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Ireland to go down the Electric car route?

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  • 28-04-2009 10:02am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,743 ✭✭✭


    I'm hearing reports on the radio this morning, that Ireland are possibly thinking about going down the electric car route in a big way and becoming the leading country in this field.

    Personally I don't think we're ready. Where will this electricity come from? I doubt it will be from renewable sources. So the switch to electric cars won't help the environment much, as the pollution produced will be coming from the plants that provide the electricity for the cars in my opinion.

    Would you vote for all electric cars in Ireland?

    I wouldn't. Not yet anyway. Would it be better to go the way of Honda and hydrogen?

    An all Electric car Ireland? 279 votes

    Yes
    0% 0 votes
    No
    43% 122 votes
    Not sure
    56% 157 votes


«13456711

Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,502 ✭✭✭Zube


    kleefarr wrote: »
    I'm hearing reports on the radio this morning, that Ireland are possibly thinking about going down the electric car route in a big way and becoming the leading country in this field.

    There aren't any real electric cars yet, so this is just PR for now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Fazer6


    Zube wrote: »
    There aren't any real electric cars yet, so this is just PR for now.

    I've seen this car on the TV.....

    http://www.teslamotors.com/

    fazer6.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,465 ✭✭✭✭cantdecide


    The technology is exciting but ffs, you know they want us all driving little apology-mobiles. When will they see that for the majority, little electric boxes are unsuitable for Irish motorists.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,743 ✭✭✭kleefarr


    Fazer6 wrote: »
    I've seen this car on the TV.....

    http://www.teslamotors.com/

    fazer6.

    Looks good. But the 244 mile range is a bit off putting ( Honda clarity same). How long would it take to charge up as well? That's the beauty about the Honda clarity, it's just like a normal car, but uses hydrogen. Seems to fill up like a petrol car as well.

    Honda Clarity


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭BostonB


    Small diesels are the way to go for now. Like the old Lupo 3L. But cheaper. Most people could cycle most of journeys they could use an electric car for (sort journeys and commuting). Far cheaper to provide those facilities than those for electric cars. Far cheaper running costs, very consistent journey times. Etc. Electric cars aren't ready for the masses. Electric bicycles are far more practical than electric cars for many joruneys. Obviously even with perfect facilities not everyone can cycle. Obviously for long distance not practical either.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,310 ✭✭✭alias no.9


    This could go one of two ways...

    1. An unmittigated disaster, loads on government money pumped into a bigh white elephant (or should that be green) at the behest of the ministry for potatoes.

    2. We could be the pioneers. We get buy in from the manufacturers who see Ireland as a proving ground, large enough to be a useful test market, but small enough to manage as a test market. The government invests in infrastructure (through a new semi-state which would go on to use their learnings to roll the technology out in other regions, creating a financial return for Ireland) and the manufacturers in the vehicles. However, does any manufacturer have the money to make a serious investment at the moment?
    kleefarr wrote: »
    I wouldn't. Not yet anyway. Would it be better to go the way of Honda and hydrogen?

    Tell me, where does the hydrogen come from?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,814 ✭✭✭TPD


    kleefarr wrote: »
    Looks good. But the 244 mile range is a bit off putting. How long would it take to charge up as well? That's the beauty about the Hond clarity, it's just like a normal car, but uses hydrogen. Seems to fill up like a petrol car as well.

    Honda Clarity

    The infrastructure would need to change, and petrol stations would become battery swapping stations. Either that or some crazy fast charging system at the pumps, and just keep a trickle going at home overnight.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 752 ✭✭✭JimmyCrackCorn!


    They just dont work well yet.

    Chicken and egg story.

    Need better technology and infrastructure to make them work, needs a massive take up to fund infrastructure and technology.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 107 ✭✭sparklepants


    kleefarr wrote: »
    Personally I don't think we're ready. Where will this electricity come from? I doubt it will be from renewable sources.
    It will come from renewables, or that's the plan anyway. With 40% of electricity coming from wind in 2020, electric cars can be charged when there's excess wind power using smart meters, or at night time.
    So the switch to electric cars won't help the environment much, as the pollution produced will be coming from the plants that provide the electricity for the cars in my opinion.
    Even using electricity from fossil fuels electric cars are more efficient and better for the environment than IC engines. You can produce electricity at around 55% efficiency using gas, compared to an efficiency of maybe 20% for a petrol engine.
    Would you vote for all electric cars in Ireland?
    I'll vote yes, but it won't be all electric cars- even a 10% target would be extremely ambitious and would take at least a decade to achieve.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,892 ✭✭✭spank_inferno


    Wont work & cant work

    1) Is there enough lithium on the planet to manufacture the millions of kilo's of battery's necessary to power Irelands fleet of cars?
    Even with the next generation of more efficient lithium batteries coming downstream I doubt it!

    2) The vehicles lack the versatility to make them viable.

    3) The cost of the switch in infrascture would be too enormous. (including garages for maintenance)

    4) Where does the electricity come from???
    At the moment we have the most expensive electricity costs on the continent. This reduces the viability of electric cars.
    And aswell as that almost all of our power is generated by that government monopoly ESB burning millions of tonnes of Oil & Coal!

    Powering an electric car off a power supply almost entirely fueled by burning carbon only moves the co2 problem further down the chain

    IMO fueling the next generation of vehicles from Hydrogen instead of Electricity is the best longterm hope for zero emmisions transport

    In the here and now, smaller diesel engines would go a long way too


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,056 ✭✭✭✭BostonB


    alias no.9 wrote: »
    ...1. An unmittigated disaster, loads on government money pumped into a bigh white elephant (or should that be green) at the behest of the ministry for potatoes....

    My money is on this one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,743 ✭✭✭kleefarr


    alias no.9 wrote: »
    Tell me, where does the hydrogen come from?

    From Natural Gas acording to the website....

    Home Energy Station

    There are other ways to make Hydrogen..

    Biologically produced Hydrogen


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,473 ✭✭✭robtri


    electric cars have their pro's and cons, unfortunately the cons are very substantial at the moment....
    Doesn't matter where the electricity comes from, electricity generated at a power station is less polluting than electricity generated by petrol or diesel engines... so from an enviroment point of view its a win for the electric car..
    elctric cars generally look like crap, (there are some excpetions)...
    check this one out... http://www.shelbysupercars.com/news-012209.php

    the main problem is range and re-charge time...
    most pure electrical cars take a long time to re-charge, generally overnight from a standard 13amp socket... but high charge points can reduce this time, but still takes at least an hour...
    range is limited, but this would work very well for the vast majority of people, as most people don't use their cars for over 100 miles a day...

    But till the range issue is solved a lot of people won't buy them, because if you own one and use it for your daily work comute and small trips, theya re fine, but what about holidays, weekend, trips to the country ect... they just don't work...

    The charge time is looking to be reduced by the use of battery swapping stations.. so you buy the car but not the battery (you only rent the battery, cost to be covered at swap stations) which will help reduce ownership costs...
    would I buy one... NO.... but if they could produce a car with a 400-500 mile range and a charge time of 15mins at high speed re-charge stations... then I would consider it...


  • Registered Users Posts: 387 ✭✭'scorthy


    The government "say" that they (we) must invest in R&D to develop cleaner cars yet several major motor companies have come together with EV projects; how can an Irish company, even with R&D funding expect to compete as these guys have several years of a head start!
    http://www.rte.ie/business/2009/0403/cars.html

    There is an Irish company manufacturing EV for the Dublin metropolitan area: http://www.greenaer.ie

    I like the look of those Tesla cars :eek:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,326 ✭✭✭waraf


    alias no.9 wrote: »

    Tell me, where does the hydrogen come from?

    AFAIK Hydrogen is easily produced by running electricity through water (I'm open to correction on that) but the side effect of that is that you're left with a lot of heavy water which is somewhat radioactive (again open to correction on this too)

    ....as you can see I'm an expert on this subject :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,819 ✭✭✭✭peasant


    Taking off the motoring enthusiast hat for a minute and putting on a green one, I think that this is actually a good idea.

    Fossil fuels are finite and alternative power sources for cars really have to be developed now if we don't want to get caught out without petrol/diesel pretty soon.

    Ireland is one of the few western countries without a car industry of its own, so no vested interests.

    Ireland has great untapped resources for alternative energy production (wind, water, wave, bio-mass)

    For once, we could actually be in the lead for something rather than just follow the trends.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,299 ✭✭✭✭the_syco


    IIRC, hydrogen cars use twice as much electrity as electric cars.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,502 ✭✭✭Zube


    Fazer6 wrote: »
    I've seen this car on the TV.....
    http://www.teslamotors.com/

    Yes, that's as real as electric cars get: a €150,000 two seat sports car.


  • Registered Users Posts: 491 ✭✭woody33




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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,406 ✭✭✭PirateShampoo


    peasant wrote: »
    Taking off the motoring enthusiast hat for a minute and putting on a green one, I think that this is actually a good idea.

    Fossil fuels are finite and alternative power sources for cars really have to be developed now if we don't want to get caught out without petrol/diesel pretty soon.

    Ireland is one of the few western countries without a car industry of its own, so no vested interests.

    Ireland has great untapped resources for alternative energy production (wind, water, wave, bio-mass)

    For once, we could actually be in the lead for something rather than just follow the trends.


    Where do you think the electric is coming from?

    Big massive fossil buring power stations, thats where....

    Ireland doesnt have any of the wave/wind/pixy dust power supplys.

    Its a green pipe dream thats never gonna work in our generation.

    Also if i want to go to kerry for a few days what am i supposed to do? Take a over night stay in Limerick while my car recharges?


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 39,731 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle


    280591795v75_350x350_Front.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭Mena


    kbannon wrote: »
    280591795v75_350x350_Front.jpg

    And the sooner the better. But our politicians are too scared to even debate the topic properly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    Powering an electric car off a power supply almost entirely fueled by burning carbon only moves the co2 problem further down the chain
    Which is in fact the ideal way to do it because that means that it doesn't matter where the electricity comes from. Of course, generating massive amounts of energy is per Watt far more enviromentally friendly than generating small amounts at a time.

    At present, our primary problem is our vehicles' inflexibility - we're stuck using one/two fuel types. Removing the dependence on a fuel source and instead using an energy source which can be generated from multiple fuels leaves us in a much more flexible situation in the future. If/when fusion becomes a viable power source for example, the existing vehicular fleet requires no modifications or otherwise requires no effort on the part of the consumer to adapt.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,819 ✭✭✭✭peasant


    Where do you think the electric is coming from?

    Big massive fossil buring power stations, thats where....

    Ireland doesnt have any of the wave/wind/pixy dust power supplys.

    Actually, wind energy is ideally suited to power cars. As we all know, wind varies and there are issues with feeding wind energy into the grid due to these variations of over- und undersupply.

    Wind ernergy however works wonderfully if you can store it ...and where better to do that than in a car battery?

    Now, it would be a bit stupid to have a dedicated windmill for every car battery ...but with some cleverness and good battery technology wind powered battery charging/exchange stations could be entirely feasible.

    What's needed is research into grid requirements, battery technology and standards for cars with exchangeable batteries.

    All I'm saying is that Ireland could be a good place to carry out this research ...what with our "knowledge economy" and the drive to become the R&D capital of the world


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,819 ✭✭✭✭peasant


    Mena wrote: »
    And the sooner the better. But our politicians are too scared to even debate the topic properly.

    knowing kbannon my guess would be that he's thinking about a small nuclear reactor in the engine compartment of his future car :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,180 ✭✭✭Mena


    peasant wrote: »
    knowing kbannon my guess would be that he's thinking about a small nuclear reactor in the engine compartment of his future car :D

    hehe. to be fair, I could live with that too :)

    If it's good enough for an aircraft carrier, it's good enough for my daily driver!

    On the whole issue of electric cars... I'm not so sure about this to be fair. For me, driving is still a passion. The current crop of electric tin cans just does not do it for me. They'll need to do some serious work before I even thought about considering a change.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,819 ✭✭✭✭peasant


    Mena wrote: »

    On the whole issue of electric cars... I'm not so sure about this to be fair. For me, driving is still a passion. The current crop of electric tin cans just does not do it for me. They'll need to do some serious work before I even thought about considering a change.

    As the Tesla roadster prooves, there is nothing dictating that electric cars need to be boring.

    What is needed is research into the basics. Come up with effective, cheap and easy to charge/exchange modular batteries, so that at the "filling station" you just wheel another full battery pack into place. Different size cars could have batteries consisting of more or less batteries of the same standard, so that they are all interchangeable between car models within a few seconds.

    Once you've got that standard developed you can design any sort of car you like around it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,023 ✭✭✭Gregor Samsa


    Also if i want to go to kerry for a few days what am i supposed to do? Take a over night stay in Limerick while my car recharges?

    Battery technology is coming on leaps and bounds. Sure, using your home electricity supply, charging the battery could take hours, but using a dedicated three phase charging station, this car (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/22/lightning_fast_charge_supercar/) changes 80% in 3 minutes, and a does a full charge in about 10. And even that's set to improve as the technology does.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,570 ✭✭✭rebel.ranter


    Wind energy is the only way....

    193888546_ff0d74acc1.jpg?v=0


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