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  1.    #1  
    Here is one possible future for the automobile. I think it`s a fantastic step toward independence from oil and gasoline. If the price tag comes down a bit and it proves to be a realistic solution, I just may buy one. Who knows?

    How practical this is long term, we will see. It might eliminate the monthly gas bill but could potentially cause your electric bill to shoot through the roof. It remains to be seen...

    In any case ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you..... The Tesla....

    http://www.teslamotors.com/
  2. #2  
    What they don't tell you is that you can't get 0-60 in 4 seconds AND 245 miles per charge. The faster you go, the shorter your range. While that's true of a gasoline engine, too, the trade-off is far worse on an electric car.

    At the end of your 245 mile trip, you get to plug your Tesla in for 3.5 hours. I can refuel my gasoline powered car in about 3 or 4 minutes. 3.5 hours might not matter for a commuter car, but how many of us can afford a Tesla for commuting and another car for longer trips.

    The batteries take up a lot of room--the trunk is smaller than a Miata's.

    It gains a lot of its efficiency from being small and relatively (for an electric) light. But most people want cars with at least 4 seats, which would likely result in significantly less efficiency.

    After 50,000 miles Tesla predicts battery performance will drop to 70% of new. So your range will drop from 245 to about 170 miles. That's getting pretty marginal. And frankly, I'd be surprised if they last that long. Most laptops use LI batteries, and none that I've seen are worth a damn after 5 years.

    I wonder how much that battery pack will cost to replace when it finally degrades? Tesla doesn't say, but I've seen quotes of $8000 to $10000 dollars for similar battery packs used (or developed for) other hybrids. That'll pay for one heck of a lot of gasoline.

    The car costs $98,000 dollars! I could buy a Prius and fuel it with gas for 10 or 20 years for the cost of a Tesla.

    Cool? No doubt. Good for the environment? Maybe. Economically rational? Not a chance. It's another toy for the Hollywierd crowd, nothing more.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  3.    #3  
    Well aren't you just a pisser, meyerweb!

    I had suspected it might not be practical in the long-term, but kept hope alive that it would be.

    In any case, it's a neat concept car.
  4. gojeda's Avatar
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    #4  
    The electric car is far from a new concept. The Tesla, while novel in approach, offers nothing new on any particular level - much less being practical or environmentally friendly.

    A for effort, but a solid C- for execution.
  5. PSB22's Avatar
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    #5  
    Tesla is ahead of most of the other EV startups out there, especially the vaporware-mongers like ZAP, but in reality they have yet to bring a product to market. They have been announcing a lot of delays and problems lately.

    The fact remains, other than neighborhood electric vehicles (restricted to 25mph in all but 2 states), there are currently no commercially available electric cars for purchase in this country. When you want a car that can be driven at highway speeds, and cost within the budget of the average american (i.e. less than $30k), you're S.O.O.L.

    There are lots of other contenders for who will bring such a car to market first - Miles Automotive, Zap, Tesla, Flybo, Pheonix, OKA. All of them are horrendoously expensive and not yet for sale.

    Of course, there are hom-made EV conversions, but even there a good donor car will cost $10k, then the conversion kit another $10k (for good batteries), plus the actual time and labor to do it. As with many of these things, I'm not going to get real excited until I actually see a PRODUCT rather than spin.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    The electric car is far from a new concept. The Tesla, while novel in approach, offers nothing new on any particular level - much less being practical or environmentally friendly.

    A for effort, but a solid C- for execution.

    I never said the electric car was a new concept here. The tesla is a step in the right direction - away from oil. It`s an attempt to make electric cars sexier and more attractive.

    Sure it isnt practical yet for the general public yet, but that`s where progress and further innovation come in. Please, you have to start somewhere. Improvements on design and function may lead to lower cost models with improved fuel efficiency in the future.

    How often are young companies` very first product offerings are rated solid A+ on execution?

    There is always room for improvement, as is the case for any young company`s product line.
  7. gojeda's Avatar
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    #7  
    Considering the electric car has been around for almost 100 years now, I would say we should be WAY further along the curve here.

    Nevertheless, the electic car is a poor solution in the long term - for a variety of reasons.

    Personally, I am much..MUCH more excited about hydrogen - and I think this will be the future.

    http://www.wired.com/cars/energy/news/2006/11/72100
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    Considering the electric car has been around for almost 100 years now, I would say we should be WAY further along the curve here.
    It is not the electric car that is the issue with this statement, but the lack of any significant advance in battery technology for the last 45 years.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    Personally, I am much..MUCH more excited about hydrogen - and I think this will be the future.

    http://www.wired.com/cars/energy/news/2006/11/72100
    Hydrogen is very interesting indeed. Over the next couple posts I will quote some of the other alternatives I have posted here in the past. To start with some possible advances in battery life and limiting the recharging timeframe or completely eliminating it all together.

    Source: http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...14&postcount=6

    I agree with everything you said.

    I also think it is interesting and important that research for these technologies continue and that the limitations are being researched, developed, improved upon. Which was may basic point for for referencing the speed issue with the racing electric car. Main stream production is a totally different question.

    But with the upcoming advances they are working on for brand new battery technology, many of the hindrances for the electric car (i.e. mainly short range, recharge methods and time, and physical battery size) just might be able to be addressed in the next few years.

    Here some is just a flavor of some interesting developments:

    Super Battery
    The researchers solved this by covering the electrodes with millions of tiny filaments called nanotubes. Each nanotube is 30,000 times thinner than a human hair.

    ------------

    "It could be recharged many, many times perhaps hundreds of thousands of times, and ... it could be recharged very quickly, just in a matter of seconds rather than a matter of hours," he says.

    This technology has broad practical possibilities, affecting any device that requires a battery. Schindall says, "Small devices such as hearing aids that could be more quickly recharged where the batteries wouldn't wear out; up to larger devices such as automobiles where you could regeneratively re-use the energy of motion and therefore improve the energy efficiency and fuel economy."

    FULL STORY: http://www.sciencentral.com/articles...e_id=218392803

    Nanoscientists fired up about battery alternative
    However, despite their inherent advantages - a 10-year-plus lifetime, indifference to temperature change, high immunity to shock and vibration and high charging and discharging efficiency - physical constraints on electrode surface area and spacing have limited ultracapacitors to an energy storage capacity around 25 times less than a similarly sized lithium-ion battery.

    The LEES ultracapacitor has the capacity to overcome this energy limitation by using vertically aligned, single-wall carbon nanotubes - one thirty-thousandth the diameter of a human hair and 100,000 times as long as they are wide. How does it work? Storage capacity in an ultracapacitor is proportional to the surface area of the electrodes. Today's ultracapacitors use electrodes made of activated carbon, which is extremely porous and therefore has a very large surface area. However, the pores in the carbon are irregular in size and shape, which reduces efficiency. The vertically aligned nanotubes in the LEES ultracapacitor have a regular shape, and a size that is only several atomic diameters in width. The result is a significantly more effective surface area, which equates to significantly increased storage capacity.

    The new nanotube-enhanced ultracapacitors could be made in any of the sizes currently available and be produced using conventional technology.

    "This configuration has the potential to maintain and even improve the high performance characteristics of ultracapacitors while providing energy storage densities comparable to batteries," Schindall said. "Nanotube-enhanced ultracapacitors would combine the long life and high power characteristics of a commercial ultracapacitor with the higher energy storage density normally available only from a chemical battery."

    FULL STORY: http://www.physorg.com/news10641.html


    New Nuclear Battery Runs 10 Years, 10 Times More Powerful
    A battery with a lifespan measured in decades is in development at the University of Rochester, as scientists demonstrate a new fabrication method that in its roughest form is already 10 times more efficient than current nuclear batteries and has the potential to be nearly 200 times more efficient.

    FULL STORY: http://www.physorg.com/news4081.html


    But this has to be my personal favorite....ever been low on gas and had to go the bathroom REALLY bad? Normally one stop could solve both problems. Now you won't even have to stop:

    Urine-powered battery developed

    Physicists in Singapore have succeeded in creating the first paper battery that generates electricity from urine. This new battery will be the perfect power source for cheap

    FULL STORY: http://www.physorg.com/news5805.html
    .......imagine the smell coming out of a tail pipe of a car like this??????
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 11/08/2007 at 10:32 AM.
  10. #10  
    SOURCE: http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...d.php?t=127697

    I have always been fascinated by the R&D of alternative fuel sources. Here is a new one.....a car that is powered by air!

    Voila! A Car Powered By Air

    French Duo Says No Combustion, Zero-Emissions Vehicle Runs For Pennies Per Mile

    (CBS) With prices like these, maybe it's time to put some hard thought into what we could be filling up with. The Iranians say they have a solar-powered car. Engineers in the U.S. and Europe say they have tried hydrogen. But, how about air? At their factory in southern France, father-and-son team Guy and Cyril Negre insist air power is no joke. “It's a different way of thinking cars,” says Cyril.

    --------------

    A car, says the Negres, that will cost just $2 for every 120 miles.

    The Negres have a long love affair with cars. Guy designed a Formula One race car engine. Cyril worked at Bugati. The technology for their car, they say, is relatively simple and safe.

    “When you compress the air in the tank, inside of the tank, this is like compressing a spring, and then the tank gives you back the energy of the air when it expands,” says Cyril.

    Compressed air in a carbon-fiber tank, something like scuba divers use, drives the pistons and turns the crankshaft. There is no combustion and no gasoline. That's why there's no pollution. You fill it up at an air compressor. It may sound far-fetched, but at his labs on the campus of UCLA, professor Su-Chin Chow is also exploring the power of air.

    FULL STORY: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/...n2135518.shtml
  11. #11  
    SOURCE: http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...postcount=1221

    Now this sounds really promising....a possibly solution that can be used with our current cars and fossil fuel engines with an easy conversion. And with greater potential as fuel cell solutions become viable on a mass production level. Again this is another....almost there thing, but one that I think shows the most potential with dealing with the issue of using it now, having to establish a new distribution system, and with the where the future of cars is heading:

    Clean energy claim: Aluminum in your car tank
    Professor says Energy Department ‘egos’ blocking hydrogen breakthrough

    A Purdue University engineer and National Medal of Technology winner says he's ready and able to start a revolution in clean energy.

    Professor Jerry Woodall and students have invented a way to use an aluminum alloy to extract hydrogen from water — a process that he thinks could replace gasoline as well as its pollutants and emissions tied to global warming.

    But Woodall says there's one big hitch: "Egos" at the U.S. Department of Energy, a key funding source for energy research, "are holding up the revolution."

    ----------------

    "The hydrogen is generated on demand, so you only produce as much as you need when you need it," he said in a statement released by Purdue this week.

    So instead of having to fill up at a station, hydrogen would be made inside vehicles in tanks about the same size as today's gasoline tanks. An internal reaction in those tanks would create hydrogen from water and 350 pounds worth of special pellets. ...............

    The hydrogen would then power an internal combustion engine or a fuel cell stack.

    "It's a simple matter to convert ordinary internal combustion engines to run on hydrogen," Woodall said. "All you have to do is replace the gasoline fuel injector with a hydrogen injector."

    How it works
    Here's how it all happens: Hydrogen is generated spontaneously when water is added to pellets of the alloy, which is made of aluminum and a metal called gallium.

    "When water is added to the pellets, the aluminum in the solid alloy reacts because it has a strong attraction to the oxygen in the water," Woodall said. "No toxic fumes are produced."

    This reaction splits the oxygen and hydrogen contained in water, releasing hydrogen in the process.

    -----------------------

    For Woodall, the biggest speed bump lies elsewhere. "The egos of program managers at DOE are holding up the revolution," he told msnbc.com...........As evidence, Woodall said DOE last summer rejected two "pre-proposals" for funding, "i.e., I was not invited to send in full proposals on my work."


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18700750/
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    SOURCE: http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...d.php?t=127697

    I have always been fascinated by the R&D of alternative fuel sources. Here is a new one.....a car that is powered by air!

    Voila! A Car Powered By Air

    French Duo Says No Combustion, Zero-Emissions Vehicle Runs For Pennies Per Mile
    a tank of compressed air is a mechanical battery -- and its hard to see how the raw hardware could store enough pressure to navigate decent distances.

    Also the tanks and mechanical pistons etc. are inherently heavy, further lessening its potential.

    Lastly there's little prospect of a future breakthrough in the science of compressing air.

    Despite all that -- it could be a low cost way to power local urban transport.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    It is not the electric car that is the issue with this statement, but the lack of any significant advance in battery technology for the last 45 years.
    years ago -- after GM announced the IMPACT (EV1), but before it was available -- I met the leader of that project.

    It was a car whose development was coerced by California's requirement for 2% of cars sold there to have zero emissions.

    I told him that I admired the idea of an all electric, but in my typical ignorant arrogance I went on to tell him that it was unrealistic. Batteries would not be able to provide for the distances that most americans thought they needed.

    I had heard about the hybrid idea, and asked him why they weren't going that route. His answer was idealistic but impractical (especially for someone working for GM.)

    In the end the EV1 was a much better car than I anticipated, and it was much loved apparently by its users.

    When GM forced EV1 "owners" to return them so that they could all be destroyed, it was one of the most extraordinary acts of unconscious metaphor in history.

    GM could have leveraged their experience and knowledge into being the Apple of car companies. Instead they crushed it.

    Plug in hybrids are the practical real world solution for transportion for those too fat to bike.
    Last edited by BARYE; 11/08/2007 at 12:36 PM.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)

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