Electric Cars - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-12-2008, 12:05 PM   #1
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This man has taken a different approach to dealing with the problems of purely electric cars -- He's borrowed from Kodak's "I'd give away the cameras to sell the film and processing" which the cell phone companies have used so successfully and from Blue Rhino's LP distribution 'Swap an empty tank for a full one'.

I think he really has something here and hopefully they will make electric vehicles with towing capability (might just need something like a Hensley or Pull-Rite hitch).

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Old 11-12-2008, 02:18 PM   #2
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That's one of my big fears of Peak Oil is the ability to do even small trips with our trailer. I have seen a lot of affordable electric cars (like the Think coming to California next year) but they are all lightweight to minimize electrical consumption. The power required to pull a loaded 13' would have to be substantial. Electric motors have the torque but could you find anything with the needed range.

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Old 11-12-2008, 03:36 PM   #3
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.... 'Swap an empty tank for a full one'.
The idea of swapping a depleted battery pack for a charged one and driving on has been around for ages. It's getting it to work that's hard. An old battery pack is not the same as a new one.

One option is that the battery pack is owned by the driver but that seems doomed to failure - when you swap the battery pack, you might be handing in your 3-month old pack and getting an eight-year old in exchange. It's like driving in with a 10,000 mile engine and driving out with a 200,000 mile one. Who would do that?

The other option is that the battery pack is just leased/rented to the driver and so swapping it is not too big a concern for the user. However this wouldn't encourage the user to take much care of the battery pack and how they're looked after makes a big difference to how long batteries last.

Maybe with modern controls it's possible to make a careless-driver-proof battery, but if so that would be an important part of this proposal.

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Old 11-12-2008, 04:21 PM   #4
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Love the little Think. It's been bought out... again... and is back in Norway where it started, ready to expand around the world. Great for its designed purpose... getting around metro areas cheaply and efficiently, especially in a country like Norway where electric power is zero emissions hydro, almost completely. In Norway, they've been sought after urban cars because of special benefits like free parking, no ring tolls, etc....New Think company owners (including originator), are really thinking outside the box... no dealers, lease the battery, order on the internet, computer enabled cars, etc.... and increased range, speed, and power.
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/b...38830/index.htm Not to mention, they're cute. Not a tow vehicle, though....
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:49 PM   #5
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Here's an angle that keeps haunting me. We drive ourselves silly trying to make smaller and more efficient cars, but meanwhile the number of cars keeps increasing. Aren't we losing this race from the start? I mean, surely today's worst gas-guzzling Hummer is miles ahead in terms of energy efficiency compared to cars from 50 years ago. It's just that the fleet keeps increasing. So I think we're solving the wrong puzzle. As much as I appreciate cars being more environment-friendly, I can't help but think that this simply encourages people to buy more individual cars, same as recycling doesn't discourage the production and purchase of plastic containers.
Driving on parkways and parking in driveways.
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:16 PM   #6
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I think this is interesting. Retrofitting an old SWB Land Rover with a 20hp electric motor.

If older vehicles could be retrofitted there would be less use of resources manufacturing new ones. Except that might mean less jobs. He makes a good point about the wasted energy of a piston engine too.

Obviously the missing info is the range of the Land Rover (pun intended).

The first and last (fourth) videos are the best.

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Old 11-12-2008, 08:35 PM   #7
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Great post, Clive. Especially the fourth video!

On a far more mundane level, here's a link to a story in the St. Pete Times about a man who converted a used Volkswagen beetle to electric as a commuter car. (He also sells kits to allow others to do the same.)

Edited to include the link:
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Old 11-13-2008, 01:17 PM   #8
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Here's a story about a guy in Tennessee who converted his Chevy S-10 to electric


I have also seen an article on an S-10 conversion that included a gasoline generator AND a solar system for additional charging.
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:03 PM   #9
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I just heard an advertisement for a $300 dollar electric car. The only problem with it is you need the 10 million dollar extension cord to make it work.
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:14 PM   #10
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If you want to see what's happening in electric vehicles check out


They have about 2000 vehicles listed there including pickups, 4wd, itty bitty cars, even an electric love seat (check out the unclassifiable listings). And most of them are homebuilt. The only thing holding back electric vehicles is battery technology. The super batteries are available. They're just not affordable for the average user.

Remember that some of the biggest tow vehicles around are electric -- They're called locomotives. But they get lousy mileage.



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