No matter what technological developments have happened to make an all electric car practical, it seems to me that mankind will have to somehow develop the technology to convert solar energy to usable electricity a whole lot faster than we are now. The energy stored in the carbon atom is there due to millions of years of exposure to the sun, whether it was decaying vegetation, dinosaur remains, or whatever. The point is, it took millions of years to store that energy; our technology to unlock that energy was within our brains and physical abilities as humans exist today.
The idea of creating solar technology to get the same practical use out of the sun as is currently practical to get out of the carbon atom is not frivolous, no; it's a noble pursuit that I simply believe has a remote possibility of sufficient success before the world runs out of oil and other fossil deposits. Even with wind, hydro, and nuclear helping to fuel power plants, we're still going to run out of fossil.
I'm curious about something and wanted to see if anyone here on the forum has had any thoughts about using geo-thermal heat to fuel power plants. Conceptually, it sounds positive. I suppose it would require just two human-capable technological advancements: 1. Large scale desalination of sea water, and 2. Tapping into the earth to get to the heat without creating man-made, uncontrollable volcanoes.
I don't know what temperatures the various kinds of lavas are around the world. It's no doubt they are all hotter before eruptions. Does anyone know just how high these temperatures are, or what the best guess is? Do we have current technology to make pipe, or whatever, out of material(s) resistant to those temperatures? Remember Henry and Vanadium steel? He convinced a mill to run the higher temperature necessary to make Vanadium, and it worked.
At the same time, yes, volcanoes are destructive in their gas output, but think about it; if we can develop the technology to get at the heat without letting out the gas, we'd be able to power the world's electrical generation plants for hundreds of generations, all without releasing carbon back into the atmosphere. Our standard of living would rise. Energy costs would fall. Electric cars would be more practical, more charging stations, faster re-charging, more utility overall. The world would become less nervous about energy supplies, far less ready to go to war over what fossil deposits remain, far less able for fossil deposit-rich countries and energy companies to strongly influence the world's economies.
Other than a golf-cart, I've not ever ridden in an electric car. Nor have I ever ridden in a steam car, although I saw one chug-chug by, almost silently, at an AACA meet some years ago; positively elegant car and machinery.
I am not an environmentalist, or a "tree hugger", or whatever. I do believe that global warming is happening, and that we contribute to it. The earth has been through cycles of the earth's having been frozen to temperatures hotter than today. When the carbon atoms began leaving the atmosphere and were stored in what we know today as oil, coal (have I left something(s) out?), the earth cooled. Now that we're releasing the carbon atoms back into the atmosphere faster than historical cycles would have done so, the earth is warming. Perhaps geo-thermal wouldn't be practical; all I know is that there's a whole lot of heat down there, and I believe that our only current approach to it is to flee when it spews out of a volcano.
I am not cynical about mankind's behaviour; I'm human, too, but in addition to my sometimes griping about current problems, I also like to think (dream?) about the possibilities of our developing a limitless supply of fuel for electricity.
A simple search for tapping volcanoes found this:
The problem with molten lava is the earths surface is constantly moving or rather floating. But you tap deep enough and geothermal is a very real possibility. Its the high cost that tends to put the brakes on its possibilities. I believe its Iceland that gets a lot of its power from Geothermal.
Q and A on this subject.
You would need to use the electricity to make gas if this would be of any use to the model T drivers.
Gas, steam and electric car owner here and love them all for different reasons. Fossil fuels for fossil cars. Modern electric to commute - I'll never buy another modern gas car.
I'm all for it so long as our government is not paying for it or regulating it. Anything that can be done by private corporations can be done at a much higher cost if government becomes involved. Right now, today, we have hundreds of years of known petroleum reserves, enough to power everything and anything for the foreseeable future.
Global Warming is a hoax. The climate alarmists said we were headed for a permanent winter when Carter was in office. Lately they had to start calling it climate change when the evidence became so stark that temperatures on earth were clearly not being caused by human activity.
Again, believe what you want, but keep your filthy hands off my money.
They do use geo-thermal power stations in New Zealand and (I am pretty sure) in places like Iceland.
Electricity is just not transportable in competitive quantities.
The batteries in the Tesla Model S weigh 1,000 lbs, for 60KWH capacity, and a range of 200 miles.
Gasoline at 33.6 KWH and six pounds per gallon, will propel a same sized car on just 30 lbs of fuel. Henry Ford proved that lighter is better. If you increase the weight of the vehicle's fuel or engine, all the support has to be heavier: tires, wheels, brakes, suspension, structure, etc. Figure 250 lbs more to support 1000 lbs of battery.
Not only that, it takes nine hours with a source of 230V/32A to fully charge for 200 mile range, where it takes about two minutes to refuel with gasoline. You could charge faster, assuming the batteries could take it, but the additional weight of the high current wiring would be more than the full weight of the gasoline.
Tesla has demonstrated they can change a battery pack faster than you can refuel a BMW, but it still takes nine hours to charge the battery somewhere; nine hours the battery is unavailable.
Here I am writing this, having just bought some Tesla stock with part of my IRA...
I can't wait to hear the environmentalist start talking about how we are destroying the earth by sucking up all it's heat. It'll probably bring on another ice age, but accelerated by 10 billion percent because of man's greediness.....and so it will go. Hell, they have to have SOME story or else they would have to go out and get a REAL job.
I'm proud to display my green sign.
If people and cities want electric cars then why doesn't someone develop a trolly type cable above or under the streets that cars and buses attach to for power. That way they can charge and drive at the same time. Just like the old bumper cars at the fair.
Most electric cars are powered by coal or Diesel, a few are nuclear and some are hydro powered, none of the electric cars are emission free, and all of them store their power with toxic batteries.
We already have geo-thermal energy in areas of hot springs and steam geysers.
It would be very interesting to find out what the environmentalists would say about drilling into the magma to cause steam energy. They don't even like fraking to open up the oil and gas deposits for use!
My late uncle had an idea which, to my knowledge has never been developed. That would be to put a long arm with a float on the one of it in the ocean with a ratchet or some other device at the other end which would turn a shaft to generate electricity by changes in the tides or the movement of waves in the ocean.
You forgot NatGas, Gus, which now supplies over half the electricity in the US. It isn't the tree huggers hurting coal, but natgas is now cheaper, and power plants are converting.
There are ways to generate electricity by wave action;
Yup, I forgot natural gas, but is it half the electricity? That seems high.
There are electrical generating devices being tested using wave and tidal motion at this time.
Yes, Gus it's up from about half as much as coal in the last five years. When T. Boone Pickens was promoting ng for vehicles about five years ago, it cost about $14. Now it's $3-4. Sorry, I can't find a reference, but it's been in the news. I did find these tidbits on Bloomberg.com :
The new abundance of cheap gas transformed the U.S. industrial landscape, prompting new investment in power plants that use gas to generate electricity and accelerating the demise of older coal and nuclear plants that were more expensive to repair and operate.
“Coal plants are producing about 38 percent of all the electricity in the United States now,” Buffett said. “You can’t scrap that. That takes years and years and years to replace. It will be happening gradually.” ...
Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in shale formations has increased supplies and lowered prices for the fuel, and decreased coal’s share of electricity generation. In 2007, coal accounted for 49 percent of U.S. power production.