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Poor Roger Pham, still hallucinating that a BEV company should waste a billion $$ on an engine. But you're right that BMW should offer its PHEVs with a turbo 3-cylinder, like the sadly ignored i8 powertrain. The engine engineers at BMW literally have to die off before it can realize that performance and AWD now come from batteries, not bigger engines.
Thanks for showing some useful features. Gwenview 2.7.2 on KDE 4.7.3 on Kubuntu 11.10 is quite different, you should mention which app version, KDE version, and distro you're using along with your theme. I somehow missed the Folders-Information-Operations tabs at the bottom despite using Gwenview a dozen or more times! I think status information goes at the bottom, and control information goes at the top. And now I'm using these tabs, because I run Gwenview fullscreen often when I move the mouse down to them, I overshoot and something on the Plasma panel below it pops up a menu obscuring Gwenview's tabs. Developers discussed this in , but I filed bug 291102 anyway. Note that any semantic rating and tagging you do is shared between Dolphin and Gwenview, and I assume when you filter on it Gwenview uses Nepomuk. Nepomuk has gotten a poor reputation, but these days it's a solid pillar of KDE that delivers real benefits.
#correction: Your "announced" first link redirects to a VW login page with an internal error, maybe it's only for journalists. Use instead , replacing journalisten with oeffentlichkeit ("publicity"). VW keeps upping its promises for 2013, while delivering pointless EV test fleets today. In May 2010 Car&Driver wrote "Volkswagen is re-affirming plans to add hybrid variants of the Jetta in 2012, followed by the Golf and Passat a year later. But that’s not all, as VeeDub also says it will offer a fully electric Golf and Jetta soon after the arrival of the electric Up! city car in 2013."
@Stan, "Our studies show that globally, volcanoes on land and under the sea release a total of about 200 million tonnes of CO2 annually. ... while 200 million tonnes of CO2 is large, the global fossil fuel CO2 emissions for 2003 tipped the scales at 26.8 billion tonnes. Thus, not only does volcanic CO2 not dwarf that of human activity, it actually comprises less than 1 percent of that value. " Increased CO2 levels comes from human activity. USA (a small piece of the continent of North America) is responsible for much of that,
@Roger Pham, "Imagine a roof-top solar PV directly sending EXCESS electricity to a H2-producing electrolyzer" I can: I've increased the cost of my solar system 3X over just recharging my EV's battery (or selling the electricity to the power grid during the day and taking cheap electricity at night to recharge). I have solar PV on my roof. It's great but hella expensive. Making it even more expensive by generating H2 is insane. Even if you're off the grid, storing H2 to later make electricity is way more expensive and inefficient than putting it in batteries. It's NOT going to happen. Combined heat and power from natural gas is very different and has potential.
Reel$$, The Nissan Leaf's on-board telematics show public charging stations within range. Why bother with an app when there are web sites like and ? Many smartphone apps are crutches for dummies who don't realize you can do "Goooggling" and "surfing" of the IntarWub-dot-Tubes on your phone as well as your computer.
@HarveyD, It's not that simple. The SAE J1772 receptacle on nearly all of the 2011 electric cars is a worldwide standard, but it doesn't accommodate high-voltage DC fast charge. CHAdeMO proposed a separate plug for DC fast charge that is on the Leaf and i-MiEV and which a ton of companies have endorsed, but the SAE J1772 committee is considering an alternative that would add two chunky DC pins to their plug, so you'd only need one receptacle for both AC and DC. The great slides outline this and other differences. Meanwhile in Europe the Germans still hope the Mennekes connector for even more powerful AC charging and possible DC will take off; the current SAE J1772 isn't that interesting in Europe because a standard domestic wall socket can already supply 230V 13 amps. No doubt there's political maneuvering involved as well. GM doesn't sell a car capable of fast DC charge and is marketing against EV range anxiety, so they and no doubt other SAE members are happy to go slow on approving DC fast charge while Nissan is raring to go.
Desmond Wheatley shouldn't mislead to sell his idea, an electric car does not have the "impact" of two houses on the grid. @Grant points out the DoE says average US household electricity consumption is 11,040 kilowatt-hours a year, or 30 kWh a day. That's more than the 24 kWh it takes to recharge a Nissan Leaf to go 100 miles, and few people drive that far every day. Driving 12,000 electric miles a year will add only about 26% to that average domestic consumption. If he's talking peak power consumption and not energy, he's still wrong. If you run home air conditioning, an electric oven, and a hair drier all at once, then your domestic activities will be consuming much more power than the Leaf's 3.3 kW on-board charger. Susan Carpenter, you need to learn the difference between energy and power. The Volt has a 16 kWh battery, the 'h' is crucial. Wikipedia's Kilowatt_hour article is your friend.
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Toyota increased the size of the 2010 Prius engine, and its mpg *increased*. Clearly they have hit a sweet spot balancing the Atkinson engine characteristics and hybrid synergy drive, one that no other hybrid manufacturer has matched. Maybe they're smarter than blog commenters. Neither Toyota nor anyone else has come up with a full hybrid powertrain for smaller cars; I'm not sure why. Though outside the USA you can get stop-start and regenerative braking features in "micro hybrid" small cars.
The hydraulic hybrid truck that UPS has been developing with Eaton and the EPA for FOUR YEARS already yields a 29% improvement (to 13 MPG) in trials, so UPS seems to be admitting they aren't going to replace their fleet with tech that's already available!
A MyNissanLeaf forum member posted that the Leviton and Schneider Electric will be less than $800! That's a great price drop from $2200 for an AeroVironment, though that includes installation. The big breakthrough of Leviton's evr-green is they read the National Electrical Code section 625 and unlike everyone else interpreted it that they can offer level 2 charging stations that plug in to a standard NEMA 6-20, 6-30, or 6-50 240V receptacle. Everyone else believes you have to have an electrician install a hard-wired circuit. @sheckyvegas, the standardization for EV cars and plugs in the USA and Japan is finished: 240V Level 2 is SAE J1772, fast DC Level 3 is CHAdeMO. All the fancy smart grid networking stuff in Coulomb's charging station seems irrelevant for recharging at home until you actually get rewarded for dynamically adjusting your charging... wake me up when slow-moving utilities ever get around to that. And besides, the right place for smarter charging isn't in the charging station hardware, it's in the browser/smartphone app that talks to your car and can alert you to the utility's "Delay charging until 3am and get a cheaper rate" promotions, again when and if utilities ever get around to it. Coulomb is promoting their network to users as a standard for locating an available PUBLIC charging station then paying for the juice. That won't affect your choice of EV or home charging station; it will affect which public charging scheme you sign up for, similar to how you decide which credit cards to apply for.
Zytek did the engineering for the Smart EV, but it seems that was replaced by the second-generation Smart ED before it ever got into production. Does anyone know what Zytek tech, along with Tesla tech, remains in the Smart ED that's supposedly entering "series production" in two months?
@Anne, Google and Wikipedia work for everybody. Toyota RAV4 EV MSRP was $42,000. GM EV1 was only leased; GM based the lease payments for the EV1 on an initial vehicle price of US$33,995 and lease payments ranged from around $299 to $574 per month, depending on the availability of state rebates. @ToppaTom, Your economic analyses are correct as far as they go. But thankfully not everyone focuses strictly on your notion of "economic sense", otherwise everyone would be driving a 1994 Geo Metro XFi, no one would buy fancy wheels (let alone hybrid versions of existing cars that cost more than they save in fuel), and Toyota would never have introduced the Prius at a loss.
@ToppaTom, I'll leave it Toyota RAV4 EV owners to vehemently dispute "not viable", there was a waiting list for them when it was discontinued the day after California Air Resource Board scrapped the ZEV mandate and Toyota never sold them nationwide. Also Chevron dismantled the NiMH battery production line when they acquired it. It smells like conspiracy (and I haven't seen "Who Killed the Electric Car?"). Go read the Wikipedia article. The missed opportunity is reduced costs through mass production, which would help expand the market and lead to profitability, as happened with hybrids. Yes, manufacturers required a kick in the ass from CARB to do it because they're risk-averse, but the societal and environmental benefits if CARB had continued kicking them would have been enormous. Demonstrably the technology was ready for a niche market of real EVs with 100 mile range, because Toyota made 100s of them.
@kelly, A 4-door 4-seater freeway-legal car from a major manufacturer with a range of 100 miles was available TWELVE YEARS AGO, the Toyota RAV4 EV. I regularly see models whirring around Northern California. Twelve (mostly) wasted years. Arghhh!! Until BYD gives the kWh for the e6 battery pack, doubt all their claims.
The first generation Smart ED claimed 120 km/h top speed. That had a Zytek motor and sodium-nickel chloride Zebra batteries, but it's unclear how many Zytek ever produced. Unlike quadricycle/neighborhood electric vehicles like the Reva G-Wiz and MyCar, the regular smart fortwo is freeway-legal, so I'm not sure why Daimler says "Its maximum speed has been deliberately limited to 100 km/h [62 mph], a suitable speed for the city." If it's for engineering reasons, it's probably because the transmission gearing and motor RPM limit the top speed. It could also be because higher speeds drain the battery very quickly. You'll have no problem entering a highway so long as the car can accelerate quickly to that speed. Sounds like a worthy small electric car. If you want more power and range, get a Mini E, whose 2.5 times bigger battery pack turns it into another two-seater!
It's funny to see Japanese newspapers spouting untruths in their home market. Honda does not sell a fuel-cell vehicle in California, it is leasing a limited number of prototypes of the FCX Clarity in a few Southern California areas for $600/mo. @ "TM" The GM EV-1 and the Toyota RAV4-EV were not "souped up golf carts", they were real freeway-legal general-purpose cars 10 years ago and many of the Toyotas are still running. Car makers lose money on many innovations initially, then reap profits later. But the auto makers pressured the California Air Resources Board to abandon its requirement for true zero emissions vehicles.