Electric Cars

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Supervisor42

Formerly known as Supervisor42
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I do believe EV is the future, but not because Tesla or Biden says so. Electric power is just more energy efficient. But I also think the battery tech we have today is unsustainable, and will need a massive industry shift to make it possible. Solid state will be a step in the right direction, but that'll just be the beginning. I think a good stop-gap is range extenders, where an engine acts as a generator, charging a small battery pack, and the wheels are turned exclusively by electric motors. The batteries are smaller and lighter, refilling is just a stop at the gas station, and all the benefits of EV are there.
I was following along as each improvement came down the pike.
First they were SCR controlled. That featured 'plug-braking' (put dir control in opposite direction, mash the 'gas pedal' and the motor slowed it down.
Then they upgraded to MOSFET transistor control and 'dynamic braking' meant if you were rolling and let the gas-pedal up, it slowed down. The faster and further you let the pedal up, the quicker it slowed down.
With the advent of A/C drive systems they found out with transistors, you can make your own A/C waveform to drive an A/C motor with a D/C battery.
They added 'regenerative-breaking' to the other two, and anytime it was being slowed down by the motor, the power went back into the battery recharging it.
You could drive it all day and never touch the brake pedal. Most did. Others found that if they touched the brake pedal the 'plug braking' slowed them down fast without the brakes ever being used.
For someone that did brake-jobs, this was a godsend :). These machines are driven fast, by maniacs, around the clock.
These were not lightweight automobiles they are slinging around either.
Fully loaded, 12,000 lbs, and they are moving faster than you can dive for covero_O.
Oh, this was tested, proven, technology, in 2008. All battery-powered electrics.

...and those weren't even the BIG ONES:oops:.
 
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HippoTwilight

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$7000. Do you know there are many out there who could never afford $7000 for a car?
"It's expensive being poor."

My FIL makes a hobby out of flipping $1000 cars. He has the tools and skills to DIY most repairs. The stuff he finds for $1000 or less is 1 pot hole away from catastrophic failure. He fixes the mechanical problems, and sells them for a profit. Based on my exposure to that, these cheap cars are barely road worthy, and the people who own them don't have the resources to get them fixed when a simple repair takes it off the road. So then people like my FIL buy them up, get them road worthy, and sell them at a price point above when the previous owner can afford. So that "poor" person is stuck in a cycle of endless craptastic cars.

But to be more helpful...in the same paragraph as the Prius example, I also said used combustion cars will be on the road for at least the next 50 years. There has to be $1000 cars in there somewhere.
 

UrbanHunter

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"It's expensive being poor."
So that "poor" person is stuck in a cycle of endless craptastic cars.
The good news is, as the dollar is devalued and prices go up we will all be able to make that judgement for ourselves soon..... The thing about the new technologies are that they are often disposable, when electronics go bad there is usually just no fixing it. Just a brake control module on my 20 year old truck cost $300.

Biggest complaint about old cars are electrical, bad switches, window motors, ac blower fans, and such.

Electric cars have lots of instantaneous low end torque available, so if you have a heavy foot you will be replacing tires on a regular basis.

I have to think, the on my old cars I usually replace the alternator about every 100,000 miles, and I usually get 350,000 miles out of them hum.... how long do the electric drive motors last? I expect that we will start to learn that soon.
 

rusty

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"It's expensive being poor."

My FIL makes a hobby out of flipping $1000 cars. He has the tools and skills to DIY most repairs. The stuff he finds for $1000 or less is 1 pot hole away from catastrophic failure. He fixes the mechanical problems, and sells them for a profit. Based on my exposure to that, these cheap cars are barely road worthy, and the people who own them don't have the resources to get them fixed when a simple repair takes it off the road. So then people like my FIL buy them up, get them road worthy, and sell them at a price point above when the previous owner can afford. So that "poor" person is stuck in a cycle of endless craptastic cars.

But to be more helpful...in the same paragraph as the Prius example, I also said used combustion cars will be on the road for at least the next 50 years. There has to be $1000 cars in there somewhere.
I have a friend with one of those lots. In March he sold all 50 cars he had. Used car prices are so high now, he can't afford to buy any more. If he could buy cars he could resell at $2000. he could sell another 100 cars. Anything too expensive to fix sold for scrap because the scrap iron price is really high. He is trying to hang onto his full-time mechanic but there is little for him to do.
 

HippoTwilight

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I have to think, the on my old cars I usually replace the alternator about every 100,000 miles, and I usually get 350,000 miles out of them hum.... how long do the electric drive motors last? I expect that we will start to learn that soon.
Like all things, it'll depend on the manufacturer and the previous owners. The internet is full of spirited debates on who makes a better cordless drill, I can't imagine it'll be any different with cars.

I believe 2001 was the first year for the Prius in the US, so we're just now getting to 20 years old. The Prius is a parallel hybrid, meaning the electric motor is more like an assist to the engine, rather than the primary source of power. The Prius Prime (heavy hybrid with EV-only mode) came out in 2012, so only about 9 years on that one. Not long enough to test the age limits of the cars. But there are cars making it over 200k miles, with some reports of over 300k. If you consider the national average of 12-15,000 miles per year, it'll take 25 years to hit those numbers. So we'll have an idea on Toyota's reliability in the next 15 years. But that'll be for the first-gen tech. I believe Toyota has about a 4-5 year cycle on the Prius's hybrid tech, so they'll be on gen6 by the time we can gauge the longevity of the gen1 tech.

For a more pure EV vehicle, the Chevy Volt was primarily powered by electric motors. 99% of the time the engine operating as a generator only. It ran from 2011-2019, so we'll have a good idea about Chevy's attempt around 2044 when the newest models will be 25 years old. Then the Bolt came out in 2017, which is a BEV, so 2042 for that one.

The first gen Nissan Leaf is a good example of how to suck. They used air-cooled batteries, and I think motors too. Terrible range, and premature failures aren't uncommon. Liquid cooling all the components is the key to longevity. After that it's all about how you tune the software. Think of it like turbo chargers from the 80's versus today. They used to have terrible lag and you went from an anemic motor to drag car once it spooled up, now thru a variety of technologies turbo lag is pretty much imperceptible. You can program the motor controller the same way. Zero throttle = zero current, 100% throttle = 100% current, and a linear scale in between. Unlocking all the torque is as simple as blipping the throttle to the floor. Or you can build in some algorithm intelligence that prevents wheel spin, or overheating. Our hybrid has ECO, Normal, Sport modes. Throttle response under ECO is like grandma driving, until you get to the very end of the pedal travel, then it jumps up to high power. The "engine" response is also very smooth, jerky pedal movements don't result in jerky driving characteristics. Sport mode is the exact opposite. I can jerk the car just by wiggling my big toe up and down. I can look at the gas pedal and it shoots up to the power band in a blink. Normal mode is somewhere in between. If our car lived in Sport mode it's whole life, it'd wear out a lot sooner than if it lived in ECO mode.
 
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