Re: [DMCForum] Going totally electric powered
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Re: [DMCForum] Going totally electric powered


On 6/17/07, Christopher Mack <christopher_mack@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>    I don't buy the "problems with battery technology" excuse that GM gives  for not
> making a pure EV.  Lithium ion battteries can allow an EV1  to go 300 miles on a single
> charge.  I think GM doesn't liike the  EV because there is no maintenance and the car
> uses no gas.

You're absolutely correct. They claim li-ion isn't there yet. I think
that's BS, but let's assume they're right - what happened to the NiMH
cells they used in the EV-1? They worked just fine. Not as much range,
but still plenty for most people (~100 miles). Again, we know what
happened to that technology - it was sold to big oil.

However, I have to agree with part of the automakers' problems with
pure EVs: I don't think enough people will buy them to make them
viable. Simply, an EV is a limited use car. It's great for commuting
but it requires you to plan your errands carefully. People like their
freedom; nobody wants to have a car that just stops working after x
miles and requires 6 hours to get going again. With NiMH cells, that's
a problem - even a 100 mile range will feel restrictive for most
whether they need that range or not. The one time per year they want
the extra range and can't get it will ruin it for them. (look at SUVs
- people bought big vehicles to have the freedom to "do whatever"
whether they do it or not. It's not that they need to haul people and
things and tow and go off road, etc, it's the idea that they can, just
in case. EV range is going to be the same thing. Virtually nobody
"needs" 100 miles to commute, but they want at least three times that
- "just in case")

With a 300 mile li-ion pack the in-town range concerns mostly
disappear, though it's still not useful for out of town trips. This
requires a person to have two cars, one for in town and one for out.
That's an expense many don't want, unless the EV is significantly less
expensive than a normal car, which they can't be (yet).  The other
option is to rent a vehicle for any out of town trips, but that's a
hassle and people don't like to do that.

Again, it's back to SUVs: People want a vehicle that feels less
restrictive and they're willing to pay for it. Doesn't matter if they
could get along just fine with the more restrictive vehicle. They want
the freedom to not worry about certain things.

That's why I like the plug-in hybrid. Plenty of in-town EV range for
most commuters and you don't have to worry about range. I'd really
like to see a Chevy Volt with a diesel generator on board. That'd turn
me on big time; I'd pony up thirty grand real quick for something like

Oh, lastly, I do happen to be one of the "nobodies" who would buy a
pure EV and I'd pay as much as a regular car for it. If the EV-1 were
for sale today for under $30k I'd have one in my garage.

> If  you haven't seen "who killed the electric car" I would highly recommend  it.

I own the DVD. I liked it. There's some leftist propaganda in there,
but overall I enjoyed it. They made a lot of excellent points and I
agreed with most of it.

Everyone knows the government, the automakers and big oil are screwing
the people. You don't have to be a left wing environmentalist type to
get that. It's a pretty universal feeling on all sides of the
political spectrum. The question is, now, what do we do about it?

My thoughts: Serial hybrids like the Volt are going to be EASY to mod
for full EV use. You'll have a perfect car, 100% electric, off the
factory floor and ready to go. Rip out the generator and throw in some
more batteries, tweak the computer a bit and you're set. I expect to
see a whole community develop around this sort of thing in 5 to 10
years when the warranties on these vehicles start expiring and you can
get them used for ten grand.


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