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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old June 28 2012, 06:14 AM   #1
Kruezerman
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The Future of Automobiles...

...is oddly enough coming from the US, and I love it. Seriously, Japan is giving us the Leaf and the plug in Prius, Europe is putting out the diesel versions of the S and E class, but the we are building electric cars that look and handle like cars.

Methinks that the age of the hippie-mobile are over.

*EDIT: I should clarify, the cars I mentioned above are cars that the Old World is making for sale in the US.

Last edited by Kruezerman; June 28 2012 at 06:21 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old June 28 2012, 10:29 AM   #2
C.E. Evans
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

It kind of matches a segment on the BBC version of Top Gear that I think was filmed in California, IIRC.
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Old June 28 2012, 01:16 PM   #3
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

Old news.
From 2009:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=369h-SEBXd8
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Old June 28 2012, 03:09 PM   #4
Saturn0660
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

The problem with cars like that is all you are doing is moving where it gets it's power from. So by not putting gas in it you are charging it over night using depending on where you live "dirty" power.
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Old June 28 2012, 03:33 PM   #5
MacLeod
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

True, the energy has to come from somewhere but not all energy you get from a socket at home is dirty, a percentage of it comes from clean renewables. The percentage of which should increase year on year.
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Old June 28 2012, 08:26 PM   #6
sojourner
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

Saturn0660 wrote: View Post
The problem with cars like that is all you are doing is moving where it gets it's power from. So by not putting gas in it you are charging it over night using depending on where you live "dirty" power.
At least by centralizing where the "power" is produced you can improve the clean efficiency through economies of scale in the short term and by replacing dirty plants with clean in the long term. Or would you rather just keep millions of ICE's on the road?

As for the Tesla S, it's really big advantage is charge time. They are claiming to be able to get %80 charge in like 20 minutes. If true, that's awesome. The problem with electrics has always been that you can't just "gas up" real quick for extend journeys. Nobody wants to wait all night just to recharge every 300 miles. But taking a 20 minute break every 240 miles? suddenly electric becomes viable for long distance. Now if they can just talk a line of gas stations to add recharge points - bam! wide spread adoption.

20 minutes is still not as fast as getting a tank full of gas, But it's close enough to get electrics from major inconvenience to minor inconvenience.
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Old June 29 2012, 05:46 PM   #7
Lindley
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

If you're driving over 200 miles, odds are you could use a 20 minute break about then anyway.
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Old June 29 2012, 05:58 PM   #8
Hound of UIster
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

There is also the self driving google car.
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Old June 29 2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

Why bother with "recharge" points?

For purely electric cars with respectable ranges, that model is not the best idea.

A better idea is to swap the entire battery with a fully recharged one, and let the facility recharge it and swap it for the next customer, etc.
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Old June 29 2012, 08:19 PM   #10
Lindley
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

Chaos Descending wrote: View Post
Why bother with "recharge" points?

For purely electric cars with respectable ranges, that model is not the best idea.

A better idea is to swap the entire battery with a fully recharged one, and let the facility recharge it and swap it for the next customer, etc.
A good idea, but not yet practical because I don't think we're at the point where electric car batteries can be standardized. They're still too much of an active research topic.

The liability issues if something goes wrong with a battery are unclear also. I'm sure the gas station doesn't want to be tangled up in that.
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Old June 29 2012, 09:21 PM   #11
Kruezerman
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

Chaos Descending wrote: View Post
Why bother with "recharge" points?

For purely electric cars with respectable ranges, that model is not the best idea.

A better idea is to swap the entire battery with a fully recharged one, and let the facility recharge it and swap it for the next customer, etc.
That sounds really impractical and cumbersome. The batteries are in the car and quite large at this time, they are also very expensive (I think around 5 or 6 grand).
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Old June 29 2012, 10:25 PM   #12
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

The cars of 30 or 40 years from now may burn something cleaner than gasoline, but the majority of them will still have Otto-cycle internal combustion engines. The ICE is a tried and proven technology that still has a lot of life left in it. Besides, there's no such thing as a stick shift in a hybrid or pure electric vehicle. And driving an automatic is boring.
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Old June 30 2012, 02:16 AM   #13
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

It's great to see the Tesla apparently doing well. I'd also love to see the American automobile industry surge again, obviously.

You think it looks a little like Ford's Evos concept, or am I imagining that?

Kruezerman wrote: View Post
Chaos Descending wrote: View Post
A better idea is to swap the entire battery with a fully recharged one, and let the facility recharge it and swap it for the next customer, etc.
That sounds really impractical and cumbersome. The batteries are in the car and quite large at this time, they are also very expensive (I think around 5 or 6 grand).
Yeah, the Tesla's battery weighs over a ton. Routine "swapping" wouldn't be real practical.
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Old June 30 2012, 05:11 AM   #14
sojourner
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

Chaos Descending wrote: View Post
Why bother with "recharge" points?

For purely electric cars with respectable ranges, that model is not the best idea.

A better idea is to swap the entire battery with a fully recharged one, and let the facility recharge it and swap it for the next customer, etc.
AS has been pointed out. no, that's not really a better idea. That's like asking everyone to switchout the empty gas tank in their car for a full one.

scotpens wrote: View Post
Besides, there's no such thing as a stick shift in a hybrid or pure electric vehicle.
Ahem.
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Old June 30 2012, 08:01 AM   #15
Kruezerman
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Re: The Future of Automobiles...

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
You think it looks a little like Ford's Evos concept, or am I imagining that?.
Which in turn looks like any Aston Martin put out right now. No, I see it too, a good aesthetic design is a good aesthetic design.

The new Fusions are gorgeous.
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