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Old 4th August 2011, 11:28   #31
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Thats why I made a a distinction and mentioned "pure electric cars".

As for electricity generation, you said it yourself, everything we do involves electricity. So as even it in present situation is not unlimited, should we not do something to save its sources and reduce its usage.

As for nuclear, first its crazy dangerous. And even its sources are very limited, not enough to provide even a small percentage of our needs.

Solar/wind are not reliable and economic enough yet.

Hydrogen based fuel cells are the only realistic fuel in the present scenario and what seems most probable in the future as a replacement to petrol/diesel.
1. I hope you don't mean that we continue with fossil fuels forever (actually while they last)

2. Not really.
Even with the current limited status of nuclear power - most of the industrialized nations have upto 40% of electricity generated from nuclear fuels.

And we have not yet managed to harness the thermonuclear reactions.
Once that happens, I guess we shall be in a position to become fully dependent on it.

3. Yet. I did say about increasing efficiency of solar cells. These solar cells need not be on our vehicles, but in a generation station which is not so much subject to vagaries of nature = clouds, dust storms. eg Sahara desert.

4. The other means of electricity/power are not being explored because the current fossil fuels are still pretty in expensive. However, as they get depleted (and human population keeps exploding) - the supply-demand equation will be skewed to demand - which will raise the prices.
And then probably these economically un-viable resources will become viable?

So why not try starting now?

In any case, my post was about Electric Traction, and I rest my case that nothing can beat electric traction in terms of efficiency of energy conversion, starting torque characteristics, noise and vibration levels and maintenance.

No reciprocation to rotation conversions, no gears and transmission complexities required (except of course the engage-disengage clutch mechanism).

Last edited by alpha1 : 4th August 2011 at 11:32.
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Old 4th August 2011, 11:38   #32
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

Anyone who knows anything about motoring knows that Electric cars are not the future. They are just not feasible in terms of practicality in the terms of tech that they are in today. Maybe 10 years from now we will have better batteries or whatever. I agree with the view though that hydrogen is the future. Also, the news article that says Nissan was not happy was printed in the Sun newspaper who have nothing better to print anyways. It is the equivalent of Aaj Tak in the UK with more tabloid stories than real news. They have something bad to say about top gear every monday. Nothing new in it. The Top gear review was completely spot on in every single aspect!
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Old 4th August 2011, 11:46   #33
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

I think Clarkson will not have to worry about living in the future. Hydrogen being carried on board vehicles again fuelling electric motors could be the future. Auto companies are trying different options and trying to overcome challenges in them. Atleast the vehicles themselves spewing pollutants will not be part of the future.
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Old 4th August 2011, 12:28   #34
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Smile Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

Just happened to see the Top gear on BBC yesterday where Jeremy Clarkson driving the Nissan Leaf said that the electric cars are not the future. This was out of sheer frustration of
1) Running out of the battery charge
2) not finding easy recharging points (ther were seraching the whole of Lincoln town in UK)
3) Took 13 hrs to charge from dead to full.

However Clarkson was full praise for the Leaf for its space, NVH, boot size etc. When the infrastructure for the electric car viability is not established in the country like UK, India can wait for another 10yrs or so for it to be successful.

In comparison James May was driving a Puegot Ion which costed more than the Leaf (33K GBP) and had the same issues as it. Above that the car had even less fetures than the Leaf like the SatNav etc.
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Old 4th August 2011, 13:28   #35
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
1. I hope you don't mean that we continue with fossil fuels forever (actually while they last)

2. Not really.
Even with the current limited status of nuclear power - most of the industrialized nations have upto 40% of electricity generated from nuclear fuels.

And we have not yet managed to harness the thermonuclear reactions.
Once that happens, I guess we shall be in a position to become fully dependent on it.

3. Yet. I did say about increasing efficiency of solar cells. These solar cells need not be on our vehicles, but in a generation station which is not so much subject to vagaries of nature = clouds, dust storms. eg Sahara desert.

4. The other means of electricity/power are not being explored because the current fossil fuels are still pretty in expensive. However, as they get depleted (and human population keeps exploding) - the supply-demand equation will be skewed to demand - which will raise the prices.
And then probably these economically un-viable resources will become viable?

So why not try starting now?

In any case, my post was about Electric Traction, and I rest my case that nothing can beat electric traction in terms of efficiency of energy conversion, starting torque characteristics, noise and vibration levels and maintenance.

No reciprocation to rotation conversions, no gears and transmission complexities required (except of course the engage-disengage clutch mechanism).
I am not saying that we need to forget about generating electricity from renewable sources. Even if we can develop electric cars using batteries etc. as of now it makes more sense to decrease the pressure of generating electricity for usage in cars. We are going to need lots of nuclear, wind, solar and whatever else we can get our hands on to be generating electricty even if we didnt need to run our cars off it.

Replacing fossil fuel in cars is a massive challenge. Something which electricity generation can definitely do without. Especially when you have fuel cell technologies which seem much better suited to personal mobility than electricity.

Remember I am not saying no to electric traction, just no to battery powered electric cars.
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Old 6th August 2011, 11:02   #36
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

This is interesting. Nissan is funding an electric vehicle charging point in Lincoln, following criticism on Top Gear about the lack of an EV charging infrastructure. Here is the full article:
Nissan response to Top Gear: free EV plug - *Car news - latest news stories - MSN Cars UK

So the episode was indeed beneficial for Lincoln residents
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Old 6th August 2011, 13:00   #37
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Red face Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
This is interesting. Nissan is funding an electric vehicle charging point in Lincoln, following criticism on Top Gear about the lack of an EV charging infrastructure. Here is the full article:
Nissan response to Top Gear: free EV plug - *Car news - latest news stories - MSN Cars UK

So the episode was indeed beneficial for Lincoln residents
Thats good news for the people of Lincoln but there is not a single electirc car sold in Lincoln as of now. If there would have been some sales, then this infrastructure would have ben provided quite early by Nissan.

Even in London city the no of charging points is very few.
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Old 6th August 2011, 18:02   #38
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

Have to side with Top Gear on this one .. they simply mentioned the obvious problems about the electric cars, that refueling/recharging takes half a day.

P.s. Arent swappable battery packs a better idea? Drive to your charging station, swap your depleted battery pack for a charged one. Drive away.
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Old 6th August 2011, 19:19   #39
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

I never took this seriously just as I didn't the M3 Vs. Prius Fuel economy segment a few seasons back. This is an entertainment show people.
I can see though why Nissan would be upset.
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Old 6th August 2011, 19:20   #40
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

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Originally Posted by AbhiJ View Post
Have to side with Top Gear on this one .. they simply mentioned the obvious problems about the electric cars, that refueling/recharging takes half a day.

P.s. Arent swappable battery packs a better idea? Drive to your charging station, swap your depleted battery pack for a charged one. Drive away.
sirji, thats is a 3G idea!!
if no one has thought about this, i think you should definitely file some sort of IPR on this.
its a simple, and simply brilliant solution.
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Old 6th August 2011, 19:42   #41
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

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sirji, thats is a 3G idea!!
if no one has thought about this, i think you should definitely file some sort of IPR on this.
its a simple, and simply brilliant solution.
Idea has been conceived and is being implemented as we read this thread. See link for further details.
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Old 6th August 2011, 19:48   #42
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

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I am not saying that we need to forget about generating electricity from renewable sources. Even if we can develop
Remember I am not saying no to electric traction, just no to battery powered electric cars.

Can you please provide some pointers to any info source detailing information on practical implementation of fuel cells beyond pilot projects ?
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Old 6th August 2011, 20:06   #43
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

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Can you please provide some pointers to any info source detailing information on practical implementation of fuel cells beyond pilot projects ?
Fuel Cell cars have been made by many top manufacturers. But to my knowledge only one is on sale, the Honda FCX Clarity.
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Old 6th August 2011, 20:22   #44
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

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Fuel Cell cars have been made by many top manufacturers. But to my knowledge only one is on sale, the Honda FCX Clarity.
Allow me to quote a portion of a wikipedia write up on the car WRT to it's availability

"The FCX Clarity is currently available for lease in the U.S., Japan and Europe. In the U.S., it is only available to customers who live in Southern California where "fast-fill" hydrogen stations are available. As of 2010, 20 FCX Clarity are leased for US$600 a month which includes collision coverage, maintenance, roadside assistance and hydrogen fuel. There are around 10 others on lease in Japan and another 10 in Europe. The number of fuel cell vehicles Honda can put on the road is significantly limited by the number of hydrogen stations the company can use. Two more stations will open in fall 2010 in Torrance, Calif., and in Newport Beach, Cali"

My point? The hydrogen infrastructure has been just around the corner for so long is not funny. While both of us agree on the desirability of EVs', fuel cells are just not happening because of the constraint on the hydrogen end. Battery powered EVs' are also not a solution which is truly optimal at the current point in time. However the promise is more on the battery side than the fuel cell side.

As an interim/stopgap measure series hybrids for people who do long distances or want that freedom in their vehicles is the way to go. For those who do not need large ranges pure EVs' are the solution ready for implementation. Battery chemistries involving Li are being worked on where the possibility of a 10 minute charge time could become a reality. That would essentially bring about a paradigm shift ( to use a hackneyed phrase) in the way EV's are viewed. In addition to this battery pack swap services are being implemented, so the more practical solutions are coming to the horizon on the battery side than the fuel cell side. I do agree that one revolutionary development with hydrogen storage and the game could change altogether.
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Old 6th August 2011, 21:13   #45
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Default Re: Clarkson upsets Nissan by saying electric cars are "not the future"

Well, which kind of technology is the future, only the future truly knows. As for which technology is more promising is a matter of conjecture.

But my point was never that we cant possibly develop battery powered cars in the future that will be practical enough. I never said that. Though I do happen to believe that hydrogen fuel cell cars have a better chance than batteries. We obviously need faster charging, high charge capacity, low volume and weight batteries, for a lot of reasons other than cars.

My point is, with the already massive explosion of the need of electricity with the development of the two most populous nations and the gargantuan future need with the (hopeful) development of the entire world, why do we want to pile on one of the worlds biggest energy consumption methods, that of cars and trucks, on electricity. Especially when we have a largely feasible method of using hydrogen fuel cells.
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