Thursday, February 21, 2013 4:18:16 PM
To clarify "epic acceleration", there's a home-built road-legal EV conversion that does 0-60 in 1.8s (and, incidentally, has a bigger range than a Nissan Leaf). 4s would be within hot hatch levels for EVs. Electric motors can have monstrous torque and a relatively flat torque curve.
Thursday, February 21, 2013 4:09:35 PM
I think you're being a little pessimistic. Most people don`t drive more than 100 miles from a refueling point, so a range of 200 miles should be adequate for almost everyone. I think it`s probably that most people rarely if ever drive more than 50 miles from a refueling point.
EVs can provide epic acceleration at low speeds, which is what matters for fun in almost all cases. Sure, a gearless EV is going to max out at about 120mph, but when was the last time you drove faster than 120mph?
I think there`s a lot of improvement needed before EVs catch on, but I think you`re over-stating the range requirements for that to happen.
I`d be happy with an EV with a range of 200 miles that did 0-60 in 4s, that I could "refuel" in a few minutes by swapping the battery at any one of many thousands of battery stations, that I could recharge at less cost overnight while I wasn`t using it and which cost a reasonable amount (including battery replacement cost).
Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:55:58 PM
I keep hearing about super capacitors like this, for the last 10 years, and yet we're still stuck with this lithion ion crap. Batteries suck. Until they actually make these capacitors for vehicles, along with "gas cans" for carrying extra charge on remote excursions, electric cars will always suck and never catch on.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 5:41:05 PM
I think battery (or capacitor) swapping is a much more practical way to go. Drive in, swap battery, drive out. Automate the whole thing and it would take about as much time as pumping fuel into a tank. The battery can then be charged at a more practical rate in the charging station, to go into another car later. There are safety issues with swapping large-capacitor batteries or capacitors, but solving practical problems is what engineers do. There are prototype automated systems already - the problems are not insurmountable.
Charging could then be an optional extra while parked.
That combination would be more convenient for drivers than the current system of refueling ICEVs. That would encourage EV use. People don't want new stuff that`s less convenient than the current stuff - they want it at least as convenient.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 5:31:54 PM
Angilion - If the charging station had a set of super-capacitors it could pull a constant draw from the grid and hold onto it. That way there wouldn't be gigantic fluctuations on the grid. Still, that is a lot of power to push. There would defiantly be some safety issues.
That`s a good idea on paper, but it would only be partially moving the fluctuation from the grid to the charging station - the fluctuation is inherent in the pattern of demand and cannot be removed.
You could only have a constant pull from the grid if every charging station had infinite electricity storage capacity, which is impossible.
You could reduce the fluctuation on demand on the grid with enough storage at every charging station, but it would have to be a huge amount. Storing GWh in capacitors has risks even if it`s possible and with thousands of stations bad things would happen sooner or later. Also, you`d waste a lot from storage losses.