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A real electric car? - Thommo
Ignoring the propaganda bits in the article.

As I have said before the solution to any perceived pollution/energy shortage problems lies in:

1. a step change in energy generation capabilities and;

2. a step change in battery technology which has in essence not really change much since they were invented

Could this be 2. I wonder?


Tags: technical issues legal and consumer advice legal issues

A real electric car? - Chris S
Reminds me of those weird and wonderful devices that appeared on Tomorrow's World and never saw the light of day.

And before you mention CDs - TW reckoned they would be indestructable and last forever!
A real electric car? - adverse camber

"And before you mention CDs - TW reckoned they would be indestructable and last forever!"

And when challenged about leaving my CDs all over the place out of the cases so they got scratched to hell, the response is - Oh I thought that didnt matter. TW said it didnt matter.

Damn and Blast their over optimistic fibs!!!
A real electric car? - moonshine

I certainly agree with you on point 2 - battery technology is the problem with electric cars. I certainly hope this turns out to be for real and not just some story to boost a share price. I guess like all 'change the world' inventions, time will tell...
A real electric car? - Thommo
Being backed with big money by some serious people. Looks to me more like a huge capacitor than a battery but I have zero technical background.

Plus I feel with the era of cheap oil passing and the increasing use of the oil supply as a political weapon the will is there to get these things done.

Looking back on the moon landings with 1960s technology you would have thought they were impossible but the will was there and they happened.

One hundred years ago they were forecasting that London would be neck high with horse manure in 10 years time, the internal combustion engine charged that. I truly believe that even if this is not the solution, the solution will be forthcoming within 10 years.

Loved Tomorrows World and who needs CD's when you can download tracks on to a computer hard drive?
A real electric car? - moonshine

Personally I love the idea of an electric car as it has so many advantages. If this technology turns out to be as good as they think then it will certainly mean the end of IC powered cars.

Just think of the advantages of an electric car:

Awesome performance
4 wheel drive becomes sensible
low noise levels
high torque
no need for gears
easy maintance
engine bay can be made smaller
being able to 're-fuel' at home
abiltiy to make your own 'fuel' for your car (micro generation)
no need for messy oil changes!

Can anyone add to the list?
A real electric car? - madf
"If it works as it's supposed to, it will charge up in five minutes and provide enough energy to drive 500 miles on about $9 worth of electricity. At today's gas prices, covering that distance can cost $60 or more; the EEStor device would power a car for the equivalent of about 45 cents a gallon."

Now lets suppose it needs 100hp and drives for say 10 hours at an average of 50mph. And assume it uses on average 50hp so it uses 500hp hours .
That is equivalent roughly to 280KWH by my calculations.

Assuming the power supply to charge the batteries is 110Volts (US) . To charge up in 5 minutes and get 280KWH means a chargeing rate of 30,000 amps..!!!

If I have done my sums correctly , I would say that is very unlikely.. (to put it mildly).

Cvan someone please confirm I'm wrong?

A real electric car? - John S

Beat me to it! You're right. That's why we will never achieve battery recharge times equivalent to filling with petrol. The energy transfer rate when you fill the tank is incredible - and that's why petrol and diesel are such excellent fuels.

A real electric car? - Tomo
I agree that it sounds like a capacitor. After all my watch is supposed to run for three months from a full charge before it has to be shaken again.

My only worry, arising from experience with radio transmission equipment, is that if a capacitor is carrying enough charge to drive a car for 100 miles or so, there is going to be a helluva bang when it is shorted out in an accident.
A real electric car? - Pugugly {P}
there is going to be a helluva bang when it is shorted out in an accident.

And a whole new meaning to "suffering from shock !"
A real electric car? - madf
As my numbers are confirmed, it's a load of rubbish.. At least the 5 minute recharging bit is. And 30,000 amps is one HUGE current. You would need bus bars of solid copper around 3cms in diameter..to carry the load and a HUGE transformer to handle the load and a HUGE substation..

In fact the thought of 30 cars all attempting to recharge at the same charging station at once would probably melt the substation.

So 110volts is out. Lets say it is a more feasible 11,000 volts bringing the current down to a more feasible - but still huge 300amps.
You don't plug in cars to 11,000 volts. One mistake and you and the car are fried. Voltages of that size can jump large distances.

My view is the website is a complete sham.

PS: and how many power stations will you need to build for the extra power rewquirements? Remember this proposal is in the US: a country with no National grid and whose power supply is so marginal it had rolling blackouts over 1,000s of miles in the last 3-4 years at peak demand periods..

Oh and the US most power stations are coal fired... so bang goes any thought of reducing pollution..

As for his economics..

Mickey mouse is not the phrase I would use.. it's far too kind.... there is a phrase that fits it perfectly "cow ordure baffles brains":-)

A real electric car? - KMO
I see where madf's coming from, but I don't think the problems are insurmountable.

For starters, I suspect the quoted figures are dubious. I imagine the marketing blurb claims you can get a useful charge in 5 minutes, or have a 500 mile range, but not both simultaneously. I think maybe the journalist has been suckered into conflating the two.

Secondly, any range claim will undoubtedly been based on a much more efficient vehicle than your reckoning, and it will be optimistic. The Tesla Roadster, for example, claims an efficiency of 200Wh/mi, and that's probably realistic, albeit for a light, small vehicle. That would need a charge of 100 kWh for 500 miles range, knocking nearly a factor of 3 off your sums.

Charging at a dedicated "filling station" would definitely not be a domestic 110V, or even 230V. I see no obvious reason why it couldn't be 1000V. Using all those numbers, you could do a 100kWh charge in 1/4 hour, 1000V, 400A. Numbers that are feasible without outlandish connector or safety technology.

All this is a little academic though. If you did have an electric car that had 500 mile range on a single charge, actually stopping at "filling stations" to refuel would be a somewhat niche activity. Almost everyone would charge overnight, and top up if necessary while parked. Of those travelling >500 miles a day, how much would it inconvience them to take a 30 minute break every 500 miles (~7 hours)?

Attacking electric cars on the infeasibility of rapid refuelling mid-journey is as daft as attacking petrol cars on the hazard of storing large quantities of petrol in your house to refuel overnight. You just wouldn't do it that way.

Nevertheless, I remain to be convinced that this outfit really has achieved a commercially viable storage breakthrough. But it's just a matter of time before someone does.
A real electric car? - Thommo
I am with KMO on this.

Maybe not his one or these guys but someone soon is going to crack battery technology, as I say pretty much unchanged since they were invented, and then whammo you got a big change.

Yes you still need to generate electricity but if you had the ability to store electricity with virtually no lose then what is to stop you plating the Sahara with sun energy capture devices and running the current to a big battery ship, like a kind of oil tanker, and then sailing off to wherever when topped up?

Got to go and take my anti Carl Sagan pill now.
A real electric car? - Lud
then what
is to stop you plating the Sahara with sun energy capture
devices and running the current to a big battery ship, like
a kind of oil tanker, and then sailing off to wherever
when topped up?

Er... the Algerian, Libyan, Tunisian, Malian, Sudanese, Chadian, Niger, Egyptian, Moroccan and Mauritanian governments perhaps?
A real electric car? - Thommo
All of whom will welcome the dosh. Although giving money to some of those lot will create as many problems as giving it to some oil producers...
A real electric car? - Lud
All of whom will welcome the dosh. Although giving money
to some of those lot will create as many problems as
giving it to some oil producers...

Like Algeria, Libya, Sudan, soon Chad, and some of the others to a lesser extent....:o)
A real electric car? - IanJohnson
Claims may be rubbish but the Electric car is a real alternative with one problem - the market does not want it!


What proportion of the UKs cars do more than 50 miles in any day?.
What proportion ot the UKs cars do more than 500 miles in any one day during their lifetime?
What proportion of the UKs cars are not parked overnight at a place where they could be charged?

I would suggest that all answers are low single figures. On that basis the vast majority of cars in the UK could be electric (not Hybrid) based on current technology.

But who wants one!

We all want an IC engine because we are comfortable with it and we might want to drive it to the south of France once or twice a year!
A real electric car? - Lud
But who wants one!

Better than no wheels at all.

Expect hybrid and electric racing classes to appear soon.

Jenatzy's La Jamais Contente, an electric car driven by lead acid batteries, was the first motor vehicle to exceed 60mph. Wonderful looking thing like a square-section ice cream cone running point-first (early intuitive aerodynamics!) on a slab of batteries, with a steering wheel sticking out of the back end and Jenatzy in goggles clinging to it, no doubt in some anxiety.

No one should doubt French automotive ability or enthusiasm.
A real electric car? - Lud
Irritatingly, it turns out that Jenatzy was a ctually Belgian, although his record runs were done in France, and La Jamais Contente looked more like a symmetrical torpedo than my description, which must have been an earlier Jenatzy car. Damn! At least I googled him before anyone else did.

I was right about the French though.
A real electric car? - daveyjp
What is also conveniently forgotten about electric cars is the fact that the IC engine keeps a battery charged which is used to run everything electrical - imagine a typical UK winter's day. Lights, wipers, aircon, heated windows, heated mirrors, heated washer jets are all on. Then we have the radio, the mobile phone, the GPS, entertainment system in the back for the kids etc etc. All need power.

Coupled with this is the need to keep the cabin warm - how do you maintain a nice 21 degrees without the benefit of the hot water produced by the combustion process? That will be more drain on the batteries.

So to get a vehicle to move using electric is feasible, to make the vehicle useable is a different proposition.
A real electric car? - madf
It's all very well to tak of new forms of batteries but consider this:
A Car's engine is largely made from easily available and cheap materials.. iron and aluminium and hence it is cheap apart from the catalyst which uses expensive platinum.

Lead acid batteries use : lead.

Hi tec batteries use?

FIll in the answer and think how much will be required for 30million new cars a year?

Economies of scale work when raw materials are cheaply available. If you have to find new sources, build new mines and processing plants on top of new power stations it ain't going to be either quick or cheap... see solar panels...
A real electric car? - Collos25
The old milk floats used to chug around all day with a hefty load with little problems

Do not test the depth of water with both feet.
A real electric car? - Lud
At walking pace however.
A real electric car? - Sofa Spud

The Tesla roadster is nearing production alongside Lotus Elises in Norfolk. The car is said to have a range of 250 miles on one charge and brisk performance. There was a programme about it on Radio 4 the other night. Clearly this is a fun car rather than a long-distance tourer, because of its limited range. Apparently the car is not aimed at the economy end of the market , partly because the batteries are expensive. It is destined to go on sale in USA but not here.


Also, the Modec van / light truck, a British venture, is coming to fruition - good for city deliveries - a sort of milk float on steroids!


To complete the trio, there is the Reva G-wiz, a basic battery powered microcar for local urban journeys:


What all three of these vehicles have in common, apart from being pure-electric, is that none of them try to compete with i.c. engined vehicles as all-rounders, but seek to exploit niches where electrics are as good as or better than petrols / diesels.
A real electric car? - Sofa Spud
We could have a vote on which of the three i mentioned above shows the greatest promise!

My vote goes to the Modec van. If it sells well they could broaden its appeal with a hybrid version with a 'get-you-home' engine and generator designed to come into use when the batteries have run down.

The Tesla is an interesting toy, but then so, arguably, is a Lotus Elise!

Th G-Wiz is very small and basic and you could get a VW Fox for the same price. But it should have very low running costs

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