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When will we see an affordable electric car ?

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I have been waiting for this for 20 years now.

Give me a car,where I don't need gas,runs well in the winter,is all electric,and

I can refill the power without having to go 50 miles to get refill.

And if this exists then why are we still using gas ?

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And if this exists then why are we still using gas ?

The problem with electric cars is not the cost or the range. The problem is the recharge time. It takes 5 mins to fill up a gas tank. It takes a minimum of 20 min if you have access to a fast charging station and up to 8 hours if you don't. It is unlikely that this problem will ever be solved for batteries and this will limit the adoption of EVs. Edited by TimG

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Series hybrid is the answer, i came across a bmw unit a few months ago that looked like the right idea. An electric motor drives the vehicle via the battery pack for a range of 160 km. A generator charges the battery when needed to extend range and can therefore be used to provide heating that would otherwise shorten your range in the winter.

To go a step further one would need a storage battery at home you can charge with solar panels when at work during daytime so that at night you can plug your vehicle into this stored energy to charge your car. Electric cars dont help matters much if you plug in at night and have the electric utility generating power from natural gas, you may as well run natural gas in your car and skip the carbon footprint of manufacturing a hybrid.

And then you need solar panels to run your house also otherwise one could argue why bother charging a battery during the day to charge your car off solar yet run your house off electricity from the utility. And so you start thinking about the area that solar panels should occupy on a urban house and it gets rather complicated. But on the farm i have room to spare and can consider these possibilities.

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The problem with electric cars is not the cost or the range. The problem is the recharge time. It takes 5 mins to fill up a gas tank. It takes a minimum of 20 min if you have access to a fast charging station and up to 8 hours if you don't. It is unlikely that this problem will ever be solved for batteries and this will limit the adoption of EVs.

Quite the bold statement. Battery charging speed is constantly being improved and you only need another factor of 4. Batteries can already be charged faster at the price of reduced lifespan (they will lose maximum capacity after few charge-discharge cycles if charged too quickly) but this is something that is constantly being worked on. Another possibility is accepting the reduced lifespan and swapping out aged batteries for new ones, and having the aged batteries be refurbished by the manufacturer. Other than that, it's just a matter of infrastructure, the high voltage and high current power lines are already all over everywhere, both in cities and rural areas, you just need a higher current/voltage plug standard and install it everywhere (i.e. every gas station should have a few ~1 MW charging ports).

Nothing here is insurmountable and your prediction that it will likely never be solved seems entirely unfounded.

Edited by Bonam

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Battery charging speed is constantly being improved and you only need another factor of 4.

Car batteries need to have enough energy to move around about 1000kg of mass (assuming we don't discover a lightweight, low cost material which can replace steel). The means charging a car battery will take between 30KWh and 50KWh of energy. Delivering 50KWh of energy in 5 minutes would take a 600KW energy source. At 240V this would require 2500 amps which would require copper charging cables that are at least 15cm in diameter. Up the voltage to 1000V (double what currently exists) and you need 600A which would still need more manageable 3cm wires (x2). High temperature superconducting materials would change these calculations but they are science fiction at this time. IOW the limits on charging time will be pretty hard to overcome and a more practical solution would require people to change their behavior/expectations when it comes to vehicles. Such changes in expectations are not going to occur as long as gas vehicles are an alternative at a comparable price. Edited by TimG

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Car batteries need to have enough energy to move around about 1000kg of mass (assuming we don't discover a lightweight, low cost material which can replace steel). The means charging a car battery will take between 30KWh and 50KWh of energy. Delivering 50KWh of energy in 5 minutes would take a 600KW energy source. At 240V this would require 2500 amps which would require copper charging cables that are at least 15cm in diameter. Up the voltage to 1000V (double what currently exists) and you need 600A which would still need more manageable 3cm wires (x2). High temperature superconducting materials would change these calculations but they are science fiction at this time. IOW the limits on charging time will be pretty hard to overcome and a more practical solution would require people to change their behavior/expectations when it comes to vehicles. Such changes in expectations are not going to occur as long as gas vehicles are an alternative at a comparable price.

Yeah like I said in my post, you need on order of 1 MW for fast charging. However, not sure what you mean about "1000V" being "double what currently exists". High voltage transmission lines are routinely operated at up to 500 kV, while distribution lines typically found in cities work at up to tens of kV. Every building (including gas stations) has their own transformer which steps down the voltage from the distribution lines to the 120/240/480 V that is typically used in buildings. It would not be particularly challenging to install 1 kV transformers or 2 kV transformers so that gas stations had charging ports available at these voltages. Just to be clear, we're talking about these things:

https://www.google.com/search?q=street+transformer&espv=2&biw=2133&bih=1205&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjW08Wl4dzLAhVPy2MKHdxlA0QQ_AUIBygC&dpr=0.9#tbm=isch&q=street+pole+transformer

They're literally everywhere and are a cheap commodity item, and changing the turns ratio to provide higher voltage on the output is easy.

There's no need for anything fancy like superconducting charging cables, just common every day electricity transformed to a slightly higher voltage than it normally is for residential use.

1 MW and higher electrical connections are routine in industrial applications.

Edited by Bonam

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Probably the single most difficult step in all of the above will be coming up with a ~1 kA ~1 kV plug standard and getting everyone to adopt it.

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However, not sure what you mean about "1000V" being "double what currently exists".

Double what current exists for EV fast charging stations.

They're literally everywhere and are a cheap commodity item, and changing the turns ratio to provide higher voltage on the output is easy.

The issue is the power rating and the size of the conductors needed to physically transfer the energy into the car. Faster charging times mean bigger conductors which makes them less practical. High voltages also only help when you can isolate the conductors such as the air gap you see on all transmission towers. Building a connector in a compact vehicle that can handle high voltages comes with its own set of problems.

Lastly, I am not arguing that it is technically impossible to do. In fact it would be very easy to build a charging station that would deliver the power required if a battery could handle it. I am arguing that is not going to be practical to do because of the physical size of the connectors required by physics given the materials available to us today.

IOW, the adoption of EVs will require that consumers change their expectations when it comes to vehicles and that will be hard to do as long as gas vehicles are available at a comparable cost.

Edited by TimG

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Double what current exists for EV fast charging stations.

The issue is the power rating and the size of the conductors needed to physically transfer the energy into the car. Faster charging times mean bigger conductors which makes them less practical. High voltages also only help when you can isolate the conductors such as the air gap you see on all transmission towers. Building a connector in a compact vehicle that can handle high voltages comes with its own set of problems.

Lastly, I am not arguing that it is technically impossible to do. In fact it would be very easy to build a charging station that would deliver the power required if a battery could handle it. I am arguing that is not going to be practical to do because of the physical size of the connectors required by physics.

IOW, the adoption of EVs will require that consumers change their expectations when it comes to vehicles and that will be hard to do as long as gas vehicles are available at a comparable cost.

1 kV connectors are not particularly large. The safety distance to avoid arcing with 1 kV is only 1mm. Even put a factor of safety of 10 on that and you just need 1 cm gaps, which does not make for unreasonably large connectors. I work with voltages up to 100 kV in the lab on a daily basis. Things only start to get awkwardly large and unwieldy around 20 kV.

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1 kV connectors are not particularly large. The safety distance to avoid arcing with 1 kV is only 1mm.

Ok. I did not do the calculations for 1kV it sounds like 1kV reasonable. That said at 1kV you still need 3cm+ conductors to deliver 600A. Those pole transformers cannot deliver that current (you would need at least 3). Does that still fit into your definition of not awkwardly large? Edited by TimG

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Ok. I did not do the calculations for 1kV it sounds like 1kV reasonable. That said at 1kV you still need 3cm+ conductors to deliver 600A. Those pole transformers cannot deliver that current (you would need at least 3). Does that still fit into your definition of not awkwardly large?

The 3cm size of the conductor is based on the thermal heating of the copper wire. I don't think 3cm is a problem, but if whoever was designing the relevant system thought it was a problem, there are other solutions, such as doubling the voltage to 2 kV (still not a problem for connector voltage standoff), or having a cooling system for the wire (i.e. liquid cooling around the wire). Sure, a bit of engineering may need to go into the connector to get the right balance of robustness with harsh treatment and in all weather conditions, safety for use by every dumb joe so they don't accidentally shock themselves, and charging voltage/current. Probably the biggest challenge would be in getting all the interested parties to agree on a universal standard, which would be necessary for mass adoption and infrastructure.

(And 3 transformers on a pole doesn't sound like a big deal to me. Does it sound like a big deal to you?)

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Anyone here have an electric car,and if so, what does it cost you in hydro to charge it at home ?

My residential hydro rates keep going up every year and I here they could go up by 3 to 5 times here in Ontario.

Makes know sense,to push electric cars and then make our residential Hyfro rates so high Imho.

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I don't think 3cm is a problem

I see them as cumbersome but it is technically possible. But with all technically possible solutions the ability to provide a low cost and reliable implementation is the difference between a lab exercise and wide spread adoption.

The recharging problem is also more than just the connection to the car. You also have the batteries where ions must be physically moved between layers. Doing this too fast causes physical damage to the matrix designed to hold the ions. You also have the grid which needs to be expanded to deal with spikes in demand to charge vehicles. When you add it all up I think it reasonable to assume that longer charging times in the 20mins or so will best we will see.

You also need to consider that alternatives will be competing for the post gasoline world such as fuel cells and it may make more sense to use the electricity to generate hydrogen at a gas station instead of using it to charge a battery.

In the ideal world people who can live with the EV charging time will buy EVs while those that can't fill up with hydrogen at the same station.

Edited by TimG

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Everything I've seen and read about hydrogen fuel cells suggests these aren't gonna be a viable technology. For one, electrolysing water on site at gas stations to make hydrogen would be a hugely inefficient process... using far more fossil fuels in the end assuming that the grid is powered primarily off fossil fuels. So you'd need a hydrogen distribution infrastructure instead if you hoped to reap any net environmental benefits... and that instantly raises the infrastructure cost many orders of magnitude above what you'd need for electricity. Hydrogen is very difficult to deal with, as a gas, the particles are so small that they can permeate through solid steel piping. As a liquid, hydrogen has to be kept at cryogenic temperatures, which brings its own major set of difficulties.

These difficulties also apply to the storage of hydrogen in the vehicle... you need a very high pressure tank to keep a reasonable amount of hydrogen gas, pressures which are very dangerous and would require an extremely robust container which would probably weigh more than all the batteries in an eV, and it would still pose a hazard in collisions. Or if you went the cryogenic storage route, some of it would constantly have to be vented as the hydrogen would be boiling, which means if you left your car for a few weeks it would be empty.

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A better alternative to consider in the meanwhile would be natural gas powered vehicles, as they would emit considerably less CO2 per mile than gasoline.

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A better alternative to consider in the meanwhile would be natural gas powered vehicles, as they would emit considerably less CO2 per mile than gasoline.

This would happen if politicians just let the market decide. I agree it makes no sense to burn natural gas to create hydrogen or electricity to charge batteries when it could be used directly in vehicles. Edited by TimG

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This would happen if politicians just let the market decide. I agree it makes no sense to burn natural gas to create hydrogen or electricity to charge batteries when it could be used directly in vehicles.

It's already happening in a lot of places:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas_vehicle

About 1% of vehicles worldwide are natural gas powered, comparing to 0.1% for electrics and even less for fuel cells.

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The Ford Fusion Energi is an amazing vehicle imo. IIRC it's about $38K and that's nicely equipped.

It's a plug-in hybrid, so you could theoretically run it forever on electricity if you just used it as a commuter car.

For me the main drawback of using an electric vehicle is the cost of replacing the battery. People who can afford a $10,000 - $15,000 hit can take the risk, I can't imagine going to the mechanic and getting hit with something like that.

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Regarding charger connectors, they are common place. 250A at 4160v 3 phase in a plug about 6" diameter and connected with multistrand conductor (look up "5/15kv jumper cable" if interested) is used everywhere in mines. A potash mine will have thousands of connectors in the 600v to 4160v range.

Here is one manufacturer

http://www.smsconnectors.com/high_voltage.htm

I dont think 5 minute charging is practical. One hour would be fine and you need to adapt your schedule/lifestyle accordingly. If it is a road side stop then grab a coffee. The idea of these electric cars are that you are knowingly driving 120 km that day while the cars range is 200 km. If you need to travel further than expected then you use the road side charger or drive a hybrid instead of 100% EV if it is going to be necessary to wait one hour to routinely charge your vehicle.

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Road side chargers would have to be faster than that. Newflyer has a bus system in Winnipeg that charges in 4 minutes and is good for about 4 hours. Of course, the bus does cost $1M.

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When?

Not soon enough so we can cut the O&G industry down to size so we never need to hear the constant whining sound coming from that sector and those parts of our country.

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