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E-Plein Air

Piet

Enthusiast
Messages
127
#1
I assume lots o' people will be returning excitedly from Thenay with pics....
If you haven't heard, check this out.
https://www.topgear.com/car-news/concept/how-cute-electric-renault-4l-plein-air
A shortened plein air, on a Melun JP4 chassis, with a full Twizy drivetrain.

When the Twizy first came out, just after Melun started doing new R4 chassis, I thought, hmmm that would be a nice project given the Twizy has 3 stud 145 x 13 wheels on it, what a strange cooincidence.....

Obviously someone else was thinking that too and connected the dots!

Or was is all meant to be? Was the Twizy just part of Renault's plan to get part of the new R4 infrastructure financed and out there?
[Insert conspiracy theory here]
 

JdeW

Enthusiast
Messages
499
Location
Laarbeek The Netherlands
#2
I am not in favor for the current electrical car in general, it costs to much to produce the batteries (kobalt and lithium) and overall efficiency is poor, not to speak about the generated CO2 emmision while producing for instance a Tesla. To make the Tesla CO2 neutral you have to drive a mere 800.000 kilometers....

The only energy efficiency and emission neutral solution are fuel cell based cars and multi-spectrum solar cell energy at home to produce the hydrogen required for the fuel cell.

Any other current technical so-called CO2 neutral solution is a waste of effort.
 

benchseat

Enthusiast
Messages
277
#3
Thank goodness someone else feels the same way about "carbon neutral". But fuel-cell cars still have to be built. It would be helpful to know what the equivalent "mileage before neutral" figure is for a fuel-cell car.

The other problem with hydrogen cars is fire risk. I know a local fireman : he says that if a "normal" car bursts into flame they rush in to save the occupants : if an LPG car were to do so they would stand back, on the basis that an LPG tank explosion would kill anyone nearby (firemen included). Hydrogen cars presumably also have a pressurised gas reservoir somewhere.

I’d also hazard a guess that the Second Law Of Thermodynamics implies that "carbon neutral" is, and will always be, a myth. If something is claimed to be carbon neutral it means that something has been deliberately left out of the calculations.
 
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JonathanT

Not normal for Norfolk
Messages
1,227
Location
Wymondham Norfolk
#4
I’m also concerned about the safety aspects of lithium based batteries. To my understanding they can be the cause of fire or at the very least heavy smoke. I have many model aeroplanes using Lithium Polymer batteries ( ok more potent than Lithium Iron) which can go into ‘thermal runaway’ producing copious amounts of thick white smoke and a chemical fire which cannot easily ( if at all ) be extinguished. This condition can be caused by physical deformation of the battery as well as over charge or discharge. The batteries and motors are incredible however and produce enormous power
 

JdeW

Enthusiast
Messages
499
Location
Laarbeek The Netherlands
#5
Thank goodness someone else feels the same way about "carbon neutral". But fuel-cell cars still have to be built. It would be helpful to know what the equivalent "mileage before neutral" figure is for a fuel-cell car.
As an example an electric car with a 60 kWh battery. The electric car consumes 20 kilowatt hours per 100 km. The electric car should drive aprox. 700,000 kilometers to be cleaner than a gasoline car that uses 6 liters per 100 km.

The other problem with hydrogen cars is fire risk. I know a local fireman : he says that if a "normal" car bursts into flame they rush in to save the occupants : if an LPG car were to do so they would stand back, on the basis that an LPG tank explosion would kill anyone nearby (firemen included). Hydrogen cars presumably also have a pressurised gas reservoir somewhere.
Every new technology comes with a certain risk but in time we learn to control and improve a technology, after all we let people walk on the moon. It's the environment that counts isn't it? So let's go for 100% hydrogen gas, solar- and windpower based economy.
And there lies the snag, the current world economy is only based on greed and in all those greedy minds, the environment doesn't matter.
 

jjad

Enthusiast
Messages
1,256
Location
Herefordshire
#6
I think I remember reading/hearing somewhere that more CO2 is released in the manufacture of a car than is released over the entire lifetime of driving it. So we should be encouraged to drive our old cars for as long as possible instead of buying new cars (which, despite small increases in efficiency, aren't much more efficient because they are so much heavier).

However, no government would be interested in that, because they are so strongly influenced by the powerful car makers (hence the government incentives to build factories in their country).

Similarly, governments say they want to reduce car usage, but do very little to help with that. Scrapping annual vehicle duty (tax) would help, and so would reducing the ongoing vehicle ownership costs relative to the cost of fuel. If a car owner has already paid all the annual costs just to own a car, then there's little incentive for them to use other forms of transport (e.g. bus, train) which seem relatively expensive per mile.

But of course governments aren't really interested in people, just keeping themselves in power. Just like big businesses aren't interested in customers, just themselves shareholders. :(

Sorry, I'm making this all a bit political, aren't I? It must be the weather. :doh:
 

edwin

Enthusiast
Messages
232
Location
Lichfield
#7
As I mentioned somewhere else on this forum, my car, an 1985 845cc 4L does about 65 mpg at 60 - 65 mph, which means the pollution per mile driven must be very low, compared to almost any other car. Hardly any other car does 65 MPG, and this car is 34 years old, and does not need all the carbon released in manufacturing a new ,bigger, one. So as someone else said we all need to drive old cars.
I agree with the idea of the hydrogen fuel cell. It maybe dangerous, but so was petrol years ago. The problems will be solved. There is so much benefit by using wind turbine generated electricity to crack water to provide hydrogen. They are doing it on Mull at the moment. It enables wind energy to be stored for re use without a battery, and avoids all the toxicity produced in the lithium/cobalt battery construction and destruction.
 

benchseat

Enthusiast
Messages
277
#8
Interesting points here.

"jjad" mentions "efficiency". Here is a laugh for you : I have a friend whose wife runs a "hybrid" (electric/diesel). It does 47 miles per gallon. My 23-year old diesel Peugeot 405 1.9 LXTD does 51 miles per gallon. But according to her, the newer car must be more efficient "because it is a hybrid".

The conclusion that we should all continue to drive old cars is an obvious one — but possibly (based on the above example) those with no brains are generally the last to see any given no-brainer. I would not be surprised if older cars eventually begin to rise somewhat in resale value following the new, more draconian, U.K. MOT rules (particularly as regards tougher emissions rules for newer vehicles). There is so much that can expensively go wrong with a new car that surely the general public are going to realise, in the end, that older cars are worth keeping running. Especially those over 40 years old!

Next point : "edwin" mentions wind electricity > hydrogen > fuel cells. If we take it that the same electricity is used to make hydrogen as is to charge an electric car battery, then the fuel cell route involves three extra processes (electrolysis, storage and distribution/refuelling), each of which, given that no process can run at 100% efficiency — Second Law of Thermodynamics again — puts the fuel-cell route at an energetic disadvantage. To take "JdeW" ’s point again, it is a question of what the total carbon penalty is in manufacturing a fuel cell car, including the apportioned cost of the distribution infrastructure. I’d guess there is not much in it, in which case, all other things being equal, if I had to make a choice I personally would go for straight battery power, which (given that I already have mains electricity in my house) would entail no extra distribution facilities other than an adaptor plug.

One point that "edwin" does not mention is : what happens to the other by-product of electrolysis of water (oxygen)? Is it simply released back into the atmosphere as a waste product (> implicit loss of efficiency in the process) or compressed and sold for industrial use? If the latter. how does the price compare with normal commercially produced oxygen gas, most of which is which is made by large-scale distillation? I’d guess that electrolysis is the more expensive process.

Third point : "jjad" ’s point that public transport is more expensive than a car. The U.K. Inland Revenue reckon that the overall cost of running a car is GBP £0.45 per mile. So if I drove to London and back (250 mile return trip) this would cost 250 x £0.45 - £GBP 112.50. Cost by direct train from my local station, GBP £90 (peak hour train), £56 (off-peak getting in at 0947). So train is cheaper (as well as quicker). The fallacy here is using the cost of fuel (alone) as a basis for discussion. Of course car would be cheaper IF (and only if) there were more than one occupant. But apparently the average car occupancy rate in Europe for a long-distance trip is only 1.8 occupants per vehicle, meaning that my off-peak train is looking cheaper anyway (£56 x 1.8 = £100.80, vs. £112.50 for car).

I think we need to keep off politics here, which are simply a matter of opinion, not fact. Ultimately, facts (genuine facts) are all that matter as they are the only things that sway decisions.
 
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jjad

Enthusiast
Messages
1,256
Location
Herefordshire
#9
Great points, benchseat.

I think our cost per mile is much higher, simply because we pay hundreds of pounds a year to keep cars on the road (well, in the garage) and do very few miles.
 

Piet

Enthusiast
Messages
127
#10
Notwithstanding the cost of solar cells, or mirrors and a steam turbine etc, efficiency is not really an issue when using solar power (or solar electricity, or solar hot water), because the energy is being firehosed over the planet anyway. A 600 kg R4 is going to be a better prospect than a 1 and a half ton electric or hybrid SUV, whatever you power it with. What you make the batteries from, and how you make them is another matter. I use unicorn horns dissolved in mermaid's tears myself.
 
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