Help with thesis idea

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qdos
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Postby qdos » Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:14 pm

I think you missed the one which to me is THE SOLUTION.

You have a primary runabout which is electric and you use a back up ICE for long distance trips. This can either be a vehicle you own or you rent.

Look into the type of journeys people make and I think you will find the majority are short distances with usually one or two people in the vehicle.

The whole argument that people keep using that they need a 15 seater people carrier to take their entire family on a trip to the South of France really doesn't hold much water.

I'll be interested to see what you come up with I know I'm being a bit extreme above but I think you get the gist of it. Basically we've all fallen hook line and sinker for the salesman's pitch so he can make a nice fat profit Just look at the USA v the UK Do they really need big 7 Litre V8s ?

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Jeremy
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Postby Jeremy » Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:34 pm

I wholeheartedly agree. An awful lot of people can get by with a relatively short range, compact, vehicle for day to day use, with a bigger car only being needed for occasional long journeys, holidays etc.

Selling this idea is tough though, as people seem reluctant to accept that a two vehicle solution is either affordable or viable.

I ran a single seat car for several years and found it to be an ideal fast commuting machine and usable for the odd weekend chore. My "main" car would often sit unused for weeks. This worked for me because the single seater only cost me a couple of thousand pounds to build, plus had enough performance to be fun to drive.

This is where I think the kit car market can make a contribution. An affordable, easy to build, lightweight, aerodynamically clean, single or two seat electric vehicle might be a good way to show the viability such an alternative approach to personal transport.

It'd be nice to see a big car manufacturer pick up on this, but the return on R&D investment wouldn't make a budget vehicle viable, I think.

Jeremy

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qdos
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Postby qdos » Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:49 pm

I think you've twigged great minds think alike Jeremy :wink: Hopefully we will meet up and have a good chat about this shortly

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Night Train
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Postby Night Train » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:32 pm

I agree with you there. However, I need to figure out a way to not factoring too many variables so I may just consider it in terms of an average urban commute distance that makes all three options viable for the average user.

I don't want to make it a viability of EV and ICE transport combinations type of question and keep it simple in terms of the environmental impact of three basic and reasonable options on a single vehicle use. Vehicle combinations can be left for further study.

On a personal front I would want a single seat long distance commuter vehicle and a short distance runaround and a medium distance load carrier. It's fine for me as I have ample parking but for many people parking one car is hard enough without parking two or two each for some couples.

Keep the critique coming please, it is much appreciated.
Thank you.

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qdos
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Postby qdos » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:47 am

For people with issues finding parking for one vehicle an electric is going to be out of the equation

How can they charge it?

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Night Train
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Postby Night Train » Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:44 pm

qdos wrote:For people with issues finding parking for one vehicle an electric is going to be out of the equation

How can they charge it?

This is something that has had me stumped for ages. Small EV's seem like a great idea for urban commuters but many live in blocks of flats, small terrace houses converted to flats, on roads with double yellow lines outside and other such places without personal off street parking.
What can they do? What options can be made available to them?

Social housing could put charging points in parking areas but many terrace house residents are lucky if they can even park in the street they live on. I have a friend who can sometimes park on her street but only on the other side of the road.

Is there a realistic and affordable solution to this that would encourage EV use?
Even with public charging points what can be done about security of the charging point, cable and connections to prevent/reduce vandalism and/or theft of the electricity? Is this even an issue?

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Jeremy
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Postby Jeremy » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:02 pm

Public parking space electrical hook up points are extremely common in places like Canada, virtually all above ground, in the open, parking spaces have them. Based on my own experience of working out there, I don't think I once saw a vandalised point, but that may be because everyone understands how essential they are in the Winter.

Some areas there have power points built in to the base of roadside lights, an easy way of reducing the infrastructure costs.

I'm sure if they sprung up here then the anti-social scum that delight in smashing up public infrastructure would have a field day with them..............

Although I think this is a limiting factor to small EV take-up, the rate at which G-Wiz's have been selling in London seems to show that there is a sizeable demand, even in an urban area without much in the way of off-street parking.

A while ago I looked at some of the latest caravan-type fuel cell units as a charging option. Although still pricy, these are starting to look viable as an on board charger. They use a fairly environmentally friendly fuel, ethanol or methanol usually, and can deliver enough power to allow an overnight charge. One of these built in to a lightweight commuter vehicle might be the answer to the need for grid connected charging for smaller EVs. Here's a link to one manufacturers site: http://www.efoy.de/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=65&Itemid=105&lang=en

Jeremy

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Night Train
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Postby Night Train » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:44 pm

That sounds an interesting option, Jeremy. A small fuel cell that trickle charges a battery pack over night, or whenever the EV is parked.

Must look into that.
Thank you.

I am very cynical about the survivorbility of public charging points in the short term. Maybe when the likely abusers are also users of EV scooters and cars then the respect for them may be there.

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Jeremy
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Postby Jeremy » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:04 pm

Or until we get climate change that gives us Winter temperatures like they have in parts of Canada, where sump and battery heaters are essential to keep ordinary cars functioning!

Jeremy

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qdos
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Postby qdos » Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:58 am

I have to say that the sight of wires dangling out of cars plugged into the mains has always made me think this is going to be something of a problem for cities and towns.

The reality of our so called civilisation is far from utopia and I wonder when some kid is going to get electrocuted by one and consequently the owner of the vehicle had up for manslaughter. Crazy world we live in isn't it but hey my cynical mind says it keeps the powers that be in big fat pay cheques.

Hmmm sorry I think I've taken this off thread now


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