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Several things strike me: a: It might be a bit weird being stuck in a pod like that with complete strangers and no driver - larger than a car, smaller than a bus (where the numbers of people gives anonymity). b: What kind of roads can it drive on - I don;t see a lidar. Is it just for separated roadways?
How does autonomous delivery of groceries work? Who brings the goods to the door ? What if the householder is not in?
If they ever get this out, all the mothers of Chelsea will want one to bring their kids to school. Cool though; looks like something out of "Transformers". A 6 (or 8) wheeled one would be even better as a military vehicle - if you lost a wheel to a landmine, you could still keep going, even over rough terrain.
"real-world FC remained unchanged," This seems to be a worldwide problem - it is much easier to fudge the numbers than improve the economy. The same happened in Europe - the US may be better with more rigorous testing. The testing entities need to up their game by tightening up the rules and then testing in a more realistic manner. The car manufacturers will cheat as much as they are let so don't let them. Put a Dane or Norwegian in charge of the European effort - the French and Germans are too much in the pockets of their motoring industries. Better still, all (new) cars could monitor their own fuel consumption and miles driven and report to the government once or twice a year. The data could be anonomysed so the reg number was not sent, but, IMO it doesn't matter much because there is really no such thing as privacy in motoring in advanced countries any more.
Sounds great, when do we get some numbers. @Harvey, Happy new Year! I would be happy with 2-2-2 batteries for now, the progress in battery performance is rather slow - it is a very difficult problem, so many variables all have to be managed. (Energy capacity, Power, Charging rate, Number of charging cycles, weight, volume, safety, cost ...)
It looks like flat Guinness to me. Maybe if graphene gets cheap enough and available in large enough quantities, someone will find a use for it.
"Over the ten-year-period from 2007 top 2017, the average price of electricity to residential consumers increased 21%—from 10.65¢/kWh to 12.89¢/kWh ..." It is still incredibly cheap. How much would you pay for electricity - how far would you go before disconnecting from the grid ? 20c, no, 30c - no, no - the Danes, Germans and Belgians pay this. At 50c, you might start to see a lot of solar, at $1, you might see solar backed by batteries and generators. IMO, electricity is still far too cheap for the US to really economise - Leds and CFLs are easy decisions, they are now very cheap and 5-8x better than incandescents, but after that, the easy changes are hard to find.
Aerogel: sounds very light, and very bulky. Might be OK for stationary storage - you could fill your attic with the battery, not so good for vehicles, except airships and balloons.
Lidar is a lovely sensor, particularly when combined with video (for colour) and radar (to see through rain, snow, fog). My only worry would be the cost. Might have to be used for "working" vehicles first (i.e. taxis). On the other hand, in the luxury sector, people could pay quite a bit (say 10-20K) if it really worked and you could drive safely on motorways (allowing the driver to sleep). People already pay a lot for bigger engines and higher quality leather in their A8's and 7 series's, which is more or less pointless - so why not pay for something useful, like autonomous driving.
neither electric or autonomous cars will solve the problem of congestion. You will need multi-occupancy vehicles, from buses to trains. For outer suburbs, you could use 4-10 person vehicles which could be usefully automated. Larger ones like buses and trains have so many people that one extra is no big deal. I am sure it will be (is) simple to automate trains, but the drivers tend to be unionised so this will happen slowly. Ditto buses. Non autonomisation increases costs, but does not affect capacity much. Once away from city cores, autonomous makes more sense for low occupancy vehicles. People think they will be able to work in autonomous cars, but have you every tried to work on a laptop in a car that someone else is driving - not easy - you need an exceptionally steady ride, which usually means a larger vehicle like a bus or train. [ I always try to sit between the wheels of a bus for a smoother ride, I avoid the top floor (of double deckers) if possible ] I would love a car that could drive me when I have had a drink or two, or if I wanted to sleep.
I can see how it would work for short range services, short and medium range. Not so sure for interurban services. Maybe by then, the batteries will be dense enough, or you could use nat gas or diesel between the cities and just use battery power in the denser areas.
It strikes me that the problem will be getting people to connect and disconnect quickly when charged. Lets say you have an 80 KwH battery and a 320 Kw charger, you can charge to full in 15 minutes, fine. What do you do in the 15 minutes ? You get a coffee and a "comfort break". What if you get delayed and turn up 20 minutes later, having wasted 5 minutes of a 320 Kw charger? Bit of a waste. It strikes me you could have two cables per charger, one charging, the other waiting, so that as soon as the charge has finished, you can start the second one. Also, you could hand out a wireless buzzer to tell people to their cars are ready, like they have in coffee shops. + even if you have 10 stations and 10 cars come up, you can stagger the start times to keep the power draw increase to a manageable level. + as people, say, you could have some local storage to further smooth the load change. Nothing impossible here, just take batteries and organisation.
OK, mea culpa, mea deca culpa. and yes, EP, liter is a more usual unit of volume. For our US brethern, we could use quarts as an approximation. For those who are unsure of the relationship between Quarts and litres, this might help: 1 Quart [Fluid, US] = 0.946352946 Liter 1 Quart [Dry, US] = 1.10122095 Liter 1 Quart [UK] = 1.1365225 Liters Simple, isn't it. A big hand for Napoleon.
Sounds good to me. 197 Kg of H2 in 1 cubic meter is interesting for longer term storage of H2. If you need 5kg for a car, it should fit in 25 cubic decameters (!) or a space 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.1 m in size, which should leave you with some trunk space left. In general, I am sceptical of H2, but if you can store it easily, it starts to look much better. I hope they have enough funding to develop this work.
"So far most manufacturers don’t offer a quick charge system. City bikes need to be chargeable in half an hour while shopping, then batteries can be made smaller, lighter and therefore more practical." I don;t buy that - it would be nice, but not at all essential. Mostly you would shop on the way home from work, without adding much distance travelled. E-bikes are an excellent form of urban transport, especially in hot or humid locations - 4 wheeled vehicles require too much road and parking space (and energy), bikes use way less of all 3. I'm all for more efficient motors for e-bikes (and scooters), but lets not over egg the pudding.
If "more and more people move to cities", you won't want taxis, flying or ground based (unless shared). You will want buses, trains and metros (ideally electrified). There won't be the road space for individual 4 wheeled mobility. Bikes or ebikes or scooters might be OK. Flying things take up a lot of space as they have to have large rotors or rotor arrays, so I don't see much capacity for this. A few plutocrats might use them to get from the airport to the downtown, but most people will use buses or metro.
@EP, they have had silent aircraft since 1970 - using ICE engines (!) and slow turning propellers - see: They could be even quieter with battery (and propeller) power - if you really needed them. As they point out, modern drones, driven by high speed propellers for lift are very noisy, but this can be solved with a more normal "aeroplane + slow propeller" design. No quiet VTOL though - that would be hard, unless you used an electric catapult to launch it.
It sounds like a bad design to me. It requires exposed wires at +-20,000 volts. It generates very low thrust, probably not enough to fly fast enough to be much use, especially in a headwind. Ionic thrust may be fine in space where there is no drag and you can spend a year accelerating, but not much use in the atmosphere.
@Harvey, it is from everything: burning coal, wood, chemical works, everything - not just cars. Developing countries have enormous problems with indoor air pollution from cooking on fires.
Good idea - you don't need to ship the pellets that quickly + you can't easily put sails on a container ship (but you can on a bulk carrier). It sounds bad - importing wood pellets from Canada, but if the ships are large enough, it should be OK, especially if they use some or all wind power.
makes sense, they have loads of hydro so their electricity should be very low (0?) CO2 / KwH. Getting it cheap will be another problem, but they have 22 years so they can leave it to other people to sort it out (assuming they need cheaper batteries).
Why do they combine alcohol and drugs. They are two different things. + it would be nice to see the same graph per continent or country (large countries anyway + the EU).
It would be good if all urban delivery vans, buses and taxis were very low emissions (of which battery electric is one option). It is more about urban air quality than CO2 in this case, but you get both with electric drive. The trick is to get the worst polluters off the roads as quickly as possible and replace them with any low emissions vehicle.
They don't look like they'd be very good going over ramps.
@Harvey, The problem is cost - people will only pay so much for a Corolla, and this might not stretch to a PHEV version. @gasbag, I would disagree with the notion that parallel hybrids are dead. The Prius sales have indeed declined, but this can be put down to dreadful styling, low price of oil and increased competition. As i suggested to @Harvey, a PHEV Corolla may be too expensive for most people. Interesting to see how well the Nissan e-Power vehicles are doing in japan. IMO, some kind of hybrid is the way forward because you can size the battery to the average journey length, rather than some rarely used maximum journey length.