electric car battery vs plug in hybrid
If an all electric car like the Tesla can be re-charged in 3.5 hours to achieve a 250 mile range, with no top speed limitations, why cannot plug-in hybrids use the same battery system to get past the 3 mile range limit in its electric only mode and the 30 mph top speed when operated in electric only mode?
It seems to me the battery technology must already be here if electric cars can have it, what am I missing? Why cannot we get plug-in hybrids manufactured now?
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electric car battery vs plug in hybrid
Bingo! you hit the nail on the head. The reason that BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) are not here now is because the auto industry doesn't want them to be here. I leased the GM EV1 from 2000 throught 2003. That car went from 0 - 60 in 7 seconds, went 120 real world freeway miles on a charge, charged from flat to full in about 4 hours (flat to 80% in 2.5 hours), got effectively well over 100 mpg well-to-wheels economy. That was using 10 year old NiMH battery technology which has only gotten better in the past decade.
GM wouldn't let me extend the lease or buy the car but instead forced me to return the car to them, after which they crushed and shredded it.
All that has to be done to make fully viable BEV's is to put them into mass production - nothing else. Today's technology is just fine, the costs will drop, and the performance will only increase with time.
Tesla is not a car company with entrenched ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) and transmission interests in place that fear their inevitable obsoletion. Tesla has money, willpower, intelligence, and are willing to do the right thing.
The ICE companies will resist and downplay the electric drivetrain for as long as they can, possibly to their death (like Western Union did with the telegraph). That is why they whine about what can be done. They all did it in California in the late '90's and know it can be done, now they are working overtime trying to prevent it from being done again.
Don't pay any attention to the propaganda blitz and information stiffling from the incumbent auto industry. Go see the "Who Killed the Electric Car" ( for theater locations see www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com) for a video explanation of the situation from those who had them.
I rode in the Tesla roadster last month and can assure you it's an awesome-kick. My wife also rode in it and attests that the only thing hotter that she's been in was an F-16 (I can't support or refute since I've never been in a jet fighter myself). They have a brilliant business plan to get affordable BEV's into the hands of the average person as soon as possible given the realities of business.
Wish it were that simple.
Wish it were that simple. The big reason why a high capacity battery cannot (yet) be put in a hybrid car chassis is:
Every extra pound/kilo of car body weight is one less pound/kilo of usefull load capacity the car can carry.
The Tesla's large 250 mile range battery is HEAVY. If you add in a gasoline engine, transmission, fuel tank, exhaust system, generator, ect. You end up with a car that can only carry 98 lb of driver/passenger/cargo.
That being said, I drive a Prius with a 1.6Kw battery that "can" power the car for about 5-6 miles at low speed in electric mode only.
I would be HAPPY to sacrifice maybe 150 lb or so of load capacity for a larger battery AND larger (heavier) electric motor that would give the Prius 20-30 miles of pure electric mode capacity with "plug in" recharging.
Remember, you can't get something for nothing. Everything you "add" to a car makes it heavier.
Ok Geschaut, You're thinking
Ok Geschaut, You're thinking about this seriously now. However, you're still confusing a few ICE paradigm issues with electrics.
Granted a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) must carry more weight. This requires a stronger chassis and suspension as Tesla had to do with the Lotus Elise that they started with. The Tesla still has the same load capacity as the Elise though. Scaling up to a larger vehicle would be a bit tougher but not impossible.
Were one to add and ICE to a Tesla, one could then reduce the battery from 250 mile capability to something closer to an average day's drive or around 30 or 40 miles. This would then reduce the battery weight from 680 lbs to around 80 lbs. One could then put in a wimpy 100 lb ICE and a maybe 100 lbs of gasoline (or your favorite bio-fuel) and still be lighter than the base Tesla Roadster.
The paradigm issue is that making an electric drive vehicle heavy doesn't hurt it's fuel economy as much as increasing the weight of an ICE vehicle because an EV's regenerative braking recovers some of the extra energy lost in accelerating a heavier vehicle. Granted, the rolling resistance and current losses are worse for a heavier BEV than a lighter one so you definitely do lose a bit.
The nice thing about EV's is that you actually do gain something: The electric motor system is over 4X more efficient than an ICE and the braking losses can be easily scavenged.
i love ev1's....when i had
i love ev1's....when i had one back in the days it felt like heaven. when i was born in 1998 i felt that the ev1 was for me