Charging Time, Not Range, Is the Biggest EV Issue

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Thread: Charging Time, Not Range, Is the Biggest EV Issue

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    Charging Time, Not Range, Is the Biggest EV Issue

    A Current Affair
    Wired
    August 30, 2013
    by Damon Lavrinc


    I am creeping along, relatively speaking, to conserve energy because I’m on an electric Zero DS motorcycle and I’m a long way from home. I’d gotten ambitious — riding to Napa seemed like a good idea when I’d set off — and the 70-mile trip home will require every last bit of energy in the battery.

    I watch the needle on the speedo dip below 60 as I start up another hill and decide to get on the throttle. I figure it’s better to risk running out of juice than risk getting run down by a semi. As I ponder this, something Ben Rich told me goes through my mind.

    “We don’t have a range issue,” the high school physics teacher told me after riding across the country on an electric Zero S. “We have a charging issue.”

    Rich knows this first-hand. He made a 3,500-mile trek from Charleston, South Carolina to Santa Monica, California, in 44 days — nearly 10 times longer than someone straddling a Harley burning dino juice. His lackadaisical pace had less to do with the range offered by the bike’s 11.4 kilowatt-hour battery and more to do with the speed with which we can “fill” a battery and find a place to do so.

    “The tack people are taking is to throw a bigger battery at the problem,” Rich says. “I think they should throw a bigger charger.”

    Full article at the link.
    Last edited by ne_one; 09-04-2013 at 11:08 PM.

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    Re: Charging Time, Not Range, Is the Biggest EV Issue

    A bit of background: the author of the article is trying to live with an electric motorcycle as his sole means of transportation for six months. His logic is that EV motorcycles, though expensive, are affordable and perform reasonably well. By living with one, he hopes to gain some insights into the real world practicality (or limitations) of BEVs.

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    Re: Charging Time, Not Range, Is the Biggest EV Issue

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    Re: Charging Time, Not Range, Is the Biggest EV Issue

    I the resting editorial. I imagine that a faster recharge would resolve the battery car issue.

    Maybe one day science will make this possible ...

    I be,I've the writer is correct in his assumption that time to recharge is the issue.

    A twenty minute 80% recharge would resolve his concerns

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    Re: Charging Time, Not Range, Is the Biggest EV Issue

    Someday people are going to look back in awe and confusion at all the work put into giving electric vehicles as much range as they can possibly muster, in our 'olden times'.

    Charge time really should be the main issue. If I had a purely electric Volt, getting 40miles of electric range isn't my top concern. It being able to be charged, or near charged, in 20-30 mins would be though.

    You would only need as much 'juice' as to get you to your destination. There, you can charge more.
    You forgot to plug in the car last night? No problem! Just hook it up while you shower and shave, and it's ready by the time you're leaving out the door.

    This would definitely create the 're-charging station' industry over night. Now, people will want to charge everywhere. The mom getting groceries after work with the low battery? Plug into one of the stations in the store's parking lot. Your work's parking lot, libraries, parking meters, restaurants, sports/concert venues, etc. Someone is going to want a piece of that pie. Think of the money stores could make with their lots outfitted with charging stations.

    The first auto company to offer a car capable of that, will completely own the industry.



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    * This model will not actually get indefinite range, and will need to be recharged when the battery reaches near the depleted mark indicated on your display panel. Please refer to your drivers manual.

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    Re: Charging Time, Not Range, Is the Biggest EV Issue

    It's a bit more complex than this. Sure, charging time is an issue. Range however, also runs pretty high. How many people here would own a car you would have to stop and refill the gas tank every 100 miles? I'm suspecting that would be nearly zero. The fact of the matter is that we don't just commute in our cars. We travel long distance in them as well, and this is where range comes in to play. This is why I have a Volt. EV for the daily grind, and a backup gas engine for when I need to go beyond the battery's limits.
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    Re: Charging Time, Not Range, Is the Biggest EV Issue

    Capacitors charge quick, but they also discharge quick, and do not hold much juice.

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    Re: Charging Time, Not Range, Is the Biggest EV Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Jive View Post
    Someday people are going to look back in awe and confusion at all the work put into giving electric vehicles as much range as they can possibly muster, in our 'olden times'.

    Charge time really should be the main issue. If I had a purely electric Volt, getting 40miles of electric range isn't my top concern. It being able to be charged, or near charged, in 20-30 mins would be though.

    You would only need as much 'juice' as to get you to your destination. There, you can charge more.[/SIZE]
    Jimmy - You are right in thinking that the exact amount of range an EV needs is enough to get you home (or somewhere else) where you intend to be long enough to recharge. For 78% of America - the 40 mile range of the Volt is sufficient to commute to and from work. This "right amount" of range is RULE #1

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Jive View Post
    You forgot to plug in the car last night? No problem! Just hook it up while you shower and shave, and it's ready by the time you're leaving out the door.[/SIZE]
    RULE #2 is that you can NEVER, EVER strand a customer. We are all human - we forget to charge or an extra 200 mile trip becomes necessary as the result of an emergency. We may even want to travel to the other coast to visit the grand parents once or twice a year. This is exactly why, using GM's Voltech solution, you can rely on the 100% deployed (nation wide TODAY) gasoline infrastructure. Simply burn a little gas on the occasions that you forgot to recharge, an unexpected trip came up, or you decided to go on vacation and want to travel 3000 miles to the other coast. No problem.....


    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Jive View Post
    This would definitely create the 're-charging station' industry over night. Now, people will want to charge everywhere. The mom getting groceries after work with the low battery? Plug into one of the stations in the store's parking lot. Your work's parking lot, libraries, parking meters, restaurants, sports/concert venues, etc. Someone is going to want a piece of that pie. Think of the money stores could make with their lots outfitted with charging stations.[/SIZE]
    If 78% of the American market can get by on 40 miles electric range today - and at the same time fall back on gasoline if they run out of battery for any reason - then the "market" for recharging stations may be a lot smaller than you think. Batteries will continue to improve in both energy density and their ability to accept a faster charge but, think about this for a minute..... If, for example, the Volts range increased to 50 miles in a year or two - what percent of the population would be able to commute to and from work without the need to recharge? Maybe 85% - 90%. In a few more years, when the energy density increases to the point where the range is 60 miles - what percent of the population would be able to commute to and from work without recharging? Maybe 90% - 94%??? The point is that the number of people who routinely need more than - say 40 - 60 miles range - is quite samll. And remember, gasoline is 100% deployed coast to coast. We even produce enough domestic oil to provide this level of demand for more than a century (without sending a single cent over seas). The infrastructure is 100% in place and ready to serve the consumer. The solution already exists. Will it improve over time? Sure it will. Batteries will get better, ICE charging units will get smaller and lighter etc. Could we use charge stations as a way to burn even less gasoline - sure. But they are not really necessary for most of us (and the country) to realize the benefits of electric vehicles today.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by edsuski; 09-22-2013 at 12:42 AM.

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