Guide names mass e-car adoption potholes
Electrification Coalition speaks mind
Leccy Tech A US-based pro leccy vehicle organisation has recommended that 25 per cent of the country’s new car sales be for battery-electric or plug-in hybrid cars by the year 2020.
The Electrification Coalition – described as a not-for-profit body “committed to promoting policies and actions that will facilitate the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale” – also wants leccy cars to account for 90 per cent of all car sales in North America by the year 2030.
Seventy five per cent of all vehicle miles travelled in the US should then be electrically powered by the year 2040, the Electrification Coalition added.
Members of the Coalition include Nissan’s Chairman - Carlos Ghosn, who last week launched the Leaf e-car Stateside. Kevin Czinger of Coda Automotive, FedEx Chairman Frederick Smith and David Vieau of battery manufacturer A123 Systems each also count themselves as Coalition members.
To help achieve its targets, the Electrification Coalition has released an “Electrification Roadmap” that considers many of the challenges facing mass electric vehicle adoption.
Potential potholes supposedly include battery development, the global lithium supply and infrastructure development, the roadmap –which treats all challenges as surmountable, of course - states.
One area the roadmap doesn't touch on, though, is the issue of carbon dioxide emissions – the inevitable result of generating all that electricity used to power expanding numbers of leccy cars.
The Electrification Coalition’s roadmap can be read in full online. ®
Nice use of words...
Hmm.. What stands out there is the word "Coal". Yup, you're gonna need a hellova lot of that style of resource to charge up those babies..
"I say, let 'em crash.."
The key advantage of electric vehicles is the decoupling of the power generation from the point of use. A petrol engine can only be powered by petrol. An electric motor can be powered by electricity generated using whatever you wish. THAT is the key advantage of electric vehicles.
Initially, such vehicles will probably use batteries of some sort. Hydrogen fuel cells, should they become viable, can trivially be designed as drop-in replacements for existing batteries. If some other magic wonder-storage medium pops up, we can drop that into the battery slot instead.
You don't get that flexibility with diesel or petrol vehicles.
Forget about hydrogen. Hydrogen-fuelled vehicles are science fiction, with an emphasis on fiction.
Mass for mass, hydrogen contains a fair amount of energy. But storing hydrogen in a tank is a nightmare. To store a decent quantity of hydrogen, it must be stored under very high pressure which means extremely heavy tanks i.e. the tank will be many times heavier than the fuel it stores. Also, pressurized hydrogen has the nasty habit to diffuse through any material suitable for building tanks. Leave a filled up hydrogen tank sitting for a week and half its contents will be gone.
Cryogenic storage is an option, but is complicated and expensive.
Bottom line is that building an extended hydrogen fuel infrastructure will be costly and inefficient, and this will be a major hurdle for its adoption as a widely used fuel.