I watched topgear and they tested an electric car that used a petrol engine to turn a generator. A 2.0 ltr engine produced about 45 mpg around town which I thought was pretty decent(though this might've been more as I wasn't paying full attention)
Found this on another website. Makes for some interesting reading.
*Eric Bolling (Fox Business Channel's Follow the Money) test drove the Chevy Volt at the invitation of General Motors.
For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine.
Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery. So, the range including the 9 gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles. It will take you 4 1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours. In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.
According to General Motors, the Volt battery hold 16 kwh of electricity. It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.
The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned so I looked up what I pay for electricity. I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh.
16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery. $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery. Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine only that gets 32 mpg. $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.
The gasoline powered car cost about $15,000 while the Volt costs $46,000.
So GM wants us to pay 3 times as much for a car that costs more that 7 times as much to run and takes 3 times as long to drive across country.*
Your electricity cost seems a bit high! Here it's about 6p per kwh (overnight rate) or 15p daytime, so $1.16 (nearly a quid!) seems a bit much?
One reporter's test of on car from one manufacturer is hardly a definitive test of electric cars!
Spring-loaded 'dinky' cars (do you remember the toy ones?), might make a comeback.
But, it would take a GIANT's hand to wind up (prime/charge) the wheels.
Wind up radios and torches are now commonplace items.
According to electricchoice.com
The U.S average residential retail price of electricity was 11.53 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2010 so think the $l.16 must be a typo - decimal point in wrong place maybe?
Just wait!! If electric cars look like seriously being a challenger for everyday motoring no government would forego the revenue that fuel duty produces. They would have to find another way of taxing the electricity used as vehicle fuel so that the loss is offset. Don't look at the electric car as a win, win proposition.
Personally, I wouldn't touch one with the proverbial bargepole. I don't think they are going to become a viable option within my remaining lifespan.
Once the generation of hydrogen power becomes an economic option I think electric cars will simply disappear.
'They would have to find another way of taxing the electricity'
I had my car converted to Calor Gas many, many years ago. It didn't do as many miles to the gallon but the gas was ridiculously cheap. Not for long. The government soon realised they were losing money and put motor tax on it!
Like they did when diesel became a viable proposition for the private motorist as opposed to just hauliers and the like.
I bought a diesel car thinking it would be cheaper to run than a petrol car....wrong! Diesel fuel is approx 10p per litre more expensive than petrol,the insurance is way more expensive as they seem to have forgotten that although its a 2,000cc engine,its performance is comparable to a tractor and road fund licence isn't cheap either.If I'd bought a small petrol engined car,insurance & road tax would be about a third(insurance for my 1.3 Mini was £150 fully comp 15yrs ago,now £250,insurance for my 2.0 diesel £1500 TPFT)Both cars do approx 40 MPG.A battery powered car isn't practicable as it wouldn't survive an evening's deliveries,whereas a petrol engine driving a generator had a theoretical range of 270 miles in the car tested by Topgear,plus 0-60 times of a sports car(even though it weighed a hefty 2.5 tons)at sub 6 secs.
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