May be OT: Electric Cars.....

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jhubbard, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. jhubbard

    jhubbard Well-Known Member

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    I know this is may be off topic, but I believe that a lot of homesteaders are concerned with the environment and self-reliance just as I am. So, here goes...

    Electric cars would help to cut down on air pollution (if the energy to power them is derived from nuclear, or environmental sources like a creek-base generator or wind power or even solar power - any method that doesn't burn stuff basically).

    Until now, the problem has been a combined one of limited range plus long recharge times. There is a company in Canada named Electrovaya that has an SUV that will travel over 200 miles on a single charge but the recharge times are still a limitation. Recharging has been something that would take several hours to complete. Even recharging a laptop battery can take over an hour!

    Toshiba Corporation (yep they make laptops too) has announced a new battery that recharges to 80% in only 60 seconds! And, they have plans to start selling it for electric/hybrid vehicles in 2006!

    Can the batteries (which were first developed for laptops) be built large enough and inexpensive enough to power all-electric (not hybrid) vehicles? We'll see.

    But, the hybrid vehicle is the best step towards a more environmentally conscience mode of transportaion - at least until we have electric recharging stations to replace the gas stations we now have. At first we need to be able to generate our own electricity while we're out tooling around.

    But, wouldn't it be cool to drive up to a parking spot/filling spot and have your vehicle recharged by the time you purchase a Coke and some chips? Or, even better, be able to power your own electric vehicle that only needs to charged a minute or so before you can ride again!

    Finally, a great leap forward!

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  2. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Well-Known Member

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    Not really that big a leap forward. Now you burn much dirtier coal or use nuclear power to charge your car. The polution is just moved into somebody elses back yard, usually a rural one. You also now have a problem with heavy metal polution, actually you have it twice. Once from the obvious the batteries, and again from the fallout from the coal burning powerplant.

    This is the same problem with fuel cell technology. It's promoted as being the great clean fuel because you're making hydrogen from water. They forget to tell you they make hydrogen from water by using electricity.

    So in reality either way you're getting a coal fired automobile, or a nuclear one that pollutes for the next several million years.

    We'd be much better off investing the research money in alcohol or biodiesel fuels. Unfortunately they have the disadvantage of being easy to make on a small scale. We mustn't threaten the big business/big government revenue cycle.
     

  3. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    Electric "cars" are probably a good idea if you have use for one ... but I need a TRUCK. I have yet to see any electric vehicle that can do what my old '73 Chevy 1/2-ton 4x4 is capable of doing. I don't see an electric "car" replacing my '48 Ferguson tractor either. :haha:
     
  4. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the big gov. has been throwing around alot of "research" money during the past several years since Clinton's biofuels initiative. And all the traditional money hogs have lined up to take advantage and fill up - but then thats what gov. pork barrel is destined for anyway. Farmer organizations have joined up also but I think that few that are participating believe it will really work. I saw a decent report detailing the problems of biofuels. The principal problem is that it is a non-dense energy source and drawing it together from the countryside into a production plant means a lot of transport - and fuel consumption.
     
  5. Old Jack

    Old Jack Truth Seeker

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    Piscataway NJ (SPX) Mar 29, 2005
    Say "nanotechnology" and people are likely to think of micro machines or zippy computer chips. But in a new twist, Rutgers scientists are using nanotechnology in chemical reactions that could provide hydrogen for tomorrow's fuel-cell powered clean energy vehicles.

    In a paper to be published April 20 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, describe how they make a finely textured surface of the metal iridium that can be used to extract hydrogen from ammonia, then captured and fed to a fuel cell.

    The metal's unique surface consists of millions of pyramids with facets as tiny as five nanometers (five billionths of a meter) across, onto which ammonia molecules can nestle like matching puzzle pieces.

    This sets up the molecules to undergo complete and efficient decomposition.


    http://www.spacedaily.com/news/nanotech-05zh.html
     
  6. Madame

    Madame Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I read in TMEN that Willie Nelson is an energy company exec. He and 3 partners have formed a company that markets biodiesel to truck stops. The fuel is made with vegetable oils (mainly soybeans) and the petro-diesel engines don't have to be modified. Right now they're trying to get it going in OK. For further info, go to www.biodiesel.com

    Since most electricity is generated in ways that are ecologically damaging, this would appear to be a better solution. I hope it catches on!!!!!