5404Re: [evworld] Re: Batteries
- Oct 8, 2005All good points Ernie. To look at electric vehicles today, one would think they all have
to be small and extremely ugly. Also looking at hybrids and plug-in hybrids gives the
impression that we will always have an internal combustion engine in our vehicle. But
predicting the future can make everyone look silly.
For now, the plug-in hybrid looks like the best "vehicle" to blaze the trail to a pure
electric vehicle. Biofuels definitely fit well with a plug in hybrid and hopefully we
will see both these technologies blossom soon. With the history of battery electric
vehicles, it's easy to understand why they seem limited to small marginal units. But
every single limitation of the battery electric vehicle that I've been able to think of,
all leads back to the battery. The next question one must ask oneself is, has battery
technology already reached its zenith. If we listen to General Motors and others, this is
the case. They claim that they've given up on the battery and have moved on to the
hydrogen fuel cell. What they actually claim is that they've given up on the electric
vehicle, but we all know a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is nothing but an electric vehicle
that gets its electricity from the fuel cell.
Possibly the battery has run up against a technological brick wall. Possibly General
Motors is being genuine and does not have a hidden agenda in their campaign to explain to
us why they have given up on the battery electric vehicle. But while General Motors and
US Car may have given up, others still have some hope for the battery. My belief is that
battery technology is still in its infancy. Materials science along with growing need
from all sectors of society may still produce some very pleasant and exciting battery
technology surprises for us in the future.
Why should a battery be any different than the gas tank? Why can't a battery be superior
to a fuel tank? If the battery can be recharged in about the same amount of time it takes
to fill the fuel tank, that eliminates one of the biggest gripes. If the battery can be
made to work in all weather conditions, another common gripe goes by the wayside. And if
range can be achieved similar to that of liquid fuel vehicles, no one will have that to
complain about. There or still cost and environmental and other issues to consider but I
see no brick wall.
Why couldn't a large truck be a pure battery vehicle? What, other than our current
perceptions or misperceptions makes something like this impossible. It's tough to twist
our minds in new ways and as we predict the future were sure to look like fools at times.
There is also a lot of inertia to break through, as with any new concept. The electric
vehicle is generally understood to have certain characteristics. Even people who are
usually up on the latest technologies and are knowledgeable about vehicles in particular
will often hold some very incorrect views about electric vehicles. Battery electric
trucks may still be a long way off but the view of all electric vehicles as being slugs
on the road is about to be shattered.
The Toyota Prius is a very neat car and has obviously made a huge splash. But a muscle
car or a sports car it's not. But with the Lexus hybrid SUV we are seeing the beginnings
of what electric drive can do to enhance performance. With the Lexus 450H, the perception
of electric drive as being inherently slow will be confronted directly. It won't take too
long for people to put two and two together and realize that electric motors are not only
the best way but by far the fastest way to move the vehicle. As perceptions change, so
will products. For now our best bet to help things move along is to promote the plug-in
hybrid electric vehicle, "the gateway vehicle" as Murdoch has so cleverly put it. Beyond
that we need to keep our minds open for much better things to come. Because electric
motors are the best choice for powering big trucks for the same reasons they are the best
choice for powering locomotives and other machinery. It's just a question of how we're
going to get the electricity to them.
--- Arcologic@... wrote:
> Lee, got milk?
> Were you thinking of using an ET (electric truck) to haul your groceries?
> Or, how about the transporter that brings your EV from the factory?
> A huge share of transportation fuel goes to vehicles not suited for battery
> power. We need to continue research on more efficient and clean diesel
> engines, running on non-fossil fuel of course.
> An electric drive /motor behind the diesel engine might be a good
> improvement, don't know. For heavy duty trucks, another pressing need is some
> leadership toward better aerodynamic design.
> Ernie Rogers
> Lee said,
> Biofuels will be one important part of the solution.
> > But using electricity for world
> > transportation will be the ultimate answer. Even
> > biofuels will be much more practical
> > and efficient when used in an electric drive
> > vehicle.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
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