Thursday, June 26, 2008

Question About Plug in Hybrid Cars

I have a question about plug in hybrids. Are they predicated on having a snout house or a garage? I park my car all over the place near my house in San Francisco and there is no where I would be able to plug in on the street. I wonder what the urban design implications are for these cars. Are there going to be outlets sticking up all over the place? Cables?

11 comments:

-N said...

a plan like this would be a good start:

http://www.whynot.net/peakoil/ideas/4

arcady said...

I'm more interested in the implications for the power grid. I don't want the price of our still relatively cheap electricity wasted on people lugging around two tons of metal each to get to work or the mall, and using batteries to do it. I'd much rather we used it to power a greatly expanded rail transit system, at least there there's no need for the inherent inefficiency of batteries.

pitch said...

PHEVs will need a plug but a lot of researchers think that cities, employers, stores will get on the PHEV craze because it'll be relatively cheap for them to provide power and will be a perk to the car owner.

As for the implications on the power grid, there is a video from Google around where they say 86% of cars can be transferred over to PHEV without having to update our grid. Of course that implies that people are charging their vehicles at night when demand is at its lowest. Electric companies actually have mentioned they'll be able to reduce rates if people charge at night because of a lot of energy is wasted when coal plants operate at night and their isn't much demand.

fpteditors said...

Electric cars burn coal. Arcady has it right as usual - more rail. Also, better cars = more sprawl.

fhe said...

Hybrid cars are a hoax. The conventional ones are just lighter cars with smaller engines. All the energy comes from gas and some is wasted in conversion to electricity. What makes them appealing is the electric motor that produces a more zippy acceleration. In return you add a whole lot of pollution due to the batteries.

As for plug-ins. They burn coal as fpteditors says. The solution is public transportation, walking and biking. The latter will also solve the "obesity epidemic."

Dave Reid said...

I agree they aren't the solution as they encourage sprawl and 50% of a pollution generated by a car is generated during its manufacturing. But the EV1s actually had a few solar charging stations. And that was a 100% electric car.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I don't disagree with you all that transit, walking and biking should be a main attraction. I use my car maybe once a week. But its silly to think that cars are not useful or that they will be replaced. FTP you are correct that better cars mean sprawl. It just allows people to keep living the same lifestyle, which some people enjoy, but should be paid for accordingly.

I believe it will actually make energy cheaper because of issues with evening consumption. However perhaps that is energy better used on stored up super capacitors for other things rather than autos as Arcady says.

Michael said...

There's limitations on how much of a battery you can reasonably charge using a standard 120V outlet. See here* for my analysis.

Basically, it will take 8 hours to charge up and drive 40 miles. If you want a car with a longer range, it's going to require a much more expensive electrical connection.

I think that if people want to park on the public street and plug to charge, that can be included as a surcharge for the parking meter (or included in the parking charge).

If I were to get a plug-in vehicle, I will modify my townhome's parking space to include an outlet. Hopefully I will not need more than a 120V, 20A connection.

*Shameless self-promotion.

petrichor said...

you mean something like this?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_impression_that_i_get/2469829750/

petrichor said...

uh, better link

-N said...

PGE and the City of Portland are rolling out a pilot project to add charging stations for plug in cars. More about this in todays Journal of Daily Commerce here:

http://www.djcoregon.com/articleDetail.htm/2008/07/01/PGE-charges-up-for-plugin-hybrid-cars-Utility-partnering-with-ODOT-to-install-electricvehicle-chargi