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Are you gonna get an electric car anytime soon? (Or do you already have one?)

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Steve Guttag
    It is just reasonable to believe that destinations will start offering (if not outright required in order to incentivize EV adoption) EV charging, at some level.
    This is already happening in California. A drive-in I service wants to do some remodeling to change from two screens to three in their lot, and has been told by the city that the necessary permits will only be granted if the project also involves installing EV chargers. Apparently the city now adds that requirement to all zoning change approvals and/or lot development that requires city approval.

    As a result of this, numerous vendors have appeared that offer to install these things on a profit sharing basis (the business hosting the chargers pays nothing up front, and receives a small percentage of the revenue they generate). The problem is that these charge the EV owners as much if not more than they would pay for gas to cover the equivalent distance.


    • #62
      Wait a minute. People are going to try an profit over a forced/required service? Shocker.

      That said, if it cost the same to drive an EV to a movie as it would a gas powered vehicle, who cares? They still are not spewing tailpipe emissions out and cost wise, going to the movies (or going out) is, typically going to be more than staying at home. Is the movie patron REQUIRED to plug in? If not, it is a service of convenience to ensure people will have the power to get home (or, more importantly, to get out of the Drive-In so it is someone else's problem!).


      • #63
        Drive-ins already keep a few "jump start carts" for use when customers discover a flat battery when they attempt to leave at the end of the show (typically 2-3 after each screening), so I guess that EV chargers will make these a thing of the past.


        • #64
          This discussion got me thinking (always dangerous!). Another way to power electric cars is fuel cells. I remember seeing a demo fuel cell powered car a long time ago. I've read recently about further developments in hydrogen fuel cells. The same article also mentioned the possibility of hydrogen fueled internal combustion engine. I wonder how overall efficiency compares to use of batteries. I also wonder about emissions. Ideally, the hydrogen would just burn to water. But with other components in the air (such as nitrogen), we might get various pollutants we don't want. Anyone have ideas on hydrogen powered ICE?


          • #65
            Originally posted by Harold Hallikainen
            Another way to power electric cars is fuel cells. I remember seeing a demo fuel cell powered car a long time ago.
            They did go into serial production, though interestingly, Honda pulled out (2021 was the last model year for the Clarity), presumably because they've read the political direction things are taking, and are now concentrating on developing BEVs. As I understand it, the big problems have been the cost, complexity, and reliability of the hydrogen-into-electricity part of the powertrain, and the fact that only something like five hydrogen filling stations exist in the entirety of California (and not much more in the rest of the country), charging customers significantly more than the gas to drive the equivalent mileage.

            I guess the big challenge with a hydrogen-fueled ICE would be to prevent the water by-product from causing corrosion and other issues to the engine components. Around a century ago, the Zeppelin Company was experimenting around this idea. As an airship burns fuel (conventional, i.e. gasoline or diesel), it gets lighter, and therefore the amount of aerostatic lift required decreases. Conventionally, pilots would simply release hydrogen from valves in the top of the airframe into the atmosphere to get rid of unwanted aerostatic lift, but the stuff was pretty expensive, which led to the idea of developing an engine that could burn both regular liquid fuel during the early stages of a flight, gradually shifting to unwanted hydrogen in the later ones. I can't now remember the details as to why, but they could not develop an engine that enabled this. They ended up using blaugas instead, which did work as a dual fuel with the engine technology available at the time, and achieved the same weight and balance objective (avoided the need to jettison a large quantity of hydrogen in flight, only to have to replace it at the next landing).


            • #66
              As a follow-up, I just read an article that talked about the fact that EV charging in some areas will be better done in the early daytime hours, due to the availability/abundance of solar energy at those times. That would mean that employers offering EV charging will have an advantage over those that don't. It also means that optimizing charging is not a one-size-fits-all situation, and that flexibility is a feature not a bug when it comes to addressing energy needs going forward.


              • #67
                If we're going to have to charge during the day, that creates another infrastructural hurdle. I would speculate that most EV owners now have garages (or off road parking such as a driveway or car port), in which they plug in when they get home from work and unplug as they leave the next morning. The advantage of this arrangement is that the chargers can be installed gradually, as homeonwers buy EVs and install the chargers along with that purchase.

                If charging at home and overnight is not going to be allowed, pretty much every workplace is going to need to provide a charger at every parking spot: if they don't and an EV owner can't charge at home overnight, then people are not going to buy EVs. And if these workplace chargers do appear, they will likely be financed like the ones I mentioned above, with the result that EV owners will pay way more for the electricity that goes into them than if they were charging from their household supply, thereby negating the main selling point of these things (lower fuel cost).


                • #68
                  My co-op in NYC just installed chargers in our garage although they're not turned on yet. They installed one for every two cars. No one has an EV yet.

                  My current car is a 2003 Honda Accord. I am planning to buy an EV. I was waiting for the charger installation. I was planning on buying the Hyundai Ioniq 5, but I wanted the upper trims which are no longer available within 500 miles of me right now. But now they've announced the sedan version, the 2023 Ioniq 6, which gets a bit more range - it's probably going to be rated at about 350 vs. 303 for the Ioniq 5. Since EV's get far less range in very hot and very cold weather, I want all the range I can get because I travel to my daughter's house which is 125 miles away and I'd prefer to do it without stopping to recharge on the way home.

                  At a high speed charger, the Ioniqs can go from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes (24 minutes in very cold weather). But using a standard 240v charger, it takes about 7 hours to get a full charge. Hyundai gives you two years of free charging at Electrify America chargers, but there aren't enough of them (yet).

                  One of the things I like about some of the EV's is not just that they're EV's - is that the designers have rethought what the interior of a car should be like.

                  If I made trips longer than that trip to my daughter's house, I probably would not yet consider an EV. But I think within five years, range and charging times are no longer going to be issues. I think I heard on the news today that New York State is doing what California has already announced -- no ICE new car registrations after 2035 (I assume used ICE cars will be still be permitted after that date.). (I bet an awful lot of 2034 ICE cars will be sold in that year by consumers who don't want to go electric.). They're in the process of rebuilding all of the rest stops on the New York State Thruway and when complete, which will probably take several years, they're all going to have high-speed chargers. I just need one to open, just in case.

                  If gas prices had remained high (in the U.S.), I think there might have been a trend towards faster EV adoption. But with gas prices falling (I saw $3.20 today), I think there's no economic case unless someone drives upwards of 30,000 miles per year and even though there aren't going to be a lot (or any?) ICE cars built after 2035, I think we'll see ICE cars on the road until at least 2050. It will be a very slow transition.

                  As far as modern commuter trains are concerned, the U.S. is clearly behind the rest of the world. However, I don't believe we need coast-to-coast trains because I agree with those who argue that for trips like that, people will still fly. But I think high-speed trains make a lot of sense between relatively close cities - maybe up to 1000 miles apart, but probably not more than that. Acela on the east coast promised high-speed rail, but it's only high speed in one very small section between NYC and Boston. It's a nice train, but it still takes too long. If we're going to get people out of their cars, it needs to be both beautiful and fast.


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Leo Enticknap View Post
                    If we're going to have to charge during the day, that creates another infrastructural hurdle.
                    I think the key take-away is that it isn't a "have to" situation, but rather a "best option" scenario. It's not a black-and-white, this-or-that, choice of diametrically opposed options.

                    There are times when some areas of the country are asked to reduce their energy usage and not run their AC on full blast for a few hours, so I can imagine that those energy-strapped areas may also have a "don't charge your car if you don't have to tonight, wait until tomorrow" advisories, but if you needed to, you gotta do what you gotta do. Some EVs have a way to step down the charging rate, so you could plug in your car and tell it to charge super-slow (or tell it to wait to start charging until 1am or some other time), which would reduce your energy usage during peak periods. Maybe you choose to set your AC thermostat higher for a few hours, so the EV can charge without putting a strain on things. It's good to have options.

                    It's been interesting to hear the reports coming out of Florida about the availability of gas and the availability of electricity, and what people with EVs are doing in the aftermath of hurricane Ian. One guy in the Orlando area drove his Tesla around to several gas stations that had power but no gas. (Keep in mind that if there is no electricity, gas stations can't pump gas even if they have it) Some Tesla Superchargers in the area were down, but the mapping software showed him which were operating, and he had no issues charging his car. Other reports of F-150 Lightning owners using them as generators to provide their homes with emergency power.

                    I'm sure that there are also instances of EV owners that are having issues because the power is out for many miles around. It's not a one-size-fits-all situation, and EVs are not perfect in all situations, but neither are they useless in all situations either.


                    • #70
                      I listen to the "Bill Handel Show" on L.A. radio station KFI from time to time. He was talking a few days ago about how California governor had implored residents to cut back on water usage last spring due to the drought. Take shorter showers, don't water the lawn, don't wash the car, dont' flush the yellow water, etc. So what happened? During the months after his campaign, water usage INCREASED.

                      If it involves "lifestyle changes," I fear this country is going to have a real issue with that. Change is going to have to come very slowly, if it's going to be broadly accepted. Forcing it down people's throats won't go over well.


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Mike Blakesley
                        I listen to the "Bill Handel Show" on L.A. radio station KFI from time to time.
                        You can get KFI as far north as Montana?! KFI has an unusually powerful transmitter, because it has held its FCC license for such a long time (1922), that it just hung on continuously to the 50,000 watt license that was given out without question in the very early days of radio. It's been broadcasting on AM640 continuously for just over a century, and I was quite surprised that the centenary wasn't mentioned (that I'm aware of) on any of their shows around March 30, when the license was first issued. I've heard KFI clearly as far away as the Bay Area, Vegas, and Tucson, but I didn't know that the signal reached Montana. I listen to John and Ken on most afternoons, driving back from service calls.

                        Anyways, back to topic:

                        Originally posted by Mike Blakesley
                        He was talking a few days ago about how California governor had implored residents to cut back on water usage last spring due to the drought.
                        It gets better. A big wildfire near Hemet broke out during a heatwave, in which Newsom was telling us to save electricity between 4pm and 9pm to avoid the risk of outages: don't run dishwashers, turn down the a/c, and, of course, don't charge electric cars. In response, the sheriff of Riverside County (who is politically about as opposed to Newsom as it's possible to be in California) hit the local media imploring people to ignore him, and for electric car owners to keep them fully charged at all times, regardless of when they are plugged in. His justification was that if you depend on an electric car for mobility and suddenly have to evacuate to escape a fire, having your battery go flat half way down the mountain would be a bit of a bummer.


                        • #72
                          KFI's signal doesn't reach here...I usually listen to Handel in podcast format on iHeart Radio.

                          There was a guy writing on Quora about how the whole "we don't have the infrastructure for everybody to be charging electric cars all the time" thing is actually false, and it's somehow actually better for the electric grid to have a lot of cars charging. I don't know how that's possible.


                          • #73
                            Bringing this very neatly back to topic, even if I do say so myself, I read somewhere that you simply can't receive AM radio in an electric vehicle: something to do with EMI produced by inverters buggers up the signal, and the workarounds are so pricey that neither Tesla nor any of their competitors have ever come up with a fix. The problem for me is that although I could use the iHeart app piping the audio via Bluetooth to the car audio, that app won't run in the background while having another one on the phone's screen. I rely on my cellphone for navigation (Waze), often to service calls at sites I haven't driven to before, and so need Waze on the phone's screen all the time I'm driving. If I send the iHeart app into the background, its audio output stops. I guess that this is because they want to force me to look at the app's on screen ads. Annoyingly enough, my car (a 2018 Honda HR-V) was the last model year not to have Apple CarPlay (which would enable me to send Waze to the car's screen, while the iHeart ads appear on the phone); but as long as I'm in this car, I need AM radio in order to be able to hear John and Ken and use a navigation app. When the time comes to move to an EV, if AM reception is simply not possible in them, I'll need a solution that enables me to hear KFI via mobile Internet, while simultaneously using a navigation app. But for the moment, it's AM640 for me.
                            Last edited by Leo Enticknap; 10-09-2022, 12:07 AM.


                            • #74
                              Some electric vehicles don't include AM radios, but some do. I've read online that the Hyundai Ioniq 5 has an AM radio and posters have claimed it works fine. I think AM radio has been primarily removed from EV's (and ICE's as well) sold in Europe and that's mainly because most countries have dropped AM radio.
                              But AM radio is slowly dying as almost no one under 55 listens to it and advertisers don't care much about people over 55 because correctly or incorrectly, they feel it takes far more impressions to convince an older person to buy a product. There are a few AM stations that still do well, like 1010 WINS (all-news) and WCBS-AM (all news) in New York, although their ad revenue is half what it was 20 years ago (which is why CBS spun off those stations to Audacy in 2017). Meanwhile, Audacy's stock price is 34 cents a share and if they don't do a reverse split, they're going to be de-listed. They announced today that they're going to simulcast 1010 WINS on 92.3 FM.
                              KFI (owned by iHeart) did well until 2018, when it still generated enough ad revenue to place it in the top 10 stations in the U.S., but it's fallen off the list since then. But even then, it generated $54.4 million in 2008 but it dropped to $35 million in 2018. All stations had severe ad revenue declines in 2020 and they increased slightly in 2021.

                              By the time California and New York's new laws that conventional vehicles can't be registered in the state after 2034 (and assuming that those laws aren't overturned between now and then, which is very possible if Republicans gain back power in those states), most AM probably won't exist anymore anyway. It's 100-year-old technology whose time has past.


                              • #75
                                I rarely ever listen to broadcast radio anymore, be it FM or AM. Over the air radio might still be decent in really large markets like NYC, but it tends to suck everywhere else. IMHO, the only "good" radio station we have in Lawton is run by Cameron University, but it's a NPR affiliate. They air a mix of news/talk-radio and music, most of it Jazz or Classical. I'm a rock guy.

                                Our local commercial radio stations used to be decent 20+ years ago when they were mostly locally owned. They've all been bought and re-bought multiple times over since then. Each buyer has come in and trashed or deleted more and more of each station's music library. Playlists are ever more tightly controlled, if the station has any ability to play music on its own. Basically it's roughly the same dozen songs in a repeat loop for several months on end. There is a lot of automation and few human DJs on the payroll. Of course there's more commercials. The stations will still air these "bumpers" where some random person calls in a song request (of something they played barely an hour ago). Who the fuck do they think they're kidding?

                                Sirius|XM is a little better than traditional broadcast radio, but I think the service is kind of expensive.

                                One feature I look for in new cars is USB ports and their ability to play various kinds of audio files from different media, be it hardwired phone, cheap USB memory stick or a portable SSD. I'm a little disappointed my truck's stereo system can't play FLAC lossless audio files from attached media. My Galaxy S22 Ultra can play FLAC files. Still, WAV files or high bit rate MP3s aren't bad. I like being able to have much of my music library available to play at any time without having to cart along any physical CDs. I've never been a fan of those plastic binders where people slide naked discs into those clear sleeves. Those are a great way to ruin discs in short order. I usually RIP any store bought CD into LPCM WAV files and then export to other more portable formats afterward. The discs stay in perfect condition that way.