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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rasmasyean, Sep 23, 2008.
I'd be surprised if Chrysler makes it to 2010.
Why do you think that? The government will bail them out like the rest.
Why is this in the PRSI forum?
Because a move to become less dependent on fossil fuels has socio-political implications.
Question is, will these cars be any better engineered than their current models? I'm guessing not.
The problems I would see for this is...
If running on gas to recharge the battery after you used up 40 miles, will it cost more gas per mile than a normal engine?
If your commute to and from is > 40 miles, see above. Unless you employer installs outlets in the parking lot.
What about people who live in big cities and don't have a "personal garage" and access to an outlet? Even those who live near a big city just park their cars on the street.
What's wrong with catching the bus?
It depends on the type of driving you do. If it's stop and go, I'm sure the car will make use of regenerative breaking and other methods that can recover the kinetic energy of the car to charge the batteries as well which should yield better mileage than a standard car, but maybe not as efficient as a hybrid. Of course if your commute is 40 miles each way and you end up using the same amount of fuel as a standard car you'll still cut your fuel costs in half since you only use gas on the return trip and if you're only close (like a 21 mile commute) you'll only use gas for 2 miles per day.
I also thought I read somewhere that the car could feed back onto the power grid during peak hours to bolster the electric companies and help reduce costs during the most expensive hours of operations. Given this type of setup I can see incentives from government or the power companies to put outlets in company parking lots for employees who have cars that need charging.
No one's forcing you to live in the city, are they?
Well, the Volt is rumored to get 50mpg on it's gasoline generator. So even if you never plugged it in, you'd still be doing better than you would even with a Prius. So I highly doubt that any new plug-in based car would "cost more gas per mile than a normal engine" even when run on it's gasoline generator.
And obviously, these wouldn't be a perfect fit for everyone. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be made, just because they don't work for some specific subset of city dwellers. And city dwellers would do quite well with a hybrid, which performs best (mileage-wise) at low speeds and with frequent stopping and starting with which to take advantage of regenerative braking.
And just because hybrids don't make sense for those who's commutes involve long freeway trips doesn't mean we shouldn't make hybrids either BTW.
Also, if these cars do sell well, there will be incentives for employers to provide available outlets at work, as well as for retailers to provide infrastructure in parking lots.
I've heard there is serious research into batteries that will charge to like 90% in under 10 minutes, which would make electric "gas" stations viable.
There's a lot of ways the problems you raise can be addressed.
According to the video, they were saying that they were making electric motor driven wheels. This means that the gasoline engine has to charge the battery when it runs out of juice via a generator. The thing about this method is that you always get a loss when converting one form of energy to another. I understand the stop an go method may conserve fuel...in addition, there is no energy used when stopped (unlike an engine) because motors don't use electricity when still.
But if on a highway, it might take say 80 miles worth of gas (in a normal engine) to charge 40 miles worth of electricity into the battery to drive the motors.
The way I've heard it explained, it's much more efficient with the generator at least in part because the generator motor runs at a continuous speed, and can therefore be tuned to run at it's optimum speed all the time as opposed to a standard car motor which must make compromises in efficiency in order to be able to run across a wide spectrum of speeds.
I understand that, but they can still utilize the starts and stop methods to charge the batteries as well reducing fuel costs, and as Mactastic has said, they can run a small efficient engine at optimum efficiency while charging to provide further efficiency. You will lose some from the conversion but you'll also gain from not having acceleration and low/high speed driving pushing the gasoline engine out of its optimal performance region.
I'd bet that if you're on a highway with this you'd see performance similar to hybrids, where you won't see as big of an improvement over traditional gasoline engines, but I doubt it would be worse, and when you factor in the first 40 miles to the calculation you end up in a situation where you're going more than 80 miles, even your example of using 80 miles of gas to get 40 miles of electricity keeps this car at least as good as traditional.
It's not meant to be a "road trip" type of vehicle but for driving around town and commuting to work it would save a lot of people quite a bit of money, and who's to say that in 5 years if battery technology has advanced they can't just slap a new battery pack in and now you get 120 miles/charge or more?
It looks like they are using this or equivalent...
So does what I had for breakfast, but this is no place to discuss it.
FWIW, Chrysler is the only U.S. auto maker currently selling electric cars.
Hey if Chrystler sees a market for this then go for it. I think it's a cool idea. Just hope those batteries cycle better than my Macbook Pro's.
Depends what city you live in. Some major metropolitan cities have abysmal transit systems. LA is terrible, for example.