Green Car Innovation Fund

Open for any sort of non-technical discussion regarding EVs
I, Claudius
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Post by I, Claudius » Thu, 05 Feb 2009, 20:21

fuzzy-hair-man wrote:
Perhaps an argument could be made by using the government's renewable energy and clean coal targets to provide a forecast of EV emissions into the future?


Ha! Very cheeky, but hard to argue with: "I'm only using the government's own targets" Image

I love it.

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Post by Thalass » Thu, 05 Feb 2009, 23:43

Of course that won't be a very optimistic number, given the governments puny targets. haha
I'll drive an electric vehicle one day.

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Post by gpsnettrack » Mon, 09 Feb 2009, 23:35

Any more news or comments on this ?,, Has anyone submitted anything they want to share
Last edited by gpsnettrack on Tue, 10 Feb 2009, 06:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by bga » Tue, 10 Feb 2009, 17:42

I'm sure we're thinking about this wrongly:
It's really for Holden and Ford and I'm sure they'll do something really innovative like...
* Make a diesel commodore/falcon
* Electric water pump
* Electric power steering
* Electric airconditioning, but not without the next:
* Engine off idle
* Feeble hybrid a.k.a. engine off idle electric assisted petrol engine

While I like the 4/5 seat format of of the big aust cars, I can't see these companies doing aything like addressing the vehicle's weight (this can be said of any car in the market) and its effect of fuel and resource use.

I think that the real innovation is likely to come from boutique makers that can make use of the innovations I derided above. The real innovation has come from reducing use and dependence on personal vehicle transport, but where it's unavoidable, address the body and chassis to get the weight and drag and materials into a sustainable form. Light, strong composites, even aluminium, have to play a part here.

It's a pity that only passenger cars are considered. A realy good improvement would be to introduce hybrid buses and garbage trucks that operate efficiently in their stop-start environment.
[Hino has a hybrid truck on the market, but it's an electric assisted arrangement like the honda cars and not capable of operating engine off at all, however it gets very good fuel economy for a medium sized goods truck]

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Post by gpsnettrack » Tue, 10 Feb 2009, 18:00

BGA,

Not sure if you went to any of the sessions, but at ours the issue of Trucks, busses etc was brought up. Some of the funding may be available for things that can be developed for the "Car" market which could also be used for trucks etc. Mention at our session was also made of another program that they could apply for.


Alan

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Post by bga » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 05:25

Hi Alan,

I live in WA. My real concern is the despite the spin, the results will turn out to be rather pedestrian and that we shouldn't expect very much that's new from the established players.

I feel that fuel price and availability is a looming issue that few of the major domestic players is addressing in any substantial way.

Having said that, I have more faith in Toyota to be a front runner and most elligible for a big slice of the innovation fund.

I'm out of my box now. Image

Recently the talk at GMH was E85 (it's part of the problem, not a solution), Diesel, 4 cylinder commodore (hey didn't I have one of those in the '80s - it was a dog) and a hybrid version (no details, but I can guess). There's a lot of scope for tinkering without doing anything very worthwhile.

The glimpses of what Detroit is doing makes me think that they're reading from the wrong book.
eg:
The 2008 Detroit motor show, the 4-seat Chrysler Voyager electric is claimed to be 65km/charge, 200KW with a 9.5 second 0-100 time, meaning that it's really heavy, probably about 2.5 tonnes! Anybody suggesting this isn't talking 'green', that was 2008.

Which gets me to a more local issue:
In 60 years, the fuel efficiency of holdens has gone backwards, largely due to the weight gain. The 2009 'Omega' (prophecy?) Commodore weighs 1700kg vs 1050 for the 1948 FX and burns 10.5 l/100km vs 9.5 in 1948. It's better to crash, a lot more expensive to fix and has a heater, but I have difficulty swallowing the marketing hype.

Generally the market analyses revolve around the recovery time of the additional cost of an innovation such as a hybrid. If the more expensive hybrid only reduces the fuel consumption by 20-30%, it's actually not very valuable, since the cost of ownership and level of oil dependency isn't much different.
Without addressing the fundamentals of what the industry is making, this is likely to remain the case.

My analysis of EV performance shows that weight is the critical determinant. It is particularly important at low speed, where most cars spend most of thier time. The weight makes a recent commodore a lousy conversion candidate. The implication is that it'll also make it a lousy hybrid, probably between 7 and 8 l/100km, and likely worse if the hybrid bit is really no more than engine-off idling.

Mass is such a problem because it consumes resourses and results in an uncomfortable escalation of body, suspension and driveline component size, weight and cost.

For this reason I feel that the makers have to address weight before anything else they do will be substantial. And it needs to be substantial like 40 percent.

Hopefully, from the current chaos, new players with some real novelty and elegant solutions may emerge.
The world of electric car components, well established light weight composite manufacturing, which suits low to medium volume, will help enable start-up operators that can deliver what the entrenched makers are unwilling or unable to. It should make for interesting times.

Now to don my asbestos suit for the inevitable retort...

Bruce Armstrong     

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Post by Richo » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 05:43

fuzzy-hair-man wrote: ..forecast of EV emissions into the future?

I expect mine to be 0.
Oh wait that doesn't include noise pollution.
Which will be alot from the speakers Image Image

With nearly every country still fixated on oil I would be suprised if the govt handed out money.

And weight in cars is an issue.
The more weight the more energy reqd to push it around.
But it is now a compromise between safety and weight.
Unless you have the money for full carbonfibre cars.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
Help prevent road rage - get outta my way!

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Post by gpsnettrack » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 10:29

"Oh wait that doesn't include noise pollution.
Which will be alot from the speakers "

Solved .. http://www.vroombox.com/vroombox/ look under products negotiating with the inventor now for development rights
Image

wanna buy some shares Image


Alan
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Post by Rattrap » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 16:20

1 of the issues i see with EV's is the added pressure on the countries power grid. All you have to do is look at the massive strain that gets put on the national grid whenever theres a heatwave, this summer was a classic example.
Now imagine for a moment if 1 of the major car makers released an EV in the 20 - 30k price bracket tomorrow (haha yer i know big joke), which is where they need to be to be successful, with the right advertising to re-educate the Australian public these i believe would be snapped up hand over fist.
Throw 50,000 or even 100,000 EV's onto Australian roads, i can't see how our power grids in any state could ever hope to cope. The cost of expanding our power production to supply this new demand in its current format would be astronomical.
This may be why the Australian government seems to be dragging its feet so badly on EV's - that & the fact that 1 or our main exports is filthy coal.......
This is where i feel domestic power generation in the form of solar/wind comes into its own IMO. I feel quite strongly that anyone building/buying an EV should look long & hard at generating their own power at home. Tax incestives to get people into EV's would be great but i think that they would need to be locked to a domestic power generation scheme but then of course that would tack a further 15 -20k to the whole equasion - and also take profits from electricity companies, something they're not gonna lie down for!

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Post by a4x4kiwi » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 16:31

With charging, at least at the moment for a commuter vehicle, charging would generally occur from say 6pm until 7am. If you charge from your 'off peak' hot water circuit, or a timer if using a smart meter, you can avoid peak usage periods and still have a full charge by morning.

This has the added advantage of keeping the load on the coal generators so they are running idle in the wee small hours.

When on street charging eventually becomes available I expect there would also be some controls to govern how much power can be consumed by charging.
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Post by fuzzy-hair-man » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 17:18

Rattrap wrote: 1 of the issues i see with EV's is the added pressure on the countries power grid. All you have to do is look at the massive strain that gets put on the national grid whenever theres a heatwave, this summer was a classic example.
Now imagine for a moment if 1 of the major car makers released an EV in the 20 - 30k price bracket tomorrow (haha yer i know big joke), which is where they need to be to be successful, with the right advertising to re-educate the Australian public these i believe would be snapped up hand over fist.
Throw 50,000 or even 100,000 EV's onto Australian roads, i can't see how our power grids in any state could ever hope to cope. The cost of expanding our power production to supply this new demand in its current format would be astronomical.
This may be why the Australian government seems to be dragging its feet so badly on EV's - that & the fact that 1 or our main exports is filthy coal.......
This is where i feel domestic power generation in the form of solar/wind comes into its own IMO. I feel quite strongly that anyone building/buying an EV should look long & hard at generating their own power at home. Tax incestives to get people into EV's would be great but i think that they would need to be locked to a domestic power generation scheme but then of course that would tack a further 15 -20k to the whole equasion - and also take profits from electricity companies, something they're not gonna lie down for!
EVs can also help support the electricity grid as well, there's a thing called Vehicle to grid (V2G) basically your car can either take power from or put power back into the grid, the power companies could then use the masses of electricity storage that plugged in EVs represent to help balance demand spikes, that and as the previous post said EVs would commonly charge overnight when demand is low so the strains on the electricity grid are less. I don't think anyone believes that a large scale take up of EVs won't require more electricity generation or a beefed up grid but the opportunity with the new electricity generation is hopefully we can make sure it's renewables and we can use EV's increased electricity demand as consumers to increase demand for renewable energy.

With the exception of hydro AFAIK there isn't much power storage in the grid, a friend showed me round Loy Yang? power station near Taralgon and explained that there is times that because the whole coal mine and generation runs on electricity that in times of peak demand they shut all the mining part down and have hundreds of workers twidling their thumbs just to satisfy grid demand, I was shocked that the power stations run on that much of a knife edge! anyway having batteries scattered around plugged in could considerably blunt that edge, the trick will be how do manage thousands of plugged in EVs and make sure it doesn't have a flat battery when the owner gets back Image

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Post by Johny » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 17:28

EVs supporting the grid - considering the battery pack is the major expensive consumable in an EV, do you want your pack life diminished through grid cycling?
Solar panels and wind generator farms would be far better long term than rely on a complex and unreliable yet-to-be-seen technology of EV to grid inverters. Surely most EVs would charge overnight and be away from home during the day during the power peak demand?

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Post by fuzzy-hair-man » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 18:26

Johny wrote: EVs supporting the grid - considering the battery pack is the major expensive consumable in an EV, do you want your pack life diminished through grid cycling?
Good point and it's one I didn't think about, I've only really heard V2G suggested and haven't really thought about the practicalities, perhaps it can be the electricity supplies last resort? perhaps it just knocks the top off a large number of EVs battery packs say 10%, I don't know...
Johny wrote: Solar panels and wind generator farms would be far better long term than rely on a complex and unreliable yet-to-be-seen technology of EV to grid inverters. Surely most EVs would charge overnight and be away from home during the day during the power peak demand?
That gets to the problem that gets brought up about renewables that they aren't base load, ie when everyone turns on thier air conditioner the power company can't ask the sun to shine over thier solar panels or the wind to blow into thier turbines they have to rely on hydro, geothermal, coal or nuclear, unless you have a large energy storage facility like EVs plugged into the grid. The V2G senario assumes you have public charging points and some incentive for people to opt in (don't know what this could be, energy credits for later or cheap parking?) so the grid can use their car to supply the grid, effectively selling off peak power back to the electricity company. It's a fair way in the future but then so is a large scale takeup of EVs at the moment Image

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Post by rhills » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 21:54

fuzzy-hair-man wrote:That gets to the problem that gets brought up about renewables that they aren't base load, ie when everyone turns on thier air conditioner the power company can't ask the sun to shine over thier solar panels


Maybe it's different in other states, but an interesting thing I've noticed here in Perth is that the times we have our power blackouts, almost invariably when everyeone is running their air conditioners flat out, seem to coincide with times that the sun is shining reely reely hard Image

I've often heard the "base load" argument used against renewables, citing the hot-day-heavy-air-conditioner-usage example and could never fathom the logic. Am I missing something here?

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Post by Thalass » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 21:57

And up here in Ellenbrook it's usually quite blowy at the same time!

Of course you can't stick a wind turbine up in your backyard, 'cos that wouldn't look nice and would drive house prices down. And that'd be a tragedy.

Must keep the "desperate housewives" look!
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Post by Richo » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 22:17

V2G would be ok if I went on holiday.
That way it charges during the night at 7c/unit then discharges onto the grid at 26c/unit.
If you have a 10kW pack that would typically be another 8 units per day.
The discharge rate is quite low so is likely to do less damage to your cells than regular driving.
I expect that the inverter would be similar to the solar grid inverters except it doesn't require the peak power tracker.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by woody » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 22:27

Richo wrote: V2G would be ok if I went on holiday.
That way it charges during the night at 7c/unit then discharges onto the grid at 26c/unit.
If you have a 10kW pack that would typically be another 8 units per day.
The discharge rate is quite low so is likely to do less damage to your cells than regular driving.
I expect that the inverter would be similar to the solar grid inverters except it doesn't require the peak power tracker.
8 units * (26c - 7c) = $1.52

3000 cycles in a battery pack (ThunderSky advertises this)

So $4,560 in energy earnings to use up your $10-$15,000 pack :-(

You'd want it to do significantly less damage than regular use for it to be worthwhile.

Would be a good option for EEstor or other nearly unlimited cycle batteries.

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Post by acmotor » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 22:33

But what about the equation when your electricity supply rate doubles (as it may well do) in the next 2 to 3 years ?

I am thinking that I will time expire my TS before they km expire.

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Post by fuzzy-hair-man » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 23:16

rhills wrote:
fuzzy-hair-man wrote:That gets to the problem that gets brought up about renewables that they aren't base load, ie when everyone turns on thier air conditioner the power company can't ask the sun to shine over thier solar panels


Maybe it's different in other states, but an interesting thing I've noticed here in Perth is that the times we have our power blackouts, almost invariably when everyeone is running their air conditioners flat out, seem to coincide with times that the sun is shining reely reely hard Image
If you were electricity company are you going to bet the grid staying up on the hope that the sun will be shining on your solar panels at the same time another part of the state / nation is feeling a heat wave or some other energy demand spike? Electricity companies don't want to take that risk. If on the other hand every roof has a solar panel and they are all grid connected I'd suspect that the 'risk' is spread sufficiently that there's at least a significantly reduced risk of the power not being there when you need it.

For my part I think the base load argument is an excuse where the proponents of clean coal etc are getting too far ahead of themselves, sure it could become a problem if you only had solar or only had wind but add wave, geothermal, hydro, etc into the mix and you have enough variety of electricity suppliers that it should even out, in the short term the coal and especially hydro# suppliers can perform this role of course they probably won't like it but....

# Apparently, electricity companies like hydro as it you need a relatively short time before you can increase output so it helps balance out spikes if you don't need it you turn off the taps.

Re the using up your batteries' cycles, ACmotor makes a good point additionally, who knows what battery cycle lives will look like by the time V2G becomes a reality if ever.

The idea is not only to deal with base load issues but also to even out demand spikes that happen on the grid and make it easier to manage successfully. All I'm trying to say is that EVs aren't all bad when it comes to charging from the grid.

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Post by woody » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 23:30

fuzzy-hair-man wrote: # Apparently, electricity companies like hydro as it you need a relatively short time before you can increase output so it helps balance out spikes if you don't need it you turn off the taps.
Yeah they love it. (I used to be in Pacific Power). The hydros smooth everything out. They also can pump water uphill and save it for later.

The coal stations you can't just turn off overnight, it's a few days to stop them, and a few days to start them from cold.

They're pretty good at predicting the demand ahead of time, based on day of week and time of year and weather, but they very occasionally get it wrong. (e.g. When we win the America's Cup and the prime minister says "any boss who sacks someone for not going to work tomorrow is a bum").
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Post by fuzzy-hair-man » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 23:46

woody wrote:
fuzzy-hair-man wrote: # Apparently, electricity companies like hydro as it you need a relatively short time before you can increase output so it helps balance out spikes if you don't need it you turn off the taps.
Yeah they love it. (I used to be in Pacific Power). The hydros smooth everything out. They also can pump water uphill and save it for later.
They were going to do that up near Armidale (Oaky river which used to be a hydro power previously), I was super keen until I realized it was only taking off peak power to pump water up hill Image Now I'd be more positive because I realize the need for it and the fact it could harvest power from renewables to feed back later. Image

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Post by Richo » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 23:48

acmotor wrote: But what about the equation when your electricity supply rate doubles (as it may well do) in the next 2 to 3 years ?

I am thinking that I will time expire my TS before they km expire.


I heard that we might have a green energy tariff which may pay us up to 60c/unit.

now do the calcs...
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by acmotor » Wed, 11 Feb 2009, 23:49

The real solution to the base load issue as I see it is to interconnect the grid all over Australia (and eventually all over the world). Even NZ.
It is always sunny or blowing or waves or tides or rain somewhere.
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Post by I, Claudius » Thu, 12 Feb 2009, 00:05

acmotor wrote: The real solution to the base load issue as I see it is to interconnect the grid all over Australia (and eventually all over the world). Even NZ.
It is always sunny or blowing or waves or tides or rain somewhere.
Definitely. We're in good company when R. Buckminster Fuller saw things the same way: http://www.geni.org

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Post by acmotor » Thu, 12 Feb 2009, 00:21

Hey, don't include me in on all his ideas though !
He'd claim the network would solve hair loss and acne if he had more space on the web page !

I'm just saying that a world grid would help smooth peak demand, reduce base load arguments and make the renewables (often called oppurtunity energies) more viable.

Oh, and BTW, it would be a HV DC grid to reduce losses.
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