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San Diego
Electric Car Insider Magazine
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Trees> Even carbon black from tires is proving to be a problem. Considering that ICEs, FCVs, PHEVs and BEVs all use rubber tires, I don't understand your point here. Bicycles? Trains? Electric flying cars? What are you proposing as a viable solution? I propose the elimination of tailpipe emissions, followed by the elimination of smokestack emissions. You want progress? Let's start there. Trees> expensive little car that meets all the tail pipe emissions, but goes unsold. Gee. Tesla doesn't seem to have that "goes unsold" problem with their current cars, and appears not to be facing the problem with the upcoming Model 3. GM appears to be selling well with the Volt and Bolt despite very little advertising. Mild hybrids are a good interim step in the right direction but automakers will not recover from their Kodak moment with half-measures. In retrospect, VW's cheating scandal may prove the seed crystal of its salvation. All new automakers are building electric cars. That's not a coincidence.
Yes, the article and chart reference voltage and cycles. You say in your first comment the energy density is too low. So clearly you've made an evaluation about what the energy density indicated by this summary of the research is. You expressed your estimate of required energy density in Wh/kg. Ok, so I'm asking you what you believe the energy density, expressed in Wh/kg, is of the above mentioned chemistry? Maybe you'll be surprised to learn how close this breakthrough is to your own ambitious standard, which would yield the rough equivalent to a 700 mile Chevy Bolt or 945 mile Tesla Model S 100D.
Harvey, how many Wh/kg do you believe this Argonne team has demonstrated with the electrolyte chemistry reported above?
Harvey, can it accurately be said that the cabin heat you speak of is "free"? Surely it is the inefficiency of the powertain that creates excess, or waste, heat that needs to be removed with a radiator and some diverted to the cabin when needed. When that hydrogen from renewable sources is produced and widely sold at retail at competitive prices, I'll be applauding too. But until then, it just a mirage, used as greenwashing by automakers who seek to kick the environmental can down the road. Your health, and the health and well-being of millions in your community, depend on more affordable near term solutions like PHEVs. The Volt starts at $32k. So do most other PHEVs. The Mirai starts at $57k. Kind of puts the install cost of a 12v outlet in your garage complex in perspective.
You are correct, Change. TOU off-peak can be as low as $0.06 kWh. I should have showed my prices. Was using my local utility's $0.16 and a less-than-generous 333 W/mi for the EV, and 60 mi per kg for the FCV, which as you point out, is lower than EPA for Clarity (is EPA for Mirai if memory serves). In any case, even given variances in regional electric prices, huge delta in operating cost over the life of the car - as much or more than the discounted & incented purchase price.
So $0.17 per mile for the Honda Clarity FCV, and $0.05 per mile for the Clarity BEV. A premium of $24,000 over the course of 200,000 mile,15 year life of the car. That puts the $29,500 MSRP, $22k after Federal tax credit, $19-19.5k after some state rebates, of the Hyundai Ioniq in sharp perspective. Will be interesting to see the MSRP of the Clarity BEV. I guess the adage "nearly a free car" still holds for BEVs.
Bravo. I've been waiting for this development. We'll probably look back on this like the original 1947 demonstration of the transistor. Hugely consequential because so many structures can now be optimized for weight and consume less energy per mile, making batteries more practical replacements for fuel storage. As with the transistor, it may be decades before we see enough volume to see mass production prices, but this may be the event that sets off the avalanche.
..."operational failures may be caused by the impact of electrically charged particles generated by cosmic rays that originate outside the solar system." "In 2008, the avionics system of a Qantus passenger jet flying from Singapore to Perth appeared to suffer from a single-event upset that caused the autopilot to disengage. As a result, the aircraft dove 690 feet in only 23 seconds, injuring about a third of the passengers seriously enough to cause the aircraft to divert to the nearest airstrip." https://m.phys.org/news/2017-02-particles-outer-space-wreaking-low-grade.html
Completely agree with Harvey and SJC. Computers crash. Sometimes networked systems crash in cascades. I wouldn't want to be in a vehicle - in air or on land - that did not have the capability of handing over control to a human who could bring the vehicle to a safe stop. For all their virtues, we're a long way from auto pilot systems who can pull off a "Scully" off field landing - a programmer and pilot
Volt and Leaf appeared in 2010. It's really only been in the last few years that a wide range of models have appeared, and the most popular vehicles in the US, trucks and SUVs are not available to the mainstream public in EV or PHEV form yet (notwithstanding BMW, MB, Porsche, Tesla, very high end Volvo). Lack of availability and advertising have been the big drags. That's about to change, and we'll see growth go from 60% YoY in 2016 to nearly 100% by 2018. We recently added a Volt to the family fleet. There's no downside in operation whatsoever, yet it is truly all-electric in daily driving. The current subsidies of $7.5k in the US $10k total in California and several other states far exceed the incremental cost of the dual drivetrain. This is a successful template for all cars until fast charge infrastructure is available everywhere it's needed and 200-300 mile batteries are cheaper than the Range extending ICE. Well designed 50-80 mile PHEVs like the Volt or BMW i3 make the viability of Hydrogen a real head-scratcher.
You make a good point, SJC, but these perceptions can change over time with education. People who drive a Volt need no convincing; the car simply works. Their friends and neighbors eventually figure it out too. With the Bolt and Model 3, it will be a similar transference. The cars work well enough that the requirements get adjusted. Dr SL, the only people looking for 500 mile all-electric range are Harvey and people who have never driven a PHEV or 200+ mile BEV with fast charging. There's a lot of education to be done, but that is starting to happen now and will scale over the next few years.
The bellwether on the future of FCVs will be the sales performance of three versions of the Honda Clarity; FC, BEV and PHEV. Honda did a really nice job on the Clarity FC. It's a noticeably better drive than the Mirai. But if sales are minuscule compared to its BEV and PHEV siblings, it, and any similar rivals, will face a very bleak future. Sadly for the FC's engineers, its sales performance will depend almost entirely on the availability of refueling infrastructure and price of fuel, not on the merits of the car itself (other than price, which will probably be heavily subsidized to make the comparison less lopsided).
Agree with your energy density comparisons DSL, but as with autos, the manner of use can shift when the economics dictate it must. Under a fixed-power regime (generally 75-80% of max for cruise flight) the efficiencies of stop and go are lost, but landing as heavy as takeoff is an easily solved problem. Drones are doing it right now today. EADS is on a path to building a twin engine trainer that will absolutely re-ignite GA. Truly the most exciting thing to happen in aviation since Burt Rutan.
Your right, DSL, that extra weight is undesirable in vehicle design, especially airplanes, but incorrect when you conclude that the trade-off of cheaper flight won't be acceptable. I'm not addressing Transport or Cargo aircraft in my comments, but for GA, 400Wh/kg is the point at which battery electric airplanes find practical applications, and it just gets better from there. Training flights, for example, are generally only one hour. A 100 mile commute (to work or to a weekend vacation home) will generally be less than an hour trip. At 20% of the previous fuel cost, you'll see a lot more of them.
DSL> This is a feel good test. Yes, the engineers and test pilot felt good after the flight concluded successfully. Electric propulsion will be one of the most consequential developments in the history of aviation. Most importantly, it will revive the dying General Aviation segment by reducing the cost of fuel 80% or more, and powerplant maintenance a similar amount. No carb icing. No reduction of power at altitude. No oil system failure. No spark plug failure. No piston cracking, connecting rod failure, crankshaft failure, cylinder jug failure, etc. etc. etc. Can't wait to buy my first electric airplane.
I read this study not as an indication of the trends, but insight into the mentality, and blind spots, of auto executives. The view that hydrogen refueling infrastructure will prevail over electric charging infrastructure seems especially detached from all available facts, and ignorant of the successful players. Until someone starts spending billions on hydrogen infrastructure, FCVs are a non-starter. VW, Tesla, eVgo and Chargepoint and dozens of utilities are already in the process of spending billions on public charge networks. As ChrisL points out, home charging will be the vast majority of the needed EC refueling infrastructure. So the billions being spent on EV charging by providers mentioned above is only to complete the final 20% of the needed facilities.
I agree with Change, price curve for ICE goes up, EV price curve goes down, probably below ICE by 2025. Add lower cost to operate - the delta will only get better as gas prices rise - and EVs gain decisive competitive advantage (add NVH and performance advantages and it's over for for ICEs). I just drive a Lexus RX350 for a couple of days and it was a real step down from my EV. I say that as a former Toyota owner and fan. There's really no going back after you drive a good EV.
In a perfect world, yes, we would have zero-emission range extenders. Unfortunately, in the real, imperfect world that we live, no one is manufacturing zero emission range extenders. Reducing fossil fuel consumption for passenger vehicles 80-90% is no small feat. Yes, that's only an interim measure. But it's an interim measure that could be used for 100% of cars sold today, at a very small cost considering the alternatives. Let's do something real, right now.
When FCVs compete on price and have a large and dense refueling network, I'll be interested. Until then, PHEVs and RExs provide an ideal solution - today.
Harvey, do you have any sources for the cost of FCs being lower than 40kWh battery pack? All of the advantages you cite can also be provided by REx engines like Volt and BMW i3 have, which could be fueled by current levels of production of ethanol or other biofuels. Also, you've left out the cost of hydrogen infrastructure in your cost comparison. Hundreds of billions, at least.
I applaud the technical achievement, but in an era of 135kW charging, eventually to be 350kW apparently, adding 40kW to the duty cycle is the equivalent of 20 or 7 min charge respectively. Unless that fuel cell and storage system can be delivered for less than $6k, it's not going to be price competitive and that's a tough sell. Especially considering the extra complexity and expense of maintenance of 5kW FC vs an extra 40kW of battery. That's before the need to consider the additional expense of the refueling network. A deliveryman is going to take a 30 minute meal break mid-route, union or not. People need fuel too.
Don't let facts stand in the way of your opinion, gor.
As known to the regular readers here, and acknowledged by Davemart, a pathway to solid state lithium metal batteries is a game changer, even though current Li-Ion energy densities already provide such a significant level of utility. Personal electronics and cars will be the volume markets, but perhaps more significant is the opportunity to create entirely new markets that did not exist (or are profoundly transformed) based on the opportunity.
Congratulations to Honda for the first deliveries of the new Clarity FCV. I'm impressed that they've made it available at such a reasonable price considering the mileage and gas allowance. The rental car voucher is a very nice perk, but seems to highlight the reality of the limitations of H2 infrastructure at this time. Honda has done a good job of engineering with the Clarity, I was impressed during short test drive. I'm impatiently waiting for the PHEV and BEV versions. The head to head comparison of all three will be absolutely fascinating.
Completely agree, DSL. Hard to imagine how ammonia would ever make it as a transportation fuel though, way too toxic and nasty.