Archive for Electric Cars

Temperatures

Posted in America, Britain, Canada, China, Environment, European Union, News, Spain, Traffic, UK with tags , , , , on 31/07/2018 by floroy1942

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Its getting hotter and hotter this year and it won’t end until winter comes, and who knows what the winter will bring. In the Middle East its well over forty degrees, and we can expect close to forty degrees in Europe this August. All over the world it is getting hotter and the weather is to blame.

We are contaminating the skies with our with our gases and car exhausts as never before, and this is causing the hot weather. I predict that it will get hotter next year as the contamination gets worse.

We have to do something about it before all of us die from the extreme temperatures. It will get worse year on year as the climate is clogged up with the poisonous gases that we emit. There are too many cars on the road and we have to make sure they are reduced. The entire world is choking with cars and they are are emitting far too much gas. In Marbella we get traffic jams every day during the summer and this has to stop. Not only Marbella, but all across the world in America, China and many other countries there are traffic jams.

They pollute the atmosphere with their exhausts, and some people in China wear gas masks to stop the contamination from getting into their lungs. This will be world-wide in a few years time. Already people are dying from the contamination with lung cancer.

It is time the governments of the world started reducing the number of cars on the road to stop this contamination. It will take a hundred years for the contamination to reduce and we are surely going to die from the fumes.

Electric cars are the answer for they will not contaminate the atmosphere, but how long before all people are travelling in electric cars. It will take years and years before the whole world is using electric cars, and the contamination will get worse.

But what of the power stations for charging the batteries? We must build new power stations for the hundreds and thousands of cars on the road. They will have charging stations all across the world and they must have power to charge their engines. Prices will rise for the electricity and few people can afford it. This will cut down the number of vehicles on the road and this is a good thing.

We have a long way to go to before the world gets better and it will take years.

Roy.

Self Drive/Electric Cars? – No I Don’t Think So!

Posted in America, Britain, Environment, European Union, Human Rights, Insanity, Modern World, News, Traffic, Travel with tags , , , , on 25/01/2016 by floroy1942

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the main accent seems to be on driverless cars as people become more and more fascinated by them. We are hearing pundits say that they are the transport of the future, but to be honest I doubt it, at least not in the form currently envisaged. It’s just like the electric car that many people say will be the main mode of transport in the coming years. Sorry but I don’t believe a word of it.

Survey

Survey

First of all, let us take the driverless car that is supposed to revolutionize our future transport system. Can you honestly believe that in cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Beijing and all the other major cities in the world known for their massive traffic jams, that people will travel around these cities in a driverless car. Not a chance.

With a human at the wheel a vehicle will get through dense traffic far quicker than if it is automated. All such cars must have certain safeguards built into the system to prevent us humans from being hurt in an accident, so you will never see an automated vehicle pushing its nose into a stream of traffic at a junction for example. To get through traffic jams today you have to be cheeky, or you will never reach your destination, and that is something automated cars are not good at.

They may be fine for travelling from Madrid to Paris or from New York to Las Vegas for example, but that is not something the majority of people do every day. In cities and towns most people use the car to get to and from work so it is clear that will be the main usage, and I just don’t see the driverless cars catching on for this purpose.

To me what is far more likely is a completely automated system of  passenger transport with no cars on the road at all. It would be like an automated taxi service where you call up a small automated vehicle, give it a destination and it takes you there. Just like in the sci-fi movies.

Charging

Charging

When it comes to electric vehicles I think they are even more unlikely in great numbers. The electricity generating companies in many parts of the world are currently struggling to satisfy the power requirements of major cities across the globe, and yet, people think that electric vehicles as a mode of transport will take off. I can tell you now that ain’t likely to happen folks.

Even if we had only fifty thousand electric vehicles in London the power companies would not be able to keep pace with the demand, and that applies across the world. As we all know, electric cars are severely limited in their range due to the necessity of recharging the batteries, and the simple fact is we do not have sufficient power generation resources to have millions of electric vehicles charging every day.

But this is not all, for what do we do with the car batteries when they are no longer needed? They are not exactly environmentally friendly are they, and as electric cars have accidents or get scrapped what do we do with the batteries?

Last but not least, has anyone worked out the pitfalls with car insurance in these scenarios? No! I thought not!!!

I’m afraid that when it comes to the all-electric vehicle the demands will be too much, and don’t forget the massive electricity bills you will have to pay each month.

Flying CarThere is just one more mode of transport that is circling in the background, and that is the flying car. This I find totally impractical for the simple reason that every owner would be required to follow a course to obtain a flying licence. But more to the point, such a thing would be very dangerous. Can you imagine cars taking off and landing on roads and flying willy-nilly across the skies. It would be impossible to maintain a flight plan system for car drivers which would mean chaos, and they would be falling out of the skies like leaves from a tree.

It all sounds very fine, but none of this will come to proper fruition now or in the future. The future will be a lot different. Who knows, we may run out of oil first, and then we will end up back in the Middle Ages.

Roy.

France Leads The Way By Turning Out The Lights

Posted in America, Britain, Environment, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 02/02/2013 by floroy1942
Shanghai At Night

Shanghai At Night

According to reports, France has taken a major step towards saving the planet without even realizing it. The French government have apparently just passed a law that forces shops and office blocks to turn out their lights at night, quoting “light pollution” and “electricity savings”.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

The law states that all of these buildings must turn off all lights within one hour of the last person leaving, or by 01.00hrs every night and the projected savings in electricity are staggering. It has been calculated that this one measure will save sufficient energy to power 750,000 homes for an entire year! The actual figure is two terawatt/hours of electricity a year. When you consider the implications of this, it is an enormous saving of power at a time when demand is growing at an ever-increasing rate year on year.

World Energy Consumption On The Rise

World Energy Consumption On The Rise

As we have more and more gadgets in the house requiring this precious resource, plus of course the introduction of electric cars, the energy demands of today’s society will grow to such an extent that the power companies will be unable to fill demand in the future. This in effect, will necessitate a mass building programme of extra power stations which will need more of the Earth’s resources to feed them.

London

London

When you look at the night skyline of  all the major cities in the world they are a mass of light from glaring advertisements to whole skyscrapers lit from top to bottom. If you think about it, this is wasting power on an unprecedented scale the like of which is incomparable. We are using coal, natural gas and nuclear power to satisfy our increasing needs, and this is before millions of people ‘go green’ and buy an electric car to ‘save the planet’.

Power Guzzler!

Power Guzzler!

There are many people who are against nuclear power, but what they do not realize is that as demand increases we will need many more power stations to keep up with demand. If they are all gas or coal powered we will hasten the day when the whole planet will have the problem currently inflicted upon the people of Beijing, China. A poisoned atmosphere!

Sydney Australia

Sydney Australia

For this reason it is wise for us all to look at ways to reduce our power consumption, and the step that France has taken is the right way to go. It only remains to be seen how soon all countries follow this lead and impose the same law. When you think about it, I am sure you will see that it makes sense.

Roy.

The Hybrid Car. Not What I Expected!

Posted in Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Germany, Modern World, Traffic, Travel, UK, USA with tags , , , on 07/08/2011 by floroy1942

The hybrid car has been trumpeted by many manufacturers as the replacement for the normal petrol or diesel cars we now drive. I tried one, but I have to say, it was not what I anticipated.

The New 'Baby' Lexus CT200h

I test drove a hybrid car and was surprised to learn it only runs on its electric motor up to 25mph, after that the combustion engine takes over.

The salesman told me that was normal with all hybrid cars and my immediate reaction was; what use is that? We probably spend much less than 5% of our time driving below 25mph except in the town or city, where it may go up to 15%. The second thing that surprised me was the range, just 2 miles on full electric. Not really a lot of good!

Honda Hybrid

In my ignorance, I always thought you could drive normally on the batteries so long as they had a charge, and then switch to the combustion engine when the batteries were flat and so charge them up. Silly me!

A rather unnerving point about driving an electric car is the lack of noise. Two youths on a bicycle pulled across the road in front of me and they clearly had not heard my approach. Maybe these cars should be fitted with a constantly blown vazulu so you can warn pedestrians of your approach.

Best To Find A Hotel !

I must say, the hybrid does have one major advantage over an all electric car, at least you don’t have to stop every few miles and wait around for twelve hours while the darn batteries charge. It can’t be very nice to be stuck miles from a charging point and have to call the breakdown service to get you to it. It also struck me as somewhat of a surprise to learn that should your batteries wear out on an electric car, replacements could set you back around 7000. Wow!

You Just Need A Longer Cable!

As I have previously mentioned in posts, I am afraid the all electric car is a non-starter when it comes to replacing the combustion engine, but it seems the hybrid is not much better. In fact, the product does not live up to all the hype. I think manufacturers need to start thinking about an electric car with normal performance, but has a combustion engine backup.

Roy.    

Associated Post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/electric-cars-a-viable-alternative/

Electric Cars a Viable Alternative?

Posted in Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Insanity, Modern World, Nuclear, Radioactive Waste, Toxic Waste, Traffic, Travel, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 15/01/2011 by floroy1942

Are electric cars a real alternative to the internal combustion engine? The short answer is no! The truth is, we are still a long way from replacing ‘old faithful’.

A Renault Concept Car: Z17

Various car makers have started (or will soon) introducing new models onto the market, among them Renault amid a lot of hype about industrial espionage. What a free promotion gift that was!

In general, they fall into three basic categories based on range. The ‘city’ car has a range of up to 100 miles, the ‘intermediaries’ with 100 to 200 miles, and the ‘top’ class which can supposedly reach 350 miles like the ZAP-X. The one thing that stands out is the price. You pay through the nose for extra mileage! The estimated cost of a ZAP is $60,000.

Range is the driving factor for any electric vehicle i.e.: How far can I drive before recharging, and how long does it take to recharge?

The BBC’s Brian Milligan and Mini

I read with some interest an article by a BBC reporter, Brian Milligan, who made a journey from London to Edinburgh in Scotland, a distance of 484 miles, in an all-electric Mini. It took him four days! “Well”, the pundits might say; “at least he made it”. It’s interesting to note that he did return to London by train, and the car was returned on a trailer.

While his vehicle was not perhaps the optimum for such a long drive it does highlight many of the problems associated with electric cars.

The Mini is advertised with a range of “155 miles under ideal driving conditions** (104 miles estimated under normal driving conditions)” with a charging time of “Approximately 4.5 hrs (240 volt, 32 amps outlet)”. In reality, the intrepid reporter was faced with a somewhat different scenario.

First and foremost, the trial took place in winter, which automatically reduced battery power by up to 25%, giving only 70 to 80 miles per charge. Secondly, charging times were between 6 and 8 hours and not the 4.5 as advertised.

Also, you will not find anything in electric car brochures telling you that running the heater or radio will significantly reduce battery life. Driving at night, when you need headlights, drains the battery even quicker. During his journey North, Brian Milligan spent many cold periods in the car because he was forced to sacrifice warmth for range.

Route Details

Upon completion of the journey, taking into account charging times, his estimated speed over the 484 miles was just 6 m.p.h. Not exactly mind-boggling! He was however sensible, for he made sure he had plenty of reading material with him in the form of thick books with which to while away the endless hours of recharging the batteries every 70 to 80 miles.

You can read first-hand an account of the journey on the BBC website under:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12138420

Zapa – 350 Miles?

Not what I would call an inspiring advertisement for the use of electric cars. There are of course other alternatives on the market that may fair better than the Mini, but I wouldn’t bet on much of an improvement.

If you need a car just to get around town then it is feasible to invest in electric, for short journeys are within the capabilities of an electric vehicle, but that means you would also need a ‘normal’ car for longer journeys, which makes it an expensive business. Oh! And don’t think about taking much luggage with you when you go to visit mother-in law, for just about every nook and cranny in the car is reserved for storing the batteries!

Apart from the obvious frustration of not knowing if you will reach your destination on an ‘electric’ journey and maybe freezing in the process, there is also another serious problem if we all ‘Go Electric’.

Millions of Vehicles?

No-one seems to have thought about how our power sources are going to survive thousands, maybe millions of cars being plugged in to feed their power hungry batteries!

It seems to me we are slowly staggering from one major problem to an even greater catastrophe!

There can be little doubt in anyone’s mind, that the current power output in all countries could not possibly handle the huge demand for electricity when everyone drives battery powered cars. It’s a logistical impossibility!

It would mean a huge increase in the number of power generating stations, which would either accelerate the use of the world’s valuable resources, or require a massive expansion in the number of nuclear generators. This is turn would increase the nuclear waste.

It is certain that ‘Road-Side Assistance’ companies would see a large increase in workload rescuing drivers with dead batteries. If you are thinking of starting a business that would be the way to go!

Other alternatives like bio-fuels and hydrogen are not worth thinking of, for they too have serious drawbacks. To run bio-fuels we need land to grow the crops from which it is made, and experience has already shown that we cannot, for we need the land to grow food.

Volatile and Dangerous

Hydrogen is considered by some to provide an alternative, but by its very unstable and volatile nature, we cannot use it unless some means of safely storing and transporting the gas is found.

So far as I can see, the only viable alternative to our current crisis is the Hybrid.

Hybrid – The Only Viable Alternative (for the moment)

It is true we will not be ridding our planet of its most contaminating influence, but going hybrid will give us a breathing space in which we can hopefully find a more satisfactory solution. Hybrid cars do not need to feed off our power grids but charge themselves when running ‘old reliable’, and judicious use of the system will reduce the output of dangerous gases considerably.

The evidence is here that it’s quicker by train.

May your batteries never run flat!

Roy.



Future Transport: Electric, Hybrid, Hydrogen or Bio?

Posted in Environment, Modern World, Nuclear, Radioactive Waste, Traffic, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 19/12/2009 by floroy1942

In 2020 the number of cars in the world is expected to reach 1.1 billion, based on the current annual increase. For years the buzz has been about what will replace the petrol/diesel engine in the future. What will finally condemn them to history in this increasingly environmentally conscious world?

For many our current vehicles will be replaced with electric cars, and there are already some models on the market. Some experts believe the future lies in hydrogen-powered cars, which are infinitely cleaner. There are people who swear by bio-fuels and the hybrid, but what is the most realistic alternative?

In my opinion, electric cars are a non-starter for several reasons. Firstly, they do not have the range and sustainable speed of the current power plants, and the battery banks are large, heavy, expensive to manufacture and dispose of. World-wide, the national power grids could not hope to handle the huge demands made upon them by a billion cars that require regular battery charges. Imagine any country, where millions of electric cars would be plugged into the mains supply every night to charge the batteries for the following day. There isn’t a national system in the world that could cope with such a demand. It would require massive investment in new power stations all over the world, which in turn would cause more pollution. It is fairly certain that to minimise any environmental impact they would all need to be nuclear, which then provides a massive headache and poses the problem of what to do with huge amounts of spent nuclear fuel rods. No, I think our attention should not be distracted to this non-starter.

Many believe in hybrid cars where the vehicle has both petrol and electric power and doesn’t need an external electrical supply. This would go a long way to reducing the environmental emissions for a while, but it would not get rid of them. There are claims by the manufacturers that a 40/60% saving on petrol consumption is possible. These vehicles are still dogged by the battery manufacture and disposal problems mentioned earlier. They are not the answer, but could be a stop-gap until a real alternative comes along.

Another major commodity in the equation is hydrogen power, but this too has its drawbacks. It is clean, easy to produce and its only emission is water, but, it is highly explosive. When mixed with air, the result is a highly inflammable gas and when heated, say in an accident where the vehicle catches fire, the result is a major explosion. These traits do not really make it a safe candidate to replace the petrol/diesel engine either.

Bio-fuels have oft been quoted as an alternative, but they too are not practical. There are already areas of the world where a shortage of many crops exists because farmers have turned over their land to growing the plants required for bio-fuels. No, bio-fuels as a replacement would mean many having to choose between keeping the car on the road or eating.

There is however one alternative that is cheap to run, has no effect on the environment, and any and all waste is extremely good for the roses. The horse!

Whichever way it goes, not much will happen for a long time to come because most of the patents for alternative power sources seem to be owned by the petrol companies, and they are not likely to want to see advancement in this field until the oil runs out.

May your journeys be short, and safe!

Roy.

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