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More Electric Car Loans ‘Remains to Be Seen,’ Chu Says
www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-31/future-of-u-s-electric-car...
Energy Secretary Steven Chu said it “remains to be seen in the future” whether about $16 billion in available U.S. government loans to develop alternative- technology vehicles will be disbursed. Providing money for electric-vehicle development was a component of President Barack Obama’s goal of having 1 million plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015, a number well above current forecasts.

The goal is “ambitious, but we’ll see what happens,” Chu said after touring displays at the Washington Auto Show, where he looked almost exclusively at alternative-fuel vehicles including Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf and General Motors Co. (GM)’s Cadillac ELR. Obama’s administration hasn’t made a loan under the alternative-technology program, created in 2008, since March 2011. Since then, it’s rejected or not acted on applications from companies including Chrysler Group LLC.

DB2
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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.
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So large scale electric car use would be a feelgood move that really would gain us all nothing.

It would mean less money going to people like Hugo Chavez and King Abdullah. And lower the trade deficit.

DB2
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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 http://www.ambri.com/) 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"

Cheers
Qazulight
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The best super heated steam power plants are hitting in excess of 90 percent.
====================================================

That is news to me. The most efficient steam plants I am familiar with are the new combined cycle gas plants. They can achieve 60% thermal efficiency, but it takes a gas turbine and a steam turbine all in one power plant to get that sort of efficiency. A Carnot efficiency of 90% would require a steam inlet temperature of over 4000 degrees F. That is way too high for today's power plants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_engine#Efficiency

Empirically, no heat engine has ever been shown to run at a greater efficiency than a Carnot cycle heat engine.
-----------------------------------------------------------

http://www.ge-energy.com/products_and_services/products/gas_...

The point remains, though, that power plants are generally more efficient than internal combustion engines. So an electric car running on electricity from a fossil-fueled power plant still produces less CO2 per mile than a standard ICE car. The CO2 emissions can be eliminated completely if the power plant runs on uranium. But that concept is unpopular amongst the environmental crowd.

- Pete
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Chavez is ready to buy the ranch so I wouldn't worry about him too much. And I'd rather have Abdullah and family in charge in Saudi Arabia than have a bunch of evil islamist wackjob thugs take over.
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Power plants run at or near their peak efficiency all the time. Internal combustion engines do not. A large percentage of miles traveled is while cars are still warming up and at half or less of their nominal efficiency (which is generally 20-25%). The best gas cars get to about 35% efficiency...after they are warmed up.

The lowest hanging fruit for reducing gas consumption on transportation is for short trips with an EV. Short is on the order of 2-5 miles or so. An EV (or PHEV) gets to maximum efficiency almost immediately.

In my Prius plugin I use about 200 watt-hours per mile on short trips. But if I use gas it is getting about 25-30 mpg (not warm yet). So for 5 miles this is 3412 BTUs (plus 10% for charging losses). For gas this is 23000 BTUs. On a longer trips at freeway speeds it is more like 4700 BTU (per 5 miles) compared to 12000 for gas.

Mike
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That is news to me. The most efficient steam plants I am familiar with are the new combined cycle gas plants. They can achieve 60% thermal efficiency, but it takes a gas turbine and a steam turbine all in one power plant to get that sort of efficiency. A Carnot efficiency of 90% would require a steam inlet temperature of over 4000 degrees F. That is way too high for today's power plants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_engine#Efficiency

Empirically, no heat engine has ever been shown to run at a greater efficiency than a Carnot cycle heat engine.


Thank you for the correction. I thought 90 percent was high, but it is what I remember being told on the tour to of the plant in Bridge City.

If 60 percent is all you get, then by the time you lose energy in the conversion to DC through the rectifiers, and back through the batteries it would seem you are getting close.

However, I do know that people who had natural gas standby generators that came on after Hurricane Rita and ran the entire time were shocked at the fuel bill when it came in. They were very glad to pay the electric rates after that.

Cheers
Qazulight
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The lowest hanging fruit for reducing gas consumption on transportation is for short trips with an EV.

I don't think that's right. The lowest hanging fruit is the replacement of large inefficient vehicles with smaller more efficient conventional vehicles when the older cars reach the end of their useful life.

That's what's been happening - new car fuel economy has climbed sharply in the last 7-8 years, but very little of that is due to any advanced technology. EV's are still a miniscule segment of the market, and even 'conventional' hybrids are only about 3% of new vehicle sales. We've been reducing gasoline consumption because people are switching out their SUV's for crossovers, larger sedans for smaller cars, and increasingly buying compacts.

Albaby
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Albaby,

I think you are both right, but talking past each other.

While I think that there is little that can be done to speed the process, electric will be the way to go eventually. The modern internal combustion engine is extremely complex as is the rest of the drive train in a modern automobile.

So, yes the best movement for the buck is the short trip EV, this is why Toyota was able to sell the Prious, a complex hybrid, on paper a real Rube Goldberg machine.

And you are dead on, new car fuel economy has improved a lot in the last few years. This is due, like you said to people moving to the "right sized" vehicle for the mission.

It is also due to the car companies making it a priority. They have innovated in a lot of ways. The GDI system has allowed for much smaller engines to do a great deal of work and still improve the specific fuel consumption by 2 or 3 percent. (This is a lot!)

They have also cut a lot of corners. We have a Honda CRV, that was getting 28 mpg combined, until we put new tires on it. The fuel mileage dropped to 26 mpg, about 7 percent. We got a smoother quieter ride, but lost the fuel mileage. This is a big corner cut.

I am particularly interested in what GM did with the Traverse. They used it to woo a lot of customers away from the Yukon and for every customer that they moved they gained about 4 miles per gallon per vehicle sold. Most of the customers lost no utility, some that had major towing tasks did, and gained a lot of fuel mileage and comfort.

Cheer
Qazulight
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While I think that there is little that can be done to speed the process, electric will be the way to go eventually.

Perhaps - though it's far from the low hanging fruit. Indeed, I am increasingly skeptical that you're going to see that any time soon, absent a marked breakthrough in battery technology. The economics just aren't there for personal vehicles right now, and probably won't be for quite a while. Meanwhile, in addition to the small vehicle segment, you're actually seeing some non-trivial NG fleet truck adoption. So it may be that not only the short-term, but also the intermediate-term, future of vehicles in the U.S. continuing to be almost entirely ICE.

Albaby
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absent a marked breakthrough in battery technology

Absent a marked breakthrough, actually two or three marked breakthoughs you want see it ever.

Cheers
Qazulight
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"They have also cut a lot of corners. We have a Honda CRV, that was getting 28 mpg combined, until we put new tires on it. The fuel mileage dropped to 26 mpg, about 7 percent. We got a smoother quieter ride, but lost the fuel mileage. This is a big corner cut."


Either you opted for lower mileage regular tires instead of buying the premium super mile tires....

or...

you fell into the trap that as your tires wear out, the diameter decreases. Your odometer increasing reports more miles driven per tank since the number of revolutions of the wheel increase...giving you a false mileage reading.

Unless you calibrate your tires - like doing 100 miles along the interstate and comparing mile markers with the odometer reading...you'll never note the graduate INCREASE in mileage as the tires wear out!


Then...

you put new tires on. Larger diameter...and of course....you'll say, horrors! my new tires are giving me 5% less mileage. in reality, your odometer is probably now reporting the correct mileage..since the tire diameter is greater and it turns fewer times per mile......

Once again, you've got to calibrate your tires for a long period , say 100 miles, of mile markers to really see how it is doing.

If you got a GPS...you can do the same. BEfore you change the tires, hold the car steady at 65...read off the speed your GPS says you are doing.

I'd bet your new tires are giving you the same ACTUAL miles...you just fell into the trap of worn tires.....and not realizing the mph error

When I bought new tires for the Prius....the replacement ones that were the same as the ones that came on the car...were 25K mile tires.....super mileage and 'sticky' tread...I opted for 80K mile tires....probably lost 2 mph and a bit of 'traction' but I stay off wet roads.....for the most part.... I couldn't see putting a 25K mile tire on the car to get an extra 2 mpg maybe......


t.
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>>The lowest hanging fruit for reducing gas consumption on transportation is for short trips with an EV.

I don't think that's right. The lowest hanging fruit is the replacement of large inefficient vehicles with smaller more efficient conventional vehicles ...


Yes, you are right...I meant to say, in context, that the low hanging fruit for EVs is...(what I said)...

Too many people want EVs to "immediately" be capable of 400 miles per charge, charge in 15 minutes, drive across water without getting wet, leap tall buildings, ...

There will be a lot of small incremental improvements over the next decade or two. Maybe even a couple of bigger breakthroughs. But, my point is, that with the technology we have today we can get a reasonable car that is a "second" car for a family and handle lots of commutes or errands. Or you can get a PHEV that gets a big percentage of miles in EV and uses gas for longer trips.

Mike
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you'll never note the graduate INCREASE in mileage as the tires wear out!



Seriously? Worn out tires have a smaller circumference. That means they go a smaller distance for each engine revolution. That means lower mpg by my estimation.

Mike
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Seriously? Worn out tires have a smaller circumference. That means they go a smaller distance for each engine revolution. That means lower mpg by my estimation.


Umm.. isn't that balanced by a decrease in torque needed to propel the car forward?

To a first-order approximation, the change in circumference from tire wear shouldn't have any effect on gas mileage.

~w, still remembers college physics
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But, my point is, that with the technology we have today we can get a reasonable car that is a "second" car for a family and handle lots of commutes or errands. Or you can get a PHEV that gets a big percentage of miles in EV and uses gas for longer trips.

As we've discussed before, I don't think that's right. The cost differential between the EV and a conventional hybrid is too high for you to realistically make up the price differential, if you're just using it as a "second" car. You're just not going to put enough miles on it fast enough to recoup your upfront costs. That's absent subsidies, though - if someone else picks up a big chunk of the cost, then *any* vehicle can make sense. But that's not really a long-term model, since it means that adoption is generally limited to the volume of subsidies we're willing to grant.

Albaby
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Seriously? Worn out tires have a smaller circumference. That means they go a smaller distance for each engine revolution. That means lower mpg by my estimation.

Mike,
The diameter of the tires doesn't actually change the fuel mileage much. It is a measurement error as the odometer measures revolutions of the tire and calculates the distance/vs fuel used. A smaller tire shows an increased distance as the tire rotates more times per mile with a smaller radius than a larger tire.

Cheers
Qazulight
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A smaller tire shows a decreased distance as the tire rotates more times per mile with a smaller radius than a larger tire.

FTFY...
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Albaby:"Perhaps - though it's far from the low hanging fruit. Indeed, I am increasingly skeptical that you're going to see that any time soon, absent a marked breakthrough in battery technology. The economics just aren't there for personal vehicles right now, and probably won't be for quite a while. Meanwhile, in addition to the small vehicle segment, you're actually seeing some non-trivial NG fleet truck adoption. So it may be that not only the short-term, but also the intermediate-term, future of vehicles in the U.S. continuing to be almost entirely ICE."

Just read somewhere where 51% of cars made in Venezuela are now equipped to burn NG as the primary fuel.

If gas gets real expensive and the shale gas bonanza holds up....could be true here too.


t.
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The best super heated steam power plants are hitting in excess of 90 percent....

Thank you for the correction. I thought 90 percent was high, but it is what I remember being told on the tour to of the plant in Bridge City.


Qazulight, your 90% efficiency is correct.

Boiler efficiencies for coal-fired power plants now exceed 90% efficiency. Here is a reference:

http://boards.fool.com/more-lies-from-ajax-try-31-as-an-aver...


-=Ajax=-
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Mike:""Seriously? Worn out tires have a smaller circumference. That means they go a smaller distance for each engine revolution. That means lower mpg by my estimation"

Wow.....back to grade school math for you.

Yes, the tires go a smaller distance......which means your odometer, which counts revolutions of the wheel/drive shaft...will show more turns. That gives you a false number.

If, for example, if your tire is 3 feet in diameter....it has a circumference of 9.42 feet. Which means it will turn about 500 times a mile.

Your odometer is set up to count turns of the wheel. So at about 500 turns of the wheel, it says you have gone 1 mile.

Now, if your wheel is smaller in diameter (due to worn tire), it will still count 500 turns and say "you've gone a mile". ...but really you haven't since now your tire is less than 3 feet in diameter and less than 9.42 feet in circumference. You only go maybe 5% less feet that before after 500 turns of the wheel.

But.....you think, that you are getting better mileage!...

----

Now....how much difference?

Let us say your tire is 30 feet in diameter.

You start out with 1/4 inch of tread you can wear away. When your tire is 'old', it is now 2.5 feet minus half an inch.

Before it was 2.5 feet times 3.14149 or about 7.85 feet in circumference.

Now, it is 2 feet 5 1/2 inches ......dang fractions....2.46.feet times pi = 7.719 feet

the difference 7.85 - 7.17 - .68

.68/7.75/7.85 is an 8% error.......that you think you are getting better mileage.

Smaller tires are worse than bigger tires, too.....bigger change percentage wise for a 1/2 inch treadwear..


t.
.

That's a
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A smaller tire shows a decreased distance as the tire rotates more times per mile with a smaller radius than a larger tire.

FTFY...


Introducing an error isn't usually considered fixing.

Elan
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Introducing an error isn't usually considered fixing.

No, it's as tele just said. The smaller the radius of the tire, the less real distance you've gone per odometer mile (which is based on a standard tire size).

If your tire rotates more times per mile, your odometer will overestimate the distance. So, a smaller tire = decreased distance.
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Introducing an error isn't usually considered fixing.

No, it's as tele just said. The smaller the radius of the tire, the less real distance you've gone per odometer mile (which is based on a standard tire size).

If your tire rotates more times per mile, your odometer will overestimate the distance. So, a smaller tire = decreased distance.


First, I don't read tele. I don't want to waste my time on drivel.

Second, let's assume the actual miles per gallon are the same if the tire circumference is larger or smaller. The apparent gas mileage changes because the odometer measures distance based on tire rotation. If you drive 100 miles on new tires and your odometer is accurate it will show 100 miles. When the tires on the same vehicle have worn down, the odometer will read >100 miles when you drive 100 true miles. So the same true distance appears to be a greater distance. And if your true MPG hasn't changed, the apparent MPG increases.
Qazulight was right.

Elan
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