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aostling
07-01-2010, 08:53 PM
This car will apparently go on sale for the 2011 model year.

from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38020882/ns/business-autos/


Meanwhile, Hyundai decided to leapfrog its competitors by skipping what is generally seen as an interim technology, replacing the nickel-metal hybrid batteries used in the Prius and other current hybrids with advanced lithium-polymer technology. Other carmakers — including Toyota, General Motors, Ford and Nissan — only plan to start using lithium polymer or lithium-ion batteries when they roll out their first PHEVs and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, later this year.

A gasoline electric hybrid suits my needs more than a plug-in electric, so I'll be watching this with interest. Anybody have experience with Hyundai?

Evan
07-01-2010, 09:29 PM
No experience with Hyundai. One thing is certain, unless there is a monumental leap in battery tech there will never be a practical pure electric for a climate such as we have. When it is -20 it probably takes at least 5 kilowatts just to heat the cabin. Even in Arizona it can get plenty cold at night in the winter. I have seen it snow on the desert floor in southern Arizona.

aostling
07-01-2010, 09:55 PM
I have seen it snow on the desert floor in southern Arizona.

Not in Phoenix. But I know you were at Ft Huachuca, which is is 3,000 feet higher. That's why the San Pedro is one of those rare American rivers which flows north.

The Artful Bodger
07-01-2010, 10:16 PM
When it is -20 it probably takes at least 5 kilowatts just to heat the cabin.

How efficient are the electric motors and what potential is there for motor cooling to be combined with cabin heating?:)

lenord
07-01-2010, 10:19 PM
"One thing is certain, unless there is a monumental leap in battery tech there will never be a practical pure electric for a climate such as we have"

What did you think of the carbon fiber nano tubes being added to the lithium batteries ? 10x the power or some such...??

Lenord

Evan
07-02-2010, 01:17 AM
How efficient are the electric motors and what potential is there for motor cooling to be combined with cabin heating?

Most electrics use AC induction motors and the best ones are about 90% efficient. While some heat can be gained from cooling there won't be enough since when going down hill there won't be any waste heat. Same thing when stopped or waiting for a light or stuck in traffic or waiting for somebody while parked. At -30 or even -40 which we had last winter an electric will be useless. Hybrids are the only reasonable answer for northern climates.

As for raising the energy density by a factor of ten that presents a very serious problem. The more reactive the chemicals you stuff into a container the more it resembles a bomb. With liquid fuels such as gasoline or diesel there is only one component of the reaction present, the fuel. Without oxidiser it cannot spontaneously fail, unlike recent experiences with laptop and cellphone batteries.

The long term record of lithium based batteries is punctuated with problems of explosions and fires. That first began with lithium batteries used in Emergency Locator Beacons in aircraft in the 70's. They had to be recalled and pulled from active use because they were exploding in flight. Another example was when Kodak released to market 9 volt lithium batteries with about 5 times the energy density of alkaline batteries in the early 80's. They were quickly pulled from the market when there were some serious injuries caused when people dropped the batteries in a pocket with change or keys.

Building a chemical power source with all the necessary reactive components sealed together in the same package is a recipe for trouble. It is the primary barrier to high energy density batteries. Finding a way to make the batteries inherently fail safe even when punctured or speared by a metallic object is proving to be extremely difficult.

dp
07-02-2010, 01:37 AM
I think the tell-tale for those will be the cost of comprehensive, liability, and personal injury insurance. Without subsidies I don't see them being affordably insurable.

saltmine
07-02-2010, 01:44 AM
Hyundai didn't read the other manufacturer's press releases. Either that, or they're trying to push ahead at the cost of their customers.

Lithium-Polymer and Lithium-ion cells do have tremendous energy density, but have to be carefully managed when charged (risk of explosion) and.....the service life of a Li-poly or Li-ion battery is about half that of more conventional battery packs (most are only good for 1000 to 1200 charge and discharge cycles before they start losing capacity). Add that with the high cost of lithium battery packs, and you will easily see why all of the other manufacturers are waiting for the delivery of the Lithium-iron-phosphate cells under development as we speak. They offer fast recharging, good energy density, and about double the life cycles of typical lithium-polymer cells.
They also compare favorably in price with older battery designs, and will withstand a lot more abuse than lithium's.

My 2 cents? Hyundai is going to "leap ahead" of everybody else, while they tubesteak their customers with high battery replacement costs and risky recharging .

Expected...since Hyundai is considered to be the Ford of Asian car makers.

Evan
07-02-2010, 01:58 AM
Charging problems exist but can be managed by better engineering. The really difficult issue is making a high energy density and high voltage battery cluster that doesn't explode or cause parts of the car to melt and catch fire from multi kilowatt short circuits in a collision. Remember the Pinto?

darryl
07-02-2010, 02:10 AM
The monumental leap in battery technology isn't going to solve the electric car problem. Where's the power going to come from to support a significant changeover to electric vehicles-

I guess the hybrids are closing the gap between mainstream technology and experimental, and may offer 'the best of both worlds' in terms of having an electric vehicle and being able to keep it running. Regardless of the battery technology, you'll eventually be charging it yourself from a gasoline generator (that part of your hybrid) and as such it will cost more to run than charging with utility power. But when utility power becomes insufficient to keep the nations fleet of electrics on the road, any cost savings will have evaporated and you simply will be paying more for the privilege to be driving. And not only will you be paying to maintain the gas engine system, you'll have the added expense of the battery and its replacement costs. Besides that, because it's a 'new' technology, servicing costs will probably skyrocket. Auto makers are NOT going to pull their fingers out of your pie. One way or the other, you'll never see the savings being promised. You'll be on the hook still, as you are now- in fact there'll be more fingers stealing a piece of your paycheck. don't forget- it's you that will have to pay for all the new generating stations- Green won't get any greener, smog might ease up a bit in big cities, but I doubt it will be very significant if in fact it does ease up at all. If we do get a long life battery, and can do the maintenance ourselves, and can supply charging current from our own systems- maybe we would see a cost savings over many years, but I doubt that would materialize even for the most capable of us. Fact is, industry and government both need our money, and they'll dig more out of us one way or another. We'll be on the hook still, and it will get worse- count on it.

We've had this love affair with the idea of electric vehicles for a long time now, and it's going to bite us- I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so. As far as heating the vehicle in cold weather- guess what- you're going to be burning fuel. Either you do that at the point of use, with the best efficiency available (not so good) which is right in the vehicle, or you're going to throw away so much more energy in losses by the time you pay the utility company, factor in charging losses, loss of range in the vehicle because some or much of the power goes into heating, etc. As far as using the heat generated on board from the motor and controller- let's assume a motor efficiency of 90%, same for the controller, then guess at the average power level required to drive the vehicle through a typical driving cycle- what do we say here, roughly 10 kw for about 12-14 horsepower- Ok, that leaves about 2 kw of waste heat, some of which we won't be able to recover. Is that enough to heat the vehicle in cold weather, let alone sub zero conditions? You'll have to go back decades to Volkswagon and their gas powered heaters.

I'd love to be driving an electric, but in reality I think it will be largely a non-affordable luxury, and it won't deliver on its promise of helping to clean up the environment. Chances are though, it will be sold to us on that basis, which will be a big lie right from the get-go, like so many other things that get stuffed down our throats. The new battery- technologically it could be good, but it really doesn't solve much.

PeteF
07-02-2010, 02:15 AM
Yes yes, blah blah blah, that's all very nice. I see it has an impressive render, now what I want to know is, does it "shape shift"?

The Artful Bodger
07-02-2010, 02:33 AM
Most electrics use AC induction motors and the best ones are about 90% efficient. While some heat can be gained from cooling there won't be enough since when going down hill there won't be any waste heat. Same thing when stopped or waiting for a light or stuck in traffic or waiting for somebody while parked. At -30 or even -40 which we had last winter an electric will be useless. Hybrids are the only reasonable answer for northern climates.

However, there seems to be no good reason why electric heating could not be used. If the battery system is good enough for tens of kilowatts to drive the vehicle a few more for heating does not sound impossible.

oldbikerdude37
07-02-2010, 02:42 AM
better listen to Even, he knows everything about everything and is always right..

Evan
07-02-2010, 03:48 AM
However, there seems to be no good reason why electric heating could not be used. If the battery system is good enough for tens of kilowatts to drive the vehicle a few more for heating does not sound impossible.


It isn't impossible. It is very wasteful of hard to come by energy storage in batteries. The energy efficiency of an electric vehicle takes a huge hit if you include all of the real world energy requirements of such a vehicle. With a gasoline powered engine the heat is "free" in that it doesn't affect the efficiency calculation for the vehicle. With an electric the advantage usually claimed can vanish when real applications are correctly accounted. The "few" more kilowatts of power required for heating in a cold climate could easily exceed the power needed to move the vehicle from A to B in many driving situations.

A hybrid takes advantage of the very high power density of liquid fuels to solve that problem while still providing significant gains in energy efficiency over conventional gas or diesel designs.

aostling
07-02-2010, 04:00 AM
Considering the dangers of lithium batteries, could supercapacitors http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercapacitor be a viable alternative storage method for a hybrid vehicle?

The Artful Bodger
07-02-2010, 05:30 AM
It isn't impossible. It is very wasteful of hard to come by energy storage in batteries. The energy efficiency of an electric vehicle takes a huge hit if you include all of the real world energy requirements of such a vehicle..

It is not often that I see anyone mentioning the energy efficiency of an electric vehicle, "Kilowatt hours to the mile"? We are more likely to hear "miles per charge".

I think most people know and accept that running a car's air conditioner reduces their gas mileage but that does not make cars with air conditioners impractical.

John Stevenson
07-02-2010, 06:19 AM
I think Darryl has put all the main points forward in post 10, this electric hybrid or all electric can only exist at a far greater cost.

If you work out efficiency against costs then all these green solutions do not work out effective.
No one goes to the bother of listing all the expenses, OK it does 300 miles to a charge but how much does the power station kick out to achieve this?

Americans can solve a lot of their problems by looking at efficiency. Is it necessary that you have to drive round in 3 tonne trucks with 7.6 litre engines just to pull one fat arse from A to B.

What was it in the gulf thread the US uses 24 billion barrels of oil per day ?

.

rohart
07-02-2010, 06:59 AM
As far as I can see, no manufacturer has even thought of trying to optimise the conservation of heat in a car. We've got one skin of fabric covered board, followed by another skin of rubber backed steel, between us and the outside weather, massive areas of single skin glass and lots of air leakage. The perceived cost of keeping warm in a car has been zero so far, so there's been no incentive to do anything about it.

Luckily, some of the most sophisticated car design companies, and I mean Saab, Volvo, BMW and Audi, have home markets in pretty cold environments, so the problem's probably been on the drawing boards for a while now.

As soon as keeping warm at real energy cost becomes a target, there'll be a total redesign of the surfaces of car roofs, doors and floors, and probably some glass/plastic laminates at least for side windows, coming into the equation.

You'll be able to heat the car with underfloor heating electrically before you even leave home, and you'll have meters that show you how much of your milage capacity you're using up when you set your internal thermostat to different temperatures.

Geez - the boy racers will be driving around wearing duffle coats. That'll be a sight to behold.

SteveF
07-02-2010, 07:38 AM
The Telsa electric cars use a Lithium ion battery. I believe I read somewhere on their web site that the battery pack costs $20,000. Since that is most to the way to the retail cost of a Prius, should be a tough sell.

Steve.

Evan
07-02-2010, 08:34 AM
No one goes to the bother of listing all the expenses, OK it does 300 miles to a charge but how much does the power station kick out to achieve this?


They call that "Well to wheel efficiency".`There are a lot of sites that put numbers to that but I haven't yet found any that take into account the real world efficiencies associated with heating and cooling loads.

I did find this blog though:



I am leasing the MINI E for a one year period as a part of BMW’s field test trial, and am among 449 other drivers in California, New Jersey, and New York. At this point, after six months of driving, the car has just over 7700 miles.

There has been a pronounced decline in battery range in the cold weather. On a recent trip at a temperature of 23 degrees Fahrenheit and including a two-hour 110 volt charge in the middle, the battery meter hit zero miles/zero percent after just 55 miles (see graphic). The car is billed as having a 100 mile range.



http://gm-volt.com/2009/12/28/mini-e-electric-car-performance-in-cold-and-ice-is-not-good/

lazlo
07-02-2010, 08:41 AM
The Telsa electric cars use a Lithium ion battery.

The Chevy Volt uses LiPo batteries too. I'm not sure what Hyundai's distinction is -- they're pretty late to the Lithium Ion EV party.

John Stevenson
07-02-2010, 09:07 AM
Sounds like there is a lot of support for these EV's and given the lower range, performance and vehicle size why can't the concept of economical ICE cars be accepted instead of tanks?

SteveF
07-02-2010, 09:43 AM
Sounds like there is a lot of support for these EV's and ................

That's why I always get a chuckle out of polls that show "60% of Americans would consider buying an electric vehicle" or whatever. Let's see how much of that "would consider" turns into signed purchase contracts when they see how much they cost, how far they go, how long it must be plugged in, other limitations, etc.

But to your point, people only want to conserve energy until they find out they have to make some sacrifices and then it's no longer such a great idea.

Steve.

saltmine
07-02-2010, 02:12 PM
Yeah, it sounds like a good idea...and...it looks good on paper.

But, did you ever try to drive a paper car?

New ideas in the automotive industry are common, and short lived, especially if they don't measure up to the consumer's expectations.

I remember the Bill Lear steam car. Lear promised performance like a Lamborghini, 50mpg or better, safe, quiet, etc. Before he could get it to market, some reporter asked him where the condensers were.....They're in the doors. Uh, what happens if you're out driving and get "T" boned by a guy in an SUV? You get boiled, like a lobster....He decided not to market it, after that.

Back "in the day" steam power offered many advances over the cantankerous gasoline engines of the day. But, the starting ritual usually took an hour to "get up a head of steam", before you could drive away....Steam powered cars were not popular with doctors....or women. Electric cars were, though. Aside from their long charge times, short range, and poor performance, quite a few were sold. Mainly because they would start instantly, no muss no fuss.

For an electric car to be successful in today's market, there is going to have to be a huge breakthrough in battery technology. Present battery technology is merely a "stop gap" measure to hold the consumer's attention until a much better form of storing electricity can be invented.

aostling
07-02-2010, 03:19 PM
Back "in the day" steam power offered many advances over the cantankerous gasoline engines of the day. But, the starting ritual usually took an hour to "get up a head of steam", before you could drive away....Steam powered cars were not popular with doctors....or women.

An hour to get up a head of steam? The Doble could get underway in thirty seconds from cold.

The biggest issue during the 1960s was smog, not low mileage (gas then sold for $0.25/gallon). The steam car was a possible answer to that.

danlb
07-02-2010, 04:11 PM
The monumental leap in battery technology isn't going to solve the electric car problem. Where's the power going to come from to support a significant changeover to electric vehicles-

For many, it will be economically feasible to use home solar power to charge their car, or at least to offset the energy used to power the car.

Check out another Darelll who has done it. http://www.evnut.com/




I guess the hybrids are closing the gap between mainstream technology and experimental, and may offer 'the best of both worlds' in terms of having an electric vehicle and being able to keep it running.

As a two hybrid family, with over 100K miles of driving them, I would assert that they ARE mainstream. Every major car manufacturer has a hybrid. All of them. They are wonderfully capable cars.



[ snip ]
And not only will you be paying to maintain the gas engine system, you'll have the added expense of the battery and its replacement costs. Besides that, because it's a 'new' technology, servicing costs will probably skyrocket.

Not true. My hybrid's engine runs about 1/2 the time, so maintaining that engine has meant less cost than a conventional engine. At 100K miles I've still not needed a brake pads/shoes either. There is no transmission so that cost has been avoided too. My overall cost of maintenance for my hybrid is less than the maintenance on my pickup with 25% fewer miles on it.

There are not a lot of downsides to the modern hybrids.

Dan

John Stevenson
07-02-2010, 04:36 PM
My overall cost of maintenance for my hybrid is less than the maintenance on my pickup with 25% fewer miles on it.

There are not a lot of downsides to the modern hybrids.

Dan

Until it needs a new battery pack.

.

danlb
07-02-2010, 04:39 PM
There are several reasons that the assertion that the electrical infrastructure will crumble under the load of electric cars is a fallacy.

1) most drivers will use a small portion of the car's storage potential in a single day, so when they charge they only replace the energy they used, not the whole battery pack capacity. If I drive 10 miles, (assuming 250 Wh per mile from evnut.com's web site) then I need to put back 2750 Wh after conversion losses. That's 2.75 KWh total for the whole day. That's about the same load as a handful of electric lights and a few TVs being on for a couple hours.

2) The charging can (and should) be done when utility demand is low. Fortunately it's easy to get that information and easy to get chargers that use it.

3) You only need 25 amps to change a 26 kWh battery from 220. That's less than most air conditioners.

And, last but not least
4) There are places / situations where hybrid or gas powered vehicles will still be the best match, so you will never have an electric car charging in EVERY house.

Personally, I'd love to have an EV for those quick trips I make on weekends to the store, dinner, etc. Less than 30 miles a weekend, so it would be a great match.

Dan

danlb
07-02-2010, 04:46 PM
Until it needs a new battery pack.

.

I was quoted less than $2500 to get mine rebuilt. I only asked because I was curious. I have an 8 year old Prius with 105K miles on it and the battery pack is still running strong. I had it evaluated at 99,450 miles just to be sure. :) Did you know that the battery warranty in California is 150,000 miles? My 2002 model only had a 100K mile battery warranty.

My wife's Chevy transmission was replaced twice before it hit 80,000 miles and that was $1,800 each time.

Ironically, a new paint job will probably be the next big expense and that will far exceed the money spent on mechanical issues. Since most cars around here sell for a few thousand when they are 8 years old and over 100K miles, replacing the battery will probably not be in issue.

Dan

saltmine
07-02-2010, 06:06 PM
I see a huge cloud of "Smug" hanging over the Forum.

danlb
07-02-2010, 06:34 PM
Smug? Me?

hahahaha

I admit that I've done very well buying my hybrid. I am now commuting a long distance and reaping the benefits of the purchase. It's also a pleasure to drive. But that makes me pleased with the car, not pleased with myself.

The point of the post was to counter the blatently inaccurate perceptions that some people have about hybrids, their usablility and their faults. People who rely on internet chat for information can get badly misled by people without direct experience in the matter.

Dan

danlb
07-02-2010, 06:43 PM
The use of Lithium Polymer seems a poor choice, since they are rather finicky about charging, shorting out, etc. They tend to fail with 'vent and flame'. Yep, sort of blow up. The lifetime is also rather short, since they degrade over time without even being used.

I was hoping that by now the Li-Ion batteries by A123 would be in use by electric cars. They use an electrode that prevents the breakdown that occurs when charging, so they will last for many, many years. Careful battery management could make them quite usable.

Dan

lazlo
07-02-2010, 07:46 PM
The use of Lithium Polymer seems a poor choice, since they are rather finicky about charging, shorting out, etc.

I was hoping that by now the Li-Ion batteries by A123 would be in use by electric cars.

A123 makes LiPo batteries, specifically, LiFePO4.

danlb
07-02-2010, 10:02 PM
A123 are not LiPo, for that would make them Lithium Polymer as opposed to lithium (Li) iron (Fe) phosphate (PO4). They are two distinctly different batteries.

LiFePO4 is much, much more stable and therefore safer. It has a longer shelf life and fast charge times.

LiPo, on the other hand, has a higher voltage per cell and can discharge at higher rates. It's damaged if the voltage goes below a certain point.

There are advantages for both, but I'd rather not have more than a few ounces of LiPo battery in my immediate vicinity.

Dan

lazlo
07-03-2010, 01:06 AM
A123 are not LiPo, for that would make them Lithium Polymer as opposed to lithium (Li) iron (Fe) phosphate (PO4). They are two distinctly different batteries.

Lithium Ion Polymer batteries, a.k.a. LiPo batteries, use LiCoO2, LiMn2O4, or LiNiO2 cathodes. A123 has a patent on LiPo batteries that use LiFePO4 cathodes. The big selling point of LiFePO4 cathodes are that it doesn't require expensive heavy metals like Cobalt, but at the cost of reduced power density.

The performance differences amongst the various LiPo cathodes are marginal, which is why A123 lost the Chevy Volt contract to LG, which uses a Lithium Manganese Spinel cathode.

Ed P
07-03-2010, 06:15 AM
There is no transmission so that cost has been avoided too.

Dan

Not knowing much about hybrids I'll bite, how DOES the power from the engine get to the wheels without a transmission?

Ed P

Evan
07-03-2010, 06:33 AM
The prime mover is an AC induction motor with a VFD/inverter to control rpm. It is supplied power from a bank of batteries that are both charged and supplemented by a gasoline engine driving a large alternator. The electric system is effectively the transmission.

danlb
07-03-2010, 11:24 AM
Evan has part of it. The Toyota is slightly different.

The prime mover is the Gas engine AND the electric motor. At the same time.

The engine, MG (motor/generator) and a second MG are connected via a planetary gear system. What function each performs depends on where the power is being fed to the MGs. This creates a power splitting / transfer device that allows both power sources to drive the wheels at the same time, or just one drives the wheels. And of course, when in neutral, neither drive the wheels.

Check out the neat description and animation at http://eahart.com/prius/psd/

One of the neat things about the design is that the wheel speed is completely independent of the engine speed. Another byproduct is that the engine can power the wheels AND use surplus energy to charge the batteries. Since the MG and gas engine are always connected, there are no shift points and the transition from gas to electric and back (happens every minute or two on the freeway) is almost never detectable.

Dan

Ed P
07-03-2010, 01:01 PM
I was quoted less than $2500 to get mine rebuilt. I only asked because I was curious. I have an 8 year old Prius with 105K miles on it and the battery pack is still running strong. I had it evaluated at 99,450 miles just to be sure. :) Did you know that the battery warranty in California is 150,000 miles? My 2002 model only had a 100K mile battery warranty.

My wife's Chevy transmission was replaced twice before it hit 80,000 miles and that was $1,800 each time.

Ironically, a new paint job will probably be the next big expense and that will far exceed the money spent on mechanical issues. Since most cars around here sell for a few thousand when they are 8 years old and over 100K miles, replacing the battery will probably not be in issue.

Dan

Well Dan let's see you buy a Chevy hybrid and then compare it to your wife's
car. You may just find the maintenace costs between a Toyota and Chevrolet to be a little different. The fact that your Prius's costs are so low is more of a testament to the manufacturer rather then the type of vehicle. As a Toyota 4-Runner owner I haven't replaced anything either, including my brakes, and I have 107,000 miles on it. Like it or not hybrids are very complicated with a lot more parts so overall one can expect more problems compared to a non-hybrid. Don't get me wrong, if I didn't have to haul things occasionally I would buy one, it would be fun. But I don't consider them practical since they are expensive to manufacturer and they save very very little gas.

Ed P

Neil Jones
07-03-2010, 01:27 PM
This car will apparently go on sale for the 2011 model year.

from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38020882/ns/business-autos/


Meanwhile, Hyundai decided to leapfrog its competitors by skipping what is generally seen as an interim technology, replacing the nickel-metal hybrid batteries used in the Prius and other current hybrids with advanced lithium-polymer technology. Other carmakers — including Toyota, General Motors, Ford and Nissan — only plan to start using lithium polymer or lithium-ion batteries when they roll out their first PHEVs and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, later this year.

A gasoline electric hybrid suits my needs more than a plug-in electric, so I'll be watching this with interest. Anybody have experience with Hyundai?

Does BYD fit into Hyundai's plans?

http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/13/technology/gunther_electric.fortune/

ulav8r
07-03-2010, 02:22 PM
In my uneducated opinion, a hybrid should not need highly efficient batteries. they just need to be light weight and good for a 10-15 mile range. The proper setup would allow the gas engine to run at a constant speed for greatest efficiency and use the batteries for very short trips and as a booster for acceleration. For a small commuter car a 16 HP gas engine would provide enough power for highway cruise and the batteries would provide enough boost for decent acceleration.



Edited for spelling. The spell checker didn't recognize an improper word that was spelled correctly.

Black_Moons
07-03-2010, 02:34 PM
I found it pertty funny reading one post here about electric cars that mentioned someone actualy had a gasoline based heater installed.

'Well, Now I just charge it up at home every night! And only need to buy $20 worth of gas on the way to work to keep my ass from freezeing off.'

danlb
07-03-2010, 11:41 PM
In my uneducated opinion, a hybrid should not need highly efficient batteries. they just need to be light weight and good for a 10-15 mile range. The proper setup would allow the gas engine to run at a constant speed for greatest efficiency and use the batteries for very short trips and as a booster for acceleration. For a small commuter car a 16 HP gas engine would provide enough power for highway cruise and the batteries would provide enough boost for decent acceleration.



That design is actually practical as long as you have no situations that call for more power for an extended period.

A battery that provides enough power to maintain your momentum for 10 miles at 35 MPH will be rapidly depleted if you do a lot of starts and stops. The car can not pump the full energy generated by braking back into the batteries without ruining the batteries. This results in wasting 90% of the energy used to accelerate from a dead stop. And it takes a LOT of energy to move a car from a stop to 60 MPH. That's why we have production sedans with several hundred HP.

Add a hill or two into the equation and a 16 HP car will find itself having to park and recharge frequently. A 16 HP engine will not pull a sedan up hill at 65 mph. It will have to suck energy from the battery at a high rate.

But the hidden problem is when you have a long, gentle upgrade. The battery will supplement the gas engine for many miles but will go dead unless the engine is sized big enough to handle the grade AND charge the battery.

That's why the average hybrid has a gas engine that makes at least 50% the power of the conventional models. Many designs use an engine that is full sized with the end result being moderately better mileage, much lower emissions and much better performance.

Dan

danlb
07-04-2010, 12:12 AM
Well Dan let's see you buy a Chevy hybrid and then compare it to your wife's car. You may just find the maintenace costs between a Toyota and Chevrolet to be a little different.

I have not had a chevy in the last 25 years, so I have no insight in that area. But I can tell you there are different types of hybrids, with varying degrees of complexity.

The first Chevy hybrids were mild hybrids. I just checked and the 2010 Malibu still is. They basically used the electrics to allow the engine to die at traffic signals. They also allow the electric motor to add a bit of power on demand. That IS a great, low cost way to cut some pollution. It's hardly awe inspiring and not terribly complex.

The last description of the Chevy Volt indicated it was a serial hybrid, with the car running on electric 100% of the time and an on board generator to supplement the batteries. That's real hard on batteries and requires a big engine to generate 110% of the sustained energy needs of the car. Any less and they may find the battery depleted long before they complete the 162 mile climb from Sacramento (elevation 25 feet) to Reno, Nv (4498 feet)


Like it or not hybrids are very complicated with a lot more parts so overall one can expect more problems compared to a non-hybrid. Don't get me wrong, if I didn't have to haul things occasionally I would buy one, it would be fun. But I don't consider them practical since they are expensive to manufacturer and they save very very little gas.


I've not figured out why they are so expensive. The basic design in the 2002 Prius ($19,000) is used in the 2010 Lexus LS600h ($108,000)

There are some added complexities, such as the electric power steering, brakes and AC but they've been doing that for years now, so it's pretty cut and dried. The engine itself is no more complex than the one in their conventional models, and (in the Toyotas) the transmission is replaced by a mechanically simpler power split unit.

I will grant that the addition of electronic controls, inverters and a battery pack can be considered more complex, but it's not that much more complex. After all your conventional car has smaller versions of the same things (voltage regulator, battery and alternator) too.

Sorry. Long winded tonight.

Dan

chrsbrbnk
07-04-2010, 01:51 AM
driving in Minn. in the winter has shown a fairly large number of faults with the gas auto. the heat doesn't really get going until say the last 4 blocks of a six mile trip. starting the car in the winter is still heavily battery dependent almost to the point you could drive to work on the battery for the amount of electricity used to start the gas engine mileage really goes down in winter and then all the exhaust fumes lay black ice on all the intersections and some people even plug their car into an outlet for the block heater heating their car with electricity.....

Ed P
07-04-2010, 09:40 AM
I've not figured out why they are so expensive. The basic design in the 2002 Prius ($19,000) is used in the 2010 Lexus LS600h ($108,000)

Dan

Keep in mind that there is some debate as to exactly how much profit manufacturers are making on hybrids. The last thing I read was in Road & Track magazine who were quoting industry experts as saying the third generation Prius is now at the break even point, other sources being a bit more optimistic and saying they were making a profit, just not a large one.
That was the reason for my saying they were expensive to manufacture. So you really can't go by the retail price nor are we exactly sure as to the manufactured price, but it seems they are not making their normal profit. Remember Toyota invested hugh sums into the technology and then the first generation Prius (of which I have seen exactly one) sold like a lead brick, so I suspect that was the reason for the steep discount, they just didn't want to write off that huge investment - and it paid off big time. But they can only jack up the price so fast so they don't risk alienating potenial buyers.
The only problem I have with hybrids is that there are so many more practical ways of saving gas. As an example, suppose we both drive 15,000 miles a year. You sell your economy car that gets 35 mpg and buy a hybrid that gets 50 mpg. Now I'm a poor redneck with a pickup truck that gets 12 mpg but I'm feeling a little guilty and so I put in a taller ratio rear end or maybe a different computer chip that limits horsepower, things that would cost next to nothing if done on the assembly line and now I'm getting 15 mpg. So you went from 35 to 50 mpg and I went from 12 to 15 mpg, so who is saving more gas, you or me? Well within a couple of gallons I'm saving twice as much as you. That's why I said hybrids save so little gas. And it's obvious which one is the more practical way of reducing gasoline use in this country.

Ed P

lazlo
07-04-2010, 11:01 AM
I've not figured out why they are so expensive. The basic design in the 2002 Prius ($19,000) is used in the 2010 Lexus LS600h ($108,000)

That's like saying that the Nissan GT-R ($84,000) is the basic design as the Skyline. Meaningless comparison.

danlb
07-04-2010, 12:07 PM
I don't think Ed and I will agree on the economics. There was documentation in 2003 that showed that Toyota had already recouped not only their R&D costs but had also been paid back for the cost of the factory that produced the 1st gen Prius. The documentation was the published corporate accounting records. It costs about the same to make a hybrid as it does any other brand new model. They did not develop the batteries, nor build the components for the electronics.

There was a great demand for the 1st gen Prius. They sold every single one they made, with preorders and waiting lists of up to 6 months. I was on one of those waiting lists. I see a dozens of 1st gen Prius each week. But I live near silicon valley, which was one of the areas targeted for the introduction.

As for interesting ways of saving more gas; Assume I needed a new car anyway. Assume that I was expecting to be forced to commute 60 miles a day round trip in order to find a decent job. Assume that I sold my 1992 F150 flareside that was getting 12 MPG on the freeway.

We're talking about saving gas, not saving money. 15,600 miles per year at 50 MPG is 312 gallons of gas that have to be refined to support my commute. In the pickup that is 1300 gallons. I've "saved" 1,012 gallons of gas a year.

But here's where I saved even more! I telecommute every Friday. That saves 20% of my gas bill right there, and it costs NOTHING.

But the real question for the ecology minded folk is "now much less oil was consumed" and "how much less pollution was produced". Even the mild hybrid will reduce pollution greatly by killing the engine at lights.

Using Ed's example, by going from 12 mpg to 15 he SAVES 25% of his gas. But he's still using more than 3 times as much as I am. He's saving more MONEY because he is SPENDING more money, but that's a different issue.

Dan

Neil Jones
07-04-2010, 12:17 PM
Who makes the batteries that are used in the Prius?

barts
07-04-2010, 01:32 PM
Who makes the batteries that are used in the Prius?

Google says:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panasonic_EV_Energy_Co

- Bart

danlb
07-04-2010, 01:37 PM
They are made by Panasonic.

http://www.toyotapriusbattery.com/

Mine has 228 cells (about the size of a C cell battery) packed into 38 modules. If a cell fails, the module is isolated and the car keeps running normally, though efficiency might be reduced. I say "might" because the full battery capacity is seldom needed.

The battery pack is only 39900 grams (88 pounds) and only provides 6.5 ah at 277 volts. That's enough to store excess power when it's created and feed it back as needed. It's not designed to move the car at speeds above 35 mph nor for more than a few miles. It is sized big enough that a drive over a mountain range (like the 7,000 foot climb to Lake Tahoe) does not deplete it, even when driving the speed limit and above the whole way.

Dan

Neil Jones
07-04-2010, 01:51 PM
Maybe they should use BYD's batteries? This way if you got stuck in the desert you could drink the water from the battery cells. :D

http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/13/technology/gunther_electric.fortune/

"Wang took him to a battery factory and explained that BYD wants to make its batteries 100% recyclable. To that end, the company has developed a nontoxic electrolyte fluid. To underscore the point, Wang poured battery fluid into a glass and drank it. "Doesn't taste good," he said, making a face and offering a sip to Soko."

lazlo
07-04-2010, 04:48 PM
They are made by Panasonic.

http://www.toyotapriusbattery.com/

How did Toyota/Panasonic avoid Chevron burying the patent on large capacity NiMH batteries for electric vehicles? I vaguely remember a drawn-out court battle between Toyota and Chevron, but I can't remember the resolution?

danlb
07-04-2010, 05:31 PM
As far as I can tell, (Yuck, using wikipedia as a source) they defined large capacity as 25 AH or so. The HEVs use much smaller ones. 277 volts at 6AH is still a lot of energy.

The patents in question should be expired by now. The LSD (low self discharge) designs are even better for this purpose.

Dan

clutch
07-04-2010, 05:47 PM
I don't have a hybrid, I drive 95% highway in a rural area so it isn't an option for me at this moment. Range being one issue. Like Evan, I wonder how it would work out in snow country, I'm near 45N.

Having said that, I've been following the Prius, I'm not hearing about battery horror stories. The drive train is such that the traction motors can start the internal combustion engine if needed. That is a nice touch.

The comment on feeling SMUG is a reference to a South Park episode. It was pretty good. I'm not a weekly devote of South Park, I caught it by random surfing.

Charging a EV at home is not a real issue for those that work a normal day schedule. Base load generation is sufficient if we manage the charging times. The expensive energy is peak during periods of daylight. Soon to be more expensive if cap and tax goes though.:eek:

Hybrids are likely to prevail over pure EV's for a long time.

Clutch

danlb
07-04-2010, 06:41 PM
I don't have a hybrid, I drive 95% highway in a rural area so it isn't an option for me at this moment. Range being one issue. Like Evan, I wonder how it would work out in snow country, I'm near 45N.




I'm not sure why rural highway's a concern. Speaking only for the Toyota design, it delivers it's best performance at steady speeds. The gas engine cycles on and off, running at optimum speed for efficiency and banking the extra energy in the battery. When the engine is off the battery maintains the speed.

I don't think range should be an issue either. The range depends on the gas tank size. In my case, getting 50 MPH on a mostly level freeway at 65 mph gives 550 miles per tank with a little left for an emergency.

Snow; Some hate the Prius in the snow, some love it. The lack of a transmission means it never upshifts or downshifts, so MY limited experience on snow has been that it's very predictable and easy to drive. The mileage suffers a little in cold weather, but I suspect that's because it's using the gas engine more often to keep the cabin heated. Don't most engines get worse mileage when used in snow country?

Some googling should find specs on using the popular hybrids in snow country.

darryl
07-04-2010, 07:29 PM
I would just like to revive this idea again, and give it a name- it's the 'Commuter Scooter'- and it's a one man lightweight covered vehicle. As John said, why do we need 2000 lbs of vehicle to move 200 lbs of arse around-

I can give lots of reasons it would NOT be acceptable:
it won't survive an encounter with a semi
it won't carry more than one person
it won't easily stay on the road in a 60 mph side wind
it won't carry $200 worth of groceries (though that gap is shrinking)
it won't make a lot of money for gas companies
it can't be made affordably by existing car manufacturers

Some reasons it would be acceptable:
it would be very economical to run
it would be parkable virtually anywhere
it would have enough room in it to carry your work clothes
it would get by on a smaller and less costly battery
it would get by on a smaller and less costly ICE
the smaller components would be cheaper to make, repair, handle, and ship
you don't need an engine hoist to remove the 27 lb engine or the 48 lb battery
winter heat would be supplied by the engine fairly quickly, but the engine would not even have to be started in warmer weather and for most trips.

I've just pulled a few items out of my head, and I could go on and on- but lets keep this particular discussion to this- what would it take to get each one of us to get and use one of these?

Let me give a few points that would help do it for me:

cheap insurance, say at the rate of a motorcycle less than 400cc
a good stereo system
smooth and quiet running
good handling
modular design for ease of building and repairing
heated coffee cup holder
200 miles or so of combined range, or call it a 2 hr commute each way without a recharge or fill up
comfortable seat
fully repairable with common tools by any reasonably adept person (I do realize that some people can't repair a bicycle)
under 500 lbs with full fuel tank and battery
reasonable looks, comes in colors, customizable by user (this could mean you have a choice of style of lights, bumpers, door handles, interior appointments-)
Affordably priced

I don't think any of these items are mutually exclusive-

Also, I should mention that I have NOT checked into any such vehicles lately that might fit these parameters well enough. I doubt there's a domestic that would cover it, but I think there probably is a french or italian vehicle that would come close

The Artful Bodger
07-04-2010, 07:41 PM
Depending on one's requirements a pure electric with an internal combustion engine on a trailer would seem to have at least some potential.

Somewere on the web there is an account of a hobbiest who built his own electric car on a VW base then got the front half of a VW Rabbit diesel with auto trans which he made into a trailer for hitching to his electric for longer journies, he had engine starting and stopping plus throttle controls etc and it was a sucessful combination.