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Hydrogen is not easy to store either, although admittedly not as hard as storing electrons in batteries. But what is being proposed to store it at seasonal scale?
Don't existing electric cars already do this? It seems to me that even the "don't-need-no-stinkin'-thermal-management" Nissan LEAF has had battery heaters since 2012 or so. Maybe not ready-to-regen in under a minute, but enough to keep battery from freezing, to safely charge and, after several minutes, regen.
Lad, I don't think the cars are rolling down the street killing babies in their cribs, and if they are, then there is a far larger fleet of coal-rolling diesel pickups that will also need to be pried from their owners' cold, dead fingers. This is not a panic-button public health issue... more like a regulatory-compliance public health issue. The real issue is the cheating, and on that there can be no quarter from CARB and the EPA: VW must play by the same rules as everyone else in the market, and must pay the price (plus penalties) to retroactively fix, or buy back, the cars they've already sold. (After that, can we fix the rules so I don't have to look out the window of my TDI while in traffic... squarely into the soot-belching five inch exhaust pipe of the truck in the next lane over?)
A gas-electric hybrid requires a small-capacity battery (1-2 kWh) that can be charged and discharged rapidly (duration of a typical accelerate-brake cycle)... a high POWER battery. A pure-electric vehicle requires a large capacity battery (dozens of kWh) that discharges slowly (runs for many hours), and (except for Quick Charge) likewise can take some hours to recharge... a high ENERGY battery. The demands of the two applications are in fact quite distinct in terms of battery performance. Outside of a laboratory, or the dream world, there is no one battery that is "best" that can perform cost-effectively in both of these applications. Horses for courses, at least at this stage of battery evolution. NiMH for high-power applications and Li-Ion for high-energy applications.
TDI version coming to USA? For some years I entertained thoughts of dropping an ALH TDI into a 1st-gen TT (A4 platform) for a sporty commute car with 50+ mpg. Those engines and cars are now getting long in the tooth, but maybe Audi will save me the trouble and put a two-seat TDI coupe into the market...
@Henrik: my thoughts exactly. It's quite striking how many of these EVs are coming out with 24kWh of battery (give or take five or ten percent) and 120km of range. What's up with that? I hope it means that the Leaf (et al) owners are being studied and focus-grouped and are being found satisfied with their range. Though I suspect more that it's some automotive group-think creeping in. You'd think *someone* would try adding another 100 kilos of battery (with requisite chassis and suspension and price-tag tweaks) as a market differentiator, and see what the uptake is on that option. And would all of you single-car "won't work for me" naysayers please pipe down... we *know* it won't work for you at this stage of the game. It *will* work for a large number of multi-car families, and work very well. Families who have nothing to do with any "luxury" market, but who do own something close to a majority of all passenger cars on the road.
@ Bob Wallace -- I agree that genset trailers are an attractive option, but with a two-point hitch you're more or less rigidly hanging a big mass (100+ kg?) way behind the rear axle... at least in the yaw axis. I think you'll require active steering, and sometimes counter-steering, of the single wheel in order to avoid imitating the chassis dynamics of an early Porsche 911.
120 km/h at 1350 RPM! What do the piston rings and rod bearings think of the BMEP needed to achieve that?
The more things change, the more they stay the same? I was a fan of their old 1.8 turbo engine... smooth, flexible, and potent. But not exactly economical in the consumption department... hopefully the TSI magic fixes that issue.
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Jul 23, 2013