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I am watching the development of all electric cars very closely.
What does the near future look like for a quick full charge (15 minutes) vehicle?
 

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You can get a very substantial charge now in 15 minutes with the Tesla Supercharger - they claim up to 200 miles of charge in 15 minutes. I don't know about others..
 
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Yes, charging quickly is possible, but not widely feasible.

Teslas Superchargers require major infrastructure investment for heavy power lines. That is something that an apartment building or office is not setup to have.

Who is going to pay for the gas stations to install these chargers? It is not going to be free.

Expect the big chains that run fueling stations to invest with money from the large oil companies. As use of fuel goes down and electricity goes up, those oil companies are not going to sit by and watch from the sidelines.

BP invested heavily in solar power development in the 1990s. So, ExxonMobil may become a large provider of electrical charging. They will encourage use of natural gas for combined cycle power plants that can even out the load from unreliable, dangerous and inconsistent wind and solar power.

Electrical storage is not economically feasible at this time. Much of the "solutions" to the problems with EVs are theoretical and not economically practical at this time.

With tens of thousands of batteries added to our neighborhoods each day that require charging, there is not enough wind/solar to provide it. Wind/Solar are too unreliable for mass electrical use and they cover tens of thousands of acres of land as eyesores. Planting trees or other vegetation on those lands would do more to reduce atmospheric CO2 than anything currently planned. But those are not solutions we are allowed to discuss.
 

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Read Vaclav Smil, emeritus professor of energetics at the University of Manitoba and the leading researcher on the role of energy in society, and it becomes rapidly apparent that moving away from muscle energy is what made modern life possible. First it was driven by coal, then oil and gas, and now it will have to come from sustainable sources. Renewable electricity is now the cheapest form of power. We will be going through the same kind of massive change that our ancestors experienced, and it will take massive infrastructure investment, both private and public.

The cost of solar cells have dropped rapidly just as computer memory did. My first memory board cost $1,000 for 64k of static ram in 1982. Electric energy storage research and development is moving rapidly. The latest issue of the science journal Nature reports development work on zinc-air batteries which can provide greater storage at lower cost than lithium-ion. Europe and east Asia are well underway toward an all-electric future. America can't sit on the sidelines and get left behind. Renewable energy is much safer than extracting and burning fossil fuels, but it is distributive rather than point source and that will require changes in the electric grid.

The auto industry will need to change in how a vehicle is configured, that is, the morphology of the vehicle. Early autos copied animal-drawn wagons, followed by a great deal of experimentation until, over time, a standard morphology was developed that has changed little, a metal cage with four wheels at the perimeter and a combustion engine and transmission. Battery-electric allows for more freedom in shape. Since the greatest use (the statistical "mode") of personal autos is for the daily commute by usually only one person, a two-ton vehicle is not required for such a comparatively trivial task. Cost of a BEV could be reduced greatly with downsizing by going to a two-inline seating, narrow, tilting, three wheel, enclosed trike. Weight and frontal area are reduced and aerodynamics improved, requiring less battery storage, the most expensive component of a BEV. In addition, an ISO standard for narrow vehicles (I would set the upper limit at 1.15 meters) would allow for the development of narrower traffic lanes. These vehicles can be made to be safe, with impact crush zones and roll cage construction. Roads filled with lighter weight vehicles would be safer places because impact forces would be lower.
 

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ArsTechnica covered an interesting new idea - instead of compacting the battery as much as possible, which is great for phones and such, give it extra space. That way you can do a very, very fast charge without damage. The big question for me is whether the ultrafast charge is really needed. Yes, we got used to 90 second gasoline fillups, but most of the time we're just commuting, right? Maybe 90% of the people, 90% of the time?

My guess is that the future will hold commuter cars for regular folk, and hydrogen fuel-cell cars for people like my in-laws who would have to travel hundreds of miles in a day to visit various lumber facilities throughout the Greater Vehicle-accessible Wisconsin Region (GVWR). Truckers will have hydrogen fuel cells, and after much griping, will probably be happier with them than the big diesels - better acceleration, smoother, no fumes, and very quiet, with no need for a separate in-vehicle generator. Local buses could go either way; most buses I see around here go into NYC, hang out just across the river for hours, then go back out the opposite way, and have plenty of room underneath for batteries. However it would probably be cheaper to do hydrogen.

As a side note, we all know that wind power, like solar, comes when it wants to come. Right now grid operators in the USA are shutting down wind power when they don't want it, and letting coal/gas/nuclear set the pace, because those are not flexible (in Europe, natural gas is very flexible - as it is in the newest USA plants). But if trucks used hydrogen, we'd overbuild solar and wind farms, and have them creating hydrogen in their off times. Especially handy for offshore wind, I'd think, since there's plenty of ocean water for electrolysis; and every drop of water converted to hydrogen means slightly less ocean level rise! (Just kidding, I know it doesn't work that way. I do predict, though, that some loudmouth-ranter on AM radio or cable “news” will eventually say that hydrogen power is a plot to drain the oceans so “those people” can, um, well, they just want to screw around, y'know?)
 

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I find it hard to fathom that all-electric vehicles will replace everything that we now know, or have, and if every auto maker is going to all-electric vehicles, does that mean that some vehicles will cease to exist?

For instance, I just can't picture an all-electric 4WD off-road vehicle, being a success over the gas powered ones of today.

First, I can't imagine an all-electric 4WD vehicle will be as robust as a gas powered one, and secondly, imagine someone off-roading all day in their all-electric 4WD, but the off-roading uses up too much battery power, and they get stuck with a dead battery out in some wilderness area.

But why do we need 4WD off-road vehicles anyway, just do away with them, cease to offer them.

But wait, they are still essential for say emergency services and rescue operations, so someone will still need to make a 4WD off-road vehicle of some kind, but will it be all-electric?
 

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Read Vaclav Smil, emeritus professor of energetics at the University of Manitoba and the leading researcher on the role of energy in society, and it becomes rapidly apparent that moving away from muscle energy is what made modern life possible. First it was driven by coal, then oil and gas, and now it will have to come from sustainable sources. Renewable electricity is now the cheapest form of power. We will be going through the same kind of massive change that our ancestors experienced, and it will take massive infrastructure investment, both private and public.

The cost of solar cells have dropped rapidly just as computer memory did. My first memory board cost $1,000 for 64k of static ram in 1982. Electric energy storage research and development is moving rapidly. The latest issue of the science journal Nature reports development work on zinc-air batteries which can provide greater storage at lower cost than lithium-ion. Europe and east Asia are well underway toward an all-electric future. America can't sit on the sidelines and get left behind. Renewable energy is much safer than extracting and burning fossil fuels, but it is distributive rather than point source and that will require changes in the electric grid.

The auto industry will need to change in how a vehicle is configured, that is, the morphology of the vehicle. Early autos copied animal-drawn wagons, followed by a great deal of experimentation until, over time, a standard morphology was developed that has changed little, a metal cage with four wheels at the perimeter and a combustion engine and transmission. Battery-electric allows for more freedom in shape. Since the greatest use (the statistical "mode") of personal autos is for the daily commute by usually only one person, a two-ton vehicle is not required for such a comparatively trivial task. Cost of a BEV could be reduced greatly with downsizing by going to a two-inline seating, narrow, tilting, three wheel, enclosed trike. Weight and frontal area are reduced and aerodynamics improved, requiring less battery storage, the most expensive component of a BEV. In addition, an ISO standard for narrow vehicles (I would set the upper limit at 1.15 meters) would allow for the development of narrower traffic lanes. These vehicles can be made to be safe, with impact crush zones and roll cage construction. Roads filled with lighter weight vehicles would be safer places because impact forces would be lower.
You have to look at supply and demand. When many people want to move cars with electricity electric rates will skyrocket. Present rates are based on present infrastructure and usage.

Lighter vehicles will cause more deaths, because trucks aren't going away. Kei cars are 1.48 m wide and we don't have them here because they aren't safe. There isn't going to be a separate narrow gauge road system built alongside the exiting one.
 

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You have to look at supply and demand. When many people want to move cars with electricity electric rates will skyrocket. Present rates are based on present infrastructure and usage.
b) Yes, if we did not add any generating capacity, that would happen, but since we are adding capacity, it will not. See (a).

I can only imagine what you would have thought if you lived in 1890. "You know, if people insist on buying those weird gasoline-powered cars, since we only have a few wells in Pennsylvania, before long nobody will be able to use oil for lubrication and it will cost $400 to go across town in a gasoline car. Best stick to horses. We’ll never be able to produce more than a few thousand gallons of gasoline a year.”
 

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It has never taken me 15 minutes to fill up my tank.
But yet if you fill your car then go into the store to shop and use the restroom, you will spend most of 15 minutes. With electric you can shop and use the restroom while it charges.
15 minutes isn’t bad, people think they have to stop for hours to get a charge.
 

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But yet if you fill your car then go into the store to shop and use the restroom, you will spend most of 15 minutes. With electric you can shop and use the restroom while it charges.
15 minutes isn’t bad, people think they have to stop for hours to get a charge.
They say the fast charging isn't good for battery life


 

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ArsTechnica covered an interesting new idea - instead of compacting the battery as much as possible, which is great for phones and such, give it extra space. That way you can do a very, very fast charge without damage. The big question for me is whether the ultrafast charge is really needed. Yes, we got used to 90 second gasoline fillups, but most of the time we're just commuting, right? Maybe 90% of the people, 90% of the time?

My guess is that the future will hold commuter cars for regular folk, and hydrogen fuel-cell cars for people like my in-laws who would have to travel hundreds of miles in a day to visit various lumber facilities throughout the Greater Vehicle-accessible Wisconsin Region (GVWR). Truckers will have hydrogen fuel cells, and after much griping, will probably be happier with them than the big diesels - better acceleration, smoother, no fumes, and very quiet, with no need for a separate in-vehicle generator. Local buses could go either way; most buses I see around here go into NYC, hang out just across the river for hours, then go back out the opposite way, and have plenty of room underneath for batteries. However it would probably be cheaper to do hydrogen.

But if trucks used hydrogen, we'd overbuild solar and wind farms, and have them creating hydrogen in their off
You have to look at supply and demand. When many people want to move cars with electricity electric rates will skyrocket. Present rates are based on present infrastructure and usage.

Lighter vehicles will cause more deaths, because trucks aren't going away. Kei cars are 1.48 m wide and we don't have them here because they aren't safe. There isn't going to be a separate narrow gauge road system built alongside the exiting one.
Europeans drive smaller cars than Americans but their death rate is lower. If mass were the primary determinant of vehicle safety, then we'd all be driving semi tractors, and Formula 1 cars would look like tanks. Actually, the most common cause of accident death is the single vehicle rollover, and pickup trucks, with their high center of gravity, are at greatest risk of that.
 

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A major problem with hydrogen fuel cells is that their exhaust is low temperature water vapor. Fill the roads in a cold climate with hydrogen powered cars and they will be turned into instant skating rinks. One can see that happening at long stop lights on very cold days, when the water vapor in car exhaust freezes to the road surface and creates black ice. That's how my daughter-in-law slid through a Minneapolis intersection and got T-boned. There will have to be a water vapor capture technology installed with insulated water holding tanks to keep ice from forming on the roads. I live in northern Minnesota, and here, hydrogen cars could produce road ice for six months of the year.
 

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When I fuel up, It takes between 5 and 10 minutes. We already have a large fueling infrastructure in place, gas stations. They would require new infrastructure, but they've gone through that process many times over the years. They have the space. When I lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1973, there were public electric outlets all over the place to plug in engine block heaters. What about people who live in apartments with no off-street parking. Go to the "fuel" station just like they do now. If fast charging can be brought down to 10 minutes, that makes "refueling" a workable situation. If cars are smaller, as I proposed above, then charging could be done in 5 minutes, or if long trips are necessary, the same battery capacity that now moves a heavy car 100 miles could move a light one 250. A range of 500 miles with existing technology is in reach with a morphological change of the vehicle.
 

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When I fuel up, It takes between 5 and 10 minutes. We already have a large fueling infrastructure in place, gas stations. They would require new infrastructure, but they've gone through that process many times over the years. They have the space. When I lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1973, there were public electric outlets all over the place to plug in engine block heaters. What about people who live in apartments with no off-street parking. Go to the "fuel" station just like they do now. If fast charging can be brought down to 10 minutes, that makes "refueling" a workable situation. If cars are smaller, as I proposed above, then charging could be done in 5 minutes, or if long trips are necessary, the same battery capacity that now moves a heavy car 100 miles could move a light one 250. A range of 500 miles with existing technology is in reach with a morphological change of the vehicle.
I honestly had no idea that what you describe about Winnipeg existed! Clever.
 

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When I fuel up, It takes between 5 and 10 minutes. We already have a large fueling infrastructure in place, gas stations. They would require new infrastructure, but they've gone through that process many times over the years. They have the space. When I lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1973, there were public electric outlets all over the place to plug in engine block heaters. What about people who live in apartments with no off-street parking. Go to the "fuel" station just like they do now. If fast charging can be brought down to 10 minutes, that makes "refueling" a workable situation. If cars are smaller, as I proposed above, then charging could be done in 5 minutes, or if long trips are necessary, the same battery capacity that now moves a heavy car 100 miles could move a light one 250. A range of 500 miles with existing technology is in reach with a morphological change of the vehicle.
And if you made the cars even smaller and the electrons faster you charge faster and if and if and if and if...
 
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