"Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, the "father of the Prius" who
helped put hybrids on the map, said he believes fuel-cell vehicles
hold far more promise than battery electric cars.
"Because of its shortcomings ? driving range, cost and recharging time
? the electric vehicle is not a viable replacement for most
conventional cars," said Uchiyamada. "We need something entirely new."
Nothing like stating the blindingly obvious and then representing it
as if it's some sort of revelation.
================================================The Q is: are fuel cells a (develop-able) answer? Dunno.
Keep in mind, the new Prius "c" (sposedly for "city") gets 68 mpg (according
to lightfooted drivers). Which means Moi would proly get 80 mpg....
The "c" is the smallest in the prius line.
That's VERY significant, for high-mileage drivers. Low price, as well --
$18K, for the base, not that much more various trim levels. Don't know how
battery cost/lifetime factors in, tho.
Electrics have indeed been disappointing, tho -- not much better than the
Ranger EV's, from way back, which had 30-40 electric-only mile ranges, using
Part of the "failure", I think, is the refusal to limit hp, and the
incomprehensible *weight* to these effing cars. Whazzup wit dat?
. VW beetles did fine with between 36 and 54 hp, under 2,000 lbs -- 54
being the hot-rod bug -- in 1974!!! Also their minivan/bus.
Also, part of the "failure" is of our own making, ie urban sprawl, where
commutes are 30-100 miles, one way.
The Leaf, et al, could reliably handle 50 mile commutes (one way), but you'd
need charging stations at the yob.
The Tesla, tho, seems to have surmounted much of these limitations -- if
it's not all hype. And then, who can afford them?
Urban planners, in general, condemn urban sprawl. PBS had an inneresting
documentary on this, focusing on PA, and featuring Bri'ish "solutions to
Manhattan, and the 5 boroughs, has a large-scale solution ito public trans,
but now you gotta be a multi-millionaire to partake -- unless, of course,
you are a drug dealer, living with his mom on Sectoin 8..
No good (city planning) deed goes unpunished, eh?
As an inneresting tangent to this, energy-wise, altho subways have
"regenerative brakes", that regenerated electricity is NOT fet back to the
grid, but goes up the proverbial chimbley, through resistor banks.
If that energy was grid-bound, the NYC subways could power a city of approx
200,000 homes, as the energy from a braking train is fairly incredible.
On Fri, 8 Feb 2013 17:18:02 -0500, "Existential Angst"
Especially considering that it's NOT a flyweight gutless econobox.
It's a really nice car and it's a pleasure to drive. But 60 is nothing
for a Volt. Check out the site below to see people getting 5000 or
It's a shame that more of the people who can afford it, don't step up
and support the tech.
It's about 40. Unless it's in "mountain mode", where it can be
increasing battery state of charge while driving on ICE power. That's
inefficient but I've used it a couple times on extended trips to
ensure that the battery is sufficiently charged at the destination to
allow friends to drive the car on battery alone.
http://www.voltstats.net/ At that website you can view mileage stats
from hundreds of Volt owners. Click on the top of the columns to
resort by category. A Volt shopper can estimate his projected EV
percentage, sort by percentage, and then see the stats of current
owners with a similar EV percentage.
I guess I don't understand why there's the big push to use batteries
instead of fuel cells.
As I understand it, the fuel cell uses nitrogen (non-flammable gas) as
fuel, produces electricity and water vapor as a by products. Building
a tank to hold relatively high pressure non-flammable gas into a car
body shouldn't be a problem as it shouldn't explode in an accident.
The whole drive system should not weigh any more that the combined gas
engine, batteries and electric motor and, I would think, be easier to
package within the confines of the body. Range would not be any more
of a problem than with current gasoline engines. Replacement of the
platinum screen shouldn't cost as much as replacing the batteries
though I don't know if it would last as long.
What am I missing in this discussion that drives the makers to only
On Sat, 09 Feb 2013 07:06:01 -0800, whoyakidding's ghost
Because nobody has a fuel cell that will work on road gasoline yet without
No, the fuel cell requires a flammable fuel. It oxidizes the fuel using
oxygen from air, and develops current directly from that oxidation.
The fuel cell can be designed to work on a variety of fuels. If you want
to create water as your only byproduct, you have to use hydrogen which is
a flammable gas (and a pain to work with even by flammable gas standards).
You can build a fuel cell that will run off methanol or ethanol, or off
of propane. Since these fuels have carbon in them, your exhaust is now
full of carbon compounds (hopefully carbon dioxide if you did it right).
In general these designs also have a limited lifespan because they become
clogged up with combustion by-products.
The holy grail right now is to build a fuel cell that can operate off of
gasoline without becoming hopelessly clogged up after a short running time.
The fuel cell gives you more efficient use of the fuel than an internal
combustion engine, especially when you are not requiring peak output.
You can't run a fuel cell on nitrogen.... nitrogen combines with itself
and it doesn't like to let go or combine with other things. If you ever
see a compound that contains nitrogen, like nitromethane or nitrocellulose
or trinotrotoluene, it's a compound that took a lot of energy to make and
is apt to want to release that energy fast.
This is true, and it would seem that retrofitting a commercial fuel cell
into a current hybrid vehicle would not be a huge job. The hard part
would mostly be software.
In spite of the fact that fuel cells have been with us since NASA developed
them for the Gemini program, we still don't have any that will run off a
convenient fuel that we can already distribute.
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Two things about your comments:
1) I get the impression that ethanol could/can be used as a fuel. It
attracts water and requires a non-rusting tank to hold it but there
are metals that can be used without a great deal of additional cost.
We're doing it now for the E85 fuel.
2) Ethanol can/is being distrubed now though combined with gasoline.
A different pecentage mixture, say 50/50 or something else, could be
transported and distributed very much like diesel fuel...separate tank
and pump. The existing tanks and trucks could be coated with a
plastic material to prevent rusting. It could allow use of the same
Again, what am I missing?
On 9 Feb 2013 11:46:17 -0500, email@example.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:
This was a wrong assumption, and so the rest of your post from this point on
makes no sense, I'm sorry. You may be confusing it with nitrogen-doped catalysts
used in fuel cells or with nitrogen-based fuels, such as hydrazine and ammonia
for experimental fuel cells, which are pretty much just alternative ways to
store and deliver hydrogen, which is still the source of the energy.
You do NOT want hydrazine (highly unstable rocket fuel since V2) in a car that
can crash, just as you do not want highly toxic ammonia and, needless to say,
gaseous hydrogen at high pressure.
I'm not trying to say that the fuel cell technology has no future (every
technology still worked on has a future), I'm saying that there are at this
point more attainable ways to store and release energy - batteries of different
kind. The one thing that holds them back most is the charging time. But there
may be ways to handle that, too. Back in early 1900s there were EV taxis in NYC
that had replaceable battery packs. As the driver would run a pack down, he'd
pull into a depot and get the pack replaced with a charged one in what was said
to be a 10 minute operation. These were huge bulky lead acid batteries - I'm
sure these days a replaceable pack can be made much smaller and replaced much
easier. Perhaps won't work for everybody but it's one solution.
Also, it might have been unthinkable 20 years ago that people would seek out a
charger as they arrive anywhere (home, work, mall parking lot) but this is the
first thing that I watch my kids do when they get home these days - they almost
instantly plug in lest their smart phones run out of juice. I'd say the younger
generation has already been conditioned to keep a battery charge level on the
back of their smart phone-assisted minds. Adding a car to this would not be such
a huge step, just another electronic device.
Anyhow, we're discussing cars here as if people that drive them would never,
under any circumstances, adapt to any change, such as the need to plan a trip
ahead with battery charge in mind, and that's just not true (for most people).
We are where we are because we were the most adaptable creature around, so we'll
figure this one out, too.
Try the BMW Active E. I got to drive one briefly a while ago and it was
a very, very fun car by any standard.
Range is too limited for folks out here in the sticks, and charging
is still a problem, but that's what you get with a new technology
competing with one that already has an extensive and active infrastructure.
I agree, but then I'm still driving a carbureted car to work every day,
because it still keeps running fine and remains fun to drive. That's
a little part of the adoption problem right there: people don't replace
their cars as often as they used to.
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
The difference between a generator and a car is the generator runs at
steady speed and relatively steady load, while a car does a lot of
accelerating and decellerating and climbing hills etc - and needs to
have almost instantaneous response.
On Sat, 9 Feb 2013 14:03:12 -0800 (PST), jon_banquer
You're nuts. If they're economically viable, then why don't the
majority of Americans own them?
Because they want no part of a pick-up truck. The majority of
Americans aren't '"cargo haulers."
And pick-ups aren't that "popular" either. Very small part of
vehicle sales, though they sell well because businesses, farmers and
tradesmen find them useful or essential.
I've had pick-ups and full size vans. Hauled stuff with them too.
But whenever I moved I rented a 20' box truck.
Made the pick-up look like a tinker toy.
I've had a lot of stuff hauled since I had pick-ups and vans.
Free delivery or a 10-50 buck charge.
Most of that can be avoided by loading into the back seat of mid-size
sedan or tying it on the roof.
Doesn't add up to a hill of beans compared to +$30k for a decent new
But if you want a pick-up, go for it.
Around here the majority of suburban homeowners DO have pickup trucks
parked out front and use them to haul the construction, lawn and
garden supplies that would mess up the wife's SUV. Do you live in a
neighborhood where no one dirties their hands with their own
Actually, most do use lawn services, and I'm an exception. Hardly any
pick-ups around this suburb, except tradesmen. Plenty of SUV's.
But I have no problem putting 500 lbs of topsoil in my car trunk.
Done it more than once. Same with pavers, concrete blocks, etc.
Also tied plenty of stuff to the roof, including 4x8's.
Never hurt the car, or dirtied it that a vacuum wouldn't fix.
But that's all pretty infrequent.
Every time I've had appliances or furniture delivered it was free.
I paid HD to deliver a pallet of pavers once, and paid them to deliver
a couple 24' 2x10's once. A half ton pick-up wouldn't have handled
the pallet, and no pick-up the 24's any better than my car.
Think the HD delivery charge was 50 bucks each time.
Just don't need a pick-up. Doesn't make financial sense.
Other may see it differently.
Your choice of gutter language does not support
your claim to be a professional anything.
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
And I'm a Professional Engineer.
Bikes are fun to ride and to mess
with in the garage.
Around here the majority of folks have huge full-size pickup trucks
which they use to drive to work with an empty bed, because having
pickup trucks is cool and fashionable and a statement. Most of these
people would be horrified at the thought of actually hauling something
in them and possibly scratching the finish.
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
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