Why get an EV?

Open for any sort of non-technical discussion regarding EVs
Peter C in Canberra
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Why get an EV?

Post by Peter C in Canberra »

To the question why have an EV? For me the main reason was that I can have the luxury of private car transport yet run it on renewable energy by buying 100% GreenPower. I could justify this as a cost-effective way to reduce my environmental impact because the cost is less than running a petrol car. IE. I will have most environmental benefit from doing the things that can also save me money because they let me afford other such things such as insulating the house, solar hot water etc. EVs are just one of the things that are both environmentally and economically rational. I try to do those things first!
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acmotor
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Post by acmotor »

I guess that is a vote for Tony, not the ETS ! Environmental action not environmental taxion. Go Peter ! (rather appropriate you're in Canberra Image ) Keep up the good work.
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Peter C in Canberra
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Post by Peter C in Canberra »

Probably best to avoid partisan politics but I would not want anyone to think I endorse the Liberals cynical moves on this topic in any way. It's a typical mix of dog whistle to the climate sceptics and misinformation. The ETS is not perfect but it has had some improvements to make voluntary action such as purchasing greenpower additional. The details of that in particular are not perfect but at least this is verifiable action. On the liberal side, if they were to actually do anything in power, they would have to pay for it out of taxation. The irony is that the Liberals are proposing regulations and specific proposals that try to pick winners while Labour and the Greens are favouring market based mechanisms. The best proposal is from the Greens: Introduce a temporary simple carbon tax with a fixed price so that the cost of emission is known and business gets some certainty. Then work of on revising an ETS so that the eventual system results in verifiable reductions. There are pros and cons between a carbon tax and an ETS, neither is perfect but both are preferable to a grab-bag of feel good stuff from the Liberals. What are they going to do if the target has to be revised up from 5% to something more realistic? We need to throw everything we have at this issue, personal action (additional to targets), ambitious verifiable national targets, specific actions such as on the Liberals list and international efforts.
Sorry for the soap-box rant but I do not want to let anything stand that appears to align me with Tony Abbot. It will be interesting to see how many Liberals cross the floor on this one, at least Turnbull and the two retiring female senators who have nothing to lose.
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Post by Goombi »

Its amazing, how publicum depends on advice from our Mighty Kevin. it started to wash hands, then drink water, Education revolution? It had nothing to do with education. Control of of our Hospital system.(Pending)Labour is not interested reducing carbon dioxide? its a political ploy that overshadows all the election promisses when elected.

Now The mighty Kevin has decided with other mentaly bankrupt scientists to control the rising of earths temperature by 2 percent.
I ask you if such a statement can be taken seriously.
I will give you the answer to 2% global heating.
it is obvious that Mighty Kevin has also terestial connection with the SUN he will impose on SUN that no more hot SUN's FLARES are to be sent to earth.All the people that had been driving this Global Warming theory ,I have noticed an absence from most important scientific body. Astronomers.
Have these scientists been shut up and stopped revealing the Sun's behaviour? They know about Suns Flares they know when they will arrive on earth. they know about the planets cycle. Why are they quiet? If the earth can support 9.5 Billion people by 2050 then good, the earth will decide that (Not Mighty Kev.)
If the Sun maintains its thermal ballance then this increase will be OK.., If not then it will be nothing unusual to see civilisations disapear-- intercontinental migrations. and yet its possible some will survive. Nothing but Nothing will save this planet and Kevin if the Sun decides to make this earth as a frying pan in our Cosmos.

Wouldn't it be peacfull No flatulations in parliament house.. Back to the animal human world survival of the fitest. and no Mighty Kevin to tell me what to do=====Peace on Earth=====
Peter C in Canberra
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Post by Peter C in Canberra »

For what it's worth my views on climate change are more influenced by my colleagues at CSIRO and other academic institutions and respectable scientific literature than by Kevin Rudd. The standard arguments repeatedly put by noisy sceptics have been comprehensively debunked or acknowledged and incorporated into the models already. Even in the extremely unlikely event that anthropogenic warming is not occurring then I don't want acidification of the ocean and the collapse of marine food chains to occur either.
I acknowledge that past civilisations have fouled their nests and collapsed. I would prefer that we try to avoid that experience for my immediate decendents.

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Post by marcopolo »

"Why get an EV" ?

Well, putting aside all the political/philosophical ranting, early EV buyers seems to fall into two categories. 1] Environmental hobbyists and EV enthusiasts.The low sales of Vectrix and Blade suggest this group are not really consumers in the true sense.They would never spend the sort of money to support a mainstream PIEV to achieve sales success   2] The general consumer or fleet owner who is attracted to an EV for economic operating costs and green image. This buyer will accept a premium price, but expect trouble free simple operation. We are beginning to see widespread acceptance of Hybrid vehicles and even PIEV, in the well developed Smith range.

Bio-diesel has a very limited application. BP is developing a bunker oil substitute for maritime uses, but otherwise its commercial future is limited to hobbyist enthusiasts.

The problem for EV manufacture is the mass-consumers reluctance to purchase a vehicle with low range, low speed, high purchase price and impractically complicated operating conditions.

Once these drawbacks are resolved,petrol ICE will cease manufacture, followed, in due course, by diesel.

So, " Why get an EV" ?

FOR FUN!!!!!

Does it really matter which side of the spectrum of climate change theory you believe!!! The EV operator can experience the thrill of being a pioneer! It's like being around at the birth of ICE. Who cares about all the politics? EV"s are exciting, adventurous new technology! Be part of the experience before mass acceptance, and mass development renders the technology so sophisticated, it's beyond individual participation!

There!, that's my little rant!   

     
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Post by Thalass »

Why an Ev? For me it's the engineering challenge, greater independence, and environmental considerations last.

Not that the environment isn't important, of course. But if I can generate electricity myself I free myself from that whole aspect of modern life: the weekly tithe to BP and their friends.

Being an engineer, the challenge of converting a vehicle myself is much more appealing than just buying an EV. And to climate-change skeptics, I say "even if it isn't true, surely cleaner air and freedom from oil prices is worth the effort?" It's not so bad in Perth, but imagine Sydney or Melbourne, or LA or London, with crisp clean air?
I'll drive an electric vehicle one day.
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Post by Goombi »

MY COMPLIMENTS well said Markopolo. I just like to add one factor. as we are all human our desires are targeting continuous improvements.
We are never satisfied to make something well completed that goes as well   Oh no-- We have to go faster we have to go further. This is where the heartbreak comes in. I have come to conclusion that what is available in Standard AC or DC power and what is most inexpensive and satisfactory equals an EV.. One can stretch ones imagination sky high, some basic technical rules apply-- I am staying with basic and what is available at best cost and best reliable result.
Every EV converter has different ideas. Some have gone through the basics, some are on top of research and development   some are just fiddling and some are dreaming.. My rule = stay with simplicity and economy.. Who cares if one EV goes 140 km/h or just 75Km/h. Who cares if my EV will only go 70-100Km distance someone else may go 200 km distance. I am happy with my result. And I have promised myself not to do any alterations…

The only way EV's are going to be manufactured by auto co. is when they are giving them away, like EV1   The GOV will stop them they want their excise and GST from petrol.---- So I will stay with my simple and effective conversion.
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Post by Squiggles »

marcopolo wrote:
Bio-diesel has a very limited application.
     


Why?? It can be used anywhere oil based diesel can.
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acmotor
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Post by acmotor »

Biodiesel does not solve the low efficiency of an internal combustion engine (<<30%), It does no solve the pollution problem in particular CO2, It could potentially use up far too much plant matter and food stuffs if adopted at mass. i.e. it does not rate as a zero emission, energy efficient, renewable fuel. So, dead in the water IMHO.
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Post by Squiggles »

acmotor wrote:It could potentially use up far too much plant matter and food stuffs if adopted at mass.


Reasonable point, if we could just find a way to turn the thousands of tons of food that Coles and Woolworths dump each week into fuel.....
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Post by Tritium_James »

Squiggles that comment made me go and work out some figures.

A quick search shows Australia uses about 20 gigalitres/year of petrol and 15Gl/yr of diesel. At 0.737tons/m³ for petrol and 0.85tons/m³ for diesel, this is 14.74 megatons of petrol/yr and 12.75 Mt of diesel. So combined, that's 528600 tons per week.

So we use a LOT of fuel... even if the supermarkets are discarding thousands of tons of food a week, that you could turn into hundreds of tons of fuel, it's a drop in the bucket.
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Post by Squiggles »

That is very true, but when you think that solar power is a drop in the bucket of electricity consumption and wind power is a smaller drop does it mean we should ignore all the drops and continue on being a wasteful and destructive society?
Or do we look at saving all the drops?
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Post by marcopolo »

Squiggles wrote:
marcopolo wrote:
Bio-diesel has a very limited application.
     


Why?? It can be used anywhere oil based diesel can.


This is true, in fact for some applications bio-diesel is a superior fuel. However, biodiesel is limited in the energy dynamic by the vast amount of resources required to produce biodiesel on an industrial scale. The relatively low energy yield, expensive and unreliable production costs of mass produced biodiesel, limits biodiesel to maritime and hobbyist applications.

Rapidly increasing EV technology, decreasing costs, and convenience of operation ensures the future of mass personal transport EV's. EV's have the potential to easily replace the sector currently occupied by petrol vehicles, with only modest adaptations.

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Post by acmotor »

Squiggles wrote: ....
Or do we look at saving all the drops?


Sorry, but if we have drips (most in govt.) steering the saving of drops what hope have we got ! Image

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Post by Squiggles »

marcopolo wrote: The relatively low energy yield, expensive and unreliable production costs of mass produced biodiesel, limits biodiesel to maritime and hobbyist applications.


This is one of the problems, propagating misinformation of this kind does serious damage to efforts of people that are trying to make a difference.
There are people out there that are actually putting it to the test and getting positive results despite the efforts of the fuel companies to convince us otherwise.

http://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/my_comm ... /biodiesel

http://www.vw.com/vwbuzz/browse/en/us/d ... diesel/284
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Post by Squiggles »

acmotor wrote:
Squiggles wrote: ....
Or do we look at saving all the drops?


Sorry, but if we have drips (most in govt.) steering the saving of drops what hope have we got ! Image

Very good Image
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Post by marcopolo »

Squiggles wrote: This is one of the problems, propagating misinformation of this kind does serious damage to efforts of people that are trying to make a difference.
There are people out there that are actually putting it to the test and getting positive results despite the efforts of the fuel companies to convince us otherwise.


Misinformation? 'trying to make a difference'? Do you really imagine that my humble opinion could 'seriously' damage the ability to discover a commercially viable fossil fuel substitute?

In your faith, passion and enthusiasm, did you ever stop to ask yourself that others, (including myself), have spent time and money researching the commercial viability of biodiesel? I know you love to cling to conspiracy theories instead of doing the hard work of objective research, but BP, yes BP, spends $9 billion per annum on alternative fuel research. Biodiesel is just not a practical alternative as a mass fuel substitute.

This is for 3 principal reasons. 1) the energy yield by resource investment is too low. 2)the feedstock maths simply don't work out.3) like all crop based products, the yield is uncertain. This is incompatible with the requirements of modern industry.

If you had read what I wrote, you would discover that I do not criticise biodiesel as a fuel. It's true it suffers from similar distribution problems to fossil fuels, but the logistics are favourable in comparison to EV's as mass transport.

The fundamental flaw in biodiesel is that the production of feedstock is prohibitively expensive and environmentally unsatisfactory on a mass scale. BP has a project to produce a genetically modified feedstock to replace bunker oil, but the economics are driven by the enormous potential costs of maritime oil spillage, ship design,etc..

Just wishing something works, is not a substitute for thinking through the big picture. Hobbyist Biodiesel, like brewing your own beer, makes an interesting pastime! But before you can tout it as a practical mass concept, better be prepared to answer real enquiry and analysis!

The EV is just so much more practical. The problem of electricity production is a separate, but fascinating, debate!   
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Post by Squiggles »

Hey, my comment was not directed at you marco, it is the general picture.
You read lots about all the problems with biodiesel and ethanol, much of which is exaggerated or false. You read very little about the positives that many researches have determined.
All I am saying is that the balance of information available is tipped against the alternatives......even as we all know the EV.

To play the "conspiracy" card is simply making a mockery of valid research. Here in Australia we have a prime example of the influence of the big players. For years the federal government went to significant effort to tell us that ethanol was not viable and would destroy our cars, even the Prime Minister made statements to that effect. During those years a huge section of the sugar cane industry in Australia failed as there was no market for their production. Then as soon as BP & Shell had ethanol enhanced fuel available suddenly it was OK to use ethanol and the same politicians and government agencies started spruking the advantages. Of course this was just an amazing coincidence!!

I am prepared to predict that the development of EV market will be hamstrung by authority until the method of compensating the world powers for the demise of oil sales and taxes is developed. When that moment happens there will be huge support for the EV.

The current hybrids are a great example, 100% of their energy is produced by oil, so the oil companies and tax agencies miss nothing, at the same time the car producers and governments get themselves a warm fuzzy feeling because they are "helping the environment".

Next topic "Clean Coal" Image Image Image
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Post by acmotor »

Image well said squiggles.

The bottom line to me is still that biodiesel et. al. are not zero emission.

Clean what ???


edit:spele
Last edited by acmotor on Sun, 28 Feb 2010, 16:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by cfv »

All the reasons mentioned are good reasons to change to an ev. ie environmental, running cost, political etc. I am an engineer and have been researching building an ev for a couple of months now.

I see two issues:
1) If an ev can be built at home, then the car manufacturers could certainly build "commercial commuters".

2) The cost of building a home/hobby ev appears to be too high (>$15,000) and is certainly out of my budget. I am going to try and scrounge parts, but when it comes to a controller and batteries I probably don't have much choice.

End result - I will probably perpetuate the car manufacturers position by buying a second hand $10,000 ICE vehicle for my P plater kids, instead of giving them my car and spending over $15,000 on an ev build.
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Post by Squiggles »

cfv wrote:
End result - I will probably perpetuate the car manufacturers position by buying a second hand $10,000 ICE vehicle for my P plater kids, instead of giving them my car and spending over $15,000 on an ev build.


Sadly there is the harsh economic reality, today you can go out and buy perfectly adequate 2nd hand cars for the learner / p plater for well under $2000. You could buy them a replacement every 12 months and still pay less than an EV conversion.
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Post by acmotor »

Hi cfv, welcome.

cfv, you are not alone in your thinking. Many people have given in to the status quo ! EVs are not an economic choice at this stage !
I would hope though that you as an engineer realise the vast superiority of electric transport over ICE and even if you don't use your skills to help change the world that you will at least continue to hold EVs in their right place... the future of transport.
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Post by antiscab »

cfv wrote:
2) The cost of building a home/hobby ev appears to be too high (>$15,000) and is certainly out of my budget. I am going to try and scrounge parts, but when it comes to a controller and batteries I probably don't have much choice.


That would depend upon what your design goals are, what specific flavour of engineer you are.

perhaps start a thread? always interested to hear more conversion ideas :)

Matt
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Post by antiscab »

marcopolo wrote:
This is for 3 principal reasons. 1) the energy yield by resource investment is too low. 2)the feedstock maths simply don't work out.3) like all crop based products, the yield is uncertain. This is incompatible with the requirements of modern industry.


Hi Marco,

welcome to the forum :)

you sure do know how to get a conversation going :)

while i had money in biodiesel i learnt a few things.
one of them is don't invest money in companies that require subsidises to be viable (or even just profitable)

i bought $3k worth of shares in Natural Fuel Limited back when they floated at the start of 2007 (about the same time i got into EVs). their business plan was to build a *big* refinery in Singapore and use Jatropha crop as a feedstock. They would then on sell the biodiesel to large companies in Darwin. The particular continuous process also gave pharmaceutical grade glycerin (alas minus the nitro :p )

The energy side worked out fine, so did the food side (jatropha grows in salty ground, not to many food crops that do).

while oil was above US$100/barrel, it was viable (slightly profitable maybe?) even without the newly removed (late 2007) subsidies.

by 2008 when the refinery was operational (those Singaporeans work fast) oil was cheap and there were no subsidies. they were bankrupt fairly fast.

the scale of it certainly wasn't sufficient to displace fossil fuels completely, but i saw it as an alternative for applications that EVs wouldn't be able to fill for some time (like aviation and long distance haulage).

I do note the easy to get to sources have been well and truly tapped. all the fast food oil waste gets converted to bioD now (gull anyone?).

Matt
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2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
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