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  1. #11

    Plug-in hybrid: true comparison?

    The current US average price for a 1 kW collector is about $5,450. If your figures and calcs are correct, that means investing probably $7,000 or more to install the collector and charging equipment for a tiny car that only travels near home and only 30 miles per day. And only when the sun shines.

    Still needs work, unfortunately.

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  3. #12

    Plug-in -vs- buying gas - video comparison

    for a comparison between the hassle of putting gas into a Prius versus plugging in an EV at home.

  4. #13

    Tricky Comparisions

    One aspect overlooked when comparing electric vs gas efficiencies is that only cost is being comparied because the cost of electricity is "normalized" to a gas cost. The bigger picture needs to include:

    1) Gas is very finite and few power plants burn oil. (i.e. These comparisions are very misleading since they are changing as every barrel is consumed.)

    2) Coal is very abundant but if all of it is burned, the CO2 pollution basically suffocates the planet. Believe it or not, the CO2 pollution problem is worrysome not because of the remaining oil, but because of the abundant coal. Most U.S. Power Plants burn coal. Any Gas vs. Electricity comparision ignores both sides of the pollution aspects.

    3) Solar power is very reliable and makes electricity directly and LOCALLY on the roof of where you live (some day in the future).

    I would go to the Teslamotors web site and read about Elon Musk's Secret Master Plan; http://www.teslamotors.com/blog2/?p=8 I hope he will be very successful. What his discussion makes clear is that the CAPITOL cost of making the electric car/home recharging system affordable is the direction to go. Comparision of the FUEL costs lures everyone away from the true issues to examine.

  5. #14
    The thing I like most about the plug-in is that electricity can be generated from many sources and the electrical grid is a very efficient means of transporting it between sources and destinations. There doesn't appear to be any single solution to our planet's energy needs, therefore, there is a lot of merit to being able to use many different sources. If plug-in cars get out on the road, electricity can become sort of common currency that enables them to use the energy available.
    In the south, they can use solar, hydro in the north, coal (although I don't really like it's side effects) in coal country, tidal near the coasts, sewage and trash in the cities, weeds, switchgrass, and biomass (without the need to convert to ethanol) in farm country, etc.
    Tesla Motors truly does seem to have the best grasp of the big picture of any site I've seen. I highly recommend reading the blogs by their employees. http://www.teslamotors.com/blog2/?p=22 is particularly insightful on the power of solar.

  6. #15

    A good blog on the subject


    Essentially the point is that to have a car that is a good plug in EV you need a full electrical drivetrain and battery pack. To have a car that can do long road trips when the batteries die you need a full gasoline engine drive train. The weight of each compromises the range and efficiency of the other. The complexity of having two complete drivetrains is a potential maintenance nightmare. And, of course, with two drive trains there is little space for people and luggage.

    You would be better off with a pure EV like a Tesla that can go 200 miles on a charge, and have a second car (diesel?) for long trips. Or even cheaper, rent a car for long trips. The few long trips most people go on, it is cheaper to rent.

  7. #16

    PV Solar Panels to Power EV car

    I agree with the poster that said that installing a 7,000 solar panel to power a car "needs work."

    However, I have an 8Kw solar system on my house and I am better than energy neutral (meaning I generate more power than I use).

    In conjunction with eliminating my home bills and still being able to completely power my Tesla (perhaps the upcoming Whitestar, but if I can, the roadster), the 40K spent on the solar is pretty good (with the power company paying half and a 1k state tax credit and a 2k federal tax credit).

    However, the investment is likely still to high for the average consumer (even though they buy 50k SUVs) and it does need a lot of roof space in a good open area (I am in AZ).

  8. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    think out of the box

    EV vs ICE car

    Let's say what is the future of ICE car? Obviously that the oil is not sustainable. biofeul may be another option. however, the emission of car (Co2 only) make up of 15% of gloable warming gas. therefore, the room for ICE car is not bounderless.

    So how about EV? Electricity have more sources. solar, wind, nuclear, water, not only coal. compared with ICE, it is more sustainable. This is the key point.

    therefore, EV is worth a serious try, even though the risk exist.

  9. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Another option is Ethanol.

    Another option is Ethanol. But NOT corn based ethanol.

    the USA is trying to produce ethanol from corn. But from seed to gas tank, it takes 1 gallon of petrolium to produce 1.3 gallons of ethanol.

    Brazil is producing suger cane ethanol with 8 gallons of ethanol produced from each gallon of fuel used to produce the ethanol.

    but suger cane does not grow well in Montana.

    BUT... cellulose based ethanol can be produced from sawgrass that grows from Dakota to Texa. Sawgrass based ethanol produces 10 gallons of ethanol from each gallon of fuel used to produce it.

    So why are we using corn? Because Con-Agra, Agway, Monsanto, el al paid our government to use corn. Regardless of the science.

  10. #19

    The real proof of the

    The real proof of the pudding is CO2 generated per mile. Gasoline is 20 pounds CO2 per gallon burned, and electricity is 1.35 pounds CO2 per kW-hr. (That's counting all sources of electricity, including those that produce no CO2 at all.) Nobody is going to revolutionize the electric generation system in this country any time soon.

    In recent Consumers Union testing, a plug-in conversion of a Prius lowered the mileage from 42 to 40 when running with the new battery depleted, and raised it to 68 mpg when running on the new battery, which it can do for 35 miles. The 35 miles of battery driving used 5 kW-hr of electricity. You can plug the numbers in and determine that the CO2 performance of the car got worse after the conversion.
    Standard Prius: 217 gram/mile
    Plug-In: 223 gram/mile
    Plug-In (depleted): 227 gram/mile

  11. #20

    Ron, I donít believe your

    I donít believe your 1.35 lb of CO2 /kw-hr of electricity. You should probably clarify/support.
    Also, you conveniently miss all of the upstream CO2 required for the pumping, transportation, and refining of gasoline.
    Youíll find that than an EV (or Prius in EV mode) can go farther on the electricity required to refine a gallon of gasoline (ignoring pumping and transportation energy) than most cars can go on the gallon of gasoline.

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