.

The PS article reads: "Ford's first electric passenger car is a five door hatch driven by a 123-hp AC motor to a top speed of 84 mph. The 23-kWh liquid-cooled-and-heated-lithium-ion battery pack consumes a significant portion of the gas model's cargo space. A full recharge takes three to four hours with a 240-volt supply." Ford won't give an exact driving range, but expect a realistic 75 miles.

I can't imagine who would buy this thing unless it's half the price of a Prius. Who wants to sit around 3 - 4 hours waiting for the car to recharge? I guess it might be suitable just for urban commuting if the driving range is only 75 miles.

susanavilon susanavilon's picture

i dont think that renault will still produce cars for the next three years from now. they are having low sales right now as of my source, but they still produce [spam removed] for some of their few renault owners. Renault has been a good car manufacturer. Ever since they started.

autoworker

[quote=susanavilon]

i dont think that renault will still produce cars for the next three years from now. they are having low sales right now as of my source, but they still produce renault parts for some of their few renault owners. Renault has been a good car manufacturer. Ever since they started.

[/quote]

Renault has had recent success building cheap, no frills models for the European market. Its partnership with Nissan will ensure its viability in the medium term, while the higher cost European producers continue to shed capacity. The current financial crisis will accellerate this trend, as the Eurozone contracts under the current austerity regime-- with Spain and Italy likely to follow. Look for more rationalization of the industry there, as seen with GM's recent European consolidations.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I read the September 2011 issue of Popular Science a few days ago, and there's an article about Ford going to put a three-cylinder engine in the Fiesta, and it's a vast improvement (so they say) over previous three cylinder engines found in the infamously bad Geo Metro. And it produces four-cylinder power but also high gas mileage. Supposed to be released this year or next. It's in the EcoBoost series, has a turbo, and is good for 119 hp and 40 mpg highway - from three cylinders.

ETA: I've had a life long aversion to turbocharged engines -  something to do with their added complexity and perhaps lack of reliability. However their popularity suggests that maybe they've come a long way in reliability.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

[quote=susanavilon]

 Renault has been a good car manufacturer. Ever since they started.

[/quote]

ROTFL!!!!!!!!!

I guess you weren't around in the 1960s when the Renault Dauphin, R8, and R10 were sold in Canada. Garbage, all of them. While they did well in competitive sports car rallies, the cars were prone to rust and engine failures. And they were ugly.  There's a reason Renault stopped selling in North America - no one wanted them. The infamous Le Car was the final bridge to be burned between Renault and North America.

ETA: I used to visit England and Wales, and Renault has come a long way since the 1960s - but their cars are still no match for the Japanese or Germans in my opinion (I drove a small Renault when I was in Cheshire in the early 2000s). Renault has partnerships with Nissan and Mercedes-Benz, but apparently - I'm guessing because I just don't know - no one wants to risk selling the Renault brand extensively again throughout  North America. For Renault to again have a foothold in North America, they need dealership infrastructure which they gave up long ago - during their alliance with American Motors I believe. Renault is a huge company outside North America, though. But North America is a hugely competitive market, and could Renault actually succeed here? That's a big, big question.

timothyhern1125 timothyhern1125's picture

i would like to suggest to renault to produce an electric car, but still having their old design. it will be more attractive and more eye catchy. People like vintage cars. And people love renault. They are known as one of the best car manufacturer knowing they had great Renault Parts. And for sure if they will upgrade their parts and cars into an electric one, it will click to the people.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I wonder if there's an Electric Car Magazine in Canada - I'd like to see how electrics are faring in Canadian winters. Heating the car interior and windshield must drain a considerable amouunt of power, especially at -30 and below. With a regular vehicle, you're using an interior electric heater powered by the generator and the gas engine.

Fidel

Driverless cars legal in California On the roads by 2022?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Popular Science (or was it Mechanics Illustrated?) did a feature on driverless cars a year ago - fascinating stuff, it would probably work well wherever winter weather (ie: snow) is not a factor. With snow, there would be interference between the car and the grids embedded in the pavement.

mmphosis

The company that was taking the Ford Transit Connect and converting them to all electric filed for bankrupcy.  The cost of converting an already expensive gas vehicle, removing the gas engine and replacing it with electric components was a very expensive venture.  I think the final price was around $70,000.00 making it cost prohibitive.  I am not surprised they went bankrupt.

http://green.autoblog.com/2012/03/28/azure-halts-ford-transit-connect-el...

Still there is demand for all electric vehicles, Ford and others have been producing a few ...

http://www.ford.com/cars/focus/trim/electric/

The price still gets me, I think that electric vehicles could be significantly less expensive.  And, the most expensive part:  the battery (batteries) could serve a dual purpose as electric storage for home use.  Also, the vehicles themselves could be lighter as I find all US/Canadian market vehicles are weighed down by features that I don't want, but the manufacturers have managed to mandate these so-called features into all vehicles sold here.  The vehicle made in Asia is very different than the ones made here -- and importing these less expensive, lighter and more efficient vehicles to Canada is made impractical as well.

It's a rigged game.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Electric cars and Canadian winters:

Electric cars can handle Canadian winter  (2012)

excerpts:

- New data obtained by CBC News suggests the range of electric cars is significantly impaired by extreme cold, but not enough to affect the commuting habits of most Canadians.

- The Mitsubishi i-MiEV sells for $32,000, while the Nissan Leaf starts at $38,000. Surprised

Cost of an Electric Car in Canada (2011)

excerpts:

- As new electric cars make their way into the Canadian market, some wonder if green technology will drain wallets instead of the gas tank.

Before signing up on the waiting list for 2011's new electric vehicles, such as the Ford Focus Electric, the Nissan Leaf, or the Chevrolet Volt, Canadians would do well to read the fine print.

Aside from the car's price tag, an electric vehicle includes other expenses. Consider the cost of charging the battery, the battery's lifespan and additional purchases.

Although Canada has some of the lowest energy costs in the world due to a ready availability of natural resources, costs are steadily rising. Even so, electricity will still beat the cost of gas.

- But temperature and age can affect the battery's performance.

Our Canadian winters will drain the battery faster than a winter in California. But in a recent press release, Ford states that the Focus Electric takes measures to increase battery life in cold weather.

"On cold days, heated liquid warms the batteries, gradually bringing the system's temperature to a level that allows it to efficiently accept charge," it reads.

(this article includes info on cost of electrics including charging rates)

Fidel

[quote=Boom Boom]

Good point - more electric vehicles means more demands on the electric grid. Not such a problem here in Quebec where we're actually exporting hydroelectricity.

[/quote]

That doesn't stop Charest and his crooks from buying power from Ontario to sell to the Yanks. I guess Rene Levesque could second guess the bastards only so far into the future. 

What are your light bills like? How mucho per kW-H? Don't tell me - I don wanna know. I'll prolly cry.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Quebec last week shut down the only nuclear plant in the province, Gentilly-2.

I'll look up my hydro rates as soon as can find my last bill. I think from June to October I pad a total of about $300 in hydro bills - for an independent residence with a garage that also is fully electric.

ETA: In the time I've been on the coast, one hydro plant has opened - the Roberston Lake hydro complex just outside La Tabatiere, and another started just north of Havre-Ste-Pierre which I think opens in 2020 or so. I've been the administrator of the Facebook group started up to protest the second project, which will kill one of the finest rivers in the province.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I grew up in a family of car fanatics - all of us drove either sports cars or Detroit high performance compacts such as Camaros and Dodge Darts with V8 engines. Even my mother drove a Plymouth super car with a monster V8, and drag raced it a couple of times. When she got tired of the Plymouth, she then got a hot Camaro. Myself, it was a Sunbeam Imp Sport and a Mini Cooper in the 1960s. So, consequently, it took me a very long time to get over this fixation with "fun to drive" cars. In the 1990s I brought a Honda CRX Si and did some mods to it to make it suitable for sports car racing - better tires, shocks, small Momo steering wheel, and some other stuff. Now I drive a Mazda truck - just around the village, and all winter it's my work truck for hauling firewood.

I guess if I was a lot younger in the city and had a decent income, I might consider a used Prius. But I'm 63 now, and my truck is probably the last vehicle I'll ever purchase. No one here has an electric vehicle here on the coast - everyone drives a big truck.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Well just before Christmas I did my last electric commute via my e-scooter.

We've now had a serious snow dump in southern Ontario that will stick around till I assume the end of March.

So...I'm able to e-commute in Toronto for 8-9 months of the year...and occasionally (like last winter) I can e-commute throughout the winter.

mmphosis

Free transportation for life (medium.com/we-live-in-the-future/)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Tesla has a great idea. However, there could be a problem. What if other manufacturers do the same thing? Will they share the same charging facilities, or will each brand have to have their own charging stations?

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