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Post by ngamoko » Wed, 28 May 2008, 23:36

Hi Everyone,
Have returned from my short trip to the uk. Managed to contact
electric car people.The little I saw was very positive. What I was told was mind blowing. Guess I haven't been keeping up with developments.
Firstly, I am shelving for the moment my conversion plans because what I saw in the UK will be available here in the future. There seemed to be
electric car advocates everywhere you went. The most important developments I saw...there is no doubt production cas are very close...
batteries are still the problem area, everything else is well covered and proven.There is a sports car in the UK being built for a private developer by Lotus (not the Tesla) they tell me it is outstanding.Conversion kits are readily available from several suppliers, mostly DC power (although AC seems the way ahead) and conventional batteries. There is a lot of pluses for the motor in wheel concept. Spoke to a man who was an engineer with a conversion company and this seems to be the direction of the industry..new electric cars are being tested in several countries. There will be short distance cars for city use, will sell for around $20000 and travel at highway speed for for 80 to 100ks.A 5 seater sedan, cruise if required at 150kph, at least 300 ks per charge and sell for $30000 to $40000. Charging batteries, hoping for 10 minutes but down to about 2 hours at the moment. There is no way the average person will be able to compete with the big players.The engineer said the industry for building new cars did not have any problems that could not be over come and were spending most of the time with charging the batteries problem including solar charging.One interesting spec was coal fired generation would put out only 25% of pollution per charge of what a petrol driven car would driving for the same period of time.What interested me was not the new cars but conversions. The English just love to experiment with new ideas and there were plenty when it came to electric car conversions.In my view the wheel motor will be the way kit conversion will go. They are testing conversions at this moment. If the price is right and the technology is proven it is the way to go. I put an order in for a kit when they come available. I saw a mini converted with two motors in the wheels. I was told that when they get their kits on the market a conversion could be done in a day in an engineering shop.
I believe there is a 4 wheel drive mini on test at the moment with very impressive specs.Its great to see electric cars at last coming to the fore.In my view they could have been on the market 20 years ago. While petrol was cheap there was no incentive. However, that is about to change. Of course there will be the knockers and in the area of charging will be a contention.The move to electric cars will be slow and not happen over night.Hybrid is to complex, overpriced and at about 100000ks will have little value as the batteries will need replacing and that is very costly.France generates 90% of it power by using the atom, whether we like it or not there is a move for this type of power,
unless we can develop alternate base electricity.Overall, the trip was very interesting and as long as the drive to electric cars keeps momentum there seems to be no reason why electric cars are not the car of the future.
ngamoko

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Post by Hartmut » Thu, 29 May 2008, 15:36

ngamoko,
you should have taken our goverment with you ( Peter Garret and Penny Wong). See also the tread: Lobbying the goverment. They prefer to watch the fuelprice instead. Everyday on TV you hear about fuelwatch - it is just outragous. As I said in the other thread already our goverment travels to London to have tea with The Queen. They do not see EV and all the charging stations in London. But they went to Bali to sign Kyoto. It seams there is nothing we can do other then sit and wait or people who have the time and knowledge to convert there own car.
Lobbying the goverment does not work unless you have heaps of dollars to push over the table. Even Professor Garnout ( adviser to the Gov.) never mentioned EV. Perhaps his salary is paid by the coal industry.
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Post by acmotor » Thu, 29 May 2008, 18:02

I'm with Hartmut.

I would also say that you should not be put off doing a conversion because in Oz it will be the only way you will get an EV for quite some years !
BTW, forget about fast charging by any other method than swapping the battery pack (or the electrolyte as has been done with some systems).
Fast charging (say less than 1 hour) is technically stupid. I will explain this in detail some time if anyone does not know why. P=VI .Those who understand that will not bother thinking fast charge.

Beware the thousands of EVs that are on the drawing board. For now, it is the ones ON THE ROAD that matter. GM had one with the EV1 more than 10 years ago !

Kits - good, wheel motors almost good but will need to be low mass or restricted to low speed (unsprung mass is their issue).

Cruise at 150kmph for 300k ? that would require more than 200kWh of energy to get through the air. That's around 10x the current best battery (of say 200kg). Don't get me wrong, it will happen but not next year.

Anyway, good to hear about your trip. It is always an eye openner to see what others are doing.

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Post by ngamoko » Thu, 29 May 2008, 23:47

Hi Acmotor,
Unfortunately I am just a layman and I rely on what I read and what I am told, hence I take most "things" on board as read.There is great interest in the UK as petrol prices are over the top and cities especially London is offering free parking and wavering entry city fees for low polluting cars.They look at electric cars as city transport mainly, driving on sealed roads.This is the market diy conversions is aiming for. The Wheel
Motor suits this market. I asked about the wheel on rough roads and in water and the reply was, there is no problems, however, they are still testing an all purpose wheel.I believe there are companies like Lotus testing their own cars right now. Seems VW has just bought Lotus. I'm sure VW did'nt buy them for the internal combustion engine.We purchase a car to cover all aspects of motoring.This is going to change with the cities wanting to reduce pollution but motorists still wanting to drive their own cars to work etc. The guys in the UK are aimimg for this market first. Therefore, greatly improved batteries are not necessary. As far as an all purpose car as we know it is still a few years away.The town car is here now and is expected to be mass produced late 2008.My own thinking is I will drive a town electric car as long as it can travel 100ks between charges and can be charged over night and will perform "normally" on the highway.I never under estimate the inventivness of the human being. I am old enough to remember the crystal set radio, look where we are now in audio and TV. My first car was a Ford B then a 1937 2 door
Morris. By todays standards real dogs. I owned the leading edge Motor Bike of the time a Vincent Black Shadow, cutting edge stuff. By todays standards a Honda 500 is faster in second gear.Electric cars, batteries etc are only beginnning, give them another 5 years and we will wonder why we were driviing cars with an internal combustion engine. I think it is all exciting and if I was 20 years younger would be in like Flynn.
Acmotor I think you may be under estimating what is going on regarding electric cars and especially batteries including the CSIROs Ultra. In the UK there are groups all over the country experimenting, and that is only the UK, there is the rest of the world. It is sad but it needs wars or a crisis to get us thinking in another direction. With China having major pollution problems and thousands of new cars coming on stream weekly there is a move to alternate transport energy. Electric and compressed air cars are being tested in China and India at this moment. I really don't understand our government not helping fund new technology in this area, if for nothing else to reduce global warming.Peter Garret is very quiet these days. He certainly made a lot of "noise" before the election.The DIYer plays a part in innovation, experimenting and development as well as engineers etc.the electric car movement has come out of the "play" area and into the real world and "things" are being to happen.It is all happening out there so do not be surprised if there are some new positive announcements made in the not too distance future. Spent more time talking and viewing electric cars than touring around hence saw little of the country.
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Post by acmotor » Fri, 30 May 2008, 07:06

ngamoko,

Sorry if I came over negative. I don't mean to be. I am just frustrated with the state of EV Oz ! Image
I was also afraid that you had lost some personal drive and were going to wait around for the 'great promise' of the future.
Embrace the future but be critical of promises.

You are spot on that London is so far ahead in thinking and action than cities in Oz. London banned the use of wood and coal fires in the city 30 years ago while I still choke on the winter air in Perth !

I am technically up to speed on the CSIRO Ultra battery (it is only average in the EV world) but also a realist that Lithium Polymer is the best commercially available chemical battery at present with Nickel salt Zebra the best packaged, Lithium Ion Phosphate the best value and that all these will be irrelevant once Ultra capacitors are further developed.

BTW, in my opinion, forget compressed air, fuel cell etc. Pure electric is the way to go !

I agree with you re China and India. Read this forum on lobbying govt.
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Post by ngamoko » Fri, 30 May 2008, 22:23

Hi Acmotor,
I find it rather perplexing that the electric car is sort of running second to all the other ideas. I believe the future car is electric.After the UK visit because of my limited knowledge of the subject it is better to leave it to those who have more experience and wait for the new developments to emerge.The experimenting seems to be over in the areas I can understand and there are many high tech ideas including batteries being developed that technically are over my head. What surprised me in the UK was the number of people involved with the electic car movement from the home handy man to the professioal.Some of the cars were "contraptions" but most were very well built. One got the feeling that this was'nt a flash in the pan crazy mans hobby but it would be taken through till it finished up as a viable everyday form of transport. In the past have been involved with ideas that were fun and although seemed to be a good idea at the time went no where.This electric car movement is everywhere and this time I don't think it will grind to a halt like it did in the past. Between the green movement and petrol prices there is a great incentive for it to succeed.What I don't understand is why the government and car companies seem to be going the hybrid route.
Acmotor, note your comment on compressed air cars and I am inclined to agree with you but I learned a long time ago that one should not close the door completely on any ideas.Once turned down an idea that is now standard practice in the building industry because I did'nt think it would work.It has made "them" millions and I mean millions and millions.
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Post by ngamoko » Fri, 30 May 2008, 22:47

Hi Hartmut,
Like you I cannot believe the time spent by the pollies going on and on about saving 3 to 5 cents on a litre of petrol.The energy and money spent on the subject out weighs the end result. I think the reason is that the Pollies are driven by voter emotions and not the big picture. As no doubt you know there is about 38cents of tax on petrol of which 10cents is spent on roads.How about using 10cents of the 38cents developing EV cars. That would be a lot of money.If one uses a 100 litres a week the saving would be at the most $10.00.When the price goes up 5cents a litre the saving is gone and you are back to square one, what to you do then? At the speed of increases this would take about 4 weeks.Peter Garrett I believe is very bright and understands these "things". He is very quiet, my thinking is he has been told to lay off with his ideas from the Big Chief.
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Post by acmotor » Fri, 30 May 2008, 22:49

ngamoko,

Mostly agree. Even if you feel left out on the technical front, you are streets ahead in your faith in EVs. Bravo.

Hybrid is dirty electric but allows fuel companies to sell you half as much fuel for twice the price and the government retain their revenue. I undersatand. It is not a technical question. Some will make the excuses about what the public want. History will prove them wrong.

I have not seen any offering other than EV that offers the high energy efficiency required for our sustainable future. Compressed air for one is very low efficiency with a nightmare of moving parts at the source and destination. I have no problem wiping it, sorry. I understand your point re ideas but I also consider you must look at available ideas, evaluate and then push on with the best one. Don't try to have too many irons in the fire. Pick the hot one and hammer it into shape !
Part of the skill is in picking the hot one, but in the case of EVs it is a no brainer.
Definite cheers, I enjoy our exchanges.
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Post by Hartmut » Wed, 04 Jun 2008, 21:26

ngamoko, please send emails to our pollies. Perhaps if everybody
does it they finally get the message. As I already went through this
arguments in the "Lobbying the goverment". I did get a preply from the minister but just standard.
Now we are discussiong wind as well. As an investor I am interested in
all battery makers, because I know that is where the money is for at least the next few years. So I searched Altair Nano and find they have huge batteries which are already tested by AES (Energy supplier) and connected to the grid. So what they do is buffer the energy. At night you have lots of wind, but nobody uses the power and during the day, we might evtl. get lots of power from all the future solar cells. These batteries are still very expensive, but if they go into mass production like the Plasma TV they will be everywhere connected to the grid and at petrolstation/recharging stations. So there is no need for air powered cars. With these batteries you can also quick charge the car within 10 minutes.
Look under Yohoo.com Finance and type in Alti and then Message board.
This is for info only and not encouragement for investing. Companies can go bust even with a good product.
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Post by juk » Thu, 05 Jun 2008, 00:29

Hartmut,
Being quite the investor myself, and working in the resources industry, i'd have to disagree with you about picking a battery technology and investing in it. Or at least as specifically as a specific manufacturer.

Personally, i've hedged my bets and have a large position in rare earths exploration and production, which gives me exposure to neodymium magnets for DC motors and NiMH batteries and i'm holding shares in a lithium developer for the obvious reasons. To get any more specific than this is taking too large a risk for me, and typically there's not usually much margin in the production, and more in the inputs.

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Post by acmotor » Thu, 05 Jun 2008, 02:19

Personally, I don't think the writing is on the wall for any particular battery technology to dominate in the future.

Invest at your own peril.

Magnets ? The current best technology motors don't use them. (even the old DC series motors don't use them)
But they may become more important if Brushless DC motors dominate.
Technical point here.... motors with magnets have high losses when lightly loaded due to the cogging effect.

If you must invest, invest in gold and copper. They will be required whatever the battery or motor.

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Post by juk » Thu, 05 Jun 2008, 02:35

In fact the current best technology motors do use them. Perhaps not as motive drives for cars,but don't tell Volvo, nor the electric scooter and motorcycle guys, but for disk drives, ipods, window winder motors, wing mirror motors, electric seat motors, throttle control motors, servo motors, EV brake servo vacuum pump motors, EV aircon motors. I don't think there's going to be a shortage of uses for rare earth motors in motor vehicles due to their lighter weight and higher torque.

All though with regards to motive drives, i thought i read somewhere about the incorporation of neodymium magnets in AC motors, but i couldn't find it when i went back reference it. Perhaps i'm going mad.

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Post by markrmarkr » Thu, 05 Jun 2008, 04:14

The problem with magnets is - when you overdrive a motor which uses them you have the risk of de-magnetising them.

This is not a problem with induction motors and shunt DC motor. You can go way over rated again and again and they just suck it up.
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Post by juk » Thu, 05 Jun 2008, 04:37

There's a NiMH Shortage at Toyota:

May was a tough month for almost every automaker doing business in the U.S. Only Honda and Toyota showed gains among the major full-line manufacturers. Mighty Toyota which seemed impervious for so long dropped by 7.9%. While a dropoff in sales of Tundras, 4Runners and FJ Cruisers was certainly no shock, there was one distinct outlier. Even as gas prices topped $4/gallon in much of the country, sales of the Prius dropped nearly 40 percent from 24,009 last May to only 15,011 this May. After climbing steadily for many months, a drop like this comes as a surprise. We checked with Toyota's VP Communications Irv Miller about the situation. Miller explained that:

Last year at this time we required incentives to move the Prius that were accumulating in dealer stock and it was a big month. While the numbers are off for the month compared to last year, we ended the month with less than 1 day supply. You can see that our business is ahead of last year and we are constrained by battery supply on a global basis. With the plant announcements to increase battery production we should be on course to reach the next level with annual Hybrid production.

Only after the new Prius arrives (it will debut next January in Detroit) is the supply problem likely to let up. So if you absolutely must have a hybrid you'll need to look elsewhere for now. At Toyota, the next most affordable hybrid is the Camry, while Nissan offers an Altima hybrid in about a dozen states. The Ford Escape hybrid also offers mileage that easily tops 30mpg.

Rare earth investment still looking tickety-boo.


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Post by acmotor » Thu, 05 Jun 2008, 05:23

Juk,
Granted, there are plenty of PM motors in small applications.
I don't include the vibrator in my phone as high tech.
I was talking EV traction motors.

I don't see any magnets in a 200kW wind turbine either.

I did note that magnets may become more important if Brushless DC motors dominate. In this area the RC model market is producing some interesting motors. Good power to weight but efficiencies low around 60-75%. This could be an expanding area.

As a matter of interest, does your research tell you how many of the commercial EV and hybrid manufacturers are using PM ? I would be interested to know.
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Post by juk » Thu, 05 Jun 2008, 06:26

There's several wind turbines that use PM halbach arrays instead of bearings.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/07 ... eils_w.php

These are in the MW range. Also there's the vertical access wind turbine on the drawing board which is magnetically levitated.

http://www.newscientist.com/blog/techno ... -wind.html

There's all the scooter and bike and motorbike manufacturers who are all DC.

Volvo's Re-Charge concept has 4 hub mounted wheel motors, which are brushless DC.
The Chevy Volt is using a DC motor.
The Prius has permanent magnets. Though i can't tell if it's AC or DC. From what i can tell it's a 3 phase DC Motor. But that doesn't make sense.
Oh and the honda Civic hybrid.

That's about as deep as i got, but hey, that's about 95% of the market from 2000-2010.

The Tesla is AC.


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Post by ngamoko » Thu, 05 Jun 2008, 15:29

Good morning everybody,
Today is Environment Day, a day when hopefully people will give more thought to our planet and take even a small step in helping clean it up.
You,technically educated men are far ahead of me. However,maybe I can contribute a little. Pollies are generally non listeners unless it bene
fits them so have started sending emails to newspaper reporters.Have one reply back so far. This reply has shown that the reporter new very little about electric cars and talked about hibrid only. My thinking is
it is better to lobby the reporters than the pollies and try to get articles in the papers.Mentiioned above re investing in new technology. Being a coward at heart my investing is more Warren Buffett than speculation.I do hold a couple of spec. mining shares.There is no doubt the BATTERY is the key to the success of the electric car.The problem with new technology development is that it is experimental from many angles and generally only one wins like VCR and Beta, Beta was the superior but VCR won the race because its ease of use.I know I harp on this line of thinking but I can't get past that there is a place for conversions mainly regarding smallish 4-5 seater cars. I know it is impossible but a rebate like for Solar hotwater rebate would be a great help.Surely,if the battery price comes down and component volume increases there would be a decrease in the price of conversion.
Sometimes, I think one is missing something as the question one asks is why is'nt electric cars receiving more publicity, why is there not more
government interest.Cities are complaining about pollution, complaints about petrol price hike etc. Surely, that should be enough to stimulate
more money being invested from all quarters.
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Post by Hartmut » Thu, 05 Jun 2008, 18:27

Juk, nobody said anything about speculation. Read my last sentence. Alti has 2 MW batteries connected to the grid:
They could power trucks too. It is all about connecting wind , solar
and EV together. It is all about the future. If only our pollies would have an idea. Talking all week about Fuelwatch.

"According to Altair Nanotechnologies Inc, the cost of one of its batteries is about half that of building a peaker plant, a natural gas-fired facility that is run only when there is high demand. Altair Nanotechnologies recently delivered a $1 million, 2 MW battery system to an AES Corp utility in Indiana, and expects to see more such orders.

"There is strong, strong interest," Bob Goebel, Altair Nanotechnologies' vice president of sales and marketing, said."

link:
http://www.forbes.com/reuters/feeds/reut...
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Post by juk » Thu, 05 Jun 2008, 18:41

i figured that was just the requisite disclaimer. :)


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Post by ngamoko » Thu, 05 Jun 2008, 18:46

Hi everyone
Just got off the phone been talking to a friend in the UK. We were dicussing battery technology and investment money. He assures me there is no shortage of money. The difficulty is making the break through with batteries, everything else is covered.He tells me there are investors waiting in the wings with open cheque books.Guess we just have to wait for the Boffins to make the break through.I for one am getting impatient. I look under the bonnet of my 2007 model car and I think...90% of this hardware is irrelevant.With audio which is a hobby of mine we have gone from valves to transistors. Heard an amp the other day which can fit in your hand, its performance was very good. A few years ago an amp to perform like this one would be six times the size. In autos they are still using the technology of the internal combustion engine,old hat. Move over petrol heads the electric heads are coming.
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Post by Benonymous » Sun, 08 Jun 2008, 05:33

Just to clear a few things up about PM AC motors. Firstly, demagnetising your PMs can occur but only in a badly designed motor. Interestingly, heat will cause demagnetisation not the alternating field. Cogging problems can be overcome by increasing the number of poles. 40 and above seems to be the most useful, there's not much difference between 40 and 60 actually but under 40, quite a marked reduction in efficiency.
As to the cost situation. There is no doubt that a polyphase inverter (3 phase) is more complex than a simple DC chopper (like a Zilla controller) but constructed in quantity, the price could be reduced significantly. Don't forget that all polyphase variable speed drives (VSD's) for industrial AC induction motors could easily be adapted to run a car.
For the record, the alternator and traction motor in the Toyota Prius are both PM AC units.

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Post by juk » Sun, 08 Jun 2008, 05:48

It was my understanding that the addition of praseodymium to the Neodymium PM increased it's heat resistance.

Aren't the motors in the prius known for their high torque too?

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Post by markrmarkr » Sun, 08 Jun 2008, 07:33

Benonymous wrote: Zilla controller) but constructed in quantity, the price could be reduced significantly. Don't forget that all polyphase variable speed drives (VSD's) for industrial AC induction motors could easily be adapted to run a car.
For the record, the alternator and traction motor in the Toyota Prius are both PM AC units.



eg The B100A40 available for around $1.6k retail in Aus.



Parts of the Prius may be leading edge but by I have to question the way it's put together. There is quite a good presentation on the Toyota website which describes it in some detail.   I was gob-smacked that they could make something which is in principle very simple into such a complex monstrosity.   Just my opinion.
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Post by TasyMoke » Wed, 30 Jul 2008, 23:46

Cheer up everybody ... change to EV technologies (and others) is moving fast!
Or are you all too young to realise this ? :)

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Post by markrmarkr » Thu, 31 Jul 2008, 14:47

The reason I'm not happy is the auto industry doesn't seem to be getting the message.   Instead of simplifying and improving efficiency by getting rid of the ICE and all he cr@p this implies they are just making things more complicated and expensive and hanging onto their ICE like it's there only child.

Take the prius - uses a planetary gear set to parallel 4 individual components!!!
Motor, generator, ICE, and transmission. I would have expected a major car-maker like Toyota could figger out how to use a PM AC motor as a generator too. But instead to make all this work they need a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which must have cost a fortune to develop, so that the ICE can run at the right speed all he time, while also meeting the performance demands. And after all that you have a car with dollars-per-Km performance no better than you can get with Diesel or LPG. Madness.

TasyMoke, it's like the music industry coming to terms with the internet all over again. We have this entrenched industry which just can't come to terms with reality. And they just have to learn the hard way as the inevitable market forces eventually build up and crush them.   My grip is that it doesn't have to be this painful. But instead it looks like we have years more pain ahead of us.   It's enough to make you hope that feul prices keep going up so that reality can kick in sooner.
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