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Discussion Starter #1
Will there be a time when BEV's are so common and popular in large urban areas that all Taxicabs are BEV's?
Will there be a time when more than 33% of all cars sold are BEV's?
Will people get on long waiting lists to buy high-end BEV's that cost 4x that of an equivalently appointed ICEv?
Will there be a national network of 100% renewable energy powered charging stations?

I don't know, but all of the above did occur here well over 100 years ago.

Production BEV with 100 mile range on a single charge? - been there done that in 1908
BEV with 200+ mile range on a single charge? - been there done that in 1911
BEV that can go from 0 -60 in 4 seconds? - been there done that in 1908
PHEV? - been there done that in 1916
Interstate Network of Clean wind-power generators? Yep, 1923

Before GM was founded, and way before there was a guy named Musk who was the father of Elon, there were
innovators like Oliver Parker Fritchle



and Walter Baker



The same discussions we have in this forum about EV market positioning, brand loyaly, range anxiety, charging infrastructure (this is fascinating as at that time there was a viable EV charging infrastructure and NO ICE (gas station) infrastructure at all), which manufacturer has the most advanced technology, etc., were being had over 100 years ago. I just finished reading The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History (This book was published 17 years ago) and found it illuminating. Some may remember the movie Who killed the electric car? The EV has been killed at least 7 times in the past 120 years.

I hate to use this cliché, but "Those Who Do Not Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It."
a few other sources:
https://www.curbed.com/2017/9/22/16346892/electric-car-history-fritchle
https://energy.gov/articles/history-electric-car
http://www.colfaxavenue.com/2012/12/fritchle-electric-car-company.html
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/overview-of-early-electric-cars.html
 

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As much as I love a good conspiracy theory, I honestly do no think anyone really "killed" the BEV, at least not 7 times :)

In 1900, the ICE tech was very imperfect. Anything could compete against it - BEV's, horse and buggy, steam cars ... BUT! it had a huge room for improvement - and improve it did over the following 20-25 years. The cost went down from $100K in today money to $15-20K, and many of the inconveniences were overcome.

As for EV's, the battery tech had no room for improvement. Battery-less road EV's proliferated in the areas where contact wires could be hung. Just look at these things of beauty from the Old Country: an urban trolleytruck (with an ICE as backup propulsion for wire-free areas!) and an inter-city passenger trolleybus.
 

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Yeah pretty neat. An electric drive train is really superior in every way to ICE, the problem has always been energy density. Battery technology really hasn't developed that much since those days.

Jay Leno has a Baker Electric


 

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In 1900, the ICE tech was very imperfect, but it had a huge room for improvement - and improve it did over the following 20-25 years. The cost went down from $100K in today money to $15-20K, and many of the inconveniences were overcome.
BEV's were only 35% of the market back then. Apparently according to Leno it became largely a women's car, because women loved them because they didn't need a hand crank. The invention of the electric starter really killed the early BEV, because now you could have a larger sedan type car with long range and the ease of starting same as the electric. The early BEV's had a long range but that was because they were buggy's like the Baker (light and small) and topped out at 18 mph.


As for EV's, the battery tech had no room for improvement. Battery-less road EV's proliferated in the areas where contact wires could be hung. Just look at these things of beauty from the Old Country: an urban trolleytruck (with an ICE as backup propulsion for wire-free areas!) and an inter-city passenger trolleybus.
Hybrid's were around too. In the second video above Jay shows off his Owen Magnetic, a 1916 car which has a ICE powerplant to drive an electric motor. Best of both worlds really.
 

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To get some more background - read General Motors Streetcar conspiracy on Wikipedia.
Looks like there is a conspiracy theory for everything.

I especially like it when there are multiple conspiracy theories, like the ones, related to the moon landings.

In 1930's-1980's there were zero General Motors lobbyists in Moscow, USSR. Yet the daily ridership fell from 2.6M the 1930 (40% of the city's population) to 0.8M in 1990 (10% of the population).
 

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Will there be a time when BEV's are so common and popular in large urban areas that all Taxicabs are BEV's?
Well, virtually all the taxicabs here in Vancouver BC are Priuses, so we're already halfway there.

The taxi industry, assuming it survives the wave of ride sharing, is obviously very savvy about picking cars that are reliable and cheap to run. So a BEV is a natural, and I think that cars with range and pricing of the Bolt are pretty close to the tipping point where they'll be a no brainer.
 

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Looks like there is a conspiracy theory for everything.

This was not a theory, but a crime for which they were tried, convicted, and given a slap on the wrist...like the financiers of our latest scandal.


It happened with the eager cooperation of many citizens. Appeals to greed, and sloth always work. Our switch from sensible cars to SUVs was a much more subtle manipulation. If you think we are not affected by advertising, and peer pressure, you are mistaken.

The car culture, which US corporations pushed as the embodiment of freedom, has been a disaster for our species.
 

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The car culture, which US corporations pushed as the embodiment of freedom, has been a disaster for our species.
65% of carbon emissions come from burning fossil fuel, but 25% of that is due to transportation (the latter is US based EPA data, but we can take it as representative). The personal transportation sector contributes half of those emissions.

So here's the math, half of 25% of 65% results in passenger vehicles being 8% of the carbon emission problem. Large? Yes. Low hanging fruit? No. Electrical generation emissions is equal to transportation, so just designing more efficient appliances would allow people to keep their lifestyle and save carbon. Or moving everything over to renewable generation (which is occurring as we speak) will remove 30% of total carbon emissions by it self.

Personally I think autos are a great form of transportation only getting better.
 

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"Personally I think autos are a great form of transportation only getting better."

Please define great. Great for destroying close knit, sustainable communities? Great for asthma? Great for cutting up animal habitat? Great for using up vast resources?

Electric cars will certainly allow us to do all these things more efficiently.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So here's the math, half of 25% of 65% results in passenger vehicles being 8% of the carbon emission problem.
We are both using the same fact source here, but our interpretations are different.


Why not slice this pie down further? Of the 8% you have selectively reduced to, very low MPG SUV's and Pickup trucks (which are "passenger vehicles"), in this country, represent probably less than 2% of overall greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, a Hummer owner who is the only occupant during 95% of their diving, should under no circumstances be held personally responsible for their carbon footprint?

Yes, it's sounds utterly ridiculous when put in those terms. The Hummer owner can use the same theory you postulated to defend their position. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand your position. I get it. My challenge is why do we collectively think this way?
As much as I love a good conspiracy theory, I honestly do no think anyone really "killed" the BEV, at least not 7 times :)
With all due respect, I submit you may be assuming facts not in evidence. I never mentioned conspiracy, not did I imply or suggest that there was some conspiracy. It's easy to dismiss out-of-hand things we may not like by broad brushing them with some label. Let me put this in no uncertain terms for you as obviously my written articulation skills are probably poor; When I said "the EV has been killed...", l use the term much like "Apple's iPhone Killed BlackBerry", or How ‘Amazon factor’ killed retailers like Borders, Circuit City", or "Are OTAs Really Killing Brick And Mortar Travel Agencies", or "Technology killed manufacturing jobs".

My commentary was specifically referring to my take on the book. The reference to the movie had to do with how this book predates that and what I came away with. So no, I don't think there were a bunch of wealthy 'Fat Cat industrialist in some dimly lit smokey room architecting plans to subvert the EV industry. However, many times the EV industry growth has been ... dare I say it ... killed by the inherent competitive nature of a free market economy. Incumbent industries understand what drives a market, and it's not technology. It's the manipulation of our social fabric and individual fears. Technology is just a value point.

This book suggest had the various EV manufactures of the turn of the last Century not been so obsessed with fighting one another, the EV could have ruled the day. It also exposed how EV manufactures failed to understand whom their informal partners were. How they failed miserably to involve utilities, the producers of the fuel that made EV's go, in their business plans. Whereas ICE manufacturer's of the day
totally got into bed with BigOil. Early EV companies understood superior technology, and naively thought that common consumers would opt for this. ICEv manufactures understood, way back then, what makes humans tick. Why they buy. How to compel a consumer to buy something they don't need...even if it's bad for them. The Elon Musk of the world understand that same core dynamic today.

I think GJetson sums it up well:
It happened with the eager cooperation of many citizens. Appeals to greed, and sloth always work. Our switch from sensible cars to SUVs was a much more subtle manipulation. If you think we are not affected by advertising, and peer pressure, you are mistaken.

The car culture, which US corporations pushed as the embodiment of freedom, has been a disaster for our species.
(emphasis mine)
This is why human caused Climate Change, a reality which is supported by almost every scientist around the globe - with predictable catastrophic consequences, is commonly viewed and dismissed out of hand as a "Conspiracy Theory" by a more than 33% of the population today.
 

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My challenge is why do we collectively think this way?
My thinking isn't collective but a pure engineering approach to the problem. These big problems always boil down to engineering (and ultimately to energy - we can move the planet if we have enough energy), and if I was working in this field I'd ignore passenger vehicles because it's small fry and hard to get traction. I'd attack electrical gen - that's a big, fat easy target because you're dealing with a relative few utilities and not billions of consumers. That's my only point here.

Why not slice this pie down further? Of the 8% you have selectively reduced to, very low MPG SUV's and Pickup trucks (which are "passenger vehicles"), in this country, represent probably less than 2% of overall greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, a Hummer owner who is the only occupant during 95% of their diving, should under no circumstances be held personally responsible for their carbon footprint?

Yes, it's sounds utterly ridiculous when put in those terms. The Hummer owner can use the same theory you postulated to defend their position. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand your position. I get it.
This is different, in the Hummer owners case he's making a fallacy of composition. Which is that a few people can have Hummers and it has virtually no effect on the environment, but if we all had Hummers it would have a large effect. The correct inference the Hummer owner can make is to say "well few people will buy Hummers (true) so therefore I can get away with mine (also true)".

With all due respect, I submit you may be assuming facts not in evidence.
No I'm just viewing it as an engineering problem, one which the emissions side is already solved. In 10 years renewables will have pushed out fossil fuels. First we had the wood age, then coal, then oil, now NG and next renewables. They each have a long tail (we still use some coal and wood even though they're essentially dead), but renewables have reached parity with fossils and the whole industry knows it. Saudi Arabia knows it, they are five years from bankruptcy and are trying to plan for a post oil world. Guess what the latest electrical plant they put in was? Solar. In Saudi Arabia.

Dealing with existing carbon is another discussion.
 

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I don't know, but all of the above did occur here well over 100 years ago.
Weight and speed negate a lot of the efficiency advantages new tech give us. Cars keep getting heavier and larger for better and worse. Baker electrics were 650-950 pounds and under 15mph. New cars are 5x that on both counts.

Today, in something light enough you could commute on kW in the single digits. If it were aero enough you could even do it at highway speeds. The marketplace is not interested in something spartan like that...
 
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