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Would you rather drive a biodiesel, hybrid, electric, or hydrogen car? - Page 2

post #31 of 65

There's some question about the Alias, because ZAP's website says you can pre-order them for delivery in (late) 2009.  However, apparently they're going to make some "hand-crafted" limited edition Aliases first, which you would presume would happen before they go into mass production of the regular edition.

 

So it seems a little difficult to believe ZAP will be delivering a significant number of Aliases this year, but it's still good to see them showing the car off at shows and expos and such.  I'm optimistic that we'll at least start seeing significant Alias deliveries in early 2010 if not this year.

 

That, combined with ZAP's other successes (including with the Xebra) makes it the most impressive electric car company in my mind.  I wish people wouldn't call the company a bunch of scam artists based on the one WIRED article.  People read one media article and think they know all there is to know.  It bugs me.

post #32 of 65

I think we could do a lot better than most of these, honestly, and perhaps we will as technology advances.  To answer the question...I know nothing about biodiesel so I can't choose that one.  I would have to say hybrid, because I think, so far, it is the best solution.  Electric cars only go about 150 miles before needing recharged.  If you do all of your driving primarily in one city, that's great, but if you're in a rural area like me where you drive several miles to work or shop, or anything else, it wouldn't last long.  Also, I visit family out of state, about 180 miles away, and I do this about once every month or 2 so I would never even make it with an electric car.  As for hydrogen...just think of the water shortage we would have if every car on the road was using water!  We definitely need to move to a renewable and plentiful resource, more so than oil or water either one are.


Edited by loren - Sun, 25 Jan 2009 22:55:38 UTC
post #33 of 65

Electric! Absolutely for me. I drive a Ford Escape Hybrid now and try to keep it in pure electric mode as long as possible. I'm on the potential buyers list for a Phoenix SUT but they keep pushing their delivery date back and the price is up to $47,500. It's getting out of my range. I'm liking the Aptera at a mid $20's price. I installed a 5.25 KW solar system on my home in May 08 and would love to drive for free!

post #34 of 65

Can't I pick the Air-car? Or at least the air car hybrid (Air/Electric). An Air powered car with an alternator that charges the batteries while in air mode then the compressor is powered by electricity to refill the air tanks. I like that plan and then the only output would be momentum and air. If it needs a charge I'd charge it with renewable sources.

post #35 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Andy:

Can't I pick the Air-car?


 

Air cars are basically just electric cars, except instead of storing energy in a battery, they store it in compressed air.  The advantage is that they're cheaper and can be refilled more quickly than electric cars with a battery.  The disadvantage is that they're less efficient than traditional electric cars.

 

See the air car wiki for further details.


Edited by dana1981 - Fri, 30 Jan 2009 17:15:54 UTC
post #36 of 65
post #37 of 65

 Since we're really getting into the electric car...

 

I know this was in the past but it should be noted. Have any of you seen 'Who Killed the Electric Car'? I did and it was mentioned that the battery manufacturer, Stanford R. Ovshinsky’s Ovonics Company ,made the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), and had produced top notch high effecient batteries for the market. The car industry basically ingored him and put in the low lasting battery to sway people from buying one, making it as a Con instead of a pro. 

I think the technology is there, it was the greed getting in the way.

post #38 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcierizzo:

Have any of you seen 'Who Killed the Electric Car'? I did and it was mentioned that the battery manufacturer, Stanford R. Ovshinsky’s Ovonics Company ,made the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), and had produced top notch high effecient batteries for the market. The car industry basically ingored him and put in the low lasting battery to sway people from buying one, making it as a Con instead of a pro. 

I think the technology is there, it was the greed getting in the way.


 

Who Killed the Electric Car?

 

I don't remember that part of the film.  However, the second generation EV1 did use NiMh batteries which had pretty good range, close to 100 miles per charge as I recall.  Plus there are so many small EV companies right now that the car industry is no longer a barrier.  Everyone is using lithium ion batteries now though - NiMh is old technology at this point.

post #39 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Jordan:

 Little better,,,,,, cimin' on up ..

 

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/02/01/whats-green-three-wheeled-and-can-park-by-the-blue-signs/

 

Oh man!  This comes from the article...

 

The BioTrike is a tadpole-style three-wheeled plug-in hybrid vehicle that burns diesel (or biodiesel, natch) in a Caterpillar-sourced engine. The builders claim that the range with a full tank and a full charge is somewhere between 700 and 900 miles.

 

700 to 900 miles is quite something on 9 gallons of fuel.  Now...the trike apparently was designed for those with physical handicaps so I guess they're not necessarily thinking expansive adoption.  But it's cool to see aerodynamics coming into the design.

 

I guess that's roughly the same range as the Air Car.

post #40 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcierizzo:

 Since we're really getting into the electric car...

 

I know this was in the past but it should be noted. Have any of you seen 'Who Killed the Electric Car'? I did and it was mentioned that the battery manufacturer, Stanford R. Ovshinsky’s Ovonics Company ,made the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), and had produced top notch high effecient batteries for the market. The car industry basically ingored him and put in the low lasting battery to sway people from buying one, making it as a Con instead of a pro. 

I think the technology is there, it was the greed getting in the way.

I bought the movie and share it with anyone that will sit still long enough to watch it. I do remember that part of the movie. GM opted for the lead acid batteries over the NMH in the 1st gen of the EV1. Even though they were ready and better. Not sure if GM ever explained that. In the movie, they assumed it was to deliver an inferior product.
The part in that movie I like is the Saturn sales lady that is very enthused over the EV1 and upset with the destruction of them. A  museum curator, showing her an EV1 in their possession, says they didn't have enough range. She says, "We have batteries available today, that will take this car over 300 miles". I would add that there are batteries that can also charge in minutes. The batteries in the Phoenix SUT claim an 80% charge in 10 minutes, with a special charger. Now if they could produce one in my price range???


 

post #41 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjnkm:
 I would add that there are batteries that can also charge in minutes. The batteries in the Phoenix SUT claim an 80% charge in 10 minutes, with a special charger. 
 


 

I could be wrong about this, but I don't think Phoenix is offering the SUT right now with batteries that have rapid charge capability.  I think that's still under development, although they are currently selling SUTs (apparently Ed Begley owns one). 

 

Also, they need special charging stations, because a 110 or 220-volt outlet can't provide enough power to charge an EV battery in 10 minutes, regardless of the charger plugging into them.  Last I read these kinds of charging stations cost in the many thousands of dollars (I recall seeing one figure at $8000).

 

On a related note, there was recently a big stink because Shelby Super Cars claimed their Ultimate Aero EV could recharge from a 110V outlet in 10 minutes.  A bunch of blogs and such caught onto this and talked about how it's impossible.  Shelby then issued another statement saying they meant it was a 220V outlet that allowed for the 10 minute recharge, and there was yet another stink because that's still impossible.  So then Shelby issued a third statement saying

 

"SSC's "Charge on the RunTM" onboard charging system allows for full battery recharges in as little as 10 minutes"

 

Notice they now conspicuously left out how and where it could achieve this 10 minute recharge.


Edited by dana1981 - Tue, 3 Feb 2009 20:43:51 UTC
post #42 of 65

Here is an article from the battery producer for the Phoenix. http://www.forbes.com/2008/01/12/electric-cars-nanotech-tech-sciences-cz_as_0112nano.html 

True, the charger is very expensive, (I read somewhere, $100K), and you probably won't own one since you just don't have the kind of power it requires in your neighborhood. It would be far easier to add these chargers to an existing gas station, than say a Hydrogen refilling station.

post #43 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjnkm:

True, the charger is very expensive, (I read somewhere, $100K), and you probably won't own one since you just don't have the kind of power it requires in your neighborhood. It would be far easier to add these chargers to an existing gas station, than say a Hydrogen refilling station.


 

Totally, no doubt about it.  I was just making the point that we shouldn't expect to be able to get 10 minute recharges at home, but in a pinch at some sort of refueling station, that wouldn't be too difficult to implement.

post #44 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjnkm:

Here is an article from the battery producer for the Phoenix. http://www.forbes.com/2008/01/12/electric-cars-nanotech-tech-sciences-cz_as_0112nano.html 

True, the charger is very expensive, (I read somewhere, $100K), and you probably won't own one since you just don't have the kind of power it requires in your neighborhood. It would be far easier to add these chargers to an existing gas station, than say a Hydrogen refilling station.

 

Assuming the increase in plug-in electric vehicles, there is certainly a great need for building the infrastructure for rapid charging stations.

 

I believe Better Place working on that.  They're banking on the "if you build it, they will come" principle it seems.  If the infrastructure exists for rapid recharging, consumer demand will increase and so will the number of EVs on the road.

 

But the question is...will it happen fast enough?  Will EV tech develop fast enough and come down in price enough?  And how will the current cheap gas prices impact that?

 

post #45 of 65

Hydrogen all the way!!!!

post #46 of 65

If I had my solar panels in place I would do electric for sure--that new Tesla looks totally awsome and gets 100 mi per charge!!!  Instead I have a hybrid--love, love, love it.  Good for long trips--not terribly powerful but don't need it if I drive right--speed limit and all that.

post #47 of 65

Well I'm starting to "Walk the Walk". (Tired of talking). My 5.25 KW solar panel system has been up for 1 year, (May 5th), and it produced 7 MWH of power in that time. That's only 1/3 of our needs since we have a business in our home, but still on track to pay off in 4.5 more years.

I've been driving a Ford Escape Hybrid since 06 and I just bought a 1997 Chevy S10 Electric. This is the GM built truck, not a conversion. Batteries should be in on the 18th and up and running ASAP. FEELS GOOD!!

post #48 of 65
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjnkm View Post

Well I'm starting to "Walk the Walk". (Tired of talking). My 5.25 KW solar panel system has been up for 1 year, (May 5th), and it produced 7 MWH of power in that time. That's only 1/3 of our needs since we have a business in our home, but still on track to pay off in 4.5 more years.

I've been driving a Ford Escape Hybrid since 06 and I just bought a 1997 Chevy S10 Electric. This is the GM built truck, not a conversion. Batteries should be in on the 18th and up and running ASAP. FEELS GOOD!!

 

Well done!  That's really awesome.  Definitely let us know how you like the truck once is rearing to go.  What's your solar panel system like?  Roof mount?  Backyard array?  I'm jealous!  :-)

post #49 of 65

HYBRID!!

You will maintain better power than the other three. But still get good mileage.

post #50 of 65

Then there's hydrogen. .........  The bottom line is that currently we have to use electricity to extract hydrogen from some kind of source (and on top of that, 96% of our hydrogen currently comes from fossil fuels).

Just a little information. A Japanese company has developed a new WTE technology that will yield hydrogen gas and methane gas separately from garbage. Most of current WTE used methane gas to generate electricity, but this new technology uses two step fermentation - first hydrogen gas, and second methane gas.

 

I do not knw how it is going to be popukar, and what the potential world wide, but it will be ideal to get hydrogen from garbage. A bit stinky, but sure is green.

post #51 of 65

My wife and I drive $3500, solar-charged, human/electric hybrid trikes for loads under 150 trailer lbs. and up to 30 miles. We built a $10,000, solar-charged, electric-converted, 1979 Porsche 924 for bad weather, loads up to 450 lbs., and longer trips. We recycled a dead 2001 Prius from a scrapyard and it has cut our gasoline consumption in half for the past 7 years. Bottom line: technology is only really useful when it's affordable by those with moderate means, low-tech enough to be user-serviceable (after some education, of course), human-scale, and appropriate to the task at hand.

I like electrics and electric hybrids. EMF is a definite concern, but good design keeps the power fields far from the user, preferably DC instead of AC or pulsed DC, and shielded with appropriate electric or magnetic shielding materials. Ferdinand Porsche built the first production hub-motor, front wheel drive, battery electric car back in 1898. The hybrid electric came 2 years later because it extended range and there weren't 6 billion people who wanted to drive. Burning up the Earth to zip across it carrying plastic junk and single passengers to and fro is SOOOO 19th Century! Envision a world without the need for speed.

post #52 of 65
Hi Bob,

I drive a 2007 Mercedes Viano van at present. When the premium on the electrics come down and I would save money with one I will be interested. Gas/diesel is in the 10 USD range here at present - rather heavily taxed.  

My new house is fully automated in about every way you can think of. The iron ore reduction plants I designed & built over a lifetime were fully automated - the last complex used approximately 75 mW at full capacity producing 700 mt of iron per hour. I don't have all this this EMF concern. 

Virtually all new tech is on the expensive side. After the item goes mainstream the prices generally become more affordable for all. 

I believe there will never be living at a slower pace - just new and larger goals to be set. If one wants to opt out then that is their choice but then choices are more limited for them.
post #53 of 65

Sorry, but I'm a philosophy and psych co-major with a heavy backround in physics, chemistry, and computer science. The choices I see are more sanity or less, more EMF-related illnesses or less, more environmental degradationa and loss of species or less, more traffic congestion and smog or less. Guess I'm just old-fashioned. And at age 56 I still like to bike. You either use it (muscles) or lose it.

post #54 of 65
 Hi Bob, I am 65 and still in quite good condition - excercise daily and all that. The EMF illness are a new on one me. The EMF, energy lines and all that make me lose interest very quickly.
post #55 of 65
I can relate. I didn't want to grow up a dowser, it just worked out that way. I'm more at home doing engineering, problem solving, and brushing up in the latest theories in physics. But I've dealt with too many cases of location-based illness to ignore EMF and earth energy exposure. Meanwhile, what to drive?

A good read to put driving habits in perspective would be Dmitry Orlov's new book, "Reinventing Colapse", which compares the reasons for the fall of the Soviet Union's economy with the imminent fall of the US economy, mainly due to peak oil. As an engineer he's got inside information and an international perspective that really gets you thinking about planning for the not-too-distant fuel-scarce future.
post #56 of 65
cool!
post #57 of 65
My 5.25 KW system is roof mounted, (30 X 175 watt Sharp panels). In this area, 36.5 degrees is optimal, but mine is at 18 degrees, (4/12 roof pitch). I'm also oriented at 135 degrees, (45 degrees East of true South). This is all acceptable in terms of production. I plan to add another 2 KW to my system.
My S10 Electric truck is another story. I ordered my 26 batteries from the local Chevy parts dealer on May 11th. The batteries are still used in the Silverado Hybrid, so GM still has them available. This is the only use of this battery in the U.S. so GM is the only game in town. I was told they were shipped from Canada, but got stuck in customs. After several weeks, I was than told the problem was that GM went into bankruptcy and could not supply batteries for anything other than warranty repairs. GM emerged from bankruptcy July 2nd. So what is the hold up now? Well someone in GM management has to make a decision. Are they going to sell to me or not? As of today, July 22, I still have not been told if I'm going to get my batteries or not. Gee... I wonder what they mean by poor management at General Motors? Or could it be true, that they do not want this truck on the road?
post #58 of 65
I'm just wondering if someone else has the right size, type, and capacity battery for your truck. Do you have the specs? Are they using flooded lead-acids or something more recent?
post #59 of 65
i agree with you Shellybeans..i am very sensitive to electrical devices around me...i mean, i am not a fanatic about it or anything but i do get a strong urge to clear away from electrical power sources often...BUT....anything is better than my lunge collapsing from car fuel fumes...which it did so for a while..
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHELLYBEAN View Post

ELECTRIC CARS INTERFERE WITH THE ENERGY FREQUENCY/ELECTRO MAGNETIC FIELDS IN THE BODY. SO ALTHOUGH THEY MAY BE GOOD FOR THE ENRVIRONMENT ON ONE HAND, THEY  AREN'T

 

 

post #60 of 65
Studies have shown that EMFs don't have any impact on human health.  My dad once did a study on health effects of EMF for people living below high voltage power lines, and found they had no impact.  So while you can't conclusively say the EMF from electric cars won't have an impact on the driver's health, I would be shocked if they did.
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