Over the past year there has been an increase in Camry’s/Aurion’s as taxi’s and police vehicles in place of some of Falcon’s and Commodore’s, and over the past month or so, I have noticed smaller 4 door vehicles such as Toyota Corolla’s and a few of the more expensive Toyota Prius hybrid car’s.
I have also noticed that freight and logistics companies like the Toll Group have been using small vehicles for smaller runs, such as the Hyundai Getz. In addition, during my travels up and down the east Australia over the past couple of months, I have noticed that there are becoming less single trailer trucks around, and the length of both trailers on dual trailer’s has been extending to the point where they are both getting to around the same length.
This is understandable given the prices of fuel, so this brings me to my title, some thoughts and observations about electric cars.
One of the biggest problems I can see with electric cars is that the batteries are relatively large and bulky, and when it goes flat, hope you are somewhere you can charge it up. This is where a hybrid car would have an advantage since the battery could be charged on the go, be it petrol or hydrogen powered.
Of course, every manufacturer will no doubt use different batteries and other proprietary technology. However, if manufacturers were to agree on a standard of smaller batteries that would be easy to replace, why couldn’t a similar service to the current fuel service be provided at service stations? If each car used the same, reasonable sized batteries, just different quantities of them depending on the size of the car/engine, then they would be easily interchangeable.
Every one could of course charge their batteries up at home, including spares and so on, but that isn’t always going to be suitable, and current battery technology would take much too long to charge batteries if you were on the go. If service stations were to carry banks of batteries on charge that are exchangeable for a free, similar to the exchangeable gas bottle service many servo’s offer. Batteries running out, just drop into the servo, exchange your batteries, pay whatever the charge is for the electricity and service, and you’re on your way ago. As part of the service, batteries that come in would have to be monitored to ensure they are capable of holding charge sufficiently for use, to ensure that people aren’t ending up with lots of dud batteries.
With new cars coming with new batteries, there would be a relatively consistent amount of new batteries coming into the battery pool, but no doubt there would need to be more coming in, such as drivers being able to purchase new ones, or servo’s adding new ones to the pool whenever a dead battery is removed.
Note that I haven’t done any research into this, this is just my own thoughts and observations on the subject. I don’t know how difficult something like this would be to achieve, considering that manufacturers would have to agree on a standard, and that would have to be maintained, at least on a country/continent wide level.
Then you also have to take into consideration that the power to run all vehicles would be transferred to the regular power-grids, and I imagine, that this would be a massive amount of additional power to be produced at power stations and thus an additional cost.
As far as additional power goes, I think Kevin Rudd and his ministers did not make a good decision to cut the $8,000 rebate for the installation of solar panels, as this means there will be less people installing them now. If there were a few hundred thousand houses fitted with solar panels over the next year or two, and continuing at that rate, that would help cover the additional power needed, as well as reduce the cost of electric cars since people would be able to cover some of the electricity production themselves.
Anyway, just some thought’s I’ve had over the past couple of days. What do you think about it all?