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Old 14th August 2009, 00:16   #1
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Smile Electric is the new Sexy

Electric cars are no longer the odd ones out at the car shows, forever relegated to the sidelines, the funny-looking boxy wonders everyone snickered at behind their backs, as if they were the village idiots at a country fair.

No, now they are the emerging stars, they are ones we are all looking at to save us from the impending doom brought about by a century of our own stupidity.

Sure, electric cars cannot yet accelerate like a Ferrari, reach the speeds of a Veyron or even roar like a Carerra GT, but they're getting there. Fast. Soon, the supercars of yore will be left eating the... well, water vapor.

In any case, most of the gas-guzzling wunderkinds were bought by rich old windbags, and the biggest rush they ever got from their toys was when they were rattling off the specs (and the mind-boggling prices they paid for them) to gaping PYT's.

Don't get me wrong, most of these electric cars can do 0-60 in under 5 seconds, but I am saying that is not the only excuse for their existence. And you better believe it, they come with specs even the PYT's will appreciate.

And boy, are they S-E-X-Y!!!




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Fisker Karma






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Dodge Zeo






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Venturi Fetish






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Tesla Roadster







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LCC Lightning






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Idea Era








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Dodge EV




Last edited by Rudra Sen : 14th August 2009 at 06:56.
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Old 14th August 2009, 00:35   #2
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What about the price? Hope you can get a TATA Nano kind of a car soon running electric drivetrain for our cities.
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Old 14th August 2009, 01:07   #3
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What about the price? Hope you can get a TATA Nano kind of a car soon running electric drivetrain for our cities.
These cars aren't really your average family cars, so they cost in the same range as the gasoline-powered sports cars of today. But yes, there are cheaper electric vehicles available, only they might look like the opposite of sexy!

As for TATA, they believe more in Hot Air than electricity!! Read this

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Old 14th August 2009, 01:51   #4
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Sweet looking cars! The Era reminds me of the Z4. The Karma's stunning!!
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Old 14th August 2009, 06:25   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinger View Post
But yes, there are cheaper electric vehicles available, only they might look like the opposite of sexy!
YXES?

Pure Electric may be coming but right now hybrids are making waves. The problems associated with electric need lot of ironing out including more efficient battery (and do we really know how polluting it is to make high efficiency batteries?), quick charge systems and also maybe improvement in solar generators.

No doubt the pictures and concepts shown are stunning.
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Old 14th August 2009, 11:59   #6
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I'd go for the Fisker, the Idea Institute or the Dodges any day of the week.

Who said you can't look sexy in green? Low running costs + scorching performance, perhaps this is the future even for motorsport!
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Old 14th August 2009, 12:43   #7
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Still issues with electric cars

Emissions are less but carbon footprint is not as low
The battery manufacturing and logisticis is a carbon hog
Power origins are still oil powered unless a hydro electric or nucliear plant is nearby
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Old 14th August 2009, 13:08   #8
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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Still issues with electric cars

Emissions are less but carbon footprint is not as low
The battery manufacturing and logisticis is a carbon hog
Power origins are still oil powered unless a hydro electric or nucliear plant is nearby
That is the ongoing debate. But as the electric car lobby would respond:

Power generation plants, even coal burning ones, are inherently more efficient and less polluting than vehicles due to economies of scale and the ability to more efficiently remove pollutants from a smaller number of much larger fixed locations.

Also, an electric car is far more efficient than a gasoline car, so the amount of pollution generated by producing the electricity to drive an EV a given distance is much less than the pollution from the gasoline to drive an internal combustion car the same distance. Whereas a combustion engine car – even those powered by hydrogen, ethanol, and biodiesel – can make use of around 20 percent of the energy that it consumes, a battery electric car is able to put more than 80 percent of the energy it consumes to use in moving the car down the road.

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Old 14th August 2009, 13:23   #9
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Sure they look great and they are very fast nowadays as well! But the sheer feeling u get in your gut when u rev an Internal Combustion Engine is something else! Although, the future is slowly moving towards alternate source of energy. But it will take time.
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Old 14th August 2009, 14:30   #10
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All electric cars available today in US or Europe is at least twice or more expensive than Gasoline/Diesel counterparts. The cheapest environment friendly cars today are hybrids and they are also 25% more expensive than the gasoline counterparts.
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Old 15th August 2009, 21:51   #11
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Originally Posted by Xinger View Post
That is the ongoing debate. But as the electric car lobby would respond:

Power generation plants, even coal burning ones, are inherently more efficient and less polluting than vehicles due to economies of scale and the ability to more efficiently remove pollutants from a smaller number of much larger fixed locations.

Also, an electric car is far more efficient than a gasoline car, so the amount of pollution generated by producing the electricity to drive an EV a given distance is much less than the pollution from the gasoline to drive an internal combustion car the same distance. Whereas a combustion engine car – even those powered by hydrogen, ethanol, and biodiesel – can make use of around 20 percent of the energy that it consumes, a battery electric car is able to put more than 80 percent of the energy it consumes to use in moving the car down the road.
The best efficiency you can get from a steam turbine in a power utility is about 60% (reheat turbines), while most power plants typically operate at about 50% efficiency (condensing turbines). While the typical operating thermal efficiency of a diesel engine is about 40%.

But you have to remember that 80% of the power in the world is produced from coal, and the trend will be similar in the future, as oil supplies become more and more depleted. Unless nuclear power really catches up, but then not everyone has the expertise or even the right sanctions to run a nuclear plant these days. And we all know that coal is way more polluting than gasoline, diesel or natural gas run engines. The only way around this is spending billions of dollars on carbon capture and sequestration, which is very short sighted IMO.

Not only does battery production increase the carbon footprint as ajmat mentioned, the additional infrastructure and capital needed to support the growing number of electric cars on the roads will simply outweigh the minor benefits (if any) of them. And that also adds to the initial high cost of these cars compared to traditional gas/diesel run cars.

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Old 15th August 2009, 22:56   #12
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Originally Posted by sujaylahiri View Post

Not only does battery production increase the carbon footprint as ajmat mentioned, the additional infrastructure and capital needed to support the growing number of electric cars on the roads will simply outweigh the minor benefits (if any) of them. And that also adds to the initial high cost of these cars compared to traditional gas/diesel run cars.
You mean we are really better off with gasoline, which, as I hope you are aware, is soon going to run out?

All cars anyways have batteries in them - Every gas-powered car in the world has a lead-acid battery, the most toxic metal used for batteries. EVs will use newer chemistries such as NiMH and LiIon. Both of these metals are inherently more valuable than lead, and since the batteries are quite large, the value of the spent battery packs will be such that the recycling rate will approach 100%.

The 'EV batteries have a big carbon footprint' issue was first bandied about by a CNW Marketing Study (which is not conducted by a scientific organization) on a Hummer vs a Toyota Prius, which concluded that a Prius will be more polluting over its lifespan!

This study has been debunked and disputed so many times that it is wildly considered false. CNW made random assumptions like: Hummers are driven 3x as much as Priuses over their lifespan. Another assumption was that EV batteries are (and always will be) made at the other end of the world, and their transportation by ship is what is supposed to result in their high carbon footprint.

There are also basic factual errors in the report, for example the CNW claim that the hybrid batteries are not recycled.

As EV's achieve economies of scale and production becomes more widespread, this issue becomes negligible. Also coal plants are on their way out, and cleaner sources like nuclear wind, solar power and hydro are on their way in.
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Old 16th August 2009, 03:44   #13
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You mean we are really better off with gasoline, which, as I hope you are aware, is soon going to run out?
What I mean is that we are better of with improving our gasoline and diesel run engines and reducing their carbon footprint. Significant research has already been done on Homogeneous Charge Compression Engines (HCCI) which have close to 50-55% thermal efficiency and will be the next step for us.
Homogeneous charge compression ignition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And as a long term goal, alternative fuels are being researched which can complement gasoline or diesel in internal combustion engines.

Quote:
As EV's achieve economies of scale and production becomes more widespread, this issue becomes negligible. Also coal plants are on their way out, and cleaner sources like nuclear wind, solar power and hydro are on their way in.
You're not really serious about this statement you made, are you?

How can you run a power utility solely on wind and solar power? When there's no wind or sunlight, who is going to power your cars? Most of these wind and solar power plants need expensive fossil fuel based backups.

And hydro and nuclear while being great alternatives also have their limitations. You can only build a hydroelectric plant on a fast flowing river and then again it destroys the marine ecosystem in that area. And I've already talked about nuclear plants before. Nuclear fuel and technology is difficult to acquire and they suffer from a lot of negative publicity due to the accidents in the past (Chernobyl).
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Old 16th August 2009, 08:40   #14
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,
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Originally Posted by sujaylahiri View Post
You're not really serious about this statement you made, are you?
Why would I not be serious? All I said was renewable energy utilization is increasing worldwide. This is also from wikipedia:

Quote:
Wind power is growing at the rate of 30 percent annually, with a worldwide installed capacity of 121,000 megawatts (MW) in 2008, and is widely used in European countries and the United States.The annual manufacturing output of the photovoltaics industry reached 6,900 MW in 2008, and photovoltaic (PV) power stations are popular in Germany and Spain. Solar thermal power stations operate in the USA and Spain, and the largest of these is the 354 MW SEGS power plant in the Mojave Desert. The world's largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California, with a rated capacity of 750 MW.

Climate-change concerns, coupled with high oil prices, peak oil, and increasing government support, are driving increasing renewable-energy legislation, incentives and commercialization.

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Wind power usage worldwide
So as you can see, I was perfectly serious, and what is more, I was factually correct.

As for HCCI, it still uses gasoline, which is no longer sustainable as a energy source, even if we never run out of it. So it's rather like



HCCI has been around since the 1970's and is still not ready. How many HCCI engines are there in production vehicles? None. By the time technology is ready, it will already be redundant. Even if it is perfected in super-quick time, it is at best a stop-gap arrangement.

Quote:
And as a long term goal, alternative fuels are being researched which can complement gasoline or diesel in internal combustion engines.
So the 100+ year old internal combustion engine, running on petrol and diesel (mixed with x, y or whatever) is still the long-term solution for the future? Dude, you do realise you are now living in the year 2009 and not 1909? Wake up, the whole world around you has moved on!!
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Old 16th August 2009, 09:37   #15
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Originally Posted by Xinger View Post
,

Why would I not be serious? All I said was renewable energy utilization is increasing worldwide. This is also from wikipedia:

So as you can see, I was perfectly serious, and what is more, I was factually correct.

As for HCCI, it still uses gasoline, which is no longer sustainable as a energy source, even if we never run out of it. So it's rather like



HCCI has been around since the 1970's and is still not ready. How many HCCI engines are there in production vehicles? None. By the time technology is ready, it will already be redundant. Even if it is perfected in super-quick time, it is at best a stop-gap arrangement.

So the 100+ year old internal combustion engine, running on petrol and diesel (mixed with x, y or whatever) is still the long-term solution for the future? Dude, you do realise you are now living in the year 2009 and not 1909? Wake up, the whole world around you has moved on!!
I don't want to go any more off-topic in this thread, but the gist of my posts so far is that by switching to electric powered cars, you're only moving the fossil fuel emission source from the personal automobile to the utility power plant.

And utility power plants will continue to use fossil fuels for the next 80-100 years, because they can. And it is also the most economical option. Why do you think India and China still refuse to commit to mandatory emission reduction goals, because they're gonna be using coal for a very long time.

And let me give you a little reality check here, wind, solar and biofuels account for less than 2% as the world's power sources, and even with your 30% growth rate, will be minuscule compared to fossil and nuclear fuels in the future.

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Sure it sounds great discussing hybrids and battery powered cars for the future sitting in a green cafe in California, but the reality is far from it.

Germany and the rest of Europe can invest as much as they want in wind and solar power, but nothing's gonna change unless the "big boys" do anything. And right now, the "big boys" have their hands full with coal and nuclear plants, and it ain't gonna change anytime soon. You can only hope that they can clean up their act and improve on their emissions.

Last edited by sujaylahiri : 16th August 2009 at 09:41.
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