Elon musk.....


Ranger850

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Bill

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Without the advent of the lithium ion battery, we wouldn't even be having this conversation, since lead acid wouldn't get the range without adding immense weight. I suspect battery technology will continue to improve and getting a viable all electric vehicle (1000+ mile range) is probably not too far in the future. Even then, there is the problem with charging. That is still going to take time. You can't pull into a station, plug in for 2 minutes and expect to have a full charge like you can when you fill up with fuel. Hybrids mitigate this problem, but that also inserts additional weak points and maintenance issues for the owner.

My biggest issue is that people seem to think that electric vehicles are somehow "green" and don't harm the environment when the fact is that the energy that charges the batteries largely comes from coal, natural gas and nuclear power. All of which have their environmental impacts. For that matter, while hydroelectric, solar and wind are much more environmental friendly, they still have a certain effect. What happens when all of these batteries have served their useful life? Imagine for a moment, that all of the cars on our roads right now were electric. Think of the environmental nightmare dealing with the huge amount of used batteries that would accompany that. If you've ever seen a lead acid battery recycling facility, you know what I'm talking about. Lithium ion is no doubt even more hazardous and hard to deal with.

If Elon Musk wants to really do something, he should be putting his efforts towards hydrogen and finding a method that's more cost effective to produce it in volume and make it as safe as possible for a passenger vehicle. The hydrogen fuel cell is by far the best option for the future of automobiles, IMO.
I don't think they will work that hard to get a 1,000 mile range. I read something in an article that about 600-700 miles is the magic number. People will spend a day driving from Sacramento to Portland, or Atlanta to Chicago, which are both under 700 miles. It is just that the number of people who drive longer distances are the exception, according to the article. I also read that there is always the possibility that batteries will be mounted on a rack that you can stop someplace and swap out your discharged batteries for a charged set instead of filling up for gas. I guess this would be something with a monthly service fee for the ability to do this. It sounds like a viable plan, but it would require standardization of battery rack sizes for different car classes and actually getting the different car manufacturers to agree to an industry standard and instead of each one of them using some proprietary way of doing things.

The thing with this "green" is that it is a journey into the future where more and more things are cleaner. Generating electricity is getting cleaner. More electricity will be generated with natural gas because it is cheaper and doesn't require manual labor to transport it. The southern half to the southern third of the country is great for solar power. Of course it takes energy to manufacture solar panels and there is some carbon contribution there now. But sometime down the road the energy required to manufacture solar panels will be generated by solar panels. And recycling makes things greener and cheaper. In the past we had to mine bauxite to make aluminium, or a variety of different ore types to make copper. Processing and smeltering metal ores is an energy intensive process. This is in addition to the energy used to get these minerals out of the ground. Where the green part comes it is recycling. You no longer need the energy required to dig up the ore, transport it, crush it, use toxic chemicals to leach it, then melt it into something resembling the end product you want, then transporting a huge block of this somewhere else where they melt it and process it further to make it a higher quality metal. With recycling you just melt down the scrap aluminium, copper, or whatever metal you have and are done. The same thing applies to recycling lithium.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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You don't just melt down pop cans to make cylinder heads, you still have to do some work to change whatever conglomerated alloy you get by melting down scrap into the alloy that you want.

Most places only use a certain percentage of scrap when making raw material because of that variable.
 

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I don't think they will work that hard to get a 1,000 mile range. I read something in an article that about 600-700 miles is the magic number. People will spend a day driving from Sacramento to Portland, or Atlanta to Chicago, which are both under 700 miles. It is just that the number of people who drive longer distances are the exception, according to the article. I also read that there is always the possibility that batteries will be mounted on a rack that you can stop someplace and swap out your discharged batteries for a charged set instead of filling up for gas. I guess this would be something with a monthly service fee for the ability to do this. It sounds like a viable plan, but it would require standardization of battery rack sizes for different car classes and actually getting the different car manufacturers to agree to an industry standard and instead of each one of them using some proprietary way of doing things.
The longer the range, the more energy must be stored, and the longer recharge time. Swapping batteries does not remove this requirement from the system, it just hides it.

Why would we bother with this? We've built seemingly millions of these giant warehouses along highways - they'd function just the same if they were connected via rail for the long haul portion. We don't need to invent electric semis of bore tunnels into the earth, just implement technologies we've had for decades.

In the end when we talk about switching from fossil fuels to renewables, we're talking about changing from the stored solar energy from ages past to the real-time flows of solar energy. For the vast amount of time humans have existed, we lived on those real-time flows. You can do a lot of things with that, but a modern industrial society with automobiles is not one of them. Enjoy your Ranger for now.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Swapping batteries is nothing new. The mail order company I worked for 10 years ago had a fleet of forklifts with swappable batteries. One fell off the rack once... sounded horrible (rack was on the other side of the wall from my office)
 

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Except forklift batteries dont cost 10 grand...
 

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Bill

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Yes, but I haven’t seen an actual series hybrid car or truck. That’s because the losses would be too high going from mechanical to electrical and back to mechanical again. It’s hard to beat a simple gear system for low losses.

Trains, ships and large construction equipment are a different story, in part because of the size and complexity of the drivetrains.
The longer the range, the more energy must be stored, and the longer recharge time. Swapping batteries does not remove this requirement from the system, it just hides it.

Why would we bother with this? We've built seemingly millions of these giant warehouses along highways - they'd function just the same if they were connected via rail for the long haul portion. We don't need to invent electric semis of bore tunnels into the earth, just implement technologies we've had for decades.

In the end when we talk about switching from fossil fuels to renewables, we're talking about changing from the stored solar energy from ages past to the real-time flows of solar energy. For the vast amount of time humans have existed, we lived on those real-time flows. You can do a lot of things with that, but a modern industrial society with automobiles is not one of them. Enjoy your Ranger for now.
I'm not sure why you have a problem with this. Swapping batteries enables those people who want to make long trips to do so without having to stop and wait for their batteries to recharge. You swap out the discharged batteries for fully charged batteries and go. Meanwhile, the batteries they left at the recharge station get recharged, then swapped into another customer's vehicle, and the cycle continues.

As far as running vehicles on electricity, I disagree with you. It can be done and there are multiple ways to do it beyond batteries, and for the average American who doesn't do much more than going to work and the grocery store, the present options are more than viable, with the exception of cost for some people. At some point, the decreasing cost of electric vehicles will intersect with the rising cost of gas-powered vehicles. When that happens you will suddenly see a lot more electric vehicles on the road. At the rate new cars are increasing, this might happen sooner than we think. The commercial solution might be powered by catenary or third-rail. Freight has been moved in this country with electric locomotives in the past and is currently used in several cities around the world to reduce local air pollution. It probably will not be used between Denver and Sacramento where there are long distances of rural land, but it would certainly work up and down the urbanized regions of the East Coast. Also, trucks and buses can be powered this way too.

https://www.trucker.com/trucks/mack-trucks-shows-ehighway-electrified-tractor

And the possibility that super capacitors may make battery technology obsolete

https://www.iflscience.com/technology/graphene-based-supercapacitors-could-eliminate-batteries-electric-cars-within-5-years/
 

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Hydrogen.

Just sayin'
Already said it...

BTW, did you know the average American only uses their vehicle to go to work and the grocery store? All this time I've been thinking the average American did more than that.

I'm not sure if I'm below average or above it, but I put about 30k a year on my main vehicle. While a vehicle with a 300 mile range would theoretically work for "most" of my travel, it would have to be charging pretty much all of the time I wasn't driving it.

Also, "advertised range" is pretty much a best case scenario with minimal speeds and flat ground.
 

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If Elon Musk wants to really do something, he should be putting his efforts towards hydrogen and finding a method that's more cost effective to produce it in volume and make it as safe as possible for a passenger vehicle. The hydrogen fuel cell is by far the best option for the future of automobiles, IMO.
Absolutely agreed.
I understand it takes barely longer to refuel a hydrogen car than it does a gasoline car.
With more demand, I could see equipment coming available that would facilitate conversion of solar energy & water to hydrogen (current production I understand still uses some fossil fuel, so that eventually has to stop). It could be on a small scale, allowing one to produce their own hydrogen and fuel their car at home (not too unlike the recharging of a battery car at home), or producing it on a grander scale for supplying fueling stations. This would be 100% renewable energy and 0% emissions (your car simply converts the hydrogen back to water). Seems like a win-win to me.


For those advocating battery swaps, what do these batteries weigh? I'm thinking some form of machinery is going to be needed at a "swap-station" to be able to remove these heavy batteries from people's cars and replace them with newly-charged ones... And then stations having to store big huge heavy batteries on-site (also making sure discharged ones stay separate from charged ones)... And then all the standardization stuff mentioned. I just don't see much practicality in it.
 

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How so? Such hydrogen is made with natural gas, not petroleum. :thefinger:
 

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I suspect battery technology will continue to improve and getting a viable all electric vehicle (1000+ mile range) is probably not too far in the future.
What consumer ICE vehicles have 1000 mile range right now? That's not a realistic need. Most ICE vehicles now have a range between 300-500 miles. The top electric vehicles are in that ballpark already. They don't need tons more range, they need faster charging.

My biggest issue is that people seem to think that electric vehicles are somehow "green" and don't harm the environment when the fact is that the energy that charges the batteries largely comes from coal, natural gas and nuclear power. All of which have their environmental impacts. For that matter, while hydroelectric, solar and wind are much more environmental friendly, they still have a certain effect. What happens when all of these batteries have served their useful life? Imagine for a moment, that all of the cars on our roads right now were electric. Think of the environmental nightmare dealing with the huge amount of used batteries that would accompany that. If you've ever seen a lead acid battery recycling facility, you know what I'm talking about. Lithium ion is no doubt even more hazardous and hard to deal with.
Consuming anything has some level of environmental impact, therefore everything has some level of environmental impact, but that doesn't mean that a hybrid is just as bad as a new Suburban, or even a gas powered version of the same model. If we're going to be making new vehicles, we might as well make them as fuel efficient and clean as possible. Some improvement is better than no improvement. Converting power plants from coal to NG is a big improvement. Going from NG to a renewable power source would also be an improvement. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't convert from coal to NG now, or that we have to go straight to renewables for it ot make sense. New doesn't have to be perfect to justify it's existence, it just has to be better than what we currently have.

BTW, did you know the average American only uses their vehicle to go to work and the grocery store? All this time I've been thinking the average American did more than that.

I'm not sure if I'm below average or above it, but I put about 30k a year on my main vehicle. While a vehicle with a 300 mile range would theoretically work for "most" of my travel, it would have to be charging pretty much all of the time I wasn't driving it.
The average American does between 13-14k miles per year total. You're WAY above average @ 30k/yr on your "Main vehicle". Driving that amount, you could see significant savings in fuel/energy costs from a hybrid, PHEV, or full electric vehicle. Yes, they charge when you're not driving, like overnight. It's not any different than charging your phone over night. I've got a Fusion Energi PHEV as a daily, and it gets plugged in everytime I pull into my garage. It takes like 15 seconds. The more it's plugged in, the less gas I use. Even 30 minutes helps.
 

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For those advocating battery swaps, what do these batteries weigh? I'm thinking some form of machinery is going to be needed at a "swap-station" to be able to remove these heavy batteries from people's cars and replace them with newly-charged ones... And then stations having to store big huge heavy batteries on-site (also making sure discharged ones stay separate from charged ones)... And then all the standardization stuff mentioned. I just don't see much practicality in it.
Of course some sort of machinery would be used. It's already been tried, tested, and both Israel and China have battery swapping stations.


https://www.electrive.com/2019/01/20/nio-completes-first-battery-swapping-route/
 


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