Electric Cars - All Battery or Plug-In Hybrids

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by dstrauss, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    @Kumabjorn and @violajack - you are BOTH right. That's why this old fossil takes the compromise route and can go 50 mile +/- for all day commuting on electric, but the seating capacity and long range hauling of the hybrid mode (still at a very good 40mpg) let me go anywhere in our vast American wilderness.

    Kuma - your generational analysis may be a bit off (at least here stateside) because almost all Prius owners I know are dinosaurs...maybe that's why they are suspect of fossil fuels. :D:p
     
  2. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    @violajack presents us with a concrete example on how much needs to be thought through during a paradigm shift from private car ownership to a shared autonomous driving model. Let me first, though, be very clear, I don't for a second believe that this is going to be a 100 % transformation from one model to another. Even today there are people who use a horse and buggy, sometimes for economical reasons and sometimes because of personal preferences. So it's not like I believe that every car will be replaced by a self-driving vehicle, but I do think it will become the predominant model of personal transport, even to the point that it will impact regional train transportation. But let's start with our favorite musician's scenario with three kids and baby seats requirement.

    First, you wouldn't be required to walk with three seats to a charging station. Remember, these are autonomous driving vehicles (ADV) all you do is call for it on your app and it will show up in your driveway. Second, there will be all kinds of options available in the fleet provided by private corporations. One of those could be (I'm reasonably sure some fleet operator will target young mothers) that every morning at 8:15, Mondays through Fridays an ADV with three child seats will be ready in your driveway. Since someone else might like the same setup at 9:10 you might have to switch to a different ADV once you delivered your children to their educational facilities. Is that too troublesome for your situation? I don't know, but if it is, there could be (most likely for a surcharge) an option that allows your continued use until you arrive at work. My point was that if you save 90% of what you spend on car transportation by moving from private car ownership to shared autonomous driving, I believe a lot of people would open an Excel ark and make some calculations. Those would then be offset by any decline in convenience and this would spur fleet operators to eliminate those inconveniences.

    @dstrauss I don't for a moment think that "dinosaurs" aren't interested in the new electric/hybrid cars showing up. Actually you need a certain amount of personal wealth to be able to afford them, even the new Tesla 3 is expensive compared to a lot of their competing models. So unless you've accrued a decent sized money pouch you are unlikely to afford them. No, the generational thing I'm talking about wasn't the type of vehicles but the old model of personal ownership vs. a shared usage model. More similar to Spotify than a vinyl collection. I get the rite of passage view. But those that are nine years old now will be just as happy when you install the ADV app in their phone with the first six months paid. But as mentioned above, I certainly don't imagine this to be a model that everyone will adhere to. But once you have an ADV that has a range of 600 miles and you can sit in it with your personal office, working on trial tactics on your way to court and snicker at the opposition in their Cadillac Seville stuck in the left lane preserved, but no longer maintained, especially for fossil fuel vehicles (FFV anyone?) sitting behind a huge truck and a large empty bus with a driver worrying about her next paycheck. Just as you probably did in the back of your head when you showed up with a tablet and they were writing on yellow legal pads.

    Did you know that in Holland they are preparing roads that will charge your car wirelessly when you drive on it? That Japan now has more charge stations than gas stations? That Oslo does not charge toll charge on electric and hybrid vehicles? That Volvo is phasing out internal combustion engines in favor of electric and hybrid? Things are changing at a fast pace, you just need to look for it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
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  3. violajack

    violajack Scribbler - Standard Member

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    A lot would have to change for your vision to work, including substantial changes to how car seats work. Each seat has to be adjusted to each kid. Child restraints are much more complicated that adult seat belts because the immature skeleton of kids requires more careful positioning and belt and seat support to protect in a crash. I would not be okay with a random vehicle with who knows what seats installed by not me that I would still have to adjust down for my kids (a lot of current seats require uninstalling to reroute straps). And three across installations, like what I have now, are finicky. Also, do they have the base for my infant seat, so I can just drop the seat in, then unclip and put it in the stroller when I get where I'm going? Will they send me something that can fit my double stroller too? And all the groceries?

    And like I said, we walk to school. I need a vehicle at random times when I need to haul everyone to a doctor's appointment, or to piano class, or grocery shopping.

    We'd have to completely rethink the interior of the car. Some of the VW bus concepts are cool with seats all over and some rear facing. And there's a swiss concept that shows a rear facing infant seat in place of the front passenger seat. But there would have to be a universal base standard for infant bucket seats along with easily adjustable and reclineable seats with 5 point harnesses that can rear or front face. And all seating positions would have to accommodate all of those modes, in addition to adults to really be practical if the vehicle is to be shared between a random assortment of passengers throughout the day. I suppose it's something that could happen in the future, but right now all the concepts are just showing living room like set ups that are appropriate for adults. There haven't been many innovative things in incorporating child restraints into actual vehicle seats, just easier ways to securely install separate child seats.
     
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  4. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    Fascinating, I'm learning so much. In Sweden we attach, what I guess you would call a harness, and then hook on and hook off a child seat. That way the seat is always adjusted to your child's needs and yet if you and a friend are going somewhere you just bring your seat and hook it on in her or his car. I guess you lack that flexibility then. And yes, it makes it much more challenging than I visualized. For me it was the same kind of hook on/hook off procedure we already use in our private cars. If the same applied to an ADV it would be the same procedure, just in a different car.

    Now, in your personal case it does become moot though, 13 years from now your children would be riding the same way adults do in cars, no?

    Again, these just highlights that it will be a cumbersome process and not everyone will get on board. I have zero problem with that. My simple point is that from the viewpoint of allocating limited resources in society, in this case personal transportation, it makes more sense to have cars running 90% of the time rather than having them idle 90%. Just ask any truck operator what would happen to him if his trucks stood parked 90% of the time, he'd be looking up what Chapter 11 means.

    In my earlier example of switching from $500/month lease to a $50/month ADV subscription, you would save $5400/year. That is one nice family vacation, but then I forget, Americans don't take vacations, they work themselves to the bone with 60 - 80 hour workweeks. And I ask myself; For what? But now I'm probably getting way off topic, so I think I'll stop here.
     
  5. violajack

    violajack Scribbler - Standard Member

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    We have LATCH in our cars, which is similar to the ISOFIX system in Europe, which is what you're referring to, I believe. Our child seats have a belt path. Either the seat belt can go through the belt path to install it to the car, or a belt with LATCH hooks can go through the belt path and be clipped in the LATCH anchors in the seat. LATCH has a weight limit and, especially with bulky seats, you have to switch to a seat belt install at some point anyway. Then there are infant bucket seats. The bucket can be installed directly to the seat with the seat belt, or a base can be installed either by seat belt or by LATCH, then the seat clipped into the base.

    But as I understood it, your initial premise was that the car would show up in my driveway with seats already in it, not that I would have to install my seats when it showed up. Which is why I explained about seats being adjusted to the kid. My kids' seats are set up for them. If a car showed up with three random seats, I'd have to adjust the seats, and I wouldn't really trust three random seats with an unknown history anyway. I'm getting pretty good at installing seats and I can do it relatively quickly, but still. I don't want to have to install my 3 seats every single time I want to drive somewhere. And, not all cars fit three across, so I'd have to know what I was getting. Having a car show up that I can't fit my kids in would rather problematic.

    And even if I won't have that issue in a decade or so, there will still be plenty of families that will have that issue.

    It's a great idea for personal transportation, but not so much for family transportation. That is, until the whole shebang is automated to the point that it's all computer driven and nothing crashes into anything anymore and you can just sit on the bench and relax.
     
  6. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    2400 mile update - In 2400 miles I've not used 1 drop of gas during nearly 1800 miles of daily commuting. It pretty much averages 50 miles on all electric, and has topped 60 miles when 45 mph or under basic commuting. Sure, there's the cost of electricity, but at our gasoline prices of $2.59/gal and electricity at $0.12 KWh, I'm at 72 miles per gallon on average. Even pure gasoline miles stay right at 40 mpg, which for a 4500# vehicle is pretty amazing in itself.

    Best of all, it's not Al Gore vs Big Oil, it is pure common sense (even from all my oil and gas industry clients) - commute daily with no emissions, and still go 250 miles to grandma's house on the weekend.
     
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  7. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Well, no local emissions. On the upside, the emissions per mile associated with electricity generation for your EV are almost always lower than emissions per mile from combustion engines.

    Edit: just found a nice .gov page where you can compare emissions from a specific model car to an the average new car (which are mostly gas powered), tailored to a specific zip code. Example.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
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  8. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Yes, I am aware of the argument against the electrical side, but unless you are talking about unfiltered coal fire plants, the volume of green house gases (and just plain poisons) from your tailpipe are far worse than electrical generation - plus we are whipping out wind turbine generation in Texas at a record pace...
     
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  9. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    @dstrauss How easy would it be to connect at solar panel and Tesla's Wall (I think it is called) to your charger? Do you deplete the battery before charging or do you top of every evening? Would it be possible to charge directly from a solar panel?

    Very curious about EVs but don't enough about them.
     
  10. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Oh! Oh! I know this one!

    I have some solar panels and a couple of huge AGM solar batteries in my closet. (Three years ago, I foolishly spent a couple thousand bucks on solar tech before first checking with my landlord about whether or not he'd be cool with my drilling holes in his roof. Aheh. Long story short... I have some solar panels and a couple of huge AGM batteries in my closet).

    BUT I do recall some of the furiously manic napkin scribbles I did to work out the wiring and electrical capacities and such. A lot of the math and physics have faded into mind mist, but the gist of it is that to run something like an electric car, you'd need at least half a dozen of the big standard-sized panels and lots of uninterrupted sunlight, but yes, you could totally charge your car with solar, or at least go a long way to keeping it topped up.

    With two panels on my roof, I worked out that I could run my digital arts studio off solar. (Laptop, Cintiq, various bits and pieces including a modem, plus a couple of low voltage lights, either LED or Halogen). On a full charge, I could get about 12-18 hours out of the rig. But if you throw in a cloudy day, or a snowfall when you want to be charging, then you quickly start to run a deficit. Batteries are finicky things, too. If you run them down below a half charge a few times, you'll kill them pretty quick, so you need to be on top of things. Batteries are super-key, so the more the better; but they're also the expensive part and they cost a ton to ship because they're very heavy and come with shipping restrictions. You really want to buy them locally if possible. The ones I picked up were nearly $500 each! The panels and electronics are a lot more affordable. -Though, the wiring needs to be super heavy gauge; DC is very different to push over even short distances than AC. It's all pretty complicated, actually, but logical enough once you're in the headspace.

    I hope one day to live somewhere that I can set everything up and give it a try!
     
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