18 Littlegrey Comments:
I find this interesting.
But is this really better than driving electric?
I do believe that refilling an air tank will be quicker than recharging a battery, but will compressing that air cost more power, and thus be more polluting, since the power plants need to work harder?
well the guy straight says it uses no less energy than electric cars, but that it's super easy to mechanically compress air with no electricity, so it's pretty versatile
1. This thing doesn't look very safe when it comes to a crash.
2. 1 seat. This means the only people who use it are the people who only do driving for themselves to work and also refuse to carpool
3. What is the distance this thing can travel on one tank? It doesn't look very much.
4. How many gas stations are actually going to be selling compressed air? This is always a problem - fuel transition.
Most gas stations have compressed air already. It would be a matter of keeping an adapter in your glove box. Home air compressors are affordable from Home Depot and places like that.
There were other models of the car shown in the video other than the 1 seater.
The idea for this car would be that pretty much everyone in a city would eventually have a car like this. Safety issues are reduced if that's the case. Also it's for use at low speeds in areas where all the other vehicles are moving at slow speeds.
Electric cars and air powered cars have the same problem...the electricity and the air still have to come from somewhere. If everyone drove electric cars it would simply increase the amount of electricity generated. The majority of electricity is created by burning coal. To say that electric cars are cleaner is to ignore the entire chain of energy consumption. In essence alternative fuel vehicles as a means to reduce pollution and energy consumption is a myth. The one type of pollution they do reduce is noise pollution and for that reason alone I am for them.
That's a specious, yet all too common argument. Electric, compressed air and hydrogen cars offer an obvious improvement over fossil fuel cars because it's infinitely easier to increase the efficiency and cleanliness of power plants than tens of millions of cars. Once the cars are sold, that's it. They're not going to be retrofitted when new technology comes along.
You can however install new scrubbers on smokestacks, start capturing and sequestering CO2 before it leaves the plant, etc. when the technology comes of age. Also due to the size and complexity of many of these technologies, they will likely never exist in a form that could be installed in a car.
Moving to different fuel sources for cars would also free up fossil fuels for uses which can not currently be switched to an alternative, such as large airplanes and ships.
While that is true it doesn't solve the issue nor do much to counter my point. You are talking about future sales and future technology. I'm talking about the Prius and the Volt.
Two things monkey.
First, it is very easy to mechanically compress air, as was pointed out in a previous post.
Second, France produces most of its electricity by using nuclear power, so it would not be a problem for them at all. For the rest of the world, it might be a problem until something like the tokomak reactor is perfected and mass produced.
Tata Motors in India is planning to release their first air-powered car, the miniCAT, later this year. The drive system in the miniCAT was made by MDI (the same guys in this video).
Well that takes care of France Pancakeface but I would imagine in the total energy usage of the world they rank far below places like India, China, Russia and the US.
What is the energy consumption to create a single nuclear power station?
top: with the air power the energy is being converted from electricity (which can't be readily stored without a battery) into compressed air, which can be stored for long periods of time with no loss.
with electric cars, the vast majority of recharging will be done overnight. in both of these instances, the electricity being consumed is done at off peak hours.
electricity is produced constantly throughout the day and during peak hours more generators are brought online to account for increased demand. however, the plant never shuts down since there is always some demand, and each generation method (especially coal/wood fired plants) has a MIN production amount. meaning, if the total users for a particular power plant all turn off every appliance and light during an 8 hr portion of the day, the power company essentially wastes electricity throughout those 8 hours.
what does this mean? it means that the greenhouse emissions/mile generated potentially could decrease, simply because rather than increasing the current amount of power produced by an electric company, you are utilizing energy that would have otherwise been lost.
obviously this phenomenon has an upper limit (meaning a max number of cars that are swapped for electric and charged overnight), but consider also that a power plant working at the equivalent of "idle" is not at peak efficiency. thus while the actual emissions increase, the emissions/mile may not substantially increase when you increase the number of cars being charged overnight.
further consider that each car not running on fossil fuels actively subtracts from overall daily emissions.
so to conclude: while there may not be a total reduction in energy consumption, by spreading out the consumption rate into a more efficient pattern, the total amount of electricity produced by power companies may see negligible increases OR more efficiently distributed increases. An increase in production does constitute an increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the plant, but likely will result in lower greenhouse gas emissions from the country overall.
i think that made sense...sorry if i reiterated too much.
You last paragraph is just a nice way of saying that electricity production would go up.
"May not be a total reduction"
Using current methods an increase in production does constitute an increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the plan.
If making 10 megawatt hours produces x amount of greenhouse gas then producing 15 will produce that much more.
Troll line: Not that anyone really needs to care about greenhouse gas production.
well, no, because producing 10kw at x GHG doesn't necessarily equate to 15kw at x+5 GHG. the amount of extra emissions isn't linear with electricity produced. of COURSE producing more electricity means more greenhouse gasses, the point i was making was there there is a crossover where you've taken enough gas powered cars off the road that the amount of reduction in yearly GHG production is actually less. as i said in the final sentence, that you skipped over. because you're old. and blind.
also, you skipped the entirety of the rest of my post where i outline how there is a certain number of electric cars that can be charged with the amount of electricity produced at the current level without producing any more GHG, which directly correlates to a decrease in overall GHG due to pulling gas cars off the road. dang man at least have the decency to read the entire post.
the real problem in both of our arguments is that we're both WAY too lazy to look up the actual values for all of this stuff. it's important to know exactly how much a coal fired plant emits in terms of green house gasses per kw or mw hour of electricity produced, also it's important to know how much a car emits per mile traveled (which will have to be converted from GHG/gallon of gasoline used in relation to MPG) and how much electricity an electric car needs to recharge a battery in kw hrs. i mean, if you really want to do the equations on this stuff...
oh, and there is the whole "dramatic reduction in the country's dependence on oil" thing, which, as far as i can tell, would actively cause a cleaner environment (due to oil spills, soil erosion, that sort of nonsense), cause us to spend less taxpayer money on foreign wars, and as you said, reduce the HELL out of noise pollution.
further: gasoline engines are what..25% efficient? while steam engines (those in all power plants) are up to 60% efficient...meaning fuel turned into work rather than heat. more efficiency means less fuel to produce the same amount of work, which means even if you swapped every single gas car for an electric car and EACH electric car was kept charged by a separate steam turbine at every person's house: you would STILL reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses produced and thus make electric cars cleaner.
by over 25%
which is a lot.
If a power plant is producing x amount of electricity with x amount of usage and then we add electric cars to that the usage goes up. This is a phenomenon we're very familiar with here in Arizona where usage skyrockets in the summer due to the use of AC on 117 degree days. Our network can hardly handle the summers. Add cars to it and it would require upgrading or it would crash. In California during heat waves they have had to do rolling blackouts to keep the system running do do increased usage. Adding cars to the system is simply increased usage.
Coal/oil = steam
steam = electricity
Electric cars = coal powered cars.
We are dependent on oil imports by choice. We have the oil in the US available to us but do not obtain it. This is a matter of politics.
Oil is worth going to war for.
Try to imagine your life without it. I challenge anyone to live just one month without any oil-related products. How would this look? You naked in the jungle. Oil doesn't just drive our cars, it doesn't just drive our economy, it makes our way of life possible. Everything from gasoline to shoes, lubrication to plastics, come from oil. I realize not many people here remember the 1970's and to be sure even I was young then, but I do remember lines for gas going around the block. If your last name started with A you could get gas on Monday and Wednesday.
Those who would seek to choke our supply of oil would choke our way of life. I imagine even the most ardent opponent would change his or her mind once shoes, iphones, and most of their food, became unavailable to them.
I'm fine with alternative fuel sources and I certainly welcome the quiet day we finally use electric cars. However, I am not so naive as to vilify oil as a means to encourage such alternatives, I do not believe we need to stop looking for oil and obtaining it while we wait for alternative sources. It is not like we can only manage one or the other. It's not drill or create electric cars. We can easily do both at the same time.
I care one whit about greenhouse gasses.
if a power plant produces (base) 100MW (arbitrary value) an hour, and the total usage is 75MW per hour at night (again, arbitrary, but reasonable) those extra 25MW/hr are just lost. this IS the current state of electricity supply. i can't say this in any simpler way. we produce more electricity than we use during the vast majority of every day. this electricity is just lost.
people use lots of electricity from 6-10am, then it drops down a lot between 10am and 4pm, then usage spikes dramatically between 4pm and 10pm (the highest points being from 5-8)and then falls off rapidly at 10pm. this happens. after 10pm electricity is constantly wasted.
you can absolutely make use of this electricity without increasing the amount produced. you're literally just wrong.
I do not wish to be limited to charging my car during non-peak hours. It is unrealistic to assume that this is what people would do and unrealistic to expect it of them. If I need to put gas in my car at 5:00 it costs me the same as it does at 10:00. Someone who charges their car (at least in Arizona) would pay more and if enough people charged their cars at peak hours it would cause blackouts. We've had them several times in Arizona just from people running their AC lower on really hot days. We have a nuclear power plant in Arizona, as well as several natural gas, solar, and of course multiple hydroelectric dams (Hoover dam is still one of the largest in the world). We have a strong electrical grid that by east coast standards is quite new and robust, yet we can and have overburdened it.
According to Jasna Tomic, new fuels program manager for Calstart, a nonprofit group promoting clean transportation, "If a quarter of the nation's car fleet was to go plug-in hybrid or electric, the combined energy they could store would equal about 750 gigawatts, Tomic said Thursday at the Opportunities in Grid-Connected Mobility conference in San Francisco. Of course, that's a share of the market that could take decades to reach, but if it comes about, "That basically surpassed the size of the electric grid," she said." (Greentech Media)
So a 1/4 changeover to electric cars busts the grid leaving nothing for other uses.
That means we would have to increase the capacity of the grid to 400% of current ability to just handle 100% the cars currently on the road to 500% to include the cars and the people. Actually...that was just for small vehicle fleet. If we ever wanted all buses and trucks on electrical that's another matter.
Over half the US grid runs on coal so we would increase coal usage by a proportional amount.
Thus...electric cars = coal powered cars.
None of this even speaks to what happens to global stability as the demand for oil drops.
All for what? A quite car.
haha wow so apparently my argument is only valid for a small percentage of total cars. i knew the numbers would help figure it out.
i doubt out demand for oil will ever drop, but the supply of it is dwindling, and with china gearing up an industrial revolution demand is going to keep going up. we really need alternatives to gasoline. ethanol isnt it either, because it takes more energy to make a gallon of e85 than you get out of it. i also agree that electric won't solve all our problems.
maybe a combination approach will be the best option. we're developing multiple electric, hydrogen, air, alternative diesel, and all sorts of other things, perhaps the best approach isnt homogeneity (even though that makes it difficult to travel).
lots to think about.
The supply of oil is not dwindling. It is, in actual fact, growing. Due to new methods of oil extraction like horizontal drilling reserves such as the Bakken formation can now yield crude.
"The U.S. Geological Survey's Leigh Price, estimated that the Bakken might hold a whopping 413 billion barrels. If so, it would dwarf Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, the world's biggest field, which has produced about 55 billion barrels." The oil was discovered in the 30's, attempts were made in the 50's to get to it, but now thanks to technology we can easily reach it.
The notion that the world is running out of oil is unsupportable. We discover new reserves every year, can now get to old reserves we couldn't, and many geologists believe new oil is being created. Which logically, why wouldn't it be? The same processes are at work that made it in the first place.
I 100% agree with the idea of creating electric cars and I hope that someday we get there. What I don't like is the misinformation and false promises that surround them. The reason I don't like them is that they fight against today's needs and hamper the actual creation of electric cars by trying to insert them into an economic model that isn't ready for them. They must grow organically out of need and not out of a forced moral ethos if they are to take off.
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