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December 27, 2006


PO'd Patriot


...Another toy car!


I'm not so sure its a toy. Sure, for a great number of folks who wanted the sprawling mcMansion in the exurbs and commute over an hour each way to work every day its not useful. But for my wife, who works 5 miles from home its perfect.


I say make it a bit longer with crush zones front and back. As far as speed, most people who commute in urban areas are caught in traffic most of their driving time.

It's a step in the right direction though.

John Anderson

Let’s be serious; this shows just how unattractive and impractical the electric car is still. In the UK, for that sort of money there are plenty of modern small cars with excellent fuel economy and minimal emissions. Only the perverted subsidies help to make a case for it, though why it should get cheap parking is a mystery. Don’t all cars generate zero emissions when not in use? And anyone expecting to get more than a fraction of the advertised range when using it on a dark, cold, wet night in London traffic will find themselves using public transport to finish the journey. It’s a golf cart pretending to be something else.


Mr. Anderson, since there appear to be the better part of a thousand drivers of these vehicles in London, perhaps you could find some testimonials regarding the alleged cold/dark problems instead of mere speculation?

As for the parking subsidies, a conventional car generates emissions on its way to and from parking.  It also remains dependent upon petroleum (increasingly imported).  The electric does neither.


John Anderson wrote: Don’t all cars generate zero emissions when not in use?



Amory lovins' "Hypercar" technology could boost the speed and performance of this vehicle to that of a regular car. And boost the mileage even further. It is a design comcept developed around the latest, lightest, strongest materials for vehicles.

That and the longer design with crush zones as well as side air bags and a crash tub/roll cage would make this a world beater. In this configuration it will have limited consumer acceptance however.

Detroit take note. (on second thought, nevermind. it's too late. chapter 11 is painless.)


Dr. X wrote: Amory lovins' "Hypercar" [...] is a design comcept developed around the latest, lightest, strongest materials for vehicles.

Is the Subaru Impreza a hypercar, now that Subaru will be switching from aluminum to steel body-panels?


its a shame that here in europe , that the only affordable ev car is manufactured in part in India , strange how things change its only 30 or so years ago that we used to send them our out of date car models to manufacture!


I'd love to buy the most fuel effecient car possible, but with all the large sedans and SUVs on the road, small cars are just NOT SAFE in crashes. http://www.cnn.com/2006/AUTOS/12/14/iihs_small_car_tests/index.html
I'm not sure that I'm willing to risk my family's safety in exchange for an insignificant reduction in emissions. I think this is the hardest sell small low emission cars face.



"Given that a vehicle with an aluminum body is going to cost $300 to $1,100 more than a vehicle with a steel body, will increases in fuel economy make up for the increased cost over the lifetime of the vehicle? The answer depends on a variety of factors: the total weight (and cost) of the vehicle, the efficiency of its engine, and the price of fuel. However, the increase in fuel economy attributable to the aluminum body alone" would pay for itself only if the price of gasoline were to rise. If the price of gasoline remains between $1.20 and $1.50 per gallon, the money saved on gas would not be enough to make up for the higher cost: the life cycle cost of an aluminum unibody produced in volumes of 300,000 would remain about $300 more than that of a steel unibody. But if the price of gasoline rose to $2.30 per gallon, the owner of the aluminum-based car would break even over the vehicle's lifetime."

How about a molded carbon fiber and foam bubble unibody? With a 20 hp electric motor and 5000 bucks worth of nanotech li-ion 10 minute full charge batteries? 200 mile range? Same price and performance as a conventional car?

That's my guess.


With a body shape designed to flip an SUV or truck over and away from the vehicle in case of collision. Instead of having the SUV crush the smaller car. Carbon fiber enclosed body sections filled with closed cell foam about one cubic foot per cell ought to act just like a turtle shell.

Part of it would crush, but deflect the heavier vehicle like a ski jump. Wheeee! hehehey. A few slomo videos of this should sell the public on these hypercars.


To Mr. Anderson:


The car in question was actually a Honda Civic. It was tested in 1994-95 - a dozen years ago. It used lead-acid batteries. 70 hp continuous, 210 max.
"In June of 1996, at 77,000 km, the AC Propulsion electric vehicle traveled 233 km (145 mi) on one charge over Southern California Edison’s Pomona Loop, a 31.2 km (19.4 mi) circuit of city streets in and around Pomona, California."
135 kph top speed. 0-96 kph in 6.2 seconds using racing slicks.
This is not a toy. It's old technology. The Solectria Sunrise dated back to that era but was build to be an electric and used composites to obtain much better performance. As to why these small-company projects haven't gotten the kinds of subsidies for production that, say, the oil companies and war companies get, we might as well ask why so many people consider electric cars to be part of an evil socialistic plot.


super390:  that link is broken (and on AC Propulsion's reports page too).  The path "resources/" is duplicated incorrectly.

Here is the correct link.


"Who killed The Electric Car?"

Watch it. It does for electric cars, what Al's movie did for climate change.

Electric cars were HERE! With today's batteries the would be HERE now!

Operating in v2G mode in storage mode. And soon in generation mode. The rate structure could be asdjusted to benefit both power companies and car owners. Or utilities could lease these cars to consumers or other companies for fleet vehicles.

Or local renewable grids could feature a few V2G setups per 20 or so homes.


Modern electric cars can be neatly divided into 2 categories:

(1) Neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV), maximum speed 45 mph or less, range less than 50 miles. Street legal golf carts of limited usefulness and limited appeal.

(2) high performance freeway capable electrics, top speed greater than 75 mph. Range is dependent on battery type and size, from less than 60 miles to over 300 miles. More expensive, more useful and more appealing than NEV.


Thanks for the corrected link.

Actually, it bothers me that the AC Propulsion Honda seemed to get better results than the lead-acid EV1 in every respect except top speed. They both weighed about 3000 lbs, but the EV1 seemed to use a lot more technology and aerodynamics to offset the weight of the batteries. The results are even worse, though, with frame & body cars built by small companies like this Neva. They all seem to weigh far too much for their range. When I consider that several small British companies were building fiberglass monocoques for sports cars 45 years ago, I wonder how much stronger and safer those could be now. I wish someone would convert an early race-stripped Lotus Elite (under 1000 lbs) to lithium-ion, but they're too valuable now.


Dr. X wrote: How about a molded carbon fiber and foam bubble unibody? [...] Same price and performance as a conventional car?


Carbon fiber is expensive.

Dr. X wrote: With a 20 hp electric motor

The 126-horsepower Toyota Corolla engine costs $500 to build. Gas tanks cost essentially nothing.


Dr. X,

If lightweight automobile construction is so cost-effective, why is Subaru switching from aluminum to steel body-panels?


Why don't they put inside Altair nano batteries, that way doubling range and making charging much shorter.

Rob Matthies

How many electric cars are now running in London because of the congestion tax? Is it really as high as 14,000 which is what "The Economist" article stated?

Did you know that Vancouver, Canada has the world's first licensed electric pickup truck that has a "zero-cost" battery -- runs entirely on discarded batteries that considered dead or unusable. There are *three* battery breakthroughs in this electric pickup truck, as well as a half-dozen workarounds/fixes to the (usual) weak components found on electric cars.

Here's what the Global TV evening newscast aired, from a Youtube download:

Also, check out the EV Album entry for this electric pickup truck, with a Google search for EVALBUM FREEB or WORLD'S FIRST REVIVED BATTERY PICKUP DIARY.

Why bother to revive dead batteries for the electric car? In British Columbia, Canada, 80% of 4-wheeled electric cars are sitting unused because they are TOO EXPENSIVE to run, costing 2X-10X more than gasoline. One member of the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association got less than 900 kilometers from his EV battery pack before it needed replacement, at some $1,700 cost. Therefore, it's quite possible that Londoners will be abandoning their electric Reva G-Wiz, Maranello-4, Mega City, Th!nk, cars, too. The "FreeB" in Vancouver runs off cost-free discarded batteries. Would London electric car or electric scooter or electric bike owners like this, too?

Please reply by email to:
Rob Matthies
Vancouver, BC, Canada
[email protected]
or phone Canada:
(604) 739-7717 [with Jajah, call us free, we're on Jajah, too]



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