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Comment count is 22
HarrietTubmanPI - 2010-02-26

Electric cars - wonderful for short distances, terrible for long ones.

Plus, are there any studies of how much coal has to be burned to produce enough electricity for a charge? I mean here we're on hydroelectric and nuclear but not everywhere is so lucky.

fatatty - 2010-02-26

Batteries are getting longer-lasting and smaller and there are some that charge in under 20 minutes. So at some point we will probably have refueling stations that makes long distance traveling viable.

We are also at the same time finding new ways to produce energy and replace coal so there's no reason to stop developing electric cars until that happens. It will be much better to have well developed electric cars for the grid of the future.

HarrietTubmanPI - 2010-02-26

I just worry about the coal factor. It would be nice to have a quick charging electric car with zero emissions but we at the same time have to move away from coal. I know a lot of people will be fighting that tooth and nail though.

Vaidency - 2010-02-26

There's a documentary floating around called Fuel I think that goes into that question, and concludes that even if you get your electicity from a coal-burning plant, it's still substancially less CO2 generated than using a gasoline engine.

Potrod - 2010-02-26

I've read somewhere that some electric cars get some sort of gasoline equivalent like 30 cents a gallon. I have no idea how they calculated that, but the impression I have is that electric cars are more efficient than gasoline cars from an energy standpoint.

At any rate, apparently 30% of the electricity generated in the US is carbon-free (21% nuclear, 9% renewable), so overall it's going to be that much less polluting (though it varies depending on location).

They really need to ditch coal altogether. Fuck coal. If France can generate 76% of their electricity from nuclear plants, I don't see why we can't get 40% or something.

Also an interesting idea for "refueling" stations is, rather than sit there waiting for your car to recharge, go to a battery changing station and just swap out the entire battery.

baleen - 2010-02-26

Nuclear is not completely carbon neutral.
Also, despite what pro-nuclear advocates say, there is a limit to the amount of high grade uranium on the planet and most of it is in places that we probably do not want to get involved with. Do we really want to tear up half of Namibia for a few KT of uranium? We also would be relying on foreign powers for virtually all of our uranium. Even if it's only Russia, Canada (the world's top reactor grade uranium exporter) and Australia, we still don't want to rely on these people for our energy (thus catering to their political whims).

We can "ditch coal," but ditching it immediately would cause adverse side effects for economies across the world. For poor countries without access to new technology, coal provides an immediate boost to their energy demands. It is easy to transport and plentiful. What there should be is a phasing out of coal over several decades accompanied by investments in easily developed technologies such as nanowire solar cells and methane hydrate extraction.

fluffy - 2010-02-26

The great thing about electric cars is that electricity is much more fungible than other forms of power storage. Whatever energy goes into producing the electricity doesn't matter. An electric car benefits (by merit of being completely unaffected) by a complete change in the underlying source of electricity.

In the short term the obvious question is whether gas is worse than the coal used to generate the equivalent electrical energy, but also keep in mind that with a coal plant, the emissions are centralized and have much more infrastructure for cleaning/sequestering those emissions, compared to gasoline where you have a whole bunch of miniature kinetic energy plants zipping around on the streets everywhere.

StanleyPain - 2010-02-26

Another thing most people like to overlook about assuming that nuclear plants are so awesome is the waste. I don't know about you, but I am really not very comfortable with storing millions of gallons of nuclear waste in some cavern someplace and assuming that everything will go to plan for the next 500 years.

chairsforcheap - 2010-02-27


ItsAboutTime - 2010-02-27

Let's also not forget about the materials required for all the batteries, and also having to dispose of those (we have Africa for that!).
Getting of oil is a good thing though, with electricity generation we can be much more creative, in the end there will always be some way to get electricity, getting oil is another question.

Camonk - 2010-02-26

"even though"?!

Daddy Warcrimes - 2010-02-26

Five stars for evil enough. They've (supposedly) been on the cusp of production for more than 2 years, but keep mysteriously delaying, and the original founder was booted out. Sooner or later, the venture capital is going to be gone, with only a dusting of cocaine in its wake.

kingarthur - 2010-02-26

Yeah, you are unfortunately probably right.

Johnny Roastbeef - 2010-02-26

How about, they're delayed because if you so much as drive within 6 inches of a pothole in this, it will kill you faster than a Ford Pinto.

Electric cars may certainly be the future of travel, but until they improve the technology sufficiently to make "regular" cars that happen to run on an electric motor, you won't see them on the road. It's not a conspiracy, it's the fact that people want a safe, practical automobile, as opposed to some sort of retarded half-spaceship.

kingarthur - 2010-02-26

Good on you, Aptera, but can I get one with a little storage or room for at least two more friends (even though, as an American I rarely have more than one other person in the car at the time)?

Also, the problem of fishtailing encountered during the streamlined decade on tripod vehicles was not sufficiently addressed, I think.

Still, I'd drive one.

Chibisuke - 2010-02-26

They have to make it a tripod. By making it a tripod, they only have to adhere to motorcycle safety laws. This costs almost nothing. Conversely, to give it four wheels it would have to go through millions of dollars worth of rigorous safety testing, and have all the safety shit modern cars do, like airbags.

kingarthur - 2010-02-27

And I am now enlightened. Thank you.

MrBuddy - 2010-02-27

No one brought up the problem of sticker shock?

GravidWithHate - 2010-02-26

Does this remind anyone else of the Dymaxion car?

retrocious - 2010-02-26

What they don't tell you is that there's no way to turn off the trance music while the motor is running.

BHWW - 2010-02-26

It should make that sound the flying cars in the Jetsons made.

memedumpster - 2010-02-27

This is the exact opposite of a battle mech.

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