”Are our electric targets just talk?”
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Författare:  aryan [ ons 09-09-16 21:30 ]
Inläggsrubrik:  ”Are our electric targets just talk?” ... 38916.html

Wed, Sep 16, 2009

GOVERNMENT targets for electric vehicles – including the plan to have 250,000 electrically powered cars on Irish roads by roads by 2020 – will not be met, because the Government is not putting the required “major money” into making electric cars affordable for motorists.

That is according to Norwegian Jan Brentebraten, director of research and development for alternative fuel vehicles for Ford in Europe. Speaking in Dublin last week, Brentebraten said he believes the future power source for cars would be electricity. But, he said, “politicians are very good at putting out numbers, targets, strategies, visions, without really putting the necessary actions behind it”.

Dismissing Ireland’s chances of meeting the 250,000 vehicle target, he said that “post-recession, in about 2012 or 2014, there would need to be sales of about 30,000 electric vehicles a year” to come close to target.

As electric vehicles are significantly expensive compared with conventional cars, motorists would be disinclined to buy them unless a “heavy” subsidy was offered, he said.

Referring to the range of alternative fuel vehicles on the market – and the need to become less dependent on fossil fuels, Brentebraten said “governments may choose different things, depending on what is available locally, but must put measures behind it to make sure customers go the way we want them to go”.

In relation to Ireland, he said the Government did not have the incentives in place “to support the vision. At the earliest, in 2012 or 2014, you will start to have the market conditions that will support vehicles being sold in some volume. That gives you about seven years to 2020 and that means on average you have to sell 30,000 vehicles a year.” He insisted “this will not happen without the Government putting in major money to make it happen”.

While he dismissed the Irish targets, Brentebraten said: “It is not really about Ireland, it is about governments in general . . . For example, in Norway, some politician went out and said 500,000 [electric cars] by 2015. Now in Norway you sell 120,000 cars a year, which means you would basically have to sell all electric vehicles in the next five years.”

In contrast, he said that, as far back as 2000, Sweden had said it wanted to be independent of oil by 2020. “It was not that they would not use oil, but if there was a huge crisis they would have developed alternatives so the economy would not come to a standstill.”

The country focused on known alternatives, including ethanol, biofuels and electricity, and gave incentives to companies for using alternative fuels. Employees also paid less tax on company cars, and those private citizens buying such cars were given a rebate of €1,200.

Brentebraten predicted that in Ireland in the short term, the Government would realise that improvements to conventional cars offered “nearly as good emissions results” without a costly subsidy. He said the decision-making process would look at alternatives “that give more or less the same results . . . Wouldn’t you, if you can achieve 50 to 60 per cent of your objective by spending 10 per cent of this money, especially in these economic times?” he asked.

One of the reasons Brentebraten believes the future of the family car is electricity, is “because electricity infrastructure is already there”. Time will be needed, he said, for battery technology to evolve. As to whether the world has sufficient supplies of lithium to provide for mass production, Brentebraten said Bolivia had “humongous” supplies of the metal. In any event, “maybe a different metal would become a better substitute in the future. The technology will have to evolve.”

While he accepted the general enthusiasm towards electric vehicles, he predicted a longer “flight path” to the sort of numbers in the Government strategy, with improvements to existing internal combustion engines, car and tyre design, alongside the development of some flexifuel cars – which can run on either fossil or biofuels – and alternatives such as hybrids.

He instanced the new small-car diesel engines, which produce just 98g of CO2 per kilometre – an emission rate lower than earlier Prius Hybrids, which emit 104g, and he said further developments in diesel engines and flexifuel vehicles would be launched by Ford and other manufacturers at this week’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

He said additional measures, such as small changes to car design, anti-roll tyres and better driving habits can further reduce emissions significantly.

The EU target for a 10 per cent reduction in transport emissions by 2020 is driving the pace of change in conventional vehicles. While Ireland is attempting to achieve this with electric cars, he said, “we believe it is extremely important that what you offer to the customers must be affordable”.

“It is the affordability that will drive the volume.” There is no point in having a car with zero emissions at the tail pipe, “if it is only one in 50 million cars on the roads,” he says.

The process will start with improvements to the internal combustion engine, he believes. “Today’s diesel engines are much more fuel-efficient than they were in the past, and if you combine the most efficient diesels of today with roll-resistant tyres, and lowering the vehicle, different tuning and stuff, you can actually bring today’s vehicles, like the Fiesta Econetic, down to 98g .”

Further opportunities exist in combining the new features with engine stop/start measures for use in traffic or at lights, he says. Similarly, a new generation of turbocharged petrol engines would reduce emissions by 20 per cent, while further EU regulation known as Euro 5 and Euro 6 would put additional limits on nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollutants.

While progress has been made on biofuel cars, these have suffered from the “food or fuel” debate, and “second-generation” biofuels developed from plants grown on marginal land or from unusable parts of food crops were at an early stage.

Having worked with flexifuels, he says there are difficulties in developing an infrastructure, even in existing forecourts with spare pump space. It is not as simple as just filling an underground tank, he says, as different fuels might require stronger or different tanks, and different distribution vehicles.

Many people have mentioned hydrogen cell technology as the solution, but this fuel would need a new infrastructure to deliver it to the motorist, according to Brentebraten. “Hydrogen, depending on how you distribute it, needs to be very high-pressure. First of all, to transport it is very difficult. To get it into the tank is, as I understand it, very definitely a challenge, and tanks need to be much stronger. While you can get E85 into an existing tank and pump for about €15,000, a hydrogen pump and tank would be exponentially more expensive.”

Författare:  karlmb [ fre 09-09-18 14:58 ]

I think much written in this article is very true..

Författare:  aryan [ fre 09-09-18 15:56 ]

I had an intresting conversation today with an guy working for a major electricity company here and involved in a project about charging points for EV. He told me that the car companies that are constantly speaking coming EV with fantastic ranges "coming soon" is killing the marked for current EV's because people tend to think ok I just wait a few years to get the real good onces. In the meantime the go and buy a fossil fuel car (probably diesel because that is cheapest now) in stead of the good alternatives available now, like ethanol, biogas or if you mainly drive chort distances electric.
He perssonally thought the future would bring plug-in electric cars rather than electric only, just because electric only are going to be to expencive and/or have too little range for most people.


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