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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pros and Cons of electric vehicles

I want to talk today abt electric vehicles. Of course I am sure you have heard of the tesla automobile which was brought to us by the same person who started paypal. Beyond the Tesla, you have the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt, the Toyota Prius, and then the Ford Focus. I may not be up on this as much as I should be, because I have not heard of any electric vehicles being made by Chyrsler. Please forgive me if they too are producing one.

Of importance to note, the electric motor, which all of these cars are powered by develop 100% of their torque straight off the line. What this all means for anyone considering an electric vehicle is quick take off speeds when compared to conventional internal combustion motors like what is traditionally used in automobiles. See the internal combustion motors at best (diesels) do not produce 100% of their torque until it is at least turning like 1500 rpm's. This is the essential reason the Tesla has captured so many ppl's eye-- its astounding performance.

As I'm sure most of you are well aware, the biggest factor in the development of vehicles is battery technology. If you have been following this blog that is why I spoke abt batteries in great detail before covering this subject. It is my hope that 'American ingenuity' can be implored to find a better battery.

Again I must say to forgive me for not knowing much abt these vehicles. For instance one thing I would question is do they have all the amenities that other automobiles do? One thing that has been bothering me in particular is do they come equipped with air conditioning? The reason why I bring this up is it is a huge waste of power to run an air conditioning compressor. Now the reason why this is such a big deal for these automobiles is that they do not have an excess of power like our current automobiles do. And could be a big drain on power if you know what I mean.

Ok so now you know what I see as problems with electric vehicles, what is left to talk about? Oh yea, along the same line of thought as the instantaneous torque you get out of an electric motor, this is one of the big problems I know of that plagued the Tesla designers. A lot has happened to me since I read the details of the Tesla (stroke and MS), but I know they had troubles finding a transmission to stand up to such torque. If I am not mistaken though I think they relied a Ford Mustang transmission to complete the deal.

What is the single biggest consumer of power, if you will in conventional automobiles? That would be the cooling system. I believe something like 10-15% of the power they produce is wasted in cooling of the engine. So that is one great advantage that they have over internal combustion engines. And for those of you who have no earthly idea of what I am speaking of, I am talking abt the radiator and more especially the fan that they all require. This is either done by connecting the fan directly to a hub which is driven by the fan belt, or smaller cars like my Ford Focus, by an electric fan. And, the electric fan is driven by none other your electrical system which is powered in tandem by the battery and altenator.

Now that I have talked abt the cooling in conventional automobiles, I think we should take a look at electric automobiles. Now there is no need for a radiator or anything like that, but their motors and batteries need adequate ventilation, which I can only suspect is electric powered.

One novel idea that the inventors/designers employed in virtually all electric automobiles dynamic braking. What is dynamic breaking you might ask? It is where they actually use the motors in reverse which makes it a generator. This has added to the efficiency of all electric vehicles.

I would just like to make one more comment to this subject before I go. How many of you remember my January 23 blog post? If you have no idea to what I am referring, you can find it here: Power Producing Paint I only bring this up because I believe this could be one way to even improve their efficiency even more. If you were to cover the car in this type of product, then you would be sure to be making power as long as the sun shines.

Now I should talk about the Google Green projects. See back more than three years ago they had a revolutionary idea on their site. This revolutionary idea could help us out by using electric vehicles. The trick here is you must first know about the power market and how it works. I will give u a brief and concise definition here. You may or may not know by your power bill, but it should have peak and off peak times. Similar in character to the peak and off peak times charged by your cellular company. See the electric utilities go through their peak demand throughout the daytime. What this amounts to is you will get a smaller charge for everything used at night or the off peak times and a much higher price in the daytime. The article which was on this three or four years ago on the Google Green website suggested using our electric automobiles to store the electricity until you go through the peak times of day and sell your power back to them at this time. This could possibly be beneficial to ALL electric utilities if everyone did this.

An example of what I am talking abt can be found here: GE Smart Chargers In a future article I will cover the chargers in great detail. And Tesla has unveiled the first of their own solar powered charging stations in California. Here is a story on such.


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