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Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, entreprenuer
Interests: diesel and gasoline engines, cars, aircraft, railroads, electric drives
Recent Activity
If they are the king of hybrids,are they the pageboy of BEVs? Maybe they will be the king of fuel cell vehicles but it probably be like being the king of Andorra.
Not only is the range not that outstanding, neither is the performance. The Chevy Bolt will accelerate from 0-60 in 6.5 sec and the Tesla 3 with dual motors and AWD claims 3.2 sec. If they are going to sell this on performance, they need to have better performance.
If they get 860 watts maximum they should recover about 3.5 kWhr per day. Given that it takes 0.2 to 0.25 kWhr per mile in real life driving, they should get about 14 to 18 miles or 22 to 29 km gain in range and not 44 to 56 km but then they are not using EPA standards. A Chevy Bolt with 60 kWhr is EPA rated at 238 miles range which is about 4 miles per kWhr.
In a way, this reminds me of steam engine development in the late 1940s or maybe piston engine aircraft in the same time frame. They were making impressive developments but the race had already been lost.
About 45 years ago, I borrowed a VW bus to move a piece of furniture. It was the worst and most unstable feeling vehicle that I ever drove. Yes, they have a nostalgic value but they are really dangerous to drive. Maybe the new suspension fixed part of the problem but it still has the driver sitting ahead of the front wheels in an unprotected position.
I do not know what the cost of this vehicle is but the total cost of ownership may be close to break even compared with a similar diesel vehicle as apparently BE transit buses have already hit the break even point. Once this happens, there will be a reasonable demand for these vehicles. They probably make more sense than BE private cars for reducing fossil fuel consumption.
Will it be available in the US market or just Europe (and Japan)? Cost? When I clicked the online ordering link, I got a quote 0f 800 British Pounds for the reservation fee but no total cost. The specs are reasonable for urban commuting. The styling is a bit retro and not very exciting but not as ugly as the original Nissan Leaf. I think that Honda is going to be playing a catch up game in this market.
Tesla claims "improvements to its working capital position." Are they making a per car profit?
Peak not peal which I saw right after I posted the comments. I believe that the 700 years worth of depleted uranium came from a Nova program on PBS. Anyway, we are not about to run out of uranium.
Remember peal oil? It did not happen because drilling technologies improved sufficiently that the US is now producing more oil than Saudi Arabia. Improved efficiency also helped. Now the talk is about peak demand. Cobalt might be a problem but there are lithium battery chemistries that do not require cobalt. Likewise, there are motor designs that do not require rare earth magnets. Also, if you look at the long term prices of commodities, they have mostly decreased as extraction techniques have improved. For energy, nuclear power provides reliable 24/7 power without requiring the land or the capital equipment that so-called renewables require. We currently have enough stored depleted uranium to provide over 700 years of power at the current demand in the US.
Not sure why this is a smart solution. There are only using 100 KW from the fuel cell cell so it would relatively easy to replace the fuel cell with larger battery packs. The Proterra buses which are lighter and smaller vehicles are available with up to 650 KWHr and as the railcar would spend at least some of the time under catenary, it could charge the during this timeand still be able to run 5 or 6 hours on battery power alone. The battery only solution would be cheaper and more energy efficient. As Mahonj noted, It would be hard to power high speed rail without catenary, These trains are drawing upwards of 12,000 KW.
I would like to hope that new nuclear power comes on strong as it is the only clean 24/7 power available. The only other chance is to keep the population under control which might happen with better education.
I recently passed the largest cyro tanker that I had ever seen on I-15. It was a rolling bomb filled with liquid hydrogen at -253C or -423F. If there was any accident that caused the tank to rupture, it would immediately gasify and would likely deflagrate. In my opinion, hydrogen just has too many problems to have wide scale acceptance. It is energy expensive to make and has a very low energy density along with high permeability which makes it hard to store and has a very wide range of flammability which causes safety problems.
Maybe excess renewable power exists at times in California (solar) or west Texas (wind) but I can guarantee that we definitely do not have excess renewable power in Utah. We have comparatively few wind turbines as we do not have steady winds in the state and we do not have that much installed solar. They would be off waiting to see how the NuScale modular nuclear power plant goes. The initial installation is supped to just north of here in Idaho but will be part of Utah rural power.
I had several more looks at the write up and all I find is that they have ordered 100 vehicles with fuel cells. There is real not much information on the vehicle drive train and how it will be used. I think that the real reason why they are building it is in the last sentence: "The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of its National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP II). " If it was just a matter of providing a clean, efficient delivery vehicle with the best economics, they would not be doing this. But they are not spending their own money. I do support research but this is not simply research and I would be surprised to see it repeated when it is a matter of money.
This does not make much sense as you do not need 500 km range for a delivery vehicle. Where I live (Salt Lake City area) most local delivery trucks travel less than 100 miles (160 km) and I would think that in Europe, the average distance is even less. Maybe fuel cells might make sense for inter city travel until better batteries but for local delivery fuel cells are just an added expense and nuisance.
They do not give an efficiency but based on their numbers and 1 kW/m2 available from sunlight, I calculate that the efficiency is about 2.5 % but who know what their input really was.
More good news for clean base power. Really hope that they can meet the 2026 startup date for the 12 unit Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems facility.
"The Proterra bus will not do 350 miles in winter conditions." Orange County does not much in the way of winter conditions and most transit buses do not need that much range anyway. Note that it took 28 hours for the FC bus to run 350 miles. Also most transit systems do not run much service at night. And Park City, Utah which does have winter conditions seems to be doing just find with their Proterra buses. My comment about half the efficiency was based on the common assumption of using surplus renewable power (which is mostly non-existent) for electrolysis. "They can make H2 at the fueling yard from renewable methane. " Good luck with that. Steam reformation does not scale well. In the Salt Lake City area, we have 5 oil refineries and I believe that they all get the hydrogen they need for the catalytic cracking from a single source. And just where will you get the renewable methane. Most of it is either used at the source or just added to the pipe line. Anyway, you are just using up something that needs to replaced with fossil natural gas.
The Proterra bus will not do 350 miles in winter conditions.
OK, but the engine would not be able to be rebuilt. Maybe, it is cheaper to just replace the engine if it is damaged.
Proterra offers a BEV bus with 350 miles of range. The difference is that the Proterra bus will use half the energy and be considerably cheaper to buy and operate.
"Lots of trucks chug diesel fumes from LA to Ontario, CA. " And 10 fuel cell trucks will not make much of a difference. They would be much better off spending the money on Battery Electric delivery trucks. I think that the battery electric delivery trucks must be close to a financial break even point if they are not there already. Also Cummins offers Battery powered class 8 cabs that are good for about 100 miles with an optional small diesel for hybrid operations if 100 mile range is insufficient. With slightly better batteries, they would be capable of managing the 150 mile range that they claim is need for drayage operations. Of course, much of the drayage operations require less than 100 miles of range.
Both GM and Ford have announced major future electric vehicle projects. GM just announced a 300 million $ addition to their Orion, MI plant and will be building an updated version of the Bolt and another vehicle based on the updated Bolt technology. I assume that these will be 2020 vehicles and GM is supposed to have something like 8 new electric vehicles for the US market by 2022. The future is clearly battery electric.
The other surprising thing about Toyota is how far down they are on technology in general. The only thing they have is hybrid cars but almost no plug-in hybrids and no BEVs. They have a number CVTs but I would consider this out-dated technology. They had an early lead in hybrids but kept the old Nickel Metal Hybrid battery technology far too long.