09 November 2009

Some thoughts about electric cars

The main thing that keeps me from considering an electric car as my next car: lack of feasibility for long distance road trips. They cannot presently go for up to 15 hours without stopping. I can see three possible ways to fix that:

a) Make a car battery that can last 15 hours without stopping. :p I assume this is unlikely, considering that laptop batteries only last for 2...

b) Make a car battery that can be charged back to full within 10-15 minutes. Most of the blurbs I've seen talk about 2-3 hours. I'm not going to pull into a battery station and sit there for 2-3 hours while it charges, when I can pull into a gas station and be gone again in 5-10 minutes.

c) Make it so that the car batteries are interchangeable and can be easily replaced. I pull into the battery station, remove my depleted battery, trade it for a fully charged battery, and get back on the road. This doesn't have to be free (I'd assume some sort of nominal charge if there's a station attendant that does this), but it also shouldn't mean actually purchasing a new battery at full price each time. It probably would require all the car manufacturers to agree on a standard battery design. Ideally, it should be simple enough that I can change it myself without being professionally certified in the procedure.

How about hybrid cars then? If the gas charges the battery, then the battery can last 15 hours, and then the only difference would be fewer stops for gas. I could do that.

1 comment:

John the Scientist said...

Physics is working against you - in general the faster a batter charges, the faster it discharges. I like the swap out idea, though - they do that now with propane gas tanks (the big ones).