Electrics in the Real World

Electrics in the Real World http://tinyurl.com/4vxcvtl
PLUGGING in to refuel, rather than topping off a tank, is a new reality addressed in the displays of many automakers at this year’s North
American International Auto Show.
The plugs, cords and charging units meant to replenish the batteries of purely electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are prominent among the carmakers’ displays here, offering a preview of how car companies will prepare their customers for the 21st-century equivalent of the gasoline pump.
Though driving distance on a full charge continued to be a prime talking point at each new model introduction, the news conferences during the press preview days last week also gave considerable attention to recharge times and crash safety of electric vehicles.
Ford Motor, which displayed its pure-electric Focus here, was among the makers working to shorten recharge times. Sherif Marakby, director of electrification engineering, said the company’s vehicles would charge in about half the time needed by cars like the Volt or Nissan Leaf — a feat made possible by an onboard 6.6-kilowatt charger and by work the company had done to ensure that its charging cycle would not damage the battery.
Ford says its battery pack will be good for at least 10 years and will withstand a minimum of 5,000 rapid charge cycles. For its first-generation electrics, Ford intends to limit rapid charging to 240 volts of alternating current, a level known as C2, rather than moving to the higher-voltage C3 direct-current charging. Customers will be able to get the 240-volt Ford-branded rapid charger installed for about $1,500.
Volkswagen’s plug-in Golf, scheduled for production in 2013, will also offer a fast-fill plan. The car, called the Blue-e-Motion, will have a recharge time of 3.5 hours on 240-volt A.C., or a half-hour charge to 80 percent using high-power D.C., said Sven-Oliver Mündermann of VW’s research and development department. Fast charging can prematurely age the cells, so VW won’t recommend using it daily, he said.
Cars that keep tabs on their drivers seem certain to be part of the plan for electric motoring in the future. The VW Golf monitors the driver and, if power-saving cues seem to be missed, can take action on its own. It also gives the driver options to trade comfort for range with a switch that limits interior heating or cooling, and with paddle shifters that let the driver select the degree of regenerative braking.
And the electric version of the Ford Focus will be similarly watchful, automatically developing driver profiles based on drive-by-drive information recorded by the vehicle’s key fob. That profile of driving habits and techniques will be used to help estimate how many miles of range remain.
In a venture Ford has arranged with MapQuest, route choices can be evaluated so that a series of errands will not maroon the driver far from home, said Ed Pleet, manager for connected services at Ford Motor. Destinations displayed in green are a go, while yellow warns that it might be a stretch to complete the round trip.
Whether electric vehicles are as safe as conventional cars, which have been extensively crash-tested for decades, is a question many prospective E.V. buyers can be expected to ask. Volvo’s display at the show includes a crash-tested electric C30 model to show what happens in a 40-mile-per-hour impact.
“We found the battery packs need to be mounted in the car away from the crumple zones that are designed to absorb energy and deform on impact,” said Stefan Jacoby, chief executive of Volvo Cars.
Volvo’s battery development partner, Ener1, designed a “split battery” system for the car, with half of the battery in the central tunnel between the seats and the other half under the rear seats. The C30 was crashed at Volvo’s Gothenburg, Sweden, laboratory last month, with a fully charged lithium-ion battery. The batteries and the cables remained intact, Volvo reported.
A test fleet of C30 electric vehicles will go into service during 2011 in Europe, Asia and the United States.
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Jim_Higgins wrote:

Might not go well in southern USA. In Houston we use a/c 360 days out of the year.
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Call me a cynic, and I am probably worse than that, but I see no real future for the Volt type vehicles, nor for the totally electrics.
I may be proven wrong, and it wont be the first time.
Even at my age, I can darn near ride a bike as far as those things will take me and at a heck of a lot cheaper price.
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The speed at which the electrical vehicles are coming now is amazing. Only a few months ago we were predicting that it would take years to get up the production capacity and the major players would not be in the race. We have all been proven wrong. Obviously all the majors have had electrical vehicles in the sidelines for years. The interest is out there and the range as well as the systems are coming on a broad front. The price of oil is a huge factor. The governments are in various places making some adjustments to assist the trend even if their role is much more limited than what it should be. It is very economical for the whole system to go electric and increase flexible public transport and even if government is not doing much it is gradually happening.
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The speed at which the electrical vehicles are coming now is amazing. Only a few months ago we were predicting that it would take years to get up the production capacity and the major players would not be in the race. We have all been proven wrong. Obviously all the majors have had electrical vehicles in the sidelines for years. The interest is out there and the range as well as the systems are coming on a broad front. The price of oil is a huge factor. The governments are in various places making some adjustments to assist the trend even if their role is much more limited than what it should be. It is very economical for the whole system to go electric and increase flexible public transport and even if government is not doing much it is gradually happening.
******** I know this has been your position from the beginning, Bjoern. I am not against electrics on principle.. I just dont think this is going to become very popular very quickly.
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I got my first electrical bike with four large car batteries forty years ago and I know these things take time.
In some places electrical vehicles are very possible and charging them does not cost much.
I saw a program yesterday about the history of oil and it is interesting to see how closely that history was to wars and access to oil.
The close ties of US to saudi and terror now is a continuation of that.
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That is indeed a strange relationship. I dont think it is close in that we really like each other. We are close in the sense that Saudi is the only girl left at the bar and it is nearing closing time.
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Absolutely, the Saudi's don't like us, never did like us, and never will like us... The tollerate us to get our money for oil as too many people here seem to think that using our own oil is somehow bad, and using Saudi oil is good.
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