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Discussion in 'General' started by KosherGirl, Oct 3, 2017.
Pros and cons for each?
Hybrid still get you to consume gas vs. electric no gas needed
For some, this is a pro. One ICE owner I know told me she wanted a hybrid instead of electric in case the power grid went down.
That's what I am afraid of, traveling somewhere in the middle of the country and nowhere to charge.
Also, are there cars with solar charging so that you never need a "plug"?
I don't think any GOOD solar charging options yet, although people are clamoring for them. Tesla has its foot solidly in solar so I imagine this could happen.
We used a Tesla Supercharger for the first time last week. Most definitely takes longer than filling up a gas tank on an ICE but faster than I expected. It was charging at a rate of something like 380 miles/hr. Most major highways in the US now have Superchargers in reasonably spaced intervals.
There is a site called plugshare (https://www.plugshare.com) that shows basically all available places to charge ANY EV. I believe the list of charging stations comes from users and I don't know how up to date it is. One of the goals of the site is to get people to share their home outlet/charging stations with other users. I considered using one of these residential charging sites when we went on a trip in August but ended up just plugging into a 110 at the hotel where we were staying. A 110 is always a possibility; slow (~8 miles/hr) and you have to find someone willing to share, but it's better than nothing.
Every person has different needs. How often have you ever traveled in the middle of the country? When I realistically look at how far I actually drive, if I need to go somewhere more than 500 miles away, I’ll fly. And where I live, there are lots of DC fast charge stations in a 500 mile radius.
These used to be a car with a solar roof, no longer made. Realistically, the car’s roof is too small to provide any realistic charge, it’ll power a fan, not even an AC compressor.
Normal hybrids with electric ranges of 10-15 miles are a waste of money IMHO, unless you really don’t drive much. The only hybrid that I would consider is the Volt since it has a usable electric range of over 50 miles.
Good reply, Jennie. PlugShare is actually pretty accurate. It is widely used and the comments about each charging station are very useful.
When traveling, I always look for a way to plug in at night, even if it is only a regular household receptacle. If you own a Tesla, I highly recommend their NEMA 5-20 adapter which allows you to draw more power from a 20A outlet (many commercial outlets like in hotels will be 20A).
110 actually only gives 4-5 miles of range per hour.
Not what the average person would call a "car", no. "Solar cars" are usually 3- or 4-wheeled recumbent bicycles with a light plastic fairing that fits snugly around the driver, with no room for a passenger or any cargo. That's very far from what most of us would consider a street-legal car. And of course, they only run at high speed in direct sunlight.
The closest to a "real" solar-powered car that I've seen reported was the SolarTaxi, which towed a sizable flatbed trailer behind it, for greatly increase area to mount solar cells. And even that car only got half its power from sunlight; the other half was from plugging into the grid every night, during its rather leisurely (fairly low speed) tour of Europe and other places. Not a good advertisement for solar powered cars!
But as someone (Elon Musk?) once said, the best place for solar panels is on the roof of your house -- not the roof of your car. If you want a car powered by solar cells, then install a solar power system in your home, and charge your PEV that way! That's a much more practical solution.
With hybrids you still have the same hassles as with any fossil cars: oil changes, plug changes, belt/chain adjustments/changes, valve adjustments etc.
Solar PV is so inefficient [24% max] it's tragic. Sun power is so difficult to capture- we need a high conversion efficiency even more than we need better batteries, IMO. Imagine 80-90% of available energy becoming real!
Altho it would certainly help if solar cells approached 100% efficiency, that's not the real limit here. The real limits are the fact that sunlight simply does not contain that much energy per square foot/meter, and a typical car doesn't have that much surface area on its top.
Look at it this way: A typical compact BEV driven a typical distance every day would need about 2/3 as much electrical energy as a typical American single family house uses in a day, but the roof (and hood) of the car have far, far less surface area than the roof of the house. The physics and the math just don't work for a car powered by sunlight hitting the upper surfaces. Even if the solar cells were 99% efficient, it wouldn't be nearly enough energy.
* * * * *
My understanding is that commercial solar panels these days are typically about 21% efficient, but certainly more expensive cells are available which are more efficient. I saw a display a few years ago which claimed 33% efficiency for some rather expensive cells, and I've seen a claim online (probably a dubious one) for 50% efficiency.
Hmmm, I'm still learning how to use this forum, and I see the photos I tried to include in a post above are not showing. Let's try that again:
A typical "solar car" of the type which competes in solar car races, or which attempts a solar car distance record:
Charge at home (if you own a house and have the equipment)
Fewer components (theoretically cheaper to maintain)
No gasoline used or exhaust produced
Plug-in Hybrid advantages:
Flexible fuel use
Longer range (than most pure electrics)
Less expensive to buy (now)
Faster fueling (than pure electrics)
Longer range (than most pure electrics)
It should be noted that hybrid cars use more efficient Atkinson-cycle engines than standard ICE vehicles. This makes the engine much more efficient at the cost of low-end torque - which the electric motors supply. Another benefit seldom mentioned is these low-stress engines last much longer as a result. Ford Escape Hybrids are used in NYC taxi fleets and government and business fleets, regularly passing 500K miles with only normal maintenance.
As the control technologies improve, so does efficiency. My wifes 2014 Lincoln hybrid is much more advanced than my 2008 Escape hybrid. It uses EV much more - up to 85 mph - and also gives the operator better feedback. It's a luxury car that gives 40 mpg day in and day out.
As to solar charging for EVs, when Ford announced the Focus electric, they offered a solar carport for around $2500 as an accessory. I don't know how many they actually sold.
Solar PV on vehicles would only ever be supplementary, a sort of 'solar hybrid' I think. And too expensive at that scale. Utility level wind has become cheaper than solar & more reliable, in the right areas particularly offshore where velocities are higher and more constant. The latest turbines are so big they can generate many MW from a single tower --
LFTR's will be the end-case baseload solution but are some years away from full realization. After decades of effort, fusion has proven to be a
multi-billion dollar research pipe-dream thus far with no reason to suppose it will ever be viable.
Comments on renewables are universally negative in UK, often completely uninformed opinion.Very depressing, really.
Hybrids have to go- the sooner, the better. Some will continue for decades in special applications but they are a stop-gap pending future battery improvements.
Pretty soon you'll fly that 500 miles in an electric plane at a fraction of the current cost...