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Ireland to go down the Electric car route?

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,734 Mod ✭✭✭✭The Real B-man


    City Centers Maybe but cmon realistically in the country! :D


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


    Realistically in the country if it can do 400 miles on a full charge, then it's easily competing with petrol and diesel. Consumer electronics are really what are driving battery improvements with flash-charge (literally charging in a matter of seconds/minutes) and longer battery life being the big things in R & D.

    This kind of stuff isn't 20 years away, the technology is improving rapidly. I do suspect though that there'll be a longer-than-it-needs-to-be transitionary period where people move to hybrids, then electric cars with petrol/diesel backup generators, then pure electric.

    Poor aul electric might lose out again though if hydrogen does well. Electric cars outsold everything else in the early 1900s and then petrol took over because it was easier to improve the technology and get more oomph. If someone produces a hydrogen engine which can carry 2000kms worth of hydrogen in a tank half the size, electric will probably lose out again. Hydrogen's not safe to carry though, which is its big hurdle.


  • Registered Users Posts: 387 ✭✭'scorthy


    It's the mind boggling logistics of it all that's off putting. Battery material - where to source, how long will it last (rare earth metals) and it's mining effects. How to charge- using fossile fuels...I don't think so.
    It must have been the same when the Thin Lizzy rolled out enmass off the production line..same fears.."What OMG, so there are numerous explosions under pressure within cylinders and these drive a cam..." and where do we get this 'petrol' stuff. I wonder how did they solve the logistical problems then?
    Here's my take and it echos a previous forum members take...wind turbine used at "fuel cell station" charges large reservoir cell, so that if the wind dies down there is always enough in the host tank to keep the small car cells in production. And that's what each "fuel station" would be, a some factory giving employment. The "fuel station" would have a vending machine (by then all cells would be standardise (to some degree - betamax v VHS springs to mind). The used cells can be recycled etc..


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 39,752 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle


    http://www.breakingnews.ie/text/ireland/eyauidgbmhsn/
    Report says all new cars should be electric by 2020
    28/04/2009 - 14:53:02

    A new report calls on the Government to set more ambitious targets on the use of electric vehicles.

    The study by the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change says the project should be fast-tracked to ensure that all new cars on sale by the year 2020 are electric.

    It wants the Government to set up a taskforce to ensure that Ireland becomes a global leader in developing electric cars over the next six months.

    Chairman of the committee, Fine Gael TD Sean Barrett, says it's a ‘win-win situation’ in terms of energy consumption and imports.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 107 ✭✭sparklepants


    It wants the Government to set up a taskforce to ensure that Ireland becomes a global leader in developing electric cars over the next six months.
    A global leader in six months eh? Wow, this green economy thing is the panacea for all our ills!

    So a government committee wants to set up a government taskforce. Sounds like the way to go alright.


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


    A global leader in six months eh? Wow, this green economy thing is the panacea for all our ills!

    So a government committee wants to set up a government taskforce. Sounds like the way to go alright.


    Lol so from No car industry what so ever to world number 1,

    Why didnt they think about that a year ago. Then we wouldnt have a resesssion lol


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,212 ✭✭✭Delta Kilo


    waraf wrote: »
    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

    Hydrogen is not easily produced YET. Your right about running electricity through water but it isn't as simple as that. Its expensive to do it and uses a lot of electricity to produce a big amount of it. I wonder if there would be much of a difference in watts consumed to make hydrogen versus powering the electric cars directly?

    You need a fair quantity of water too. For every ten parts of water you would get ~ 2.5 parts hydrogen.

    To run the electricity through the water you need an acid in the water to help the current flow. Its not that the water left over is radioactive but the waste water left over has acid in it, which doesn't go down well with fish/environmentalists etc and frankly, I wouldn't like to be drinking it.

    The cars are really dangerous as well because hydrogen is seriously combustible, worse than petrol. Any crash or leak in the fuel tank could be disastrous and a safe way of storing hydrogen is yet to be found.

    A lot more research needs to be done on hydrogen before it could ever be used to power all the cars in a country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 grafter12


    Hydrogen is not easily produced YET.

    This is not true, the process is called Electrolysis and has been around for over 60 years and is pretty straight forward.
    Its expensive to do it and uses a lot of electricity to produce a big amount of it.

    It is only as expensive as the Electrolysis device, and yes more Electricity is required to generate the Hydrogen as you would get if you used that Hydrogen to run a generator to make Electricity, that is why I believe if Renewables were use to power the Electrolysis devices then the hydrogen could be stored and the problem of inconsistent supply by renewables would not be a issue.
    To run the electricity through the water you need an acid in the water to help the current flow. Its not that the water left over is radioactive but the waste water left over has acid in it, which doesn't go down well with fish/environmentalists etc and frankly, I wouldn't like to be drinking it.

    The water has to be de-ionized water (the same as is used in a lead acid battery) with an electrolyte in it (e.g Sodium Hydroxide) and when it is electrolyzed the water is turned into Hydrogen and Oxygen and then once it is used in a fuel cell it is mixed back with oxygen to produce Electricity and water. So there are no harm full byproducts of Electrolysis, you just need to replenish the water regularly as it is used up.
    The cars are really dangerous as well because hydrogen is seriously combustible, worse than petrol. Any crash or leak in the fuel tank could be disastrous and a safe way of storing hydrogen is yet to be found.

    Hydrogen is no more dangerous than petrol, it is just that it is in a gaseous state and the storage technology has come on a lot in recent years to the extent that composite containers that are crash and bomb proof are being produced currently.

    In my opinion running Electric cars using hydrogen fuel cells is the way forward, with the hydrogen being produced by a renewable source, this would increase the range considerably if Hydrogen refueling stations were available. The big problem is the cost of implementing the Hydrogen infrastructure, but with Oil predicted to run out in 30 - 40 years and Gas in 60 - 70 years then we should be doing something now to counteract this, and Electric cars are a start.

    There is still a very long way to go but sitting around talking about it will not get it resolved we need to act, and the government initiative is as good a place as any to start.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,917 ✭✭✭towel401


    electric cars are great but lithium ion batteries not so

    you can buy a tesla roadster, drive it for 100,000 miles and your range will be reduced by about 30% so it will be time for a new battery. even if you don't use it the battery pack will degrade by 4-20% per year. lithium titanate batteries are better but the cost of materials and mining them will jump once more electric cars are put on the market. its also very hard to recycle old battery packs into new ones which will need to be done unless we want to burn through the world's lithium supply in a few short years

    rly its too early for electric cars yet, not until someone makes a few decent, easily recyclable ultracapacitors. its a shame because electric cars are such a simple design. fixed ratio gears and there is nothing to the inside of an electric motor compared to a petrol one so they are easy to service and very little can go wrong with em


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,415 ✭✭✭Gatster


    alias no.9 wrote: »
    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.

    Absolutely, more PR bullsh!t to direct attention from the glaring inadequacies in the Government.

    All cars electric by 2020, what an absolute joke. So they seriously think that with current model lifecycles, any large manufacturer remaining in the next few years is going to pump all their shaky resources into electric technology so that Ireland can achieve this mickey-mouse target, did they even look at the currently available/affordable/practical range?

    Will Tesla-esque technology improve and drop in price sufficiently in the next few years to make this viable? It would be great if it does but I'd much prefer it if Hydrogen became the next fuel.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 646 ✭✭✭Johnboy Mac


    kleefarr wrote: »
    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.

    (/quote]


    I could not agree more.

    Electric cars are far from 'green' as we need electricity from power stations for then to operate and ours for the majority burn fossil fuels, the remaining are hydro and imported electricity from the UK to the best of my knowlege.

    We could go all electric and be 'green' if we had the next generation of nucler power stations as we are partically nuclear powered at present due to the importation of UK electricity.

    But I don't think any government would have the balls to suggest nuclear never mind building a station. Which is our loss imo.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,327 ✭✭✭Merch


    towel401 wrote: »
    electric cars are great but lithium ion batteries not so

    you can buy a tesla roadster, drive it for 100,000 miles and your range will be reduced by about 30% so it will be time for a new battery. even if you don't use it the battery pack will degrade by 4-20% per year. lithium titanate batteries are better but the cost of materials and mining them will jump once more electric cars are put on the market. its also very hard to recycle old battery packs into new ones which will need to be done unless we want to burn through the world's lithium supply in a few short years

    rly its too early for electric cars yet, not until someone makes a few decent, easily recyclable ultracapacitors. its a shame because electric cars are such a simple design. fixed ratio gears and there is nothing to the inside of an electric motor compared to a petrol one so they are easy to service and very little can go wrong with em

    Hmm capacitors, interesting never heard this being mentioned to power electric cars, I think the other green options are more viable at the moment and they aren't viewed that well but every possibility needs to be looked at, perhaps bio production of hydrogen to supplement, wind wave or other renewable energy sources for production of electricity.
    Electric cars with backup hydrogen generators as opposed to diesel/petrol?


  • Registered Users Posts: 120 ✭✭Fiona500


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

    The production of pure hydrogen is still at a stage where most of its energy is lost before it is in a usable state.


    The government won't bring in electric cars, they get too much money from taxes on petrol. It's all just talk.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,157 ✭✭✭Johnny Utah


    Even Ferrari are embracing green energy.

    Electric-powered Enzo........ zero emissions



    Ferrari%20%20enzo%20electric%203-.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,157 ✭✭✭Johnny Utah


    And, here's Farmer Dan doing his bit for the environment on his brand new pedal-powered tractor and trailer:








    AdultPedalPull01.jpg


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


    grafter12 wrote: »
    There is still a very long way to go but sitting around talking about it will not get it resolved we need to act, and the government initiative is as good a place as any to start.


    1. We must do something.

    2. This is something.

    3. Therefore we must do this.


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


    And, here's Farmer Dan doing his bit for the environment on his brand new pedal-powered tractor and trailer:

    The time isn't too far away where the only ones with access to diesel will indeed be farmers and other essential services. That access will be highly rationed and regulated. Everybody else will have to have found alternative energy sources by then.


    That's the other issue that tends to get overlooked: When fossil fuels run out, not only will we be walking, we will be starving as well. Modern agriculture relies totally on the availability of cheap fuel and on chemicals derived from fossil fuels. We wouldn't be able to feed the world ploughing with horses again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,197 ✭✭✭Pedro K


    seamus wrote: »
    Hydrogen's not safe to carry though, which is its big hurdle.

    http://www.ecosilly.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-o-matic/cache/88e6d_pierce-brosnan-bmw-h7-81958452.jpg

    Pierce Brosnan has a hydrogen powered 7 series.
    BMW must have overcome said hurdle.


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


    Pedro K wrote: »
    http://www.ecosilly.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-o-matic/cache/88e6d_pierce-brosnan-bmw-h7-81958452.jpg

    Pierce Brosnan has a hydrogen powered 7 series.
    BMW must have overcome said hurdle.
    It *can* be carried. That's not in dispute. Any details on who was driving or what kind of licences are required to drive said vehicle? In Ireland (afaik), the driver would need to be licenced to carry hazardous/explosive chemicals, the container would need to be certified and the vehicle would need to be marked.

    However, you could wrap a BMW around it, stick a celebrity in the back and call it a "car".

    My point being that hydrogen is combustible. Ridiculously so, and far more so than petrol. A cracked or split tank in a collision could make that collision a hundred times worse. One car being in existence doesn't mean that it's suddenly possible to supply the world with these cars.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,197 ✭✭✭Pedro K


    seamus wrote: »
    It *can* be carried. That's not in dispute. Any details on who was driving or what kind of licences are required to drive said vehicle? In Ireland (afaik), the driver would need to be licenced to carry hazardous/explosive chemicals, the container would need to be certified and the vehicle would need to be marked.

    However, you could wrap a BMW around it, stick a celebrity in the back and call it a "car".

    My point being that hydrogen is combustible. Ridiculously so, and far more so than petrol. A cracked or split tank in a collision could make that collision a hundred times worse. One car being in existence doesn't mean that it's suddenly possible to supply the world with these cars.

    Apologies for a lack of source, but I can't find a pic anywhere. I did see this in the paper a good while ago, and it was Pierce Brosnan driving it.

    Also, see
    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2006/09/12/bmw-officially-announces-the-bmw-hydrogen-7/


    And the wikipedia file for BMW Hydrogen 7 (although not an entirely accurate source) says
    BMW claims the Hydrogen 7 is the “world’s first production-ready hydrogen vehicle”; thus far, the Hydrogen 7 has only been released to select high-profile leasees. Only 100 total vehicles have been produced to put their technology to the test, and no more are planned to be produced.[1] BMW says it chose public figures such as politicians, media figures, businessmen and big names in the entertainment industry such as 2007 Academy Award-winning director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and the chairman of Sixt AG, Erich Sixt, because “they would be ideal ambassadors” for hydrogen fuel and can help spread awareness of the need for such technologies.[2]
    There is doubt, however, over whether or not this automobile will ever be put into larger production, even if hydrogen fuel technology reaches the point of economical and “green” feasibility, as well as to have the infrastructure required to put hydrogen vehicles in demand. The Hydrogen 7 uses more fuel than many trucks, consuming 13.9 L/100 km for gasoline (petrol) and 50 L/100 km for hydrogen. The following table shows the consumption (L/100 km) and fuel economy (mpg) for both Imperial and US gallons.


    Also, would hydrogen not need a source of ignition in order to combust?
    I'm not denying the fact that hydrogen is extremely flammable. But if BMW can roll out 100 of these cars and put big names in them, then they must be confident that the containment system for the hydrogen is safe...


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


    seamus wrote: »
    However, you could wrap a BMW around it, stick a celebrity in the back and call it a "car".

    Or google the Honda FCX, available to lease (and yes, to refill with Hydrogen) in California for some time now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,157 ✭✭✭Johnny Utah


    The future of the car will be a hydrogen-powered fuel cell. It's already in use in California. Top Gear covered this car a year or two ago. Also, as Jay Leno says, there will still be a very small number of exclusive petrol cars (Ferrari, Porsche, etc) still made in the future. However, the vast majority of ordinary cars on our roads will be hydrogen-powered.







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


    I stand corrected so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 120 ✭✭Fiona500


    Oh! James May said so?! Then it MUST be true.


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


    One might want to take note of the company logo on the hydrogen pump and then one might want to draw one's own conclusions as to how much money is to be made in hydrogen making and distribution (as opposed to plugging in a vehicle at home for the night) and then one might wonder how much of the statement that hydrogen is the fuel of the future is truth and how much of it is profit orientated wishful thinking. That thought process might be further helped by remembering which powerful companies will end up without revenue once fossil fuels come to an end.

    Or one could just go ahead and swallow it undigested :D


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


    peasant wrote: »
    One might want to take note of the company logo on the hydrogen pump and then one might want to draw one's own conclusions as to how much money is to be made in hydrogen making and distribution (as opposed to plugging in a vehicle at home for the night) and then one might wonder how much of the statement that hydrogen is the fuel of the future is truth and how much of it is profit orientated wishful thinking. That thought process might be further helped by remembering which powerful companies will end up without revenue once fossil fuels come to an end.

    Or one could just go ahead and swallow it undigested :D
    From any company's point of view, it makes sense to push ahead with another liquid fuel source as it requires very little effort (comparably) to adapt to it. That is, consumers are already familiar with the delivery method, and all it requires is a new tank and a new pump in each petrol station.

    Switching to a recharge-style pump or battery exchange would require drastic inventiveness on the part of fuel manufacturers to find new ways of screwing us over. :)

    What might be interesting is that although the energy is produced by a "fuel", hydrogen vehicles are still essentially electric ones and not internal combustion. Which means that it should (theoretically) be possible to produce battery and hydrogen versions of the same vehicle with little cost overhead, or to even have the hydrogen "module" of the vehicle swapped out for a battery one.


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


    Current battery technology is such that one charge would last for 50 - 80 miles and an overnight recharging is good enough to fill the batteries completely. 50-80 miles covers the vast majority of car journeys and plugging something in is familiar to all of us. After so many hours of use the batteries would come to and of life and during a "service" would be replaced with new ones. Nothing unfamiliar there either.

    Hopefully this could be improved upon to get more mileage per charge.


    The only need for "filling stations" or exchange stations would be for longer car journeys. This could be covered by comparatively few dedicated quick charge stations along the main routes and major junctions.
    There would be a need for far less "quick charge stations" than there currently are petrol stations as your main "fuel pump" would be the socket at home and at work.

    One might want to draw one's own conclusion who that would and wouldn't suit :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,857 ✭✭✭professore


    'scorthy wrote: »

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

    Distributing, not manufacturing.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,857 ✭✭✭professore


    Pedro K wrote: »
    http://www.ecosilly.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-o-matic/cache/88e6d_pierce-brosnan-bmw-h7-81958452.jpg

    Pierce Brosnan has a hydrogen powered 7 series.
    BMW must have overcome said hurdle.

    I would put Pierce Brosnan in an extremely flammable death trap :D


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,456 ✭✭✭✭Mr Benevolent


    Current battery technology is such that one charge would last for 50 - 80 miles and

    Not quite. The late model GM EV1 could do 140 miles and the Tesla Roadster can do 220 miles on one charge. A recent breakthrough in lithium battery technology means that charging to 90% in 1 minute is on the cards (It's been done in the lab). Battery technology is jumping ahead far faster than people think.


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