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Subject:  Re: Electric car monies Date:  2/5/2013  1:03 PM
Author:  qazulight Number:  40645 of 90622

Electric cars are a crock of crap. It takes electricity to run them, and where do you get that? Until somebody comes up with another way to generate electricity on a large scale, in most places you get it from burning fossil fuels, and that sure as bloody hell can't be good for the atmosphere, whether or not it worsens global warming. So large scale electric car use would be a feelgood move that really would gain us all nothing.

I started not to reply to you, not because you are correct, rather because you show a shocking amount of ignorance.

The best theoretical energy conversion from chemical energy in fossil fuels to mechanical energy is less than 40 percent. The best super heated steam power plants are hitting in excess of 90 percent.

Once you factor in conversion losses due conversion from on type of electricity to another (ac to dc) then the loss in storage, (into and out of a battery) then conversion again into mechanical energy (from battery to electric motor) you still have a conversion factor near or over 60 percent. This is a 50 percent (from 40 percent in the Otto cycle engine, to 60 percent via electric automobile) increase in energy from chemical to mechanical.

Additionally, if and this is a big if, the energy density of batteries can be made high enough to be economically useful (They are not there yet) Then the infrastructure we use to distribute electricity can be used more effectively. Today we have built infrastructure to handle peak loads. With electric cars we can fill them up in off peak times, meaning the plants can run continuously. Further, if the battery technology is in place, and there is a grid scale battery in development, ( See the Ambri Corporation Then we can store and forward the energy as it is made from intermittent sources and used for quick charging.

Of course all of this depends on automobile batteries that are not commercially available. However, if you will subscribe to Science Daily you will see that advances are happening daily on batteries. In fact I have seen advances made a year ago and the announcement of the money being gathered today for commercial development.

So, while electric cars are not ready for prime time, they are near.

As a good electric car with a reliable battery would be a much simpler automobile the economic break even point is probably a lot closer than a first glance might make you think. At first I thought that the battery technology would need to approach the storage density of gasoline. This is not the case simply because the conversion factor from the two different energy types is not the same. But even that is too simplistic. People have values that they do not even know they have. Once the value of the electric car reaches a certain point, and I don't know what that point is, the economics of the technology will drive the adoption of the technology.

A fun and easy read that discusses this phenomenon is Gladwell's book called "The Tipping Point"

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