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While on the face of it, electric cars look like a great green option, if one considers the entire lifecyle of the electric car - starting from the way batteries are manufactured - the whole thing might not look so green after all, or at least not as green as it looked earlier. Any idea on how the lifecycle sustainability accounting / green accounting for electric cars compare to that for traditional cars?
Ultracapacitors: Best Option for EV Energy Storage Technology - Electric vehicles (EVs) are having their time in the spotlight with several models from makers such as General Motors, Tesla and Nissan on the market today and more to come in the future.
The growing demand for EVs is spurring the automotive industry’s search for sophisticated components to extend the longevity of these vehicles while simultaneously improving their performance capabilities. Research and advancements in efficient components over the last several years has led to a hybrid energy storage system consisting of an ultracapacitor and battery pairing. This pairing increases energy and improves the power density of the hybrid supply, which allows the battery to operate without large current spikes that would normally occur when using just a battery. When the battery can operate without current spikes, it has a longer, more effective life. The hybrid system reduces the cycling of the battery under heavy load conditions, in turn extending the life of the hybrid supply and providing a more efficient energy supply.
Ultracapacitors store energy electrostatically, whereas batteries produce energy via a chemical reaction. For automotive manufacturers, this difference means an economical, versatile power delivery technology more beneficial than batteries. Coupled with batteries in a hybrid system, ultracapacitors improve the range and performance of trucks, passenger and delivery vehicles.
How many kilometers can a typical electric car go on 1 kWh of electrical energy?
What are the maximum speeds that electric cars can reach? Are they as high as the best that oil driven cars could reach?
The special batteries used to power electric vehicles (EV) are expensive. However, there is good news for future EV consumers, EV builders, and EV enthusiasts. U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu in a recent speech predicted that the price of EV batteries could drop dramatically by 2015.
Technology is a funny thing. As the cost of goods and fuel increases the price of modern gadgets decreases. HD TVs used to cost thousands and now cost hundreds. Cell phones were once a luxury of the wealthy and now everyone has them and you can even get one for free. According to Dr. Chu, EV batteries will follow a similar trend, and less expensive EV batteries means cheaper EV prices.
“Overall, the Department of Energy is partnering with industry to reduce the manufacturing cost of advanced batteries. While a typical battery for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a 40-mile electric range cost $12,000 in 2008, we’re on track to demonstrate technology by 2015 that would reduce the cost to $3,600. And last year, we set a goal of demonstrating technology by 2020 that would further reduce the cost to $1,500 – an accomplishment that could help spur the mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.”, said Dr. Chu in a speech to The Detroit Economic Club.
The trend of the dropping price of modern technology has, obviously, lead to more people buying and adopting the tech into their everyday lives – and fast. HD TVs went from the minority to the majority, ownership doubling from 2007 to 2008 alone. Cell phones have penetrated the American market by as much as 96% and are becoming the norm in developing nations worldwide; while 76% of Americans own a personal computer.
The fast adoption of these products has lead to some minor infrastructural issues such as the construction of more cell towers and the running of cables to provide internet service. Yet nothing really compares to what needs to be done from an infrastructure stand point to accommodate EVs on a grand scale. Some American cities are working to accommodate EVs in the near future but most are not. However if Dr. Chu’s predictions of cheaper EV batteries does come to pass, and the trend of dropping prices in technologies continues to lead to the fast adoption of that technology, plus gas prices continue to climb, it would seem likely that ownership of EVs will increase. This means more of a strain on regional power grids and a need for public charging stations to become a common sight in America.
Source: Gas 2.0 (http://s.tt/15op9)
I believe the electric cars first made an appearance almost 100 years back, but never caught on. Was it only because petrol/gasoline was available in abundance, or were there other performance related reasons that put them out of business?
What is the point of making concepts and not taking them through production, seeing that considerable amount of time is spent on R&D for these concepts? are these companies thinking that at some point in the far future, these vehicles will become a reality?
In what way does Ford use its kinetic design? Is it only for enhancing the looks or does it have some functional advantages as well?
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- Reducing Recharging Time of Batteries in Electric Vehicles
- Prolonging Battery Life in Electric Vehicles
- Improving Reliability of Electric Vehicles under Unfavourable Conditions
- Decreasing the Cost of Batteries in Electriv Vehicles
- Increasing the Energy Density of Batteries with Lower Weights in Electric Vehicles
- Reducing Drag Coefficient of Electric Vehicles
- Standardization of EV Technology and Associated Charging Infrastructure
- Securing Supply of Lithium and Other Rare Earth Materials Used in Electric Car Batteries
- Electric Car End of Life Waste Handling and Recycling Infrastructure
Latest Discussions - Electric, Hybrid And Plug In Hybrid Electric Cars
Automobile Magazine named the Tesla Model S the 2013 Automobile of the Year. No, not electric car of the year: automobile of the year, best of the best.
And it wasn’t just a scheme to increase the credibility of electric cars. The Tesla Model S literally outperformed its gas-powered competition.
n a race to 100 mph with the 560-hp BMW M5, the Tesla won.
Tesla is making a strong push to ensure that electric cars aren’t seen as the younger sibling to gas-powered cars, that they aren’t just for the environmentally-conscious person willing to trade performance for emission reductions. But Tesla isn’t just looking to have a fast electric car to make that point, they also want to see improved EV infrastructure. That’s why they’re building super-fast charging stations across the United States to improve mobility options for EV owners.
If the Tesla Model S is any indication, gas-powered cars could see stiff competition in the future as EV charging infrastructure is built up as is expected. Eliminating electric car stigmas won’t hurt either.
The clean technology sector is infamous for taking a big toll on startups--requiring large investments, risky technology propositions, steep international competition, and fickle government policies. How do you create a business around the still-emerging market of electric vehicles and avoid those issues? One way is developing testing tools and infrastructure around that market, to help those manufacturers in their research and development, which is just what Calabasas-based GridTest Systems (www.gridtest.com) is doing. An interview with founder Neal Roche about his startup, which provides testing tools for the electric vehicle (EV) market.
Introducing the C-1, the world's first gyroscopically stabilized rolling smart phone. This vehicle combines the efficiency and freedom of a motorcycle with the safety and convenience of a car. Offering the alternated to alternatives on an exciting and safe platform, the C-1 transforms your daily commute into something to look forward to.
Read More: http://litmotors.com/c1/
ATC Solar Curve Bus Stop concept is being developed by Studio Mango for the city Noord-Brabant, Netherlands, which would allow inductive charging technology at existing bus stops, which will enable electric buses to recharge each time they stop to pick up passengers.
The concept calls for installation of 15.5 meters of solar panels on top of a bus stop’s roof, which would convert sunlight to solar power throughout the day. The curved roof would be sufficiently tilted down to enable wireless energy transfer to buses using inductive charging, which employs the use of an electromagnetic field to transfer energy.
Tesla has unveiled the Tesla Model X, the CUV prototype version of the Model S. The Model X can go from 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, features all-wheel drive, is heavier than the Model S and therefore, will offer 10% less range than the S for the same 60 and 85 kWh battery packs. The price will be similar to the S, beginning around $ 50,000 after tax credits, and going up to $ 90,000 with the largest battery packs and other features.
The batteries are housed in a low skateboard, similar to S, which leaves a lot of space. The CUV doesn’t need a combustion engine and so there are two trunks, one in the front and one in the rear, allowing 7 people and a lot of luggage on-board. The much-hyped “falcon-wing” doors are similar to the gull-wing vehicles, but with a bend in the middle which allows them to be opened in tight spaces while offering better access to the rear and third row of seats.
A new MIT study shows that Electric Vehicles are not just environmentally friendly, but also have the potential to improve the bottom line for many kinds of businesses.
The study, conducted by researchers at MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics (CTL), finds that electric vehicles can cost 9 to 12 percent less to operate than trucks powered by diesel engines, when used to make deliveries on an everyday basis in big cities.
The Hiriko, designed by MIT Media lab, is part of MIT's plan to develop smart and efficient technology for tomorrow's cities - and you can buy one for about €12,500.
Read More: http://singularityhub.com/2012/01/24/mit-media-lab-rolls-out-folding-car/
Arunpillai shared a picture Pioneering Electric Technologies on the Dakar Rally 5 years ago
Team Latvia and their race leader Maris Saukans show up on the Dakar with a revolutionary project. The idea of the team fully supported by the Latvian government is to start and finish the Dakar in their electric-powered OSCar eO vehicle. After having managed to finish the Dakar rally in both Africa and South America, this new challenge could be the first of many for the Latvian crew but also for others in an ever-changing world of motorsports. Focused on Green-Thinking, Maris and his co-driver Didzis Sarins are fully focused on the finish line in Lima, no matter what their result is.
Read More: http://www.dakar.com/dakar/2012/us/rider/maris-saukans.html
As 2011 draws to a close, the environment for electric vehicle adoption remains positive — despite a dramatically altered political landscape, which could result in reduced federal financial support for pilots or individual purchases moving forward, and battery safety concerns raised by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), related to several post-crash fires caused by lithium-ion batteries.
The 7 trends that will drive EVs in 2012 are:
#1: Would-be buyers will have far more choices in 2012.
#2: Prices will remain high for electric vehicles.
#3: Real estate companies and parking lot operators will continue to install electric vehicle chargers as a service.
#4: More businesses will install chargers.
#5: Wireless charging technologies will get wider testing.
#6: Models will emerge for vehicle-to-grid electricity distribution.
#7: Safety issues will get closer scrutiny.
While various strategies are underway to address the ongoing energy crisis in the realm of automotive production and energy use, Filipino product designer Kenneth Cobonpue and Albrecht Birkner have devised a truly unique solution, introducing the world's first biodegradable car, the Phoenix.
The world’s first bamboo and rattan biodegradable car, dubbed the Phoenix, was built in 10 days, and is comprised of bamboo, rattan, steel, and nylon. The length of the biodegradable car measures 153 inches long and is a small solution to a big problem; the waste created by old cars that outlive their purpose.
On average, a person keeps a car for 5 years in industrialized countries, 10-20 elsewhere, and with that in the mind the Phoenix’s biodegradable skin is designed to meet those needs while not outliving its purpose. Interestingly, the skin of the vehicle can be replaced inexpensively if the owner wishes to keep their car longer, and the frame of the Phoenix can be easily customized to meet the needs of its customers. As of now there is no word on exactly what will power the Phoenix, but an all-electric setup would seemingly be small enough to power this little work of art.
Since their introduction, automobiles have been a source of passion and meanings as individual as their drivers. Today they are often associated with luxury, performance or safety, but the Ecco aims to remind us they can still be about freedom. This concept vehicle gets passengers to their destination, and becomes a temporary home when they get there. Compact, stylish and aerodynamic while on the road, when it is parked, the Ecco expands to provide a level space and comfort than its fore bearers could only dream of.
As an all-electric vehicle, the Ecco has no emissions of its own, and can be quickly charged at a standard 240V station. But when used for extended living purposes, even where no electricity is available, its built-in photovoltaic panels and solar sail roof mean that it can cut out the middle man, and charge directly from the sun. The exterior is a harmonious blend of precision aluminum and glass. Its direct and sculptural form cheats the wind while pleasing the eye. While a bit wider than its Volkswagen predecessor, the Ecco’s form is more aerodynamic, and the vehicle rides closer to the ground. The result is vastly improved interior volume, wonderful sight-lines for all passengers, and less wind resistance to boot.
Although on the face of it, hydrogen offers a perfect fuel solution because it works in an adapted petrol engine and it only produces oxygen and water as exhaust, there are severe limitations. Firstly, manufacture of the gas uses a huge amount of energy which more than cancels out the benefit achieved in using it.
Bio-diesel blends are much more widely available (ie blended with mineral diesel) – however, using pure biodiesel doesn't suit conventional engines. Biodiesel is best suited to large engines such as those in lorries and buses.
The best "clean" option is electricity. Manufacturers are concentrating on developing useable, efficient vehicles and greater production will see prices come down. There are also good road tax breaks, some places offer free parking, while in London the congestion charge is exempted.
There are still limitations on battery capacity but for city and inter-urban use where vehicle exhaust is an issue, they are perfect.
No need to worry about finding a gas station on these desolate roads. This car fuels up on sunshine while members of Universidad de Chile's team ready Eolian 2 for stage two of the Atacama Solar Challenge in Antofagasta.
The car's name references eolian processes, through which winds erode, transport, and deposit materials to shape the earth's surface—especially in arid environments.
The first version of the Eolian car competed in 2007 at the World Solar Challenge in Australia. At this year's edition of the race, the second-generation sleek design was the only entry from a Latin American country. Although Eolian 2 placed 22nd in a field of 37 in the Outback, the car finished second in the Atacama Desert.
Electric cars in Germany could pollute more than gasoline cars, and the grid there could collapse if everyone charges at the same time, a report concludes. Read this blog post by Erik Palm on Green Tech. - http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10231102-54.html
Electric cars and hybrids are hot right now, but they’re nothing new. Here’s a history lesson
Electric cars make up a very small percentage of the cars on the roads , but there is no doubt that the EV trend is growing. Terms that were once foreign sounding, like EcoBoost and Hybrid, hav.. - http://www.energytrend.com/Mitsubishi_EV_20111223
Peter White, Chairman of Institution of Mechanical Engineers – Automobile Division was in talks with Indian Transport Portal where he spoke about the development of the Indian Auto sector. White stated that as compared to China, US and UK markets India has about 15 cars per 1000 people. China has 37, while UK has 525, and US has 828 per 1000.
India needs to improve their roads, infrastructure and vehicle management. He also stressed the need for bringing in more fuel efficient vehicles and vehicles that run on bio-fuel or electric vehicles into the country. Speaking of REVA electric vehicle, White said that it was a perfect example of a low cost city vehicle. The Government should offer subsidies for REVA so as to boost sales and use of this low carbon fuel efficient vehicle.
He spoke of the growing awareness of tackling environmental issues and the need for users to accept recycling, use of bio fuels in the generation of electricity, for transport and agriculture. One should not wait for climate changes and drought or floods to sit up and take notice. With the growing awareness for green vehicles, the world is bringing out more electric vehicles and India too should consider these options so as to compete with established players in the field.