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Author Topic: Why does Top Gear UK have to be such twats about electric cars?  (Read 618 times)
slippyrocks
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August 02, 2011, 11:27:01 PM
 #1

Top.Gear.17x06    f2d3ed6e7277989115a6a73ce593e0b2a662ff89

What? Google: magnet links

My cat can figure out if the range is 100 miles and a 220v full charge takes 7 hours. The nearest

30 min quick charge station is 50 miles away. What to do? durpa durp

Better not ride a motorcycle you might get stranded away from a gas station and have to push it.

And yes GM the Volt is a hybrid.. revolutionary.
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slippyrocks
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August 03, 2011, 12:27:39 AM
 #2

Check this out Jeremy Clarkson

Production

The first vehicles sold in the US were produced at Nissan’s plant in Oppama, Japan, which started production on October 22, 2010.[43][89] The plant is said to have an annual production capacity of 50,000 vehicles.[43] In early March 2011, shortly before the earthquake in Japan Nissan stated that 10,000 Leafs would be produced by the end of March, and production would reach 4,000 cars per month.[90] Production for May 2011 was expected to be limited only by parts availability.[91]

Commercial US production is slated to begin in late 2012 at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. This US plant will be modified with a US$1.4 billion loan granted by the US Department of Energy to allow the manufacturing plant to produce the Nissan Leaf and its advanced batteries. The retooled plant is expected to create 1,300 jobs.[92][93] The Smyrna plant is expected to produce up to 150,000 vehicles and 200,000 battery packs annually.[93]

The Leaf will also be produced at Nissan's plant in Sunderland, England, beginning in 2013.[94] Nissan will benefit from a GB£20.7 million grant from the British government and up to GB£220 million from the European Investment Bank.[94][95] The plant will produce 60,000 lithium-ion batteries a year, and it also is expected to deliver 50,000 Leaf EVs a year.[94] Once production starts at the Sunderland plant, Nissan expects to reduce the Leaf price in the European market by 2013.[96]

-wiki
SgtSpike
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August 03, 2011, 05:38:04 PM
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I have no idea what you're trying to say slippyrocks, but just to answer your title: Probably because he likes ICE's.

Personally, I believe the electric car is a farce.
- It is uneconomical (people are only buying it because it is so heavily subsidized, both on the manufacturing side and the purchasing side). 
- It actually pollutes more than a gas vehicle does (according to studies I have read, and the amount of pollution/energy put into manufacturing Li-on batteries, not to mention the coal-fired plants that produce the electricity used to charge them).
- It isn't practical.  The range is terrible, the charge times are horrendous, and the capacity is usually slim.

On the plus side, it does have 100% torque available at any RPM range, which is nice.  Way too many negatives that are going unsolved (and being hidden) though.
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August 04, 2011, 04:54:04 PM
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I have no idea what you're trying to say slippyrocks, but just to answer your title: Probably because he likes ICE's.

Personally, I believe the electric car is a farce.
- It is uneconomical (people are only buying it because it is so heavily subsidized, both on the manufacturing side and the purchasing side).  
- It actually pollutes more than a gas vehicle does (according to studies I have read, and the amount of pollution/energy put into manufacturing Li-on batteries, not to mention the coal-fired plants that produce the electricity used to charge them).
- It isn't practical.  The range is terrible, the charge times are horrendous, and the capacity is usually slim.

On the plus side, it does have 100% torque available at any RPM range, which is nice.  Way too many negatives that are going unsolved (and being hidden) though.

I don't even know where to begin poking holes in your points.

-Electric cars cost significantly less per mile than fossil fuel.  Yes, they cost more upfront. Much, much less day to day.
-No, they don't pollute more, your an idiot for believing this.  Pollution=energy consumed, and EVs consume much less energy over their lifetimes.  You remind me of an old girlfriend that insisted manufacturing a CPU burned more oil than an SUV....but couldn't explain why they didn't subsequently cost $10,000 to account for that huge cost of production.  
-Perhaps you drive 100+ miles a day, but I don't. And neither does 99% of the USA.  Explain why a car that goes 100 miles isn't sufficient for an average commute of 30 miles?  Explain why charging time is relevant when you use your car for less than an hour out of the day?  Do you bitch your cellphone doesn't charge in 30 seconds? Why not? Cause it doesn't matter

The first electric car I built used a 30+ year old forklift motor from Bulgaria. I could roast the tires in 3rd gear, drive 40 miles for $1 in "fuel", and only 1 moving part in the motor means reliability you can't even dream of.  

But go ahead, keeping buying oil by the barrel and new engines every few years. LOL - every time  you swipe that card at the pump and drop another $40 into that tank, remember, somewhere out there, AmpEater is mocking you

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August 04, 2011, 06:02:08 PM
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I have no idea what you're trying to say slippyrocks, but just to answer your title: Probably because he likes ICE's.

Personally, I believe the electric car is a farce.
- It is uneconomical (people are only buying it because it is so heavily subsidized, both on the manufacturing side and the purchasing side).  
- It actually pollutes more than a gas vehicle does (according to studies I have read, and the amount of pollution/energy put into manufacturing Li-on batteries, not to mention the coal-fired plants that produce the electricity used to charge them).
- It isn't practical.  The range is terrible, the charge times are horrendous, and the capacity is usually slim.

On the plus side, it does have 100% torque available at any RPM range, which is nice.  Way too many negatives that are going unsolved (and being hidden) though.

I don't even know where to begin poking holes in your points.

-Electric cars cost significantly less per mile than fossil fuel.  Yes, they cost more upfront. Much, much less day to day.
-No, they don't pollute more, your an idiot for believing this.  Pollution=energy consumed, and EVs consume much less energy over their lifetimes.  You remind me of an old girlfriend that insisted manufacturing a CPU burned more oil than an SUV....but couldn't explain why they didn't subsequently cost $10,000 to account for that huge cost of production.  
-Perhaps you drive 100+ miles a day, but I don't. And neither does 99% of the USA.  Explain why a car that goes 100 miles isn't sufficient for an average commute of 30 miles?  Explain why charging time is relevant when you use your car for less than an hour out of the day?  Do you bitch your cellphone doesn't charge in 30 seconds? Why not? Cause it doesn't matter

The first electric car I built used a 30+ year old forklift motor from Bulgaria. I could roast the tires in 3rd gear, drive 40 miles for $1 in "fuel", and only 1 moving part in the motor means reliability you can't even dream of.  

But go ahead, keeping buying oil by the barrel and new engines every few years. LOL - every time  you swipe that card at the pump and drop another $40 into that tank, remember, somewhere out there, AmpEater is mocking you
I've heard all of these arguments before, trust me.  You're not bringing up anything new.

They're uneconomical because of how much they cost, and it would be even worse if it wasn't for the subsidies that come out of the taxpayer pocket (which is part of the reason I'm so angry with electric cars - because I am helping to pay for them even though they are not yet economically viable!).

Take the Chevy Volt, for instance.  It has a $40,280 MSRP.  The average electric range is 35 miles, according to the EPA.  That's when the gas engine starts up, which GM says is around 35% charge.  So it makes it 35 miles in 65% of the battery power.  It has a 16 kwh battery, which takes 10 hours to recharge from 35% power at 12 amps on 110v power source.  So it takes 13.2kwh to recharge that 65%.  Assume you pay $0.08/kwh (which is what it would be in my area), and that's $1.06/35 miles.  Now, lets assume you drive 25 miles every day, on average, which I think is reasonable.  In an efficient ICE car of comparable size (say, a Honda Civic), you would get 29 mpg combined highway/city.  So it would cost you $0.75/day to drive the Volt, and about $3.20/day to drive the Civic.  Great!  A huge savings!  Except, look back at the MSRP...  The Civic starts at $16k MSRP.  The Volt is $40,280 MRSP (I'm not counting the part that the taxpayers get to pay).  That's a difference of $24,280.  Saving $2.45/day in fuel, it would take you 27 YEARS to save enough to make up for the amount it cost you and the taxpayers to buy the Volt in the first place.

Until an electric car shows up that has the same functionality and size as a gas-powered car, but costs enough to make the payback period < 5 years (and without taxpayer subsidies), it cannot be called economically viable.

Ok, it would be difficult for me to prove definitively that electric cars pollute more than ICE cars.  But, at least consider this.  The average modern ICE is 21% efficient (it turns 21% of the energy from gasoline into movement, and the other 79% into heat).  Now consider that the electric car uses electricity from a battery, which is about 90% efficient itself, to turn the motor, which is about 80% efficient.  But, about 70% of electricity in the US comes from fossil fuel sources, which is only 40% efficient.  And that electricity also has to first charge the batteries before it can be used by the car, which is about 90% efficient.  All of this gives an overall efficiency of 0.9*0.8*(0.4/0.7)*0.9 = 37% efficient.

Add to this the fact that coal plants emit a lot more of some pollutants than gasoline does, as well as the energy, transportation costs, and hazardous material pollution involved in the manufacture of batteries, and your electric car very well could pollute more during its lifetime than your average ICE car.
See this paper for info on gasoline vs coal plant pollution:  http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~wilkins/writing/Samples/policy/voytishlong.html

I don't drive 100 miles every day, but I would love to have the option to do so without waiting for 16 hours if I wanted.  The electric car can't replace the gas car because of this - it cannot make roadtrips cross-country.

All that said, props to building your own electric car (though why the heck does it have gears???).  Probably a very fun project, and cheap too.
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August 06, 2011, 03:46:30 AM
 #6

I can tell you right now why electric cars bomb in the market.  They cost way too much.  What would you rather buy:  Gas commuter car with a 350 mile range and an 11k price tag or an electric commuter car with a 100 mile range and a 30k price tag?  No brainer there, especially since charging takes hour and you can gas up in minutes.
They either need to make electric cars a lot cheaper to match function, or they need to get a lot more function!

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