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Why current Electric Motors in cars is not the answer.

CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,246

I am getting tired of people spouting how they are saving the planet by getting an electric car.  They aren't saving anything, they are making it worse.  Electric powered automobiles that require an external energy source will never be as efficient as a vehicle with its own power plant.  It is physically impossible due to energy loss.

Its basic physics. Whenever you transfer energy from 1 medium to another or over distances energy will be used moving the electricity.  The shear amount of steps getting electricity from the power plant to the vehicle makes it an idiotic method for powering a vehicle.  You create the energy at the plant, transfer it across miles of electrical wire and infrastructure, eventually bringing the energy to your home.  This process could have massive loss of energy depending on the infrastructure.  At your home it then is transfered across your homes grid, to the outlet, across the wire, into the car, and into the batteries.  This process including the batteries is atleast a 50% drop in energy.  From here it can be used to power the engine.  Sure the remaining power might be 90~98% effecient in moving the vehicle, but you are looking at less then 10% efficiency getting it into the batteries.

This is why a combustion or fuel-cell engine based vehicle is simply superior.  You are looking at 18~20%+ efficiency transfering the energy into moving the vehicle.  With an electric not only are you getting a worse to drive vehicle, you are also consuming a monumental amount of energy to get that vehicle to move.

Comments

  • AevenathAevenath Member UncommonPosts: 115

    But gas guzzling cars produce evil emissions that destroy the ozone and cause global warming!

    Even though the "experts" on global warming have been caught lying about the current state of global warming, if it even exists.

    But we must believe them! I'm going to go buy an electric car right now!

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,246

    I did forget to mention how an electric grid works which makes some of my point hard to gather the effect of. Energy companies supply electricity based on a projection of use and any electricity not used is essentially wasted.

  • TheHatterTheHatter Member Posts: 2,547

    When I was little, I can remember them talking about Electric Cars and I can remember thinking "That's pretty stupid".

    10-15yrs later or w/e.... Electric Cars haven't gone any further.

  • nurglesnurgles Member Posts: 840


    Originally posted by Cleffy
    This is why a combustion or fuel-cell engine based vehicle is simply superior.  You are looking at 70%+ efficiency transfering the energy into moving the vehicle. 


    wiki
    Most steel engines have a thermodynamic limit of 37%. Even when aided with turbochargers and stock efficiency aids, most engines retain an average efficiency of about 18%-20%.[12][13]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_combustion_engine#Energy_efficiency

    Not sure where you got your numbers but I am guessing that it was from somewhere that the sun doesn't shine.

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,246

    I made up my numbers because I didn't really feel like looking up how efficient power plants are.  I just wanted to illustrate my point Electric Cars powered by a plug simply will never work.  Thanks for looking up the number for a combustion engine, now I will correct it.

  • bhugbhug Member UncommonPosts: 944


    Originally posted by Cleffy
    I am getting tired of people spouting how they are saving the planet by getting an electric car.  They aren't saving anything, they are making it worse.  Electric powered automobiles that require an external energy source will never be as efficient as a vehicle with its own power plant.  It is physically impossible due to energy loss.
    Its basic physics. Whenever you transfer energy from 1 medium to another or over distances energy will be used moving the electricity.  The shear amount of steps getting electricity from the power plant to the vehicle makes it an idiotic method for powering a vehicle.  You create the energy at the plant, transfer it across miles of electrical wire and infrastructure, eventually bringing the energy to your home.  This process could have massive loss of energy depending on the infrastructure.  At your home it then is transfered across your homes grid, to the outlet, across the wire, into the car, and into the batteries.  This process including the batteries is atleast a 50% drop in energy.  From here it can be used to power the engine.  Sure the remaining power might be 90~98% effecient in moving the vehicle, but you are looking at less then 10% efficiency getting it into the batteries.
    This is why a combustion or fuel-cell engine based vehicle is simply superior.  You are looking at 18~20%+ efficiency transfering the energy into moving the vehicle.  With an electric not only are you getting a worse to drive vehicle, you are also consuming a monumental amount of energy to get that vehicle to move.

    10.1.28
    Since the cited "drop in energy" values are not common knowledge and you did not mention 'i guess' where exactly did you get those values? since they seem to be the major evidence you use to base the thread on and therefore how using electric vehicles "are making it worse."

    Modern internal combustion gasoline engines (ICE) have an average efficiency of about 20% to 30% (i.e. and only about 25% of energy moves the vehicle). Diesels, are able to reach an efficiency of about 40%.

    If your electric car (EV aka Electric Vehicle) is recharged from your own windmill, the efficiency can be as much as 80%, but if power station losses and grid losses are also included that may drop to as much as 28%. Still better than the petrol car though.

    EVs have no tail pipe and emit no polluting gasses when driven, but they can increase load on the grid, which in turn causes more emissions at polluting power plants. ref

    Conclusion:
    With their greatly increased energy efficiency and their ability to be powered from green energy sources, EVs offer significant long-term environmental benefits. Replacing ICE vehicles with EVs powered from the current US electric grid has immediate considerable upside on average, and huge benefits in regions with electric grids that take advantage of green energy sources (e.g. the US west coast). As the grid moves toward greener energy (wind, solar, geothermal, even nuclear), EVs get progressively cleaner while ICE vehicles just get dirtier with age.

    Hybrid electric vehicle research paper (pdf).

    edit
    PS
    when you offer "Its estimated there is a..." you need to cite who did that estimate and link the source,
    (since as with the examples from NASA, NOAA, or the IPCC intentionally misrepresenting climate data or also just making stuff up, to support their biased and prejudiced arguments;)
    it gives credibility to your presentation.

    image

  • nurglesnurgles Member Posts: 840


    Originally posted by Cleffy
    I made up my numbers because I didn't really feel like looking up how efficient power plants are.  I just wanted to illustrate my point Electric Cars powered by a plug simply will never work.  Thanks for looking up the number for a combustion engine, now I will correct it.

    so you made up the numbers to support your 'common sense' argument that using the electricity grid is obviously more inefficient than using a localized source of fuel.


    Originally posted by Cleffy
    Its basic physics.
    i think your appeal to scientific authority falls over when you say, "i made up the numbers".

    then you called any disagreement idiots.

    <sigh>
    You also completely ignore the existing distribution costs for normal cars, and advantages like regenerative breaking.

    If you want to push an anti-electric car agenda, you are better off going after batteries themselves, production costs, efficiency, weight, life times rather than the distribution network.

    Especially when you can generate electricity of site (solar panel on your house, car parking garage near your work etc..)

    I am glad though that you make some concessions regarding fuel cells as an alternative, but again you can go after the substantial problem of hydrogen storage and distribution which are difficult problems.

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,246

    You are talking about getting energy from an external source which is why it will always be ineffecient.  You can keep saying stuff like its drive train is so effecient, but it doesn't stop the fact that the electricity still must be generated somehow, get to your car, and be stored in a battery.  I will try to examine each point more in depth then I did in my original post since you are calling me out on numbers.

    Step 1.  Electricity is generated from a power plant.  Coal has an average 31% effeciency; Nuclear has a 30~32% effeciency; Oil has a 36~40% effeciency, Natural Gas has a 60% efficiency.  The energy coefficient on Solar and Wind power is too subpar to be significantly used as an energy source.  Renewable sources represent 3.6% of total electricity generation.  On average there is a 33% energy effeciency for power plants generating electricity in the US.

    Step 2. Electricity is loaded onto a grid.  Its estimated there is a loss of 9.8% energy in this transfer.

    Step 3. It is transfered from the grid to your car's battery.  12% energy loss from charging.

    Step 4. The battery discharges electric energy transfering it into mechanical energy.  90% effeciency base.

    Now lets examine the total effeciency with all the actual steps in generating the power and turning it into mechanical energy.

    1. 90% Transfer electricity into Mechanical Energy.
    2. 79% after energy loss from recharging battery.
    3. 71% after energy loss getting energy through an average grid.
    4. 24% after energy is created at an average power plant.

    As a baseline thats more of an optimal outcome, this is also an Electric Car.  Not a truck or SUV.  When comparing just cars here are the numbers on effeciency of vehicles with internal powerplants.

    • Hydrogen.  Using methods for traping heat, it is possible to get near 100% efficiency with a Fuel Cell Vehicle converting Hydrogen into Mechanical Energy.  This effeciency is dropped to 77% when you factor in the process of compressing hydrogen.
    • Diesel.  Diesel can achieve 49% energy efficiency, while having a more common 43%.
    • Petroleum.  Cars range from 24% in common cars to 32% in sports and race cars.  Some current engines can get close to 40% efficiency using other methods to transfer and recycle energy.

    The last thing to consider is that a car is burning the 2nd highest energy coefficient fuel source oil which generates more energy in combustion then either coal or natural gas, and significantly more energy then can be generated using natural forces.  The problem with an electric car is very simple, you have to convert energy into electricty then you have to convert electricity into mechanical energy.  Internal power plant's skip a step, depending how effecient you can make an internal power plant you are always going to get a better result when there are less chances to lose energy in transfer.

  • bezadobezado Member UncommonPosts: 1,127

    Cleffy don't quit your day time job.

    18~20%+ efficiency transfering the energy into moving the vehicle.   LOL what are you talking about, a gas engine is no way 18 to 20% efficient then a electric engine. Electric engine is almost always near 90-98% efficiency , where all the energy being used is used rather then a gas engine where typically 20-35% ratings by the TDER.

    Maybe do your research. A gas engine needs to run always even at stop while a electric engine stops when you stop. Right now we use more energy charging cell phones and other plugin devices then we would by just charging a car over night, a new improved battery system they are working on takes a 4hr charge which can power a electric motor for a car up to 300 miles before the next charge.

    Battery tech is evolving rapidly and it wont be long before we see a 500 mile on 1 charge, who travels more then 50 miles to work and back, you still got plenty of juice to go further and a gas engine takes more energy to produce the fuel that goes into it then what a normal electric car today takes to charge in all of 8 hrs!

  • vinwieselvinwiesel Member Posts: 114

    1970's

    "Battery tech is evolving rapidly and it wont be long before we see a 500 mile on 1 charge"

    1980's

    "Battery tech is evolving rapidly and it wont be long before we see a 500 mile on 1 charge"

    "1990's"

    "Battery tech is evolving rapidly and it wont be long before we see a 500 mile on 1 charge"

    2000's

    "Battery tech is evolving rapidly and it wont be long before we see a 500 mile on 1 charge"

    2010

    "Battery tech is evolving rapidly and it wont be long before we see a 500 mile on 1 charge"

  • IhmoteppIhmotepp Member Posts: 14,495
    Originally posted by Cleffy


    I am getting tired of people spouting how they are saving the planet by getting an electric car.  They aren't saving anything, they are making it worse.  Electric powered automobiles that require an external energy source will never be as efficient as a vehicle with its own power plant.  It is physically impossible due to energy loss.
    Its basic physics. Whenever you transfer energy from 1 medium to another or over distances energy will be used moving the electricity.  The shear amount of steps getting electricity from the power plant to the vehicle makes it an idiotic method for powering a vehicle.  You create the energy at the plant, transfer it across miles of electrical wire and infrastructure, eventually bringing the energy to your home.  This process could have massive loss of energy depending on the infrastructure.  At your home it then is transfered across your homes grid, to the outlet, across the wire, into the car, and into the batteries.  This process including the batteries is atleast a 50% drop in energy.  From here it can be used to power the engine.  Sure the remaining power might be 90~98% effecient in moving the vehicle, but you are looking at less then 10% efficiency getting it into the batteries.
    This is why a combustion or fuel-cell engine based vehicle is simply superior.  You are looking at 18~20%+ efficiency transfering the energy into moving the vehicle.  With an electric not only are you getting a worse to drive vehicle, you are also consuming a monumental amount of energy to get that vehicle to move.

     

    Oil is finite. Oil revenues fund terrorist activities. Buying oil sends money out of the US economy to a foreign economy.

    If you have abundant electricity that doesn't have these disadvantages, why would you care about the efficiency?

    What difference would the efficiency rating make? Why would I care if it's 90% or 1%?

    Either it's affordable or it's not.

    If it's affordable, the efficiency rating is moot.

    The range problem  can be solved with interchangeable batteries.

    All  cars adopt a standard battery. You roll up to a changing station, put in a credit card, and without even getting out of the car your dead batter is swapped out for a fresh battery.

    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/05/better-place/

    That gizmo swaps out your battery faster than you can fill up a tank of gas.

    Hook this station up to a Nuclear power plant, and off you go.

    And the Nuke plant doesn't have to be miles away:

    This plant could actually be right there at the changing station:

    http://www.hyperionpowergeneration.com/

    Look, no miles of wires.

     

    image

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,246

    The problem with a Nuclear powered recharging station is that... its nuclear powered.  With Nuclear you have the highest energy co-efficient fuel source.  Because of its ability to generate heat its difficult to fully extract that energy.  So you come out with a less efficient source of energy then oil.  The reason why you can get 30% efficiency at a Nuclear Power Plant is because the size allows it to capture more of the energy.  However, when you apply it to something that is relatively smaller then a Nuclear Facility you are going to have a less efficient means of energy extraction.

    This is why electric vehicles have a hope of being more efficient then internal combustion engine.  They can get there energy from a much larger power plant.  This all still doesn't compare to hydrogen as I mentioned above at 77% efficiency from fuel source transfered to wheels.  It also comes with a better range, better performance, and better waste then the current electric vehicles.

  • bezadobezado Member UncommonPosts: 1,127
    Originally posted by Cleffy


    The problem with a Nuclear powered recharging station is that... its nuclear powered.  With Nuclear you have the highest energy co-efficient fuel source.  Because of its ability to generate heat its difficult to fully extract that energy.  So you come out with a less efficient source of energy then oil.  The reason why you can get 30% efficiency at a Nuclear Power Plant is because the size allows it to capture more of the energy.  However, when you apply it to something that is relatively smaller then a Nuclear Facility you are going to have a less efficient means of energy extraction.
    This is why electric vehicles have a hope of being more efficient then internal combustion engine.  They can get there energy from a much larger power plant.  This all still doesn't compare to hydrogen as I mentioned above at 77% efficiency from fuel source transfered to wheels.  It also comes with a better range, better performance, and better waste then the current electric vehicles.

     

    A bunch of BS.

  • vinwieselvinwiesel Member Posts: 114

    It is very rare that something "green" actually is what it is hyped up to be.  Take the Prius for example.  In order to make up the amount of additional resources that go into producing the hybrid, you need to drive it more than 300k miles before you save enough gas to equal a standard economy car.  Even then, it has hazardous batteries that must be disposed of, and that required exotic materials to produce resulting in toxic contamination in developing nations.  A traditional car may use a little more gas, but at least It doesn't create a strip mine in south america.  Plus, it doesn't take $5,000 in tax payer money to subsidize a standard car.

    You can't force a technology to exist, no matter how much you want it to.  Once the batteries, windmills, solar panels etc are advanced enough they will be utilized.  If you try to force them on the public before they're ready, you'll end up with another disaster like ethanol. 

    If you want to help the environment, abolish the united auto workers union.  Without them, car companies could actually afford to produce cheap little economy cars. 

  • bezadobezado Member UncommonPosts: 1,127
    Originally posted by vinwiesel


    It is very rare that something "green" actually is what it is hyped up to be.  Take the Prius for example.  In order to make up the amount of additional resources that go into producing the hybrid, you need to drive it more than 300k miles before you save enough gas to equal a standard economy car.  Even then, it has hazardous batteries that must be disposed of, and that required exotic materials to produce resulting in toxic contamination in developing nations.  A traditional car may use a little more gas, but at least It doesn't create a strip mine in south america.  Plus, it doesn't take $5,000 in tax payer money to subsidize a standard car.
    You can't force a technology to exist, no matter how much you want it to.  Once the batteries, windmills, solar panels etc are advanced enough they will be utilized.  If you try to force them on the public before they're ready, you'll end up with another disaster like ethanol. 
    If you want to help the environment, abolish the united auto workers union.  Without them, car companies could actually afford to produce cheap little economy cars. 

     

    Cell phones kill more people a year then what this would kill. Do you even know how much precious metals go into a cell phone? Many African people die due to the slave labor to get it so you can text relentlessly. And no it isn't gold or platinum but a more rarer element cell phones use, you can research it.

     

    BTW electric cars are more expensive because of production costs where you produce less but have more technological equipment being used to create them, not to mention demand isn't all that high. They only have demand because of the limited amount of orders they put out that they can create. If they stopped all gas producing cars and did electric only it would be just like gas in terms of production and probably cost less.

    Your thinking Hybrid technology in your statement, not at all like electric 100% car that most are talking about.

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,246
    Originally posted by bezado


    Cleffy don't quit your day time job.
    18~20%+ efficiency transfering the energy into moving the vehicle.   LOL what are you talking about, a gas engine is no way 18 to 20% efficient then a electric engine. Electric engine is almost always near 90-98% efficiency , where all the energy being used is used rather then a gas engine where typically 20-35% ratings by the TDER.
    Maybe do your research. A gas engine needs to run always even at stop while a electric engine stops when you stop. Right now we use more energy charging cell phones and other plugin devices then we would by just charging a car over night, a new improved battery system they are working on takes a 4hr charge which can power a electric motor for a car up to 300 miles before the next charge.
    Battery tech is evolving rapidly and it wont be long before we see a 500 mile on 1 charge, who travels more then 50 miles to work and back, you still got plenty of juice to go further and a gas engine takes more energy to produce the fuel that goes into it then what a normal electric car today takes to charge in all of 8 hrs!



     

    Uhh, electricity doesn't work like that.  If you have your electric car turned on, it will always consume electricity.  This is true with any DC electric device.  If you have electricty running to it even when its turned off, it still consumes some electricity depending on application.  Such as if you hit the power button on your monitor, but its still connected to the wall outlet it will consume some electricity.

    The way around this is by cutting the connection with a physical switch that moves the wire so it doesn't connect to your device.  Like a surge protector that you flick the switch on.  With an AC connection its either fully on or fully off.  So unless you are turning off the motor completely to your car, you aren't conserving electricity while idle.  I can do the same with a combustion engine and wham I am not burning any gas.

    The problem I find most prevalent with full electric cars is they rely on the plug.  You have to charge it which takes a good portion of the day, and the vehicle isn't in use while charging.  Its either a slow charge or an ineffecient fast charge.  Or you replace several hundred pounds of batteries every few hundred miles.  Also their performance is just so crap and is dependant on the charge within the vehicle.  If its low on juice it performs worse, and if you drove an oil powered modern sedan limited the same way as an electric car you will be getting close to or over 40mpg.  Lastly every step you take away from a power source, the more energy you lose.  Thats just basic.  Even though each step in a near direct path is about a 10% loss, it adds up.

    This is why I don't like the implementation of plugging it in and why these types of cars will never catch on.  I am not against making cars more effecient with Hybrid vehicles and better materials.  I am not against electric motors with the Hydrogen powered vehicles.  I am against cars without their own power plant.

    What would the point of a car you only drive to and from work be?  The point of a car is to drive it over vast distances that are hard to get public transportation to and to enjoy.

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