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LetterRip
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This is a rather fascinating read although some of it reads a bit nutty so take with a grain of salt,

http://www.ocweekly.com/index.php?option=com_content2&task=view&id=25134&Itemid=47

quote:
Toyota-Panasonic formed a partnership "PEVE" to license and improve NiMH for EVs. Around this time, GM purchased the worldwide patent rights to the NiMH battery. Later, GM decided to sell those rights to Texaco, which then merged with Chevron. Chevron then put the battery rights under control of a Joint Venture, "COBASYS," and decided to fund a lawsuit against large-format (electric car battery) competitors such as Toyota-Panasonic.
Chevron's lawsuit led to a settlement agreement with PEVE (and Sanyo, etc.) whereby Toyota paid $30M to Chevron, Toyota was granted the rights to use "small-format" batteries on the Prius, and Toyota agreed not to build "large-format" versions of its batteries (needed for plug-in cars) for export to the U.S. until 2014. At least, that's what it seems to be; portions of the settlement agreement are still secret.

LetterRip

[ May 21, 2006, 03:05 AM: Message edited by: LetterRip ]

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ngthagg
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Interesting. I suppose if you are looking to remove dependence on foreign oil electric vehicles are a good idea. There are a couple of problems I don't see covered that I am curious about.

Is there any improvement for the environment with EVs? Having the energy generated at a coal power plant doesn't seem any better to me.

How long does the charging process take? Can they charge high capacity batteries in five minutes to be comparable to filling a tank of gas?

What happens if you don't get to a recharge station? I suppose this could be better than with gas: you can't keep a can of gas in your trunk for emergencies, but you could keep a one use, fifteen minute battery handy.

What about cold weather? Up here in Canada, we expect winter driving (below zero celcius) for at least four months of the year, if not more. Even in Calgary, close to the border, we get days of -30, -40 degrees. (Incidentally, -40 C = -40 F). Batteries are notorious for losing performance in cold weather. And what about other benefits from the heat generated by a traditional engine. Is anything going to freeze with an electric that didn't before? (Sidenote: my parents drive long haul trucks. Traditional headlights tend to stay clear in the winter, because they are hot enough to melt snow. You only have to worry about them getting dirty. LED headlights run cool, and quickly get covered with ice and snow in the winter, something no one had thought of when changing to energy saving LEDs.)

ngthagg

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Fel2.0
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EVs would reduce pollution. Internal combustion engines are horribly inefficient compared to power plants (even accounting for the losses in transporting electricity). Not only that, but autos are held to very poor emission levels because of cost. To bring them up to stationary ICE standards would add 10-20% of the cost of the car. A new coal fired power plant emits much less than a car (when adjusted for power used).

Pure EVs are pretty much a failure. Even CA has pretty much eliminated the requirement to use them. Gas/Electric hybrids with plug in technology (so you use the gas when the battery runs dead) are more promising but still cost-inefficient.

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The Drake
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I sure don't have time to unravel the conspiracy theory in depth (especially claims about what an agreement seems to be, but large-format NiMH is hardly suppressed in general.

Powerstream

What they say about the EV cars is interesting, and I posted it before either here or at the Concord Party. It was a trial run, not sure why you'd cancel a successful program.

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Paul Revere
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IMHO, we won't have widespread distribution of electric vehicles until the oil companies have control of the technology, the people and the industrial base necessary to produce them.
Once THAT happens 'they' will elect another president similar to Bush that will support the development for the infrastructure to support charging the batteries at 'Filling Stations'.
Infrasture will include monetary fees for recharging the vehicle and the price structure and technology to meter the amount of electricity we consume in the 'recharge process'.
IMHO, there will be a 'required device' that everyone will have to posess to plug in the vehicle even at home.

There's too much money at stake to just let society 'plug in' at home and recharge the vehicle.
Right now, the hybrids don't need external energy to recharge.
A total electric vehicle will need recharge capability.
So the oil companies likely will be the ones in control of the 'energy' consumed by electric vehicles.

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IrishTD
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Interesting quote from LR's article:

quote:
We are aiming for production electric plug-in hybrids, that can drive 120 miles in EV-only mode (or 10 miles, etc., depending on the user selection) and which has a small gas/generator (40 hp is enough to run the EV at 80 mph, so long as it just runs the motor and does not have to push gearing and clutch) to charge the batteries. We want cars generally available on the free market, made available to anyone who wants to buy, without trick or artifice, at a fair price and no phony "specialists," advisers, bad charging stations or other sabotage, to the general public. So that Joe Six Pack can jump into one and drive oil-free.
Still need a hybrid style car due to the limited range of the pure EV. That's probably the biggest issue with EVs in general -- the very limited range. Not to mention that batteries are HEAVY.

A race car like this one can only go about 15 laps on a high banked 1/2 mile oval (at approx 100mph) with about 30 lead-acid batteries...(always wanted to work in something about the Formula Lightning series on here [Smile] )

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Alexi
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Paul Revere has it dead on, at least as to what oil companies will try to do. I would bet though, that they will have a very hard time controlling it. They have a start as initiators of the industry, but it is a lot harder to tell a car company "make your cars have to plug in at our stations" than "make your cars eat gas like none other" because the first requires more expense in production, and the second requires less. An electric car that you can just plug into your wall would actually be CHEAPER (by about fifteen dollars) to make than one that used a highly specific outlet or wattage. Cartels that cost your partners money are hard to hold together.
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mdgann
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No need for a conspiracy theory to blame for lack of progress in the EV area. As long as there is inexpensive gasoline the money to do real research into better batteries and more efficient motors will not be there.
The same thing applies to all of the alternate energy research areas. Industry will not get serious about it until their hand is forced. What would be their motivation to do otherwise? It has to be motivated by the bottom line and pretty immediate for corporate America to get on board. This is as it should be.
Granted, the first person to come up with the "water engine" will be ahead of the game, as it stands now, it will have to be a lone backyard mechanic/inventor who will come up with it. The motivation for big buck research is not there.

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mdgann
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No need for a conspiracy theory to blame for lack of progress in the EV area. As long as there is inexpensive gasoline the money to do real research into better batteries and more efficient motors will not be there.
The same thing applies to all of the alternate energy research areas. Industry will not get serious about it until their hand is forced. What would be their motivation to do otherwise? It has to be motivated by the bottom line and pretty immediate for corporate America to get on board. This is as it should be.
Granted, the first person to come up with the "water engine" will be ahead of the game, as it stands now, it will have to be a lone backyard mechanic/inventor who will come up with it. The motivation for big buck research is not there.

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Alexi
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I woundn't jump right to conspiracy, I would say something more like, informal pact. The fact is that gas stations almost always have all but exactly the same prices (regionally speaking). The prices rise and fall simultaneously by the same ammounts, no matter which oil company controls the station. One oil company never tries to outstrip the other by lowering prices, and starting a price war, because they all know that this would result in everyone lowering prices, and they would be in the same situation, minus a good deal of their profits. When I said cartel earlier, this is what I was refering to. Perhaps I misspoke. In any case, you're right mdgann, it all comes down to the bottom line. Gas guzzler cars cost less to make than super efficient, so gas mileage doesn't rise, and EVs are not researched thoroughly enough to yield any promise.

As to water cars, it is impossible, at least the way we want to do it: splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, burning it for fuel which turns it back into water, which is then split for more hydrogen and oxygen, which is bunred, without ever needing to plug in, recharge, or refuel. Physics defies us, because it takes more energy to split the water than is released in the recombination, so an external source is always necessary. Furthermore, when we harness the released energy, it is absorbed and used through the system, leaving very little to re-split the water at the end, so it takes a lot of external source. If water cars will ever work, it will happen only after we find a way to put a very high efficiency generator into car engines. And you will still have to fuel up on electricity from time to time.

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ngthagg
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"As long as there is inexpensive gasoline the money to do real research into better batteries and more efficient motors will not be there. The same thing applies to all of the alternate energy research areas. Industry will not get serious about it until their hand is forced."

Not quite true. There is also the possibility that one company will do it of their own free will, and start kicking every other companies' ass. The (unfortunately cliche) paradigm shift I think happens more often my way, when some company decides to innovate. Unfortunately, I don't think the car industry is going to go that way, because there is so little room for a startup to get into the market. 50 - 100 years ago it could of happened, but we are stuck with too many conglomerates that buy up all of the small brands.

ngthagg

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Fel2.0
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Actually, 100 years ago it did happen. They tried all sorts of different cars. They tried steam engines, methane, methanol, kerosene, and only two survived as the most efficient - gasoline spark ignition engines and diesel compression ignition engines (gasoil did hang around for a while but eventually lost out).

In today's market it will take some sort of external force to cause a change. Rising gas prices or a government regulation. Even right now, if one was to be more efficient that gasoline/diesel you still have to get over the infrastructure investment hurdle. THAT is what has the auto and petroleum industry trying to stay with what they have. The petroleum industries lost tens of billions investing in alternatives to crude oil back in the 1970s.

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canadian
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Innovation is rarely demanded.

Just look at Nintendo over the past 25 years. No one demanded revolutions in gameplay, but Nintendo decided to deliver anyway. Other companies see that it's a poular innovation and try to capitalize.

So, I would have to agree on that point with ngthaggnghtg.

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WarrsawPact
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This Thread: The Movie
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