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Interesting thought: EVs wouldn't do any better in snow and ice - :?
Probably not. My general remedy for snow and ice is to go slow and not do anything sudden. They are more efficient at low speeds than petrol cars, so that should be a plus in snow.

 

Talking about ice and snow, my solution for running is to wear track spikes. It makes a world of difference. I few days ago I went out running in regular training shoes and was slipping all over the place. Next day I wore spikes and the cars were having trouble keeping up. Could we put spikes on car tires?

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There are some pretty decent looking all electric cars but they all tend to be hugely expensive and I think this might have something to do with the cost of the battery. Until a breakthrough occurs in battery technology the hybrid solution will be the most logical way forward.

 

Those that argue power stations are just as damaging need to look at the bigger picture because fusion will ultimately solve that problem and when it does, we need the battery technology to have evolved and be in place to make use of this clean energy.

 

Until that time, I think hybrid technology will be the biggest growth area driven by increasing prices at the pumps and at least most of the hybrids look quite normal.

 

Bill :)

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Shelley, in places like Norway and Finland, tyres with built in metal studs are readily available. They are (as far as I know) illegal to use on the highways over here due to the damage they cause to tarmac roads. Not a problem when the roads are iced up for 5 months a year but when it only happens once in a blue moon and lasts no more than 3 weeks as of late, I doubt they would catch on. Plus the cost is very high!!

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Shelley, in places like Norway and Finland, tyres with built in metal studs are readily available. They are (as far as I know) illegal to use on the highways over here due to the damage they cause to tarmac roads. Not a problem when the roads are iced up for 5 months a year but when it only happens once in a blue moon and lasts no more than 3 weeks as of late, I doubt they would catch on. Plus the cost is very high!!

 

Didn't they ban chains over here as well some years back and brought in plastic ones that weren't very good?

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There are some pretty decent looking all electric cars but they all tend to be hugely expensive and I think this might have something to do with the cost of the battery. Until a breakthrough occurs in battery technology the hybrid solution will be the most logical way forward.

 

Those that argue power stations are just as damaging need to look at the bigger picture because fusion will ultimately solve that problem and when it does, we need the battery technology to have evolved and be in place to make use of this clean energy.

 

Until that time, I think hybrid technology will be the biggest growth area driven by increasing prices at the pumps and at least most of the hybrids look quite normal.

 

Bill :)

The other solution that Renault and project better place seem to be going for is for you to own the car, but rent the batteries. The plan is for it to be like a mobile phone contract. That's what allows them to do the battery swapping. You buy miles like buy minutes on a mobile phone.
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Shelley, in places like Norway and Finland, tyres with built in metal studs are readily available. They are (as far as I know) illegal to use on the highways over here due to the damage they cause to tarmac roads. Not a problem when the roads are iced up for 5 months a year but when it only happens once in a blue moon and lasts no more than 3 weeks as of late, I doubt they would catch on. Plus the cost is very high!!
Too bad you can't just screw them in like you do with track shoes. The ones you put in shoes aren't that expensive. Just lately discovered bags of extra ones here from having lost them and then bought new ones. But I guess it would take more than 6 per tire and get pretty fiddly. And the vaseline that you put in the holes when you take them out would certainly mess up the roads.
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OK back to electric cars then! :(

 

Just been thinking about the logic of every car in the future carrying over a over ton of battery around and even if you had a battery replacement deal it still wouldn?t make sense.

 

Clearly in an ideal world it would be better if the car could use a much smaller battery but with the ability of being charged by some form energy transfer built into the road network, a bit like a Scalextric but on a much bigger scale. This would overcome all the range limitations and charging time associated with batteries but would need a huge government commitment to make it work.

 

I think also if battery power was ever to become the norm using today?s technology then almost certainly there?d be big problems with both the sources of the raw materials and the recycling processes needed for the huge quantities of spent batteries. My Scalextric theory with the very much smaller batteries eliminates both these issues.

 

Bill :)

 

PS All this of course assumes that the Mr Fusion power unit as seen on Back to the Future Part 2 never materializes otherwise we?d only need a coke can and an old banana skin to keep the car going for weeks! :lol:

 

PPS Just realized I?ve brought bananas back into the discussion again. :oops::lol::lol:

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There was a programme on the TV yesterday about electric cars but only caught a small part of it......

 

The main problem on the bit I saw was where on earth would most people plug them in for the 8 hours needed to recharge them.

 

It is fine for those with a garage or off street parking up their own drive but the test car they used was parked on the road with the lead going across the public pavement, upto to the front door via an extention cable, then through the letter box and into the nearest plug socket.

 

Guess it was probably a bit tongue in cheek it could apply to many homes these days :shock::lol:

 

Was cheaper to run though if you can put up with the inconvenience. Don't think I could though as I'd forget to recharge it and unlike a camera you can't just stick a couple of AA batteries in to tide you over.

 

Maybe they could come up with a way of charging your car from your mobile phone instead of the other way round :lol:

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The electro-magetic field idea, would mean you wouldn't require an independent power source (except for say emergencies), but would allow your unit to hover above the cable core, thus snow and ice wouldn't effect you. If the power source cabling were laid on a grid system, you could tap in your destination on a sat nav type thingy, and you wouldn't even need to drive - oh the wonders to come in the distant future! :wink:

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be one long extension lead :shock::shock::shock:

 

as a thought you could always make them like the electric trains. over head cables and connector on the roof. that way you would only need the battery power when you were somewhere with no overhead lines. how you would pay for what you used would not be a problem as you could use the system they use for congestion charges. :wink:

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I don't actually think EVs are the long term solution. I think they are the short term solution. That's one thing that annoys me about the governments plans with regards to them. They are too sluggish. EVs are the quick and imperfect way to get away from oil dependence and clean up our in your face pollution now, not something to faze in in 50 years time. You know why the G-wiz got developed in India? Because they simply banned petrol cars in certain cities. An instant market for EVs was there. If people wanted to drive in certain areas, they had to have an EV. While I'm not so sure I would recommend anything as draconian as that, the attitude needs to be taken that this is today's solution, not some lofty futuristic one. After all EVs are old technology. The earliest cars were electric.

 

Watch "Who killed the electric car."

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39K36Rw7LYc&feature=related

 

The charging infrastructure is dead easy even for people who don't have at home facilities. London has plenty of public charging points. You just plug in when you park on the street. There are special parking places with little posts with plug points in them. Cold places have had infrastructure for EVs for years in major parking lots. Years ago when I thought about applying for a job in Duluth the scare story I was told was that they had plug in points in all the parking lots there. That was a sign of how cold it was, because people needed them to plug in engine warmers, because otherwise their cars might not start up in the winter. EVs have computer systems to keep them from overcharging, so you don't forgot to charge them, because you just leave them plugged in whenever you are not using them.

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The problem with transportation is that it can be over-loaded: one of the best movement systems is the London underground, but even that is choking on the numbers using it. Think we really need to start thinking about reducing the need for such transport requirements - which would reduce energy consumption AND pollution AND congestion. :shock:

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Shelly

 

Don?t quite understand what you?re saying; if it?s not going to be electric what is it?

The short answer is, I don't know. Might be electric, but quite different from present battery powered ones. Might be more indirectly electric like hydrogen. My point is that I don't think present style EVs should be critiqued as if they were intended to be the ultimate future in transportation. They need to be seen as a present day answer to an unacceptable transportation system. Driving petrol cars is like everyone burning their own rubbish on the street and paying terrorists for the fuel to ignite it.
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Think we really need to start thinking about reducing the need for such transport requirements - which would reduce energy consumption AND pollution AND congestion.

That's one approach but don't you think its just the same old thinking just like the suggestion of stopping eating bananas. Now before I'm accused of being flippant, just think about that.

 

The way I see it is that problems exist to be solved, not as a reason for giving up and reverting back to the old ways. I don't want to give up the freedom that my car gives to me and start standing in the rain waiting for public transport; that's what I did fifty years ago.

 

Bill :)

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Bill, it's not a matter of reverting to the "old" ways, but a question of adapting our life styles to "new" limitations. The elephant in the room (again!), is over-population, and`this increasing number of people all wish to own vehicles, all wish to travel - alas within the confines of a finite infrastructure. :shock:

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The reason I brought up the banana argument was because it has strong parallels on this subject. The way I see it is that there are too many people whose only suggestions for the future is to remove things from our lives that improvements from technology now affords us be it bananas or cars.

 

Take the road roads issue for example. If roads are too congested, then some would argue we need better roads while others simply argue for less cars. I wouldn?t want to see this country reverting back to something like North Korea where roads are allowed to degenerate into tracks and the principle mode of transport becomes the bike.

 

From an environmental point of view, technology is providing many of the answers with cleaner greener vehicles for the short term while the promise of low cost fusion power looks set to define the cars of the future.

 

Back on mi head for now work to do. :(

 

Bill :)

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It's a fairly simple equation Bill: increasing numbers of folk = increasing numbers of vehicles in finite infrastructure and geographical space = congestion. You can double, treble or even quadruple the number of roads (as has been done with the M6 fly over at Woolston), but eventually the cars catch up, and clog them up - just a fact of life. Just like using a s/market; when not many folk are shopping - great; but if you hit a peak shopping period - chocker, bumping into trolleys and queues at the check out. :roll: Now you could argue, that we have sufficient space, if you divide our geographical land mass by the number of the population, but it's not as simple as that; folk gravitate and live in urban concentrations (cities and towns), thus exacerbating congestion. Even the most efficient movement systems, that are centrally controlled like tube and rail; are now chocker (EG Man - Lpool commuter line at peak time - where folk are jammed into carriages and have to stand). Yes, you can increase the number of carriages, but even that option is finite. And if your not yet depressed by that reality, visit the control tower at Manny Airport, and view the radar screen, just to get a picture of the congestion in the air above us. :shock::cry:

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Yes I understand all that but I see it as quite simply a failure of the planners to have the foresight to anticipate growth. I know this is getting a bit off topic but some of the key arterial roads in this town are much the same as they were over a hundred years ago and if they could put down decent roads back then why the hell can?t we do it now?

 

I think there are more than enough bums on seats in planning departments? around the country to sink a battleship and even though they can tell us what the weathers going to do in fifty years time, they can?t anticipate the growth in car ownership.

 

I get the distinct impression that there?s almost a deliberate plan to make minimal effort in providing for the private motorist in the hope that people will just get fed up with congestion and turn to ?their? public transport. May be if the league table rules were changed so that councils earned brownie points for the quality of service afforded to the private motorist rather than just the growth in public transport then we might see some alternate thinking.

 

There has to be a solution out there somewhere that takes us forwards rather than backwards.

 

Bill :)

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You only have to see films of the world's most modern cities, with wall to wall M/Ways, under-passes, fly-overs etc etc - and all carrying bumper to bumper traffic. To accomodate traffic in Warrington for example, in the way you describe, would require road widening schemes, which would require the demolition of buildings; M/Way type junctions to rid ourselves of traffic lights and subsequent tail backs etc. :roll:

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