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Infrastructure for electric cars: a good or bad idea?

  • 24-05-2010 5:57pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 97 ✭✭ Alright


    Discussing the below article with other Engineers in work we're wondering why
    Ireland is considering an infrastructure for electric cars?

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/electric-car-fleet-to-create-global-marketing-opportunity-2192563.html

    In my opinion this is a big mistake and it will cost the tax payers dearly in the short and long term.
    Firstly it's not going to be truly 'green' as the environmental cost of producing the car batteries
    is very high. A rechargeable battery only has a certain number of charges that it can deal with
    over it's life time and when this is up the batteries will need to be disposed of.
    Also the electricity that the cars will use to run on will come from fossil fuels.


    There is an alternative that is being piloted in other places around the world such as California.
    Cars that can run on hydrogen. We are a small enough Country that we should be striving to
    pilot new technologies for the rest of the world and I feel that this should be one of them.

    http://world.honda.com/FuelCell/

    An American Review

    Top Gear also reviewed the Honda FCX

    The infrastructure needed for this type of car are augmented petrol stations.

    Ireland should start looking long term for solutions in every area not jumping on the bandwagon of what
    seems like a good idea at the time

    Am I wrong or missing some other good reason for a smart network for electric cars?


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Comments

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Alright wrote: »
    Am I wrong or missing some other good reason for a smart network for electric cars?

    The only reason this stillborn 'smart green' turd of a technology is being launched is to give that Eamon Ryan some photo opportunities. Even the 'petrol stations' ...the charging points are not going by the roadside or at service areas but are being installed in ESB Transformer stations here and there.

    As for this other Ryan schemeola on the Aran Islands ......the cars will not be there before July 2010 earliest.
    Procure and deliver up to 20 EVs to Na hOileáin Árann (Aran Islands) by 1st Dec 2009

    My hole they did, maybe as many as 5 by 1st Dec 2010 instead :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,984 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    Electric cars as an entity will not take off until they have the same range as a petrol car, and can be charged in the same time as a petrol car. Then it'll only take a few years for petrol cars to disappear. Simple as that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    I have no problem with them piloting this infrastructure, but we shouldn't commit completely to it because if something better comes along we'll look very silly if we've just splashed out on a bunch of redundant charging points.


  • Registered Users Posts: 97 ✭✭ Alright


    I agree with the Eamonn Ryan comment but it's not just him I'm afraid.


    According to Simon Coveney TD (FG)

    By 2020, I predict that all new cars on sale will be driven on electric engines,
    charged by the Smartgrid at home or at any one of thousands of charging points
    around the country.
    It might sound far-fetched but it is the future and we need to be preparing for it.
    Electric cars will no longer be cartoon cars but family saloons and sports cars,
    comfortable and powerful. The battery technology is already there and car
    manufacturers are investing heavily in new technology and design.


    I can't believe the idiocy....what battery technology is already there? :confused:

    It's such a pity! We've great potential in this country!!!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Alright wrote: »
    I can't believe the idiocy....what battery technology is already there? :confused:

    It's such a pity! We've great potential in this country!!!

    Simon Coveney shadowed that department for as long as Ryan did before becoming minister and is arguably more clueless than Ryan....who is clearly a complete gobdaw.

    God help us all if Coveney ever becomes minister for energy and comms :(


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  • Registered Users Posts: 822 ✭✭✭ Round Cable


    Alright wrote: »
    In my opinion this is a big mistake and it will cost the tax payers dearly in the short and long term.
    Firstly it's not going to be truly 'green' as the environmental cost of producing the car batteries
    is very high. A rechargeable battery only has a certain number of charges that it can deal with
    over it's life time and when this is up the batteries will need to be disposed of.
    Also the electricity that the cars will use to run on will come from fossil fuels.

    Once the lithium for modern batteries and even nickel for older battery chemistries has been mined, it can be recycled to make new batteries. Automotive battery lives can be extended to the life of the car, and when charge capactity is reduced, they can have a second life, perhaps storing intermittent electricity. And finally the raw material can be recycled, as mentioned above.
    Alright wrote: »
    There is an alternative that is being piloted in other places around the world such as California.
    Cars that can run on hydrogen. We are a small enough Country that we should be striving to
    pilot new technologies for the rest of the world and I feel that this should be one of them.

    The infrastructure needed for this type of car are augmented petrol stations.

    I doubt that hydrogen will ever be used as a mass transportation fuel. I also would be hesitant about a pure electric car, with the Opel Ampera being an ideal "middle ground".

    Here is a previous post of mine addressing some of the issues of hydrogen when used as a fuel:
    There are no existing hydrogen filling stations in Ireland. New storage tanks and 'pumps' still have to be built. Petrol and hydrogen filling stations are not comparable. The beauty of oil is the fact that it is an easily transportable liquid fuel. On the other hand, hydrogen is a gas, and the smallest molecule in existence. The gas has to be pressurised to be transported by road, and even then it takes several more trucks to transport than petrol. Transportation by pipeline is not viable for every filling station in the country, as the smallest gas molecule, is prone to leaks, and so can't be transported through natural gas pipelines, and requires completely new and hugely expensive dedicated hydrogen pipes.

    In terms of efficiencies (and running costs), you need to use 3-4 times more electricity to electrolyse water, compress the gas, transport, and run through a fuel cell, than to charge 1 electric car (or plug-in hybrid), from an existing part of our infrastructure, the electricity grid. The use of plug-in hybrids requires absolutely no new infrastructure. [EDIT: Charging points may be needed for apartment owners]


  • Registered Users Posts: 431 ✭✭ Bodan


    It is a good idea as it is clearly the way forward for transportation over the next 10 years. Right now i think the basic electric cars can do is 100 miles, which is good for city chores but is not very practical for city to city journeys.
    Alright wrote: »
    I can't believe the idiocy....what battery technology is already there? :confused:

    The Tesla Model S model which goes on sale in 2012 will have three different batteries with the larger battery pack been available with ranges of 230 and 300 miles (370 and 480 km). This will allow for longer Journeys and will remove one of the main obstacles of mass adoption. The other been recharging times.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,638 Zoney


    Gimmick. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The best approach for the Greens to take would be to focus on proper planning and regional development so people don't have to travel as far to/from work. Investment in telecoms infrastructure would also help, and indeed for certain places, investment in boring traditional electricity infrastructure (and none of this nonsense about below-ground cables).

    Using oil products in vehicles is probably more efficient than relying on our power infrastructure which will continue to be fossil fuel-based anyway unless we go nuclear. Wind power is simply relying on the existing traditional power stations as back-up, scale up wind installations and you have a gross inefficiency of traditional power plants needing maintained in idle so they can be used in periods of calm (wrecking our landscape with ecological destruction for some grossly inefficient and short-term water storage will also not solve the problem of a week or more of calm. Neither will electricity distribution help as calm can affect a large area of the continent in a prevailing weather system (look at the volcano ash that got stuck for a week or so). Of course we can pay a fortune to inefficiently import nuclear power from UK.

    So all in all, I have to say I consider all this to be absolute nonsense.

    Best to stick to improving diesel technology for less emissions and even great fuel efficiency and one could arrange things to even further tax people who buy bigger cars just for the sake of it - seemingly plenty still about who only fill them with one person. Smaller cars should be the norm.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    Using oil products in vehicles is probably more efficient than relying on our power infrastructure which will continue to be fossil fuel-based anyway unless we go nuclear.

    Nope. Not even close. One km driven by an EV on electricty sourced from the Irish grid today (using a modified Irish cycle) will use 55% less energy than an average fossil fuelled car (PER), and will emit similarly less GHG. By 2020, with 40% renewables, the GHG savings will be in excess of 70%. And yes, this included transmission losses. All of these figures are taken from a paper published this year in Energy Policy, written by a UCD academic.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V2W-4XWD032-4&_user=10&_coverDate=03%2F31%2F2010&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=26907dc67c1aff54f7b995d3a4f9d5dd
    Even the 'petrol stations' ...the charging points are not going by the roadside or at service areas but are being installed in ESB Transformer stations here and there.

    Interesting rumour Spongebob. Any source for that?

    Hydogen is just a way of storing energy - if battery tech can do the same thing cheaper and more efficiently, why bother with the additional hassle?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    Any source for that?

    I posted the map in this thread where the severe limitations of this Ryan scam are discussed in some detail.

    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055881301&highlight=electric

    Remember that of the alleged 1500 charge points some 1470 will be overnight three pin socket jobbies or all day streetside charges. Only 30 will be FAST charge points where you can charge that "smart green" ****bucket in only 25 minutes ....enough to get you to the next ESB transformer station for your next charge that is.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,638 Zoney


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    Nope. Not even close. One km driven by an EV on electricty sourced from the Irish grid today (using a modified Irish cycle) will use 55% less energy than an average fossil fuelled car (PER), and will emit similarly less GHG. By 2020, with 40% renewables, the GHG savings will be in excess of 70%. And yes, this included transmission losses. All of these figures are taken from a paper published this year in Energy Policy, written by a UCD academic.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V2W-4XWD032-4&_user=10&_coverDate=03%2F31%2F2010&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=26907dc67c1aff54f7b995d3a4f9d5dd

    That isn't fact but rather the scientific equivalent of a "guesstimate". It makes a number of assumptions about electricity generation (increasing wind power, Corrib Gas field) and despite use of complex computer models, can only estimate the energy "typically" used by vehicles. Indeed some of the assumptions I would consider the exact opposite - e.g. rather than increasing efficiency of the grid, adding wind power will in fact increase inefficiency (idle plants having to power up in times of low wind).

    I am perfectly prepared to admit that they "may" be more efficient, and the paper is certainly an interesting and useful piece of research, but I remain very skeptical and the way that these are being introduced, the people behind all of it, it really does seem like just a gimmick.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    I posted the map in this thread

    Yes, you did. You still haven't proved your point though. All you have is a very loosely defined map, and an attitude issue.

    Your comments about range anxiety have been well rehearsed everywhere over the last number of years in relation to EVs. Simply put, I'm not sure that pure BEVs will ever (at least for the next 10-15 years) have the 1,000km+ range of a modern diesel car, but by 2012-13 they will have ranges in excess of 240km - which coincides with the real mass market roll out. For the majority of people, this is plenty in a single day. Why not give the concept a chance before shooting it down? After all, even at this early stage people have driven from Cork to Dublin on a single charge ...
    That isn't fact but rather the scientific equivalent of a "guesstimate".

    I disagree completely. The current figures are based on a fairly comprehensive assessment of the current state of play, gen mix, of capacity factors for wind - yes, there is a lot of speculation built into the 2020 scenario, but the present situation wrt PER savings is as accurate as you are going to get. It also tallies with studies conducted elsewhere.
    I am perfectly prepared to admit that they "may" be more efficient
    Sorry, but the only debate to be had is around the systemic issues in terms of power gen and distribution. EVs are more efficient than internal combustion engined cars at converting stored energy into motion, and will more than likely always remain so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,133 Stonewolf


    Here is a previous post of mine addressing some of the issues of hydrogen when used as a fuel:

    Rolling out Hydrogen infrastructure is expensive, yes. More expensive than Anglo? I doubt it.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    Yes, you did. You still haven't proved your point though. All you have is a very loosely defined map, and an attitude issue.
    Loosely defined by Ryan and the ESB, not by me. There are to be no 'service' areas other than at picturesque esb transformers....for now.
    Your comments about range anxiety have been well rehearsed everywhere over the last number of years in relation to EVs. Simply put, I'm not sure that pure BEVs will ever (at least for the next 10-15 years) have the 1,000km+ range of a modern diesel car,

    1000km is a giant ask of electric cars and a malin to mizen round trip is less than that.
    but by 2012-13 they will have ranges in excess of 240km - which coincides with the real mass market roll out. For the majority of people, this is plenty in a single day. Why not give the concept a chance before shooting it down? After all, even at this early stage people have driven from Cork to Dublin on a single charge ...

    This claim that standard range will be 240km is unsubstantiated TBH. You probably will be able to do 240km+ but at 30kph or something. Will one be able to cruise at motorway speeds without running batteries down before 240km , I strongly suspect not. Maybe after 2015 or 2020 though.

    Electric cars are good for city driving , good for city air and quiet. I don't doubt their usefulness when kept inside the M50. Elsewhere .......why not come back in 2012 :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 86 ✭✭✭ luohaoran


    Well I guess there is little point in mentioning the Hydro Storage projects being planned for the west coast.
    If the contributors on here aren't up to speed on the latest EV technology, re ranges of 250km , charge times of 10 minutes for 50% charge, completely recyclable lithium based batteries, then they are hardly going to entertain the possibility of wind energy being stored in large enough quantities to make Irish electricity cheap and reliable.

    It'll come as quite a shock.


    While I do think hydrogen and hydro make for the best final solution, it would appear that EV's are ready to plug and play.


  • Registered Users Posts: 97 ✭✭ Alright


    The Govt. and ESB must know something I/We don't about this technology.
    I'm just surprised that they're pushing for electric cars.
    Maybe Ireland will be used as a test bed and the Country will get some
    money out of the deal? If so then it could be a good thing if it was
    managed well?

    :confused:


    Second e-car agreement with a major motor group signed

    HARRY McGEE, Political Correspondent

    Tue, May 25, 2010

    THE GOVERNMENT has signed a second memorandum with a major motor
    manufacturer to promote the development of the electric vehicle industry in
    Ireland.

    Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan and senior executives of Mitsubishi Motors
    yesterday signed the agreement to trial its all-electric i-MiEV model in Ireland.

    The alliance, signed at Trinity College Dublin, is the second agreement of this
    kind. It follows a similar memorandum signed by the Government and ESB with
    the Renault-Nissan consortium.

    The ESB, which is also a party to the memo, announced it is to begin the first
    e-car trial programme for Ireland, in conjunction with TCD.

    A fleet of i-MiEVs will be used throughout Ireland to support and test the new
    charging-point infrastructure. Over the next two years, the ESB will install
    1,500 roadside and kerbside charging points countrywide. It will also facilitate
    the installation of some 2,000 charging points in homes.

    It is envisaged the bulk of charging will be done overnight, using reduced
    night-time electricity rates. So far, there has been a commitment to instal 30
    fast-charging units.

    Under the agreement the Mitsubishi electric vehicles (EVs) will be available to
    a wide range of users – residential and corporate – to test the new charging
    network.

    “It’s another important milestone in the electrification of the Irish motoring
    fleet,” said Mr Ryan. Yesterday’s agreement would strengthen Ireland’s
    international position as a first-mover and ideal test-bed for the new
    technology.

    ESB chief executive Pádraig McManus said the ESB was pressing ahead with
    its charging point programme. “As a major force in the global market,
    Mitsubishi’s endorsement of Ireland as an environment for EVs is extremely
    encouraging.”

    The president and chief executive of Mitsubish Motors Europe, Akinori
    Nakanishi, said: The i-MiEV is one of the first consumer electric vehicles to be
    launched in Europe and is set to revolutionise the way we think about cars.

    “We see Ireland as a very important market for EVs and are delighted to
    announce this memorandum.”

    The long-term aim of the Government is to have 10 per cent of the car fleet
    made up of EVs by 2020.

    Mr McManus said the number of public chargepoints would keep pace with
    demand. However, critics have said Ireland is lagging behind some other EU
    countries, which have already installed a much higher ratio of chargepoints.

    © 2010 The Irish Times


  • Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭ jinghong


    as usual lowtech magazine adds a bit of common sense in the picture
    http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2010/05/the-status-quo-of-electric-cars-better-batteries-same-range.html

    aside from this, ireland is probably a bad application for EV's
    we are a 'long range' society, outdone in mileage only by the US

    biomass is the best way known to man to capture and store the suns energy. Separately, biomass can be used in existing vehicles and Ireland is the best country in europe to grow it.

    this is theoretically less efficient than wind + Ev's as a god ICE engine still throws away 70%of the energy. but both must be weighed up

    raw biomass is 3c/kWh, say 5c in useable liquid form. thats 15c/kWh at the wheel, so its a similar cost to electricity, but the storage problem is fixed and we can continue to use the same cars. It is obviously not going to power anything close to everything, but neither are EV's.
    there are no good alternatives, but probably one thats the worst apart from all the others

    personally I think the days of a 3 ton personal vehicle are numbered (about 10 years apart from the rich). on yer bike!


  • Registered Users Posts: 822 ✭✭✭ Round Cable


    Stonewolf wrote: »
    Rolling out Hydrogen infrastructure is expensive, yes. More expensive than Anglo? I doubt it.

    Not as expensive as Anglo surely, but that doesn't mean we should do it. In energy terms: for every wind mill generating power for electric cars, you would need another 3 for hydrogen cars. It's a non-runner, I'm surprised the government didn't pump billions down the hydrogen dark hole first.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,133 Stonewolf


    Not as expensive as Anglo surely, but that doesn't mean we should do it. In energy terms: for every wind mill generating power for electric cars, you would need another 3 for hydrogen cars. It's a non-runner, I'm surprised the government didn't pump billions down the hydrogen dark hole first.

    It's not a question of efficiency. It's that electricity doesn't fit the established paradigm of car fuelling. I'm not interested in plugging my car in at night (I've lived in many places where I fail to see this being practical) and then driving half way across the country at motorway speeds only to have to stop and wait half an hour for the damn thing to charge up again. Hydrogen does fit that paradigm, in that when I go to the filling station it takes a couple of minutes to fill the tank and I'm off again. Don't start with that battery replacement rubbish either, I'm surprised anybody thinks that's actually a practical solution.

    As for what hydrogen infrastructure would look like afaik at the moment in places where it exists filling stations have their own hydrogen generators which seems like a viable short term solution for initial stages of vehicle introduction provided the cost of the generator was reasonable. Longer term you'd be looking at concentrating hydrogen generation and pumping or trucking (or some combination) to stations with more isolated low volume stations continuing to generate their own. Of course, to power all that you'd need a lot of electricity but nuclear power is very good at that part and windmills aren't.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,511 ✭✭✭✭ FreudianSlippers


    We should be focusing on a hydrogen infrastructure. People who use electric cars at the moment are going to be people in cities who only do small trips and could charge at home/work.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 822 ✭✭✭ Round Cable


    Stonewolf wrote: »
    It's not a question of efficiency. It's that electricity doesn't fit the established paradigm of car fuelling. I'm not interested in plugging my car in at night (I've lived in many places where I fail to see this being practical) and then driving half way across the country at motorway speeds only to have to stop and wait half an hour for the damn thing to charge up again. Hydrogen does fit that paradigm, in that when I go to the filling station it takes a couple of minutes to fill the tank and I'm off again. Don't start with that battery replacement rubbish either, I'm surprised anybody thinks that's actually a practical solution.

    In a future where we are facing an energy crisis, efficiency is a big question. Plugging in your phone/iPod for a charge is commonplace, plugging in a car isn't a big change in comsumers' behavior. Charge points could be installed where it isn't practical. Indeed, the range of EVs are not at a stage that make them ideal for cross country trips, without stopping for a charge. This is why I see a big market for plug-in hybrids, such as, the Opel Ampera, where you wouldn't have to stop midway for a charge. Charging an electric car is new, so too is filling up with a gaseous fuel, and people seem to forget that it can take up to 15 minutes to fill a H2 car, which isn't much less than EV fast charging. The upcoming Renault Fluence will be battery swap capable, and the system has been demonstrated. Sucessful businessman, Shai Agassi, has certainly put his faith in it.
    Stonewolf wrote: »
    As for what hydrogen infrastructure would look like afaik at the moment in places where it exists filling stations have their own hydrogen generators which seems like a viable short term solution for initial stages of vehicle introduction provided the cost of the generator was reasonable. Longer term you'd be looking at concentrating hydrogen generation and pumping or trucking (or some combination) to stations with more isolated low volume stations continuing to generate their own. Of course, to power all that you'd need a lot of electricity but nuclear power is very good at that part and windmills aren't.

    The only way to operate a Hydrogen fueling station, is on-site generation. It will not be generated by electricity splitting water, be it from nuclear or wind sources, it's too expensive. On-site generation will be by steam reforming natural gas (96% of H2 is generated in this manner from fossil fuels), to extract the hydrogen. Which raises the question: why not burn the natural gas in a NG car in the first place? This form of car would be cheaper to operate, and would be cheaper to buy (it doesn't contain an expensive fuel cell). Pumping hydrogen would require new pipelines, and H2 pipelines are pricey. While, trucking the hydrogen around would require several trucks in the place the one that is curently required for petrol, again making this alternative much more expensive than the incumbant fuels.

    Overall, hydrogen cars will cost more to purchase, much more to operate, and are inefficient when compared to electrics/plug-in hybrids. This is why I have severe reservations about hydrogen as an automotive fuel.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,538 ✭✭✭ Leonard Hofstadter


    Electricity is just not a good idea for cars, well at least not just yet.

    I don't see why electric cars are being forced upon us by the EU and others, surley it would be best if the EU told them to cut emissions and let the car makers decide which is the best solution?

    Reducing CO2 is reducing CO2, just cause its hybrid or electric doesn't mean it is somehow automatically "better", especially as hybrid cars need very expensive batteries which of course use precious metals.

    I'm not convinced by the global warming nonsense by the way, but of the alternative fuels so far, hydrogen looks like it is the best.

    Electric cars take ages to recharge and have a very limited range; worse than that is that unlike conventional cars which get more fuel efficient as speed increases(to a point obviously) and are usually at their best fuel consumption on a motorway/dual carriageway, electric cars are the complete opposite(which is great if you only drive a car around town and never ever go outside of a town) and need a hell of a lot of electricity to keep going even at speeds as low as 80 kph, which means they are useless for a lot of people.

    I agree that cars like the Opel Ampera are by far the best solution, they can run as zero emissions vehicles for the vast majority of the time but when you need to go that bit further the petrol engine can kick in and therefore you get all the advantages of a conventional car thrown in for good measure.

    Pure electric cars will only work in town no matter how much the counters of frogs want them to and will never take off for the vast majority of people.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,327 Merch


    Zoney wrote: »
    Gimmick. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The best approach for the Greens to take would be to focus on proper planning and regional development so people don't have to travel as far to/from work. Investment in telecoms infrastructure would also help, and indeed for certain places, investment in boring traditional electricity infrastructure (and none of this nonsense about below-ground cables).

    Using oil products in vehicles is probably more efficient than relying on our power infrastructure which will continue to be fossil fuel-based anyway unless we go nuclear. Wind power is simply relying on the existing traditional power stations as back-up, scale up wind installations and you have a gross inefficiency of traditional power plants needing maintained in idle so they can be used in periods of calm (wrecking our landscape with ecological destruction for some grossly inefficient and short-term water storage will also not solve the problem of a week or more of calm. Neither will electricity distribution help as calm can affect a large area of the continent in a prevailing weather system (look at the volcano ash that got stuck for a week or so). Of course we can pay a fortune to inefficiently import nuclear power from UK.

    So all in all, I have to say I consider all this to be absolute nonsense.

    Best to stick to improving diesel technology for less emissions and even great fuel efficiency and one could arrange things to even further tax people who buy bigger cars just for the sake of it - seemingly plenty still about who only fill them with one person. Smaller cars should be the norm.

    Hardly the greens fault to planning mess that exists now which was created in the last ten years.
    Electric powered vehicles charged from the mains are significantly more efficient than ICE,


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,977 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    There may not be any point in arguing over this if the Chinese get their way.

    From electric cars to wind turbines, environmentally-friendly technology around the world needs rare earth metals. But China - where over 90% of these minerals are mined - is saying it now wants to keep more for its own industry.

    Maybe we should wait and see....


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,837 ✭✭✭ maninasia


    Stonewolf wrote: »
    It's not a question of efficiency. It's that electricity doesn't fit the established paradigm of car fuelling. I'm not interested in plugging my car in at night (I've lived in many places where I fail to see this being practical) and then driving half way across the country at motorway speeds only to have to stop and wait half an hour for the damn thing to charge up again. Hydrogen does fit that paradigm, in that when I go to the filling station it takes a couple of minutes to fill the tank and I'm off again. Don't start with that battery replacement rubbish either, I'm surprised anybody thinks that's actually a practical solution.

    As for what hydrogen infrastructure would look like afaik at the moment in places where it exists filling stations have their own hydrogen generators which seems like a viable short term solution for initial stages of vehicle introduction provided the cost of the generator was reasonable. Longer term you'd be looking at concentrating hydrogen generation and pumping or trucking (or some combination) to stations with more isolated low volume stations continuing to generate their own. Of course, to power all that you'd need a lot of electricity but nuclear power is very good at that part and windmills aren't.

    Most cars are used for short trips, electricity is perfect for that. Plus it would save a fortune compared to petrol. Ireland is very suitable for home electric car charging as most people still live in houses with on-site car parking. Apartment car parks can also be rigged with chargers. Small electric cars are going to be very popular due to cost advantage per driving mile. It's not one size fits all, but almost certainly electric cars have potential to very popular in cities and for daily trips due to economics. In the case of a two car household it would make eminent sense for one to be electric the other regular petrol, the petrol one being used for longer trips such as on weekends.

    Hydrogen as a fuel is pointless, needs to be created from electolysis of water or splitting of natural gas, wastes a tonne of energy, hard to compress, fuel cells extremely expensive and still need to cart the hydrogen around like petrol or LPG. What's the point? As a poster said above ND and LPG cars are already popular low emission, relatively clean burning solutions, they are quite common in Asia already. What the hell is the point of going to Hydrogen? As an engineer I thought the OP should know this...
    Maybe 30 years later...maybe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    We don't have a good source of hydrogen - no nuclear power plants for instance. What we do have is natural gas (if the protestors ever let it come ashore) but much of that will go to power generation, heating etc.

    Realistically the plug-in gasoline hybrid is the solution for the next 10 years or more. Hydrogen is a distraction at best unless someone finds a really cheap way of cracking it without simply sacrificing natural gas and promising to store the resulting CO2.

    The most cost effective electric only or battery-electric mode is the train or light rail as a function of passengers transported and concentration of maintenance technicians. After that comes short range vehicles like taxis or small buses or parcel delivery vehicles which can have many charging points in an urban area.

    A charging point in the Ring of Kerry should not be on the agenda.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,837 ✭✭✭ maninasia


    What's that I hear...3 GBP for a full tank :)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10138911.stm

    You just can't argue with the economics. All you guys waffling on hydrogen this, hybrid that (ok hybrids are a good option for the moment). These things are going to take off...at least as a second family car and for city drivers. Actually come to think of it they will be the primary car for families to use. You need to conceptulise where they will be used and who will use them.


    Why do you need a charging point outside? In vast majority of cases you will not. You just need to maintain your battery charge from home, simple!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,630 Zen65


    Electricity is just not a good idea for cars, well at least not just yet.

    Surely at the sort of cost per km that current electric cars deliver it is a good idea, even if it needs more work?
    I don't see why electric cars are being forced upon us by the EU and others, surley it would be best if the EU told them to cut emissions and let the car makers decide which is the best solution?

    Sure, because of course they're completely independent of the oil companies, and have no vested interests whatsoever, right?
    ....of the alternative fuels so far, hydrogen looks like it is the best

    That would be the view of the oil companies right now also. Why? Because there is not a market of hydrogen cars available right now, so choosing hydrogen is simply a way of continuing to do what we do now.

    My own thoughts are that the BEV is not developed enough to replace the petrol/diesel engine on a wide scale just yet, but hybrid technology is the way to go now, using "smart" charging infrastructure to reduce the CO2 emissions. This means that the cars themselves act almost as storage devices to the electricity grids (cars charging can have their charge interrupted by the Grid if the system needs reserve, so greater penetration of wind power becomes possible as the EV's provide the reserve that WF's cant provide by themselves). Over time the hybrid cars will use less and less petrol/diesel as the batteries improve. The best way to drive improvements in the battery (like we've seen with mobile phones) is to get hybrids onto the market now, so the commercial incentive to improve the battery technology is there.

    In this respect Ireland should /could be seen as leading the way (like a smoking ban, only not causing people to hang around pub doors and litter the streets) for the emergence of BEV's with very long-range batteries.

    Even so, when the car companies sell the cars they've developed from Ireland's "green" strategy abroad, they'll be cheaper and have more features. Some things will never change!!

    Z.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,547 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    maninasia wrote: »
    What's that I hear...3 GBP for a full tank :)

    How much of the cost of a tank of petrol is tax?

    What will the government do if enough people switch away from petrol or diesel to some alternative - they will have to start heavily taxing the alternative to replace the tax income lost.

    "12 pages in and it still needs to be explained to some posters why this guy ended up where he did. It probably explains why so many gobshites get elected in this country."



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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Here we go nearly 3 years later.

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/cwkfauaueykf/rss2/

    (October 2012)
    A mere 121 electric cars have been registered to drive on Irish roads this year. (2012)
    It is a statistically significant jump from the 23 vehicles registered throughout 2011 and the 48 that arrived on the roads the previous year.

    and
    the Department of Energy had intended to have 6,000 passenger cars using electricity by the end of 2012.

    The ESB has committed to maintaining 1,500 public charging points and making 2,000 home charging points available.

    Hybrids are doing much better I am glad to report. BUT!!!!

    There always was a problem with Hybrids and EV's. Pedestrians could not hear them and so these greeny yokes are dangerous.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=are-hybrid-cars-too-quiet ( 2008 , 5 years ago)
    when I heard a graduate student say his group’s latest research suggests that hybrid gas-electric vehicles are too quiet, my ears perked up. He described his colleagues’ vision to equip these cars with sound-emitting devices to warn pedestrians.

    Bringing this up to date a tad.

    http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2013/01/13/Auto-Outlook-Electric-hybrid-cars-too-quiet-feds-say-make-some-noise/UPI-98681358073000/ (2013)
    The National Highway Traffic Administration proposes minimum sound standards for hybrid and electric vehicles that create noise that can be heard above ambient street noise.

    Fourteen possible warning sounds can be heard at www.nhtsa.gov/SampleSounds.

    and so is the EU commission I hear. Maybe once we can hear them ....we might buy them :)


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